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Obasanjo, Adeboye, Adamu, others to honour Omolewa today in Ibadan

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Eminent Nigerians, including former President Olusegun Obasanjo; General Overseer, Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye; Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu; former Minister of Education, Prof. Chinwe Obaji; legal luminary, Malam Yusuf Olaolu Alli and others will gather today in Ibadan to honour the foremost educationist and 32nd President of the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Emeritus Professor Michael Omolewa as he clocks 80 today.

The event, tagged 80th Birthday Thanksgiving & Presentation of Book of Tributes, will hold at Ellie’s Events at Sango, Ibadan.

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As a distinguished educationist, Omolewa has contributed immensely to the advancement of education in Nigeria and beyond. In 2018, he led the Presidential Committee on Ministerial Strategic Plan charged with the mandate of coming up with proposals that would revive, revolutionise and refocus education programmes in the country.

The major outcome of the committee, which also had as members, presidents of Academy of Science, Academy of Education and Academy of Letters, past Chairmen of Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, and seasoned academics, was the need to declare an emergency in education.

In addition to an emergency declaration, the committee also suggested a mass education where teeming Nigerians would be made functionally literate.

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“The recommendations were passed on to the minister who was delighted that people would have access to education and that the process would lead to mass enlightenment and greater understanding of issues and enhanced productivity by a literate citizenry.”

Omolewa, who described education as the key to national development, said priority attention must be given to the sector to achieve the needed growth as a nation.

Although he noted that the paltry amount allocated to education in Nigeria seems to be replicated in every other sector, Omolewa said with improved funding and reviving the dreams in the ministerial strategic plan, the nation will be better off.

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As a way out of incessant strike actions by university unions and disruption in the academic calendar, Omolewa advocates dialogue and sincerity of purpose between parties.

The erudite scholar said a mechanism should be put in place to ensure amicable and speedy resolution based on dialogue, negotiation, mutual trust, respect, confidence, sincerity, and sensitivity.

He said a situation where students end up spending more than the specified number of years in school due to disruption in the academic calendar, occasioned by strikes, calls for concern, appealing to all concerned, including government and various unions, to embrace conflict resolution for peace to reign in the nation’s tertiary institutions.

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