HIGHER EDUCATION AND MANPOWER DEVELOPMENT: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE
UNIVERSITY OF UYO
Background of the Study
Education has been defined in diverse ways to suit the situation o r process under review. Education is the complete development of human such that he/she becomes functionally useful to himself/herself, society and humanity at large. It is the aggregate of the process through which a person develops abilities, attitudes and forms of behavior that are of positive value in the society in which he/she lives. Education in its general sense is fundamental and basic to human and overall societal development. It is in turn, makes its recipient self-reliant and self-sustaining. The extent of development of societies has been associated to the extent of the literacy of its citizenry. The importance of education to national development project cannot be over-emphasized. Since the attainment of national independence in October, 1960,
the successive Nigerian governments have acknowledged this fact and have instituted various measures of policy commitment and action; more also, in electioneering campaigns and national budgets. Politicians and policy makers alike have always recognized and politicized the centrality of good education, especially higher education in national development. Hence, they have frequently stress on the establishment of more universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and the expansion of existing higher education institutions by advocating for the creation of multi-campus arrangements, provision of adequate infrastructural materials, qualified teachers and so forth (Araromi and Adeyoju, 1996:83). In fact, it is sufficiently clear that a nation which fails to provide good education for her citizens would sooner or later face the logical antithesis of sustainable development: Mass illiteracy, superstition, poverty, diseases, de industrialization and low productivity. This mainly explains why governments are highly interested in the educational system, particularly in developing countries. To this end, the Federal Government declared in the preamble to the National Policy on Education revised in 2004 (the first clear-cut education policy in Nigeria) that: “Education in Nigeria is no more a private enterprise, but a huge government venture that has witnessed a progressive evolution of government’s complete and dynamic intervention and active participation.