A Professor of Philosophy at the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ogun State, Professor Ebunoluwa Oduwole, has made a case for the introduction into the secondary school curriculum courses that could enrich students’ analytical and critical reasoning.
She made the call Tuesday last week (February 20) in Ago-Iwoye while delivering the university’s 79th Inaugural Lecture entitled ‘Philosophy and the Challenge of Relevance in African Society’.
Professor Oduwole, whose lecture was the first inaugural lecture to be presented by a female professor of philosophy in Nigeria, argued that philosophical discussions on several issues could “assist in a rigorous reflection of our cultural heritage and thereby contribute effectively to international discourse.
“It can also help in the development of the human mind.”
She also canvassed the teaching of Bioethics as general courses in the university “so that the African voice can be properly represented,” while also calling for the establishment of Health Care/Hospital Ethics Committees (HECs) in all hospitals to ensure improved patient-centred care, “especially when there are ethical conflicts in the management of health problems.”
Professor Oduwole said that attention should be given to African languages in the curriculum both at the secondary and higher institutions. This she said would enrich critical discussions and enhance African contributions to global discourse.
While arguing that philosophy could be sensitive to social reality and relevant to the search for development in the African society, she however decried the effects of foreign language and culture on the evolution and development of indigenous African philosophy.
Professor Oduwole also noted with regret that the Nigerian society does not celebrate truth and honesty.
“It is a nation where corruption, looting of public funds and embezzlement of money thrives. All these vices are antithetical to truth and cannot result in good nation building,” she said.
According to her, building a culture of truth, honesty, integrity and related virtues could help Nigeria overcome its numerous sociopolitical and economic problems.
Professor Oduwole’s inaugural lecture was the fourth from the university’s Department of Philosophy and the first to be presented by a female professor from the department and the Faculty of Arts.