Alaafin counsels on development of citizenry, as FCE Governing Council visits monarch

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The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi 111, has said there is an urgent need to develop in the entire citizenry, a strong conscientiousness for education and a strong commitment to its vigorous promotion.
He also stated that education should be seen by the government as a basic human rights and the foundation for a more just and equal society which implies adequate funding to meet the target goals and objectives for equalizing learning for all pupils, including those with disabilities.
Oba Adeyemi stated this when Governing Council members of the Federal College of Education (Special), Oyo, paid him a courtesy visit in his palace.
He stated that the National Education Policy document, among other things, calls for access of special needs children, with their varying
abilities to education in conducive and less restrictive environments,
as well as the education of such children to enable them to achieve
self-fulfillment.
Thus, the inclusive education paradigm in Nigeria (like that of other
countries), the royal father stressed  has evolved out of the
realization that all children have the right to receive the kind of
education that does not discriminate on the grounds of disability,
ethnicity, religion, language, gender, or capabilities.
 ‘’Low-income countries like Nigeria are now becoming cognizant of the
gross inequalities in educational opportunities for their special
needs populations. This is understandable given that less than 10% of
these children currently have access to any type of formal or
non-formal education’’.
Yet, Nigeria as well as other  countries of Africa, Latin America and
Asia, the paramount ruler noted have, in principle, adopted several
international protocols that seek to promote equal access to
appropriate quality education as enunciated in the Convention on the
Rights of the Child (1989), the World Declaration on Education for All
(1990), the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for
Persons with Disability (1993).
Interestingly enough, Alaafin asserted, ‘’ Section 7 of the revised
National Policy on Education explicitly recognizes that children and
youths with special needs shall be provided with inclusive education
services.
 ‘’The commitment is made to equalize educational opportunities for
all children, irrespective of their physical, sensory, mental,
psychological or emotional disabilities. Undoubtedly, these are lofty
goals intended to improve the quality of special education services,
but much more is needed to translate the goals into concrete action.
Alaafin who expressed satisfaction at the performance of the college
management, urged them to re-dedicate themselves for the progress and
development of the college, as well as the challenges ahead.
‘’Whatever you [governing council] wants me to do for the progress of
the institution I won’t hesitate to do so. The only thing I will
charge you for is performance. The college has all what is required of
a university status, such as structures, and human resources. What is
now
needed is the political backing and royal support’’.
Earlier, in his address, Chairman of the Governing Council, Alhaji
Abubakar Galadima, who lauded the intellectual sagacity, support and
co-operation of the Alaafin to human resources and development of the
college, described it as unprecedented.
Galadima hinted that that in appreciation of the Alaafin’s outstanding
contributions, the biggest hall in the institution would be named
after him, in addition to the award on humanity conferred on him
recently.
Also, Provost of the College, Professor Usman Adeyemi commended the
un-relentless role of the Alaafin in the progress of the institution
in particular and the country as a whole.
The Federal College of Education (Special), Oyo, Oyo State was
established on 5th of October 1977 as aFederal Advanced Teacher’s
college (Special).
 The institution, according to a UNDP/UNESCO 1996 report has the best
qualified Staff in Special Education not only in Nigeria but in West,
North, East and Central Africa.
The College is the only one of its kind in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa.
It has the largest conglomeration of handicapped students that could
be found in any higher institution in Nigeria and the largest
concentration of specialised facilities for teaching and training of teachers of the special needs in Nigeria.

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