Ex-president, minister, others eulogise Okebukola as he bows out of LASU

For almost two hours last week, Peter Okebukola, a Distinguished Professor of Lagos State University (LASU), held his audience spellbound as he delivered his valedictory lecture.


Okebukola, a Professor of Science Education and Director- General/Leader of African Centre of Excellence for Innovative and Transformative STEM Education (LASU-ACEITSE) will bow out in February next years from the university system, where he has served meritoriously as a renowned scholar in the last 40 years.


In the lecture, entitled: “The Final Showdown: Ending a Cycle with CTCA in Breaking Barriers to Meaningful Learning of Science,” Okebukola, the former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC) and current Chairman of Governing Council of National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), chronicled what had transpired in the system from 1996, when he delivered his inaugural lecture to the present time that is preparing to retire from academic at 70 years.


The don, who said that though the journey was somehow rough, however, noted that it was eventful and worthwhile, even as he thanked all those that contributed to his achievements. In the lecture, Okebukola pointed out that the use of indigenous knowledge would not only go a long way in helping African students at all levels to do well in their studies, but would also greatly enhance them in other endeavours.


The models of valedictory lectures, however, focused on the narration of the experiences during the course of sojourn in an organization; issues that catches the fancy of the valedictory lecturer; summary of experiences in the line of duty, ag  gregating the road so far travelled and offer suggestions for the road ahead.


The lecture shared a snappy summarise of the research, which was basis for his appointment as professor; messages for his colleagues and for the Nigerian university system; why students find science difficult; what neuroscientists and cognitive scientists tell us about how we learn and forget; meaningful learning versus rote learning; and how could the barriers to meaningful learning of science (or any subject) be broken; among others.


Extolling the virtues of the renowned scholar, the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo; Education Minister, Mallam Adamu Adamu and the Executive Secretary of NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, commended Okebukola for his sterling contributions to the body of knowledge, development of African education, Nigerian university system and humanity in general.


Also, other eminent Nigerians and scholars, including the Vice- Chancellor of LASU, Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun; the immediate past Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof. Idowu Olayinka and the pioneer Vice-Chancellor of Osun State University, Osogbo, Prof. Sola Akinrinade; as well as Okebukola’s wife, Prof. Oluwatoyin Okebukola, also a don at LASU, extolled Okebukola’s virtues at a valedictory lecture and book presentation, organised in his honour by LASU at the Ojo, main campus of the institution.


Speaking via Zoom platform, Obasanjo said Okebukola’s performance as NUC boss, under his administration, was not only tremendous, but distinct. “Okebukola is a workaholic, who does many things successfully all alone at the same time, and who is full of ideas that can help turn things around for better. He worked closely with me and we are still together till today.


He strongly believed he still has many things to do for the country and humanity,” Obasanjo said. On his part, the Minister lauded Okebukola, saying the ministry since he came on board had been leveraging on the wisdom and guidance of Okebukola without any monetary attachment.


“Prof. Okebukola is a true professional and his contributions to education in Nigeria and globally are greatly acknowledged,” Adamu added.


On his part, the NUC Executive Secretary, Prof. Rasheed, who was represented at the event by Deputy Executive Secretary (Academic) in the Commission, Prof. Rahman Yussuf, described Okebukola as a shining star and a thorough-bred scholar when it comes to global education development.




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