It was a reunion of some sort as alumni members of the Lagos State University (LASU) converged on the university campus in honour of the pioneer Vice-Chancellor of the institution.
The LASU Alumni Association had on Thursday, 11th April, 2019 gathered the public at the Aderemi Makanjuola Lecture Theatre to hold the maiden edition of the Professor Afolabi Olumide Annual Lecture Series.
The Chairman of the LASU Alumni Association, Major General Cecil Esekhaigbe said his team saw the lecture as a way of recognising Olumide for the foundations he laid as first Vice-Chancellor.
“He was the pioneer VC, who was able to gather the first staff of the University together and lay the foundations of the LASU we are proud of today.”
“We, the alumni, see this as a way of recognising him by starting this lecture series in his honour.”
He also commended the current university management for sustaining a culture of excellence while hinting on plans to organise another lecture series in honour of the second VC of LASU, Professor Gbadesola Akande.
The Vice-Chancellor of LASU, Professor Olanrewaju Fagbohun said the event was expedient to create a link with the founding fathers of the University.
“We must never forget that there were founding fathers of this institution. They had goals, desires and expectations. The only way for us to know whether we are fulfilling those expectations is to ensure that they are part of the critical discussions that we are doing, going forward.”
Fagbohun told EduCeleb.com that the lecture was the first occasion the pioneer VC would be invited and involved in an activity of the institution aside attending two previous convocation ceremonies.
He added that his support for the alumni when it proposed the lecture series was because it fits into his administration’s agenda of strengthening the alumni.
The lecture, which had the theme “Rethinking medical education: An imperative for improving health care in Nigeria”, was chaired by Nigeria’s Minister of State for Education, Dr Osagie Ehanire.
Dr Ehanire commended the alumni group for the choice of the theme while highlighting the need to work together to deliver workable solutions in the Nigerian context.
In his words, “It is necessary for us to go back to the drawing board. Medical education is in a state of constant flux. As new knowledge emerges, we must strive in Nigeria to remain up to speed with training and curriculum development.
Beyond the impact of global knowledge and tech, countries have always tailored medical Knowledge to their specific needs. Nigeria’s medical education must be tailored to meet our needs.”
The guest lecturer, Professor Foluso Lesi highlighted issues of poor investment in health care and education, decrease in the quality of products of medical colleges and brain drain as some of the challenges facing medical education in Nigeria.
Lesi, a professor and Provost of the University of Lagos College of Medicine, challenged stakeholders to evolve ways around enhancing each student’s academic ability and motivation, fashioning student centred curricula and optimising technological innovations for instruction and learning.
He also advocated for capacity building initiatives for staff and students as well as a culture of rewarding excellence by the authorities.
EduCeleb.com reports that Olumide, in whose honour the lecture was organised served as VC between 1984 and 1989.
The lecture, which also featured a musical presentation by the honouree, was widely attended by both past and present staff members of the University as well as members of the medical community.
Among dignitaries present at the event were the First Executive Governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande; the Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters and daughter of the honouree, Mrs Jumoke Oduwole, the pioneer Registrar of LASU, Olori Ashafa; and a representative of the Aláké of Ẹ̀gbá land, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo.