FG re-designing education curriculum – Osinbajo
Lagos, May 16,2019 Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday said the Federal Government was re-designing the country’s education curriculum as part of its education road map, and every child would count.
Osinbajo said this, while delivering the 23rd Convocation Lecture of the Lagos State University (LASU), during the university’s award of higher degree and postgraduate diploma certificates.
The title of the lecture was : “Africa Centres of Excellence in African Universities: a Veritable Catalyst for Nation Building and Development”.
He said it was obvious that there was need to change both the substance of education that our children received as well as the methods by which they were educated.
“We are clear that the key to achieving this is to focus on Science , Technology , Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) Education and the need for a workforce with STEAM skills to drive economic prosperity,” he said.
According to him, it was gratifying that LASU Centre for Excellence Programme had been earmarked as a Centre for Excellence and regional hub for Innovative and Transformative STEAM Education in Africa.
Osinbajo said the feat recorded by the university fits well with the Federal Government’s policy direction in education and its vision for a prosperous Nigerian economy, to be able to create jobs and train youths on those jobs for the next few years.
The Vice-President noted that the Federal Government new policy was to introduce Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics curriculum in primary schools.
“We also recognise that schooling should support the development of skills in cross-disciplinary, critical and creative thinking, problem solving and digital technologies.
“These skills are essential in all 21st century occupation,” he emphasised.
Osinbanjo said the National curriculum being developed would not only include teaching of coding ,digital arts , design thinking, robotics, critical thinking and other skills but also using these skills in interpreting traditional curriculum topics.
He said the aim of the Federal Government was to ensure that from early education, primary school on wards regardless of social background or geographical location every young person should have a fundamental level of digital and stem literacy.
According to him, this would enable the students succeed locally and international.
The professor said that government’s efforts under the national strategy would focus on implementing national retraining at primary and secondary levels.
He also said government was implementing the National Teacher Education standards, sharing best practices and efforts to attract more STEM graduates to the teaching profession.
“We will, therefore, be re-modelling and re-equipping 10,000 schools every year for the next 10 years.
“There is no doubt that we would be leaning heavily for direction, support and ideas of LASU’s Centre of Excellence programme, since by providence STEAM education will be your focus and this collaboration will be an important one.
“We are in the race against other economies and against time. Technology has changed the employment landscape permanently for the first time in human history.
“Men and women will be trained in their own counties, work from their bedrooms and compete for jobs anywhere on the planet . Computing is the ultimate agnostic tool, you may never even have to see your employer, employee or service provider,” he said.
The Vice-President, however, congratulated LASU for being selected among so many universities in West and Central Africa location as a Centre of Excellence, as part of the World Bank African Centres of Excellence Programme.
He said this was a recognition of the immense talent and hardwork demonstrated by the faculty and students of the institution.
According ho him, time had come for African countries to invest more in education, to lift the people of the continent out of poverty.
“So what do we need to do to convert our country to the greatest centre for innovation and creativity in the world? Three things; number one education, number two education and number three education.
“The truth is that education is the most powerful force for socio-economic change in the world, ” he said.
Osinbanjo also urged the graduating students to be concerned about building the nation and recognise that every generation is uniquely equipped to deal with its own challenges .
“Be suspicious of those who speak of the good old days, they probably suffer from memory loss . Your days are the best days ,” he said.
In his remark, Mr John Mahama, Former President, Republic of Ghana and Chairman of the convocation lecture, urged African universities to move away from the colonial system of education and focus on science and technology, to engender growth and development of the continent.
Mahama said universities must provide visionary leadership and have academic autonomy, while political institutions must also avoid interference with the running of academic institutions.
He said for African universities to set the tone as African centres of excellence, there must be adequate funding, while institutions must also collaborate with each other in terms of multiple campuses for different specialisations in different countries.
“African universities can help bridge the gap created in African countries by focusing on science, technology and innovation, which can be the catalyst for the development of Africa,” Mahama added.
In his address, Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode, hailed the Vice President and former Ghanaian President, for honouring the invitation of the university.
Ambode said it was gratifying to note that LASU was now well-positioned to be among Nigeria’s leading universities and a proper citadel of learning and character development.
He recalled some of the challenges, which bedeviled the university in 2015, when his administration came on board such as backlog of unreleased results, low government subvention, infrastructure deficit, incessant industrial and student conflicts, among others.
“On assumption of office, we immediately embarked on some reforms, which today turned the story of the university around for good.
He said aside from amending the laws of the university and embarking on massive upgrade of infrastructure, the government also selected individuals with experience, dedication and a track record of remarkable leadership to lead the Governing Council .
“Today, there is an atmosphere of peace and industrial harmony in LASU. The backlog of results have been cleared and our students are graduating every year; stepping out in flying colours, armed with qualifications, character and ideas, to change the world, ” he said.
The governor said his administration embarked on various projects to add to the infrastructure landscape of the university.
“The new Senate Building we are commissioning today, is a project started by my predecessor, Mr Raji Fashola, a new Students’ Arcade, an Ultra-Modern Central Library, a new Faculty of Management Sciences Building, and LASU Homes.
“The Students’ Arcade, which is at 75 per cent completion stage had already been fully paid for, while work on the Central Library was at 60 per cent completion stage and would be completed by the end of the year.
“It is equally gratifying to note that a 6000-bed students’ hostel initiated by this administration is on course, to be delivered through a Public Private Partnership (PPP), while other initiatives have been implemented in the education sector, including the Ready , Set, Work.” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that LASU graduated 14,369 students at the 23rd convocation, while 57 students bagged first class degrees, representing the highest figure in its 36 years of existence.
Edited by Ifeyinwa Omowole
Ogun governor’s wife pledges support for education as TFN graduates 44 Fellows
The Nigeria News Agency reports that two Fellows, Mr Dinyambe Nyatua and Mrs Bosede Ogidan won N250,000 prize money from the Grace Lake Partners Care Foundation with their Child Support Initiative project.
Anambra govt. trains 10,000 teachers to fight cyber crime
Prof. Kate Omenugha, the Commissioner for Basic Education in Anambra, has said that 10,000 teachers were undergoing training on Information Communicate Technology (ICT) to combat Cyber Crime among students.
Omenugha said this in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Awka on Friday, while commending the Joint Consultative Committee and National Council on Education for developing a curriculum to regulate Cyber Security in the education sector.
She said that the curriculum was being developed to create awareness on Education ICT on cyber security.
“We need to take the minds of our pupils and students away from cyber crimes and going to sites that teach how to commit suicide and kidnap, among other crimes,” she said.
She said that the training would be for both primary and post-primary school teachers so that they would be well-informed to teach their pupils and students on the right use of ICT.
The commissioner further said that various centres mapped out for the three-week training in Awka Zone of the State Education Commission were functional and would provide the needed learning environment.
She said that Gov. Wille Obiano’s administration was committed to training teachers that would be ICT-compliant to compete favourably with their counterparts across the globe and also impart quality knowledge.
She said that the governor had great passion for teachers and students to be at the same pedestal with their counterparts on ICT know-how.
Omenugha said that Google would also train the teachers on Cyber Security in order to curb the increase in cyber site usage that takes young minds to dangerous aspects of the ICT.
The commissioner said that cyber bullying and its related crimes would soon be a thing of the past for school age children in the state.
She said that government had concluded plans to provide teachers with laptops on loan for continuous learning.
Omenugha described the training as a great initiative that had provided an avenue for the teachers to acquire computer education and training.
She said that the training would enable them to key into modern ways of teaching and learning.
Youths coalition, NGO, partner to increase access to quality education in Sokoto
A coalition of youth organisations in Sokoto State, has said it would collaborate with High Level Women Advocates (HiLWA), an NGO, to promote access to quality education for the girl-child.
Leader of the coalition, Mr Salman Yahaya-Maiyama, stated this in an interview with newsmen in Sokoto, on Friday.
Yahaya-Maiyama said HiLWA had supported youth groups in different areas to ensure maximum community involvement in accelerating development in the state.
He said no fewer than 120 youths had attended an education mobilisation training in the state, aimed at providing platforms for youths to interact and exchange ideas.
He said the participants, comprising of 70 women and 50 men, were mobilised to serve as community advocates for safe and quality education for every Nigerian child, with emphasis on girls.
“Youths constitute a large percentage of the Nigerian population, hence, they have a vital role to play and leverage on Sokoto State’s high budget allocation to the education sector.
“We commend the government for allocating 28 per cent of the 2019 budget to education, and appeal to stakeholders to ensure maximum support for the state in terms of legislation and policy implementation,” Yahaya-Maiyama said.
He commended HiLWA for its support to education across the state, noting that during the programme, HiLWA representatives delivered lectures on diverse topics.
“The topics comprised of gender equality and equity, positive masculinity, value of education, role of citizens and governance, as well as networking as a strategy to create awareness.
“I urge the media, community groups and civil society organisations to sustain the efforts at ensuring mass enrolment, retention and completion of students’ education.
“Various strategies were proffered to ensure increased enrollments at the grassroots; and every participating youth will serve as an advocate on spreading the message in their immediate communities,’’ he said.
The Nigeria News Agency , recalls that HiLWA with support from UNICEF, UkAid and the Federal Government, had organised youths’ capacity building conference in June, to commemorate the International Day of the African Child.
2009 agreement: SSANU, NASU says may embark on full strike
The Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (SSANU) and Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) on Friday urged the Federal Government to honour their 2009 agreement to avoid total strike.
“This agreement was signed in 2009. Ten years into this agreement, we are still dily-dallying, we are neither here nor there in the implementation of the content of this agreement.
“And the most worrisome aspect of it is that, recently, Federal Government released the sum of N25 billion to universities to defray part of outstanding earned allowances owed by government to the staff.”
The Chairman lamented that of this N25 billion released by the Federal Government to universities, only 20 per cent of it was given to the three non teaching unions of Nigerian universities.
“Only 20 per cent of it, which translate to N5 billion was given to the three non teaching staff unions in the universities, while ASUU was given 80 per cent which amount to N20 billion.”
According to him, this singular action of government is not only embarrassing, but it is insulting and unacceptable, adding that it was one of the reasons why the warning strike was on.
Speaking on position of staff schools, the Chairman recalled that in December 2016, there was a ruling at the National Industrial Court on the status of staff school as contained in the agreement the union signed with the Federal Government.
He said the court ruled in a favour of the union, saying that what was contained in the agreement between the union and the Federal Government should be upheld.
Abdur-Ra’uf-Bello said the ruling states that: the recurrent and the capital expenditure of University Staff School should be borned by the Federal Government, arguing that “up to today three and half years into that, the Federal Government has refused to implement that ruling.”
The Chairman said the court also ruled that most of the members that had their appointment terminated in their various universities should be reinstated.
He, however, said several frantic efforts made by the union leaders to convince the government to direct the respective Vice Chancellors to reinstate the laid-off staff had not yielded any fruitful result.
The Chairman recalled that some few weeks back the union members had embarked on a protest by drawing their roadmap on how to carry out what he described as a strategic and organised protest.
Abdur-Ra’uf-Bello said they have started with protest and now resolved to go on five days warning strike, assuring that the next action would be an indefinite, extensive and total strike.
He said sincere and frantic efforts should be put in place to ensure that the agreement the union reached with the Federal Government was consummated before the situation gets out of hand.
Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz
Taraba: NYSC hands over 3 suspects with alleged fake certificates to police
The National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) has handed over three young men, posing as graduates of tertiary institutions, caught in possession of fake certificates to the police.
Mrs Florence Yaakugh, the Taraba Coordinator of NYSC, on Friday, said the suspects were apprehended with the fake certificates during screening of prospective Batch B Stream 2 corps members at the orientation camp in Jalingo.
The suspects are; Nasiru Yau, who claimed to have studied Mass Communication, Shehu Murktar -Computer Science and Illiyasu Usman- Sociology, all from Isfop University of Cotonou in Republic of Benin .
“They came for registration and the verification officer discovered them with fake certificates and verification papers.
“If you will recall, the Director General of NYSC Brig.-Gen. Shauibu Ibrahim recently expressed deep concern over the activities of fake corps members who cannot make a correct sentence in the English language.
“He directed us to check and fish out such persons and hand them over to the security operatives for further investigation and this is what we are just doing,” the NYSC coordinator said.
Yaakugh said that their preliminary investigation revealed that the persons involved could not write or say anything logical about their courses of study.
She urged the security agents to do a thorough job so that the truth would come out and justice done to the affected persons.
The NYSC state coordinator said that another similar case involving a female, who also presented a foreign certificate, was being investigated by the verification officer.