The University Pro Chancellor


Prof. Peter Okebukola was born on February 17, 1951, in Ilesha, Osun State, in South-West Nigeria, to Pa Daniel and Madam Lydia Okebukola, both of blessed memory. He finished his secondary education at St. Malachy's College, Sapele, now in Delta State in 1967, where he was adjudged the best overall student in the West African Schools Certificate Examination. He proceeded to Remo Secondary School, Sagamu, in Ogun State for his GCE Advanced Level certificate. In 1969, he won the John F. Kennedy Essay competition. He attended the prestigious University of Ibadan, where he obtained his Bachelor's degree in 1973. Between 1979 and 1984, he earned his Master's and Ph.D degrees in Science Education from the same university. Significantly, he enjoyed the Federal Government scholarship for his undergraduate and postgraduate pursuits. Okebukola's trajectory in Nigeria's academic landscape has been a phenomenal success. At the age of 19, he began his career as a science teacher at Holy Saviour's College, Mushin, in Lagos. He also taught in several other schools, including Ososa Grammar School, Ijebu-Ososa, Ogun State, where at the age of 23, he headed the Department of Science; Christ Apostolic Church Teachers College, EfonAlaaye, Ekiti State; Okemesi Grammar School and Oyo State College of Education, Ilesha, between 1974 and 1984. In 1984, he joined Lagos State University as a Senior Lecturer and rose to become the Dean, Faculty of Education, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and later, Acting Vice-Chancellor of the Institution in 1996. He was also a Visiting Professor at the Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia. At various levels he distinguished himself as a cerebral scholar with remarkable footprints of excellence. Many of his publications can be found in the world's top science education, computer education and environmental education journals. Peter Okebukola did specialised training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University, both in Cambridge, United States of America. A specialist in higher education, science, computer and environmental education. He is the first African to win the United Nations Scientific Cultural Organisation's Kalinga Prize for Communication and Popularization of Science in 1993. He has served as Consultant to a number of international organisations. His appointment as the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC) by the former Nigerian president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, in 2001, marked a positive turning point for university education and administration in Nigeria. From 2001 to 2007 as the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), he superintended over the quality assurance of all the universities in Nigeria. He set new benchmarks in the course of his administration as the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Universities Commission. He was able to achieve a lot by setting minimum standards for the country's universities, conducting system-wide accreditation of programmes that lead to sanctions on failed programmes and shutting down of illegal satellite campuses of universities. The contextualisation of the United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)/Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) guidelines on cross-border higher education, establishment of new private universities and their annual quality audit as well as the development of strategies for institutional accreditation. As an excellent academic, he was motivated by a strong desire to champion a new direction in Nigeria's education sector, he recommended that government at all levels should conscientiously devote a minimum of 26 per cent of their annual budget to education to rescue the nation's tertiary institutions from staggering crisis of catering for a student population far greater than their capacity and the sector as a whole from chaos. As a researcher, his efforts stood on five central themes - higher education, computer in education and e-learning, co-operative learning, metacognitive strategies in science education, environment education, and eco-cultural influences on the learning of science concepts. These resulted in over 130 internationally published works and no less than 120 national and international conferences presentations. They include United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); United Nations Children's Education Fund (UNICEF; United Nations Development Project (UNDP) and the World Bank. A fellow of the board of the International Academy of Education and member of the Executive Board of the International Association for Research in Science Teaching, Okebukola is currently the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman in Council of University of Osun State, Oshogbo; Crawford University, Igbesa, Ogun State and University of Education, Ikere-Ekiti, in Ekiti State. He has won several international gold medals in science and computer education and he is in on the editorial board of 25 national and 18 international journals. On his attainment of the diamond age, the legendary Professor of Science, Computer and Environmental Education, Peter Akinsola Okebukola, can only count his blessings and give praises to glorify God for His kindness and mercy for equipping him with the intellect to fulfill his academic dreams and for endowing him with the strength and desire to serve humanity better.