A don at the Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Ilorin, Professor Raphael Abiodun Olawepo, has proposed compulsionof geography study at the secondary school level, to facilitate development in the rural areas, and sustain good environment in both rural and urban areas.
He said this during the 157th inaugural lecture of the institution at the university auditorium in Ilorin.
In his lecture, titled: ‘Leaving From the People:AGeographer’s Mandate for Sustainable Rural Development’, Olawepo proposed that geography as a subject should not be made optional, in so that people can get conversant with their immediate environment early enough.
“To enforce sustainability of our environment, both rural and urban should not be made optional or replaced with social studies in the development of the new school curriculum. This will enable us all to appreciate our environment early in life, and to allow for proper sustainable deployment.
“Through the study of geography, we know more about our environment, its constituents and how to manage if to effect sustainability.”He observed that the contributions of geographers to national planning cannot be over emphasized.
The professor of geography further explained that the knowledge of the people’s immediate environmentwill also improve on their overall quality of lives, while calling for an improved quality and improved accessibility to public goods and services.
He further advocated an effective partnership and adequate funding in the rural sector, with the backing of the World Bank Assisted Rural Development programmes, in all the states. He also advocated the involvement of the people living in rural areas in the planning process.