My Plan Was To Go Into The Banking Industry - Professor Alaba - OOU Campus Mirror


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Sunday, 5 July 2020

My Plan Was To Go Into The Banking Industry - Professor Alaba




Professor Abdul-Rasaq Alaba Adenuga was the Chairman, University Security Council and the immediate past Dean, Faculty of Education, Olabisi Onabanjo University. In this interview with Ayomikun Adu of Campus Mirror in August 2018, he spoke about teaching as a career, his tenure as the dean of the faculty, family and lots more.

How did you start your career? 

Well, my career in teaching was not by accident. Of course, there was a point I was thinking of going for law but unfortunately when I applied to read law, I didn't meet up with the cut off mark. I had already completed my NCE programme and when I presented the certificate to a family friend, he directed me to one Dr. Titi Hassan who advised me to take Educational Guidance and Counselling as a course. After my first degree I went for my NYSC in Borno State. In that process, I was given an appointment as a lecturer in one College of Education but my father passionately insisted that I should come back home. When I got back my plan was to go into the banking industry but Dr. Hassan also objected based on my academic performance as a second class (upper division) graduate. He appealed to me to come back into the University system and as God had it, immediately I finished my NYSC programme, I enrolled at the University of Ibadan for my Masters which I finished in a flying colour. In reference to that, I took up the appointment as a lecturer in the University in 1991/1992 session and till date I have reasons to thank Almighty Allah. I have no prove to regret venturing into academics. It's been an interesting profession though very challenging for you that is interested in making progress because it entails a lot of money, research, goodwill both on the part of the students and your colleagues.


How would you describe your experience, the first time you taught in a lecture room? 

Teaching was not a surprise to me. I had been a career person from the outset through my experience in Teachers' Training College and College of Education. Immediately I found myself in academics, I put all my effort and today I'm happy. In fact, to the glory of God if there is incarnation, when I come back again I want to be a teacher.

Do you have any other side job (s) apart from teaching? 

(Laughs).. Oh no no no. One thing that's very beautiful in academics is that once you take it up, to make progress in it you have to concentrate and know what you're doing. Taking another job with it will misdirect your thinking and it won't make you fully involved in research activities. Academics has a slogan "You either publish or you perish". To the glory of God, I was in the University for 18 years and I was promoted to the highest level of Professor. That means I've been spending all my time in teaching, researching and involving in community services.

With due respect, can you tell us something about your spouse and family? 

Well, that's so fascinating. I'm married to Dr (Mrs) Falilat Isilola Adenuga, she's also a lecturer at TASUED, Department of English. In fact, she's a senior lecturer today and of course, she went through all the stages of Teachers' Training College as well. She went through grade 2, NCE, B(Ed) and PhD. Favourably, we're blessed with 3 children, 2 lawyers and a pharmacist. My children are all products of this great University and I've never had a cause to regret.


There is a saying that children who come from parents who are educationists do excel, do you agree to this assertion?

Relatively, I can say yes but it also depends on the training you give to them. I keep saying it; you have to create time for them and one thing that I think also works for me is that as an african man, I've never accepted the syndrome of speaking English to my children. I speak my language Yoruba with them, the reason is because I have a strong believe that when you speak your language with your children they get to understand what you're doing, how to go about it, and of course they pick the second language in school, but you see some of our children today can't speak their language. So, right from the onset, speak your language with them and let them be free. I've always been encouraging them, we allowed them to choose the profession they like except my last daughter who wanted to go and study Performing Arts or whatever because of this nollywood and I told her to have a career first. She listened to me and today she's very happy that she's a lawyer.


How would you describe your tenure as the Dean, Faculty of Education? 

Sincerely, I want to thank Almighty Allah for being my shepherd, guardian and pillar during that two (2) years. It might interest you to know that when I came in, I was the Chairman, University Security Committee which was very tedious and time consuming but I want to appreciate Almighty Allah, the staff and my colleagues in the Faculty of Education who made the administration successful. The workings of my tenure was as a team, like a family and I so believe in delegation of authority and of course you're not successful if you don't have a successor. I am part of the people that felt when you have quite a number of younger generation that have gotten to almost the peak of their career, there is no point sitting tight in an office, spend one term, allow other person to come in and I want to say today that to the glory of God I've done the best I think I could to support my alma mater. I also want to appreciate the set of Vice-Chancellors for supporting me with those ideas that I put forward which are yielding fruits today in the faculty. And that's why I feel that we should imbibe the pattern to our way of life. It should be what we could give to the system and not what the system should give to us. All of us should think of making our University one of the bests in Nigeria. That's why all my ideas and all my understanding is to make sure that our faculty comes first in the university and to the glory of God we're on the path of it because we've always been the best. The first to produce the first academic journal, start post graduate programme and so on and so forth. With God, I've been able to achieve the little I can. But, you know you cannot finish everything. Where you stopped other people will continue.


What were some of the challenges you faced while you were the Dean? 

The major challenge every Dean is facing in this University is finance. I must confess to you, for you to serve meritoriously, you must be able to sacrifice your time, money and of course be ready to listen to advice. No one knows it all. But the major challenge is finance. There is a language we used to say, "your envelop takes your envelop". If you're not ready to spend over and above your envelope you won't be able to move anywhere but you have to show understanding because it's not that the money is in the university, there is no money and the management is struggling to make sure that everything works well. But as a Dean, you must be ready to spend your personal money as well in other to implement your aims and objectives when you're in office, that's the major challenge.

How would you describe Olabisi Onabanjo University in recent times?

Well, I'm happy that today this University is one of the best universities in the world that is very peaceful. You see, the point is that there is no university that will not have some challenges in the adolescent stage of development and the most important thing is that you have to engage them (Students). It's not by sending them out of the school because you're sending them into the society again to become another problem to the society. I'm glad that all past VCs I've worked with are fathers, they are team players and we have strong belief in rehabilitative counselling and that's why we have a very strong counselling centre. So we don't just send our students away once they caught with unethical behaviour or whatever. We will engage you, we will ask for the reason behind it and once you're able to convince us, we will re-orientate you and give you a good opportunity to change.


Professor Abdul-Rasaq Alaba Adenuga died on Friday July 3, 2020 after a brief illness. 

2 comments:

  1. Professor Alabama is really a true hero, not only to the constituency or faculty but generally to Olabisi Onabanjo university

    A man of ideas and fact

    ReplyDelete


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