Falola Advocates Study Of Ifa, Witchcraft In Universities

by J.J Olawuyi

Renowned African intellectual and Professor of History, Toyin Falola, advocates for the inclusion of Ifa and witchcraft courses, along with science and economics, leading to degree certificates in Nigerian universities. He suggests incorporating indigenous languages for teaching and communication across various disciplines.

Speaking at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) during the 54th Convocation lecture titled “Decolonising African Higher Education for Transformational Development,” Prof. Falola criticizes the colonial origins of the African educational system, emphasizing its alignment with the economic and governance ambitions of colonial masters. He argues that post-independence, African education still serves to advance the objectives of European countries, using the elites as facilitators.

Falola stresses the need to decolonize education, challenging Western academic norms deeply embedded in curricular design and administrative frameworks. While acknowledging the minimum academic benchmarks set by the National Universities Commission (NUC), he calls for more freedom for universities to tailor their curricula based on their unique circumstances.

The professor also urges governments to provide decent salaries for university workers, suggesting that salaries could vary based on the cost of living in different locations. Additionally, he recommends specific degree programs, such as Lagoon and Sea Economies, and proposes the establishment of a center for creative economies and African vocabulary development and enlightenment bank at UNILAG.

In her welcome address, UNILAG Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola, highlights the lecture’s aim to shift Nigerian universities away from colonial orientations, fostering socio-political and economic transformation. She emphasizes the importance of altering negative narratives about Nigeria and commends Prof. Falola for his commitment to Africa’s genuine progress.

Former Cross River State Governor, Donald Duke, and other dignitaries attended the event chaired by Dr. Yemi Ogunbiyi, the former Chairman of the Governing Council at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.

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