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Critical Thinking, a springboard for national development – Don

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By Oluwakemi Ishola 

Prof. Michael Olatunji, a professor of Philosophy of Education from Ajayi Crowther University (ACU), Oyo says critical thinking is a springboard for any country to attain optimum national development.

He made the disclosure on Thursday while delivering an inaugural lecture at Ajayi Crowther University(ACU) in Oyo.

Olatunji in his lecture entitled ‘Philosophy of Education As Sine Qua Non For National Development: The Nigeria Situation’ said critical thinking if fully embraced would help Nigeria in attain optimum national development.

He said that the challenges of national development must be critically reflected upon before a lasting solution could be attained.

The varsity don said that critical thinking encourages people to shape their personal opinions and attributes with self confidence by investigating issues from different perspectives with logical reasoned arguments.

“The nation’s Philosophy of Education should be stated more clearly and in a more comprehensive way. In addition, the stated associated goals and values that are nebulous must be looked into.

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“It is only when these are done that the nation can claim to have started the necessary journey towards national development,” he said.

Olatunji said that experts in Philosophy and Philosophy of Education should be given room to make input into fundamental issues that affect national life, including good governance as well as national development.

According to him, “when teachers and teacher educators become experts in critical thinking, the country will be better equipped to meet up with other nations of the world that have maximally utilised it,” he said.

He advocated the creation of more room in the general studies of tertiary institutions to accommodate ample teaching of critical thinking skills, saying such would enable students to cover sufficient ground in this area.

According to him, “upon graduation, they will comfortably be in a position to put these skills into practice, either in making, analyzing or implementing policies for national development “

The varsity don said the possession of a personal teaching philosophy, well articulated and documented should be integrated into employment requirements for teachers at all levels of the nation’s institutions.

Olatunji said that schools in Nigeria have only succeeded in giving people opportunity of schooling, adding what students and pupils get was instructions in academics, custodian and socialization.

“Individuals that is truly human must not only have his thinking capacity fully developed, the individual must demonstrate total control over his subconscious mind.

“And by so doing, the individual will equally exercise control over every instinct and emotion in him that are brutish in nature,” he quoted late Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

Speaking on the political office in the country, he suggested that such offices should be made and seen as positions of utter sacrifice for the good of the entire society.

“Political office should be made and seen as positions of utter sacrifice for the good of the entire society. Politics should not be made an all comers job or an avenue to get rich quickly.

“Only those who have practical and obvious record of character and consistent devotion to giving back to the society, and devotion to public interest should be allowed into position of leadership at all levels of government,” he said.

The varsity don also recommended that legislators should be made to serve on part time basis, saying it would help in sifting away power and money seekers from positions.

He said such review would also make more money available in government cover that could be used in alleviating the sufferings of the masses.

The lecture was held in total adherence to the directives of government and health professionals towards containing the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

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