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  • 2019-09-13 11:17:27

EDUCATION, A VERITABLE TOOL FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, SAYS VC

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Prof. Zana Akpagu has identified formal and informal education as a veritable tool for national development, adding that no country can achieve meaningful development without investing in education. Prof. Akpagu stated this at the Institution’s Senate Chambers during the 9th Annual Conference of the Faculty of Education with the theme, ‘’ Inclusive Education, Entrepreneurship and National Development”. According to him, no country can attain real national development without emphasis on formal and informal education. He said the citizenry needs to be educated and trained in entrepreneurial skills to enable them create wealth for themselves. In his words, ‘’ The citizenry needs to be educated for skills development through concerted efforts on entrepreneurship to create wealth and instill balanced development amongst young entrepreneurship’’ The Vice Chancellor who was represented by the Vice Chancellor, Academic, Prof. Uche Amalu also described the theme of the conference as apt. Prof. Akpagu who also underscored the importance of research in any institution added that any institution devoid of research cannot function effectively. In his welcome address, the Dean of the Faculty of Education, Prof. Simon Akpama said the Faculty’s determination to sustain sacred Academic tradition in a knowledge driven economy in tandem with global best practices. Prof. Akpama urged participants to dissect the theme and also emphasize the synergy between inclusive education and entrepreneurship to midwife national development. Also speaking, former Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Prof. Chigozie Asiabaka described inclusive education as the fundamental principle that children must learn together. Prof. Asiabaka, who was also the keynote speaker, explained that inclusive education has also evolved with different nomenclatures such as normalization, mainstreaming and integration. He stated that inclusive education focuses on supporting all learners, educators and the system to address the full range of learning needs. The keynote speaker enumerated benefits of inclusive education to include: creating opportunities for children with varying abilities when motivated, encouraging involvement of parents in the education of their children, fostering a culture of respect, and to provide all children with opportunities to develop friendships with one another. Speaking on the theme, ‘’ Inclusive Education, Entrepreneurship and National Development’’, Prof. Asiabaka stressed that inclusive education focuses on providing education for all, irrespective of inabilities, adding that education can be formal or informal. He also said inclusive education provides equal opportunities for learners irrespective of handicapping condition or severity. In a paper presentation, Prof. Samuel Killian Bassey from Cross River State University of Technology said equipping learners in an inclusive education system with self-employable skills can ginger national development. The conference also featured presentation by special education students.

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