Transcribed Text of the Executive Secretary, NUC to Pantami’s Presentation at a Retreat

  • Post by:
  • July 30, 2022
  • Comments off

Transcribed Text of the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed’s Response to His Excellency, HM of Communications & Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami’s Presentation at The Retreat of Vice Chancellors of Federal Universities in Nigeria.

DATE: 21ST JULY 2022


Friends and colleagues, I know nobody here expected this we didn’t expect it and when he said he was looking for me to give him a topic, I knew him (enough) to say look there is no need to tell this man what to say. There are things I don’t want to say publicly. There was a convocation he was invited, to deliver the Convocation lecture (at Federal University of Technology),  Minna and he was there, and the visitor requested me to go and read the visitor’s address. Luckily I got him overnight, he was still in Minna and I asked him, he said he would be around. I said well, if you are around even if I come, I cannot stand to read the visitor’s address when a respected Minister is standing in. I can’t stand up and say I represent Mr President, when you are around. So I appealed to him, I said let me send a copy of the speech of the visitor and he took it.

One of my children, my son said to me “Baba, if Pantami sees a text, if we give him a ten page lecture, if he reads it once, twice, three times he has memorized it, cover to cover. This is just a gift” My son told me this. So when I sent him this, he didn’t stand up to read a text, and when I was listening to him, it was the entire lecture. (From) the night, (by) morning, he has memorized it. This is one of the skills God has given him. He has today, professed, they say professors should  profess, he has professed. Clearly,  he is not just a professor, I think you are leaving this place as a distinguished professor.

We have enjoyed this lecture, you have motivated us, you have validated a major segment of our items here. Yesterday we discussed the curriculum review, we discussed the implementation strategy, we discussed exactly as if you were here with us, that curriculum doesn’t implement itself, it is people who do. And how do we now re-orientate and retrain our lecturers to learn something new, to abandon this practice of clinging to the old lecture notes, to understand the changing role of the lecturer? We are no more what we used to be, we are more of facilitators, more of collaborators, we create knowledge together with the student, the environment (and) the technology. You are no more the reservoir of knowledge alone. That idea of a professor or a lecturer standing before the class, thinking that he alone knows and that all the students don’t know, has passed and as I said if we continue that, we will just  continue to ridicule ourselves before some of the students.

Let me on behalf of all of us here, thank a colleague, one of the intellectuals in this country, Professor Isa Ali Pantami for this wonderful presentation. There was no topic given to him, he didn’t  come to deliver a lecture, he said he didn’t deliver a lecture but I believe even if this is the only thing we will do during this retreat, it is worth it. Even if I had done nothing yesterday and  even if I just leave this place, the Vice Chancellors can go home at least knowing (full well) that we have been charged, we have been provoked, we have really been inspired and that we will continue to begin to work actively, towards producing new knowledge. How do we produce new knowledge? How do we disseminate new knowledge? You can see how he has resolved the issue of social skills which is very, very important , Critical Thinking which many of us just take for granted and so on. So we thank you very much.

Please at the end of this, let us get the entire reviewed curriculum for IT, for Computing and its family, including the new one on Data Science and Analytics. Let’s get everyone and let us send the e-copy and if possibly the hard copy, I will appeal to him not to memorize (it) because he doesn’t need more than thirty minutes , it is not a question of memorizing after repeating . No! He will just see it once, then interact with it twice and then he can keep it. And for the next ten, twenty years he will be referring to it. He will tell you the page (and) the number. He will tell you everything so please let’s get it to him before we now publish and circulate. Let us benefit from this reservoir of knowledge in this man. You see every lecturer should be proud to have a student who is better than him. Today, we have a student who is better than all of us. We thank you very, very much. Thank you very much, Thank you very much.  

Categories: Blog