From Tony Osauzo, Benin

Former President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, called for the recalibration of the nation’s school education curriculum to prioritize skills acquisition, technology and de-emphasize certificates.

He made the call while speaking as Chairman on the occasion of the 25th anniversary celebration of Igbinedion University, Okada in Edo State.

The ex-President explained that emphasis on skills acquisition and technology in all fields of the country’s educational system was the way to go to hasten the development of the country.

Besides, he frowned at cultism and bullying at the nation’s lower school system and called on government at all levels to put a stop to the menace.

He thanked former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar for approving the establishment of Igbinedion University, noting that if he didn’t do that, the establishment of the several private universities in the country would not have been possible.

Dr. Jonathan, while commending the courage and vision of the Founder of Igbinedion University, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, the Esama of Benin Kingdom, in establishing the institution, said because the university is doing well, that gave the impetus to other entrepreneurs to establish other private universities in the country.

The former President who noted challenges women were facing in various career fields, advocated that limitations against women progression in their chosen fields of endeavour should be eliminated.  He recalled the challenges faced by women in the military, saying that that made him as President, to direct that the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA), should commence admission of women into the institution.

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He explained that though there was resistance to his directive, as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, he had his way.

“While I was pushing for progressive ideas as President some people were resisting them and as soon as I left office, those ideas were abandoned”, the former President disclosed.

He thanked God for using General Abdulsalami Abubakar to bring democracy to the country, just as he thanked former governors Obong Attah of Akwa-Ibom and Chief James Ibori of Delta State, who graced the 25th anniversary celebration.

In his comment, former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, commended Chief Igbinedion for his foresight in establishing the University, saying “25 years ago, we gave a licence to establish this University and Esama has been making progress. Esama, we congratulate you”.

He also thanked the Okada Community for their role in bringing peace to the university.

Earlier, Deputy Pro-Chancellor of the University, Chief Lucky Igbinedion, who spoke on behalf of the Pro-Chancellor, and Founder of the University, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, said 25 years after, the noble effort of establishing the institution has paid off with the springing up of more private universities in the country.

Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Lawrence Ikechukwu Ezemonye who reeled out several achievements of the institution in the past 25 years, disclosed that it has churned 60,000 graduates since inception.