Jonathan, Oborevwori, Obaseki, Obi , Others Make Case For Special Schools

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By Owen Akenzua, Asaba

Former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, the Governor of Delta State, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori, the Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi and others have all agreed that for the rapid development of the African continent, there is a need to establish special education that would cater for the needs of gifted children.

This position was reached, Thursday, at the President Goodluck Jonathan Foundation Democracy Dialogue with the theme: “Functional Education and Effective Political Leadership As A Panacea To Africa’s Growth And Development,” which was held in Benin City, the Edo State capital.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan, the convener, while making a case for the establishment of special schools for gifted children, said as a former Governor of Bayelsa State, he started the programme there and also replicated it as president of Nigeria.

Oborevwori said, “The theme of this year’s dialogue: ‘Functional Education and Effective Political Leadership As Panacea To Africa’s Growth And Development’ is particularly germane as there is a direct connection between functional education and effective leadership.

“Functional Education offers opportunities of studying and understanding one another, appreciating the many diverse cultures and societies out of which nations live in peace and understanding to ensure social cohesion, national development and political stability.

“Functional Education will impact society, especially its product, leadership, because they have been tutored through a well-developed curriculum whose center piece is the full realization of human capacity and sustainable development of society.

“We are talking of a curriculum which does not view education as merely learning the subject matter. Functional instructions connect every study with specific needs and roles to which the student’s mind should be directed. This allows the child to acquire thinking habits and develop other societal ethos that broaden visions capable of forging ways and means of solving problems of a country, whether they are technical, economic, political or cultural.

“However, while functional education is key, leadership is central to the advancement of society. The success of any organization or administration is a function of leadership. It therefore means that functional education is necessary for an informed polity,” Oborevwori stated.

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