Former Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, NUC, Emeritus Professor Peter Okebukola, has said the nation would have to quadruple the current number of teachers in primary and secondary schools by 2050 to be able to cope with the demands of that time.
Okebukola, who is the first distinguished as well as the first emeritus professor at the Lagos State University, LASU, said this on Tuesday while delivering the keynote address at the seventh international conference of the Faculty of Education of the university, adding that the number of academic staff in higher institutions would have to be increased thrice, with half of them being for the university system.
He noted that by the said year, the population of Nigeria is expected to have doubled to about 400 million, saying majority of students around the world might no longer have to physically go to school in order to get education.
Speaking on what the future being planned for would look like, he opined that by making use of the Regression Model, and setting the predicted future at 2050, there would be population explosion, increase in poverty, crime, corruption , high debt burden among others.
He therefore called for concerted efforts at planning ahead and meeting the expectations of the time.
“It is estimated that by 2050, Nigeria will need at least 320,210 doctors, and 781, 353 nurses. Five times the number of pharmacists will be needed. With food production less than a tenth of capacity to address zero hunger, and more than 400 million mouths to feed, we will need to hike production of different personnel in the agriculture sector by factor of ten with greater emphasis on mechanisation and the use of technologies,” he stated.
He submitted that education in the country would have to be strengthened in the areas of access, relevance, efficiency, effectiveness and equity.
“Let me take the opportunity of the theme of the conference “Empowering education: Building the future,” to suggest that in building a great future for the Lagos State University, out Vice Chancellor should empower the Faculty of Education! This suggestion rests on a very simple logic. All human resources which Lagos State and other states in Nigeria will require for building a glorious future will be taught directly or indirectly but teachers from a Faculty of Education of a university in Nigeria or elsewhere in the world,” he added.