Prof. Sylvester Ibe has frowned at the large number of First Class graduates being churned out from the nation’s universities annually, describing the trend as embarrassing to the system.
Mr Ibe, a Professor of Genetics and Animal Breeding, expressed his concern in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Umuahia on Wednesday.
NAN reports that the 70-year-old don retired recently from Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, after 47 years in the university system.
He said that it was embarrassing that some universities kept churning out first class graduates, in spite of the poor quality of academic staff in the system.
Mr Ibe cited a particular private university which, he said, produced 215 first class out of 1,580 graduates, representing 13.6 per cent during its 2019 convocation.
He said: “Contrast this situation with the classification of degree results in many Nigerian universities in the 1970s and early 1980s.
“Remember that various vices, like cultism, examination malpractices, sorting, sex-for-mark, money-for-mark, lecturers writing projects for students, and other unwholesome, unethical practices crept into Nigerian universities in the 1980s.
“So, it is very difficult to believe that First and Second Class (Upper) results of these days are reflective of the recipients’ natural knowledge and hard work, as embodied in their genetic blueprint.”
Mr Ibe, however, urged the government and other relevant stakeholders to urgently address the problem of poor quality of staff and students in the universities.
According to him, such features cast aspersion on the university system in the country.