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Nigerian twin children dropping out of schools — Society

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The Nigerian branch of the International Women Society (IWS) has said that it was becoming increasingly difficult for many Nigerian parents of twin children to send them to schools.

The IWS 62nd President in Nigeria, Mrs Nkoli Ogbolu, made the disclosure to the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday night in Lagos on the sidelines of a Twins Festival.

Ogbolu said that the festival organised by the Society and the Embassy of Hungary’s Trade Office was to seek public’s support for more twins to be encouraged to acquire education.

“We have observed with worry the increasing number of mothers of twin children in our communities who are daily begging to feed their children.

“We have also observed, especially with fraternal twins, that it is only the boy that is sent to school while the girl is made to assist the

mother in menial jobs.

“And this is simply because of the present economic downturn, which is making parents to be unable to send their twin children to

school,” she said.

Ogbolu noted that the parents’ inability to send their twin children to school was affecting them emotionally and psychologically, adding that they were in dire need of support to educate the children.

The president, who expressed the society’s commitment to improving the lives of twins, added that N55,000 would be needed yearly for a twin to be educated in a public school.

Ogbolu said that the society had within the last 20 years only been able to provide scholarships for many single children.

She called on the public, private organisations and good-spirited Nigerians to come all-out and support the society’s efforts at getting

more twins to the classrooms.

Mrs Agota Horváth, the Economic Counsellor at the Embassy of Hungary’s, who commended the IWS president for the initiative, described the birth of twin children as God’s miracle.

Horváth said that the festival had afforded Nigerians and Hungarians the opportunity to know about the culture of both nations, adding that it had further strengthened successful networks in different areas.

“Let me say that to be a twin is a miracle. They grow up together, having the same feeling, knowing each other better than anybody else is a unique gift of God.

“This festival supports us to further build a strong and successful network in various areas of our lives,” she said.

Horváth, also the Embassy’s First Secretary, commended the Honorary Consul of Hungary to Nigeria, Dr Billy Aigbe for his continued support in building a successful connection  for Hungary in Nigeria. .

Education

Katsina Govt procures N14m technical, vocational facilities for Secondary Schools

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Katsina State Government has spent over N14 million on the purchase of asorted equipments and materials for technical and vocational education, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Hajiya Halima Othman, has said.

Othman made the disclosure in Katsina on Saturday while distributing the facilities to seven secondary schools in the state.

The permanent secretary was represented by the Director Quality Assurance in the Ministry, Alhaji Zayyana Zubairu.

Othman said that the state government would continue to accord priority to education because of its relevance to nation building.

She further said that the administration would continue to boost technical and vocational education in recognition of its importance in creating job opportunities for youths.

The permanent secretary urged the benefiting schools to make judicious use of the facilities for the development of technical education in the state.

Earlier, the Zonal Coordinator, Education Quality Assurance, Katsina, Alhaji Nasiru Kado, appreciated the effort of the state government in providing the equipment and material to the schools.

He said that it would go a long way in assisting students studying technical subjects to acquire technical know-how and learn vocational skills that would assist in making them self reliant in future.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the benefiting schools were Dikko College, Katsina; Government Day Secondary School Kofar Yandaka, Government Unity Secondary School Malumfashi and Sir Usman Nagoggo College of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Katsina.

Others were Government Pilot Secondary School Daura, Government Pilot Secondary School Mani, and Government Pilot Secondary School Funtua.

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Education

Kaduna earmarks N1.8bn for foreign, local scholarship

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The Executive Secretary, Kaduna State Scholarship and Loans Board, Hajiya Jummai Dikko, says the board has earmarked over N1.8 billion for foreign and local scholarship to students  from the state.

She made the disclosure in an interview with Journalists shortly after the Silver Jubilee Anniversary of Muslims Refresher Course Programme (MRCP) conducted by Islamic Education Initiative, held in Zaria, Kaduna state.

Dikko said: “The State Government has earmarked over N1 billion for foreign scholarship to indigenes students of the state.

“Currently, the State Government had also appropriated the sum of N800 million for local scholarship to students in this year’s budget.

“Of the N800 million, the board had expended N774 million for local scholarship, each beneficiary enjoys the sum of N100,000.

“This is a drastic shift from the earlier amount of fifteen thousand naira received by students in the state as scholarship in the previous administrations.

“However, since the inception of His Excelency, Gov. Nasir Ahmed el-Rufa’i, the amount skyrocketed to N100,000 per student.”

According to her, the state government is currently sponsoring five MBBS students in Cuba for a six-year programme, hoping that they will graduate and become Medical Doctors.

“The sum of N300 million has already been set aside to cover the duration of their programme.

“This is done to prevent any academic interruption in the event of change of government or leadership in the state.

“The Governor has made this arrangement to enable students complete their studies without any hitch.

“I am also happy to note that one of the students sponsored for the medical training in Cuba was a product of this Muslim Refresher Course Programme.” she said.

A lecturer with the Department of Electronic and Telecommunications Engineering, ABU Zaria, Dr Kabir Ahmed noted that there was a huge gap between students of Northern extraction and their counterparts from other regions in the country.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Ahmed presented a paper titled: Youth of Northern Nigeria: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.

He lamented that the sorry condition of schools in the North, lack of proper enlightenment and guidance led to the level of backwardness in performance of students from the region.

The Don urged Northern elites to support the education of younger ones to bridge existing gaps.

reports that the occasion featured unveiling of a Magazine titled “Refresher” and presentation of awards to deserving students and teachers of the programme.

KLM/MZA

Edited by Maharazu Ahmed

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Education

NGO takes ‘Back to School’ campaign to Ibadan

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As part of efforts to reduce the rate of out-of-school children and assist parents, an NGO on Saturday took its ‘Back to School’ campaign to Lalupon area of Ibadan in Oyo State.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the NGO, Seun Akinlosotu and Friends, distributed no fewer than 500 brand new school bags and exercise books to the pupils.

recalls that the group founded by Seun Akinlosotu, a philanthropist, commenced its campaign in 2018 in Ondo State where it distributed similar materials to no fewer than 300 pupils.

Akinlosotu told on the sidelines of the exercise that the campaign was to encourage pupils to return to school.

“This initiative is devoid of any personal gain. I believe thoroughly in the quotes of Robert F Kennedy which says that the purpose of life is to contribute in some way to making things better.

“The effort is to contribute significantly to the society and take off part of the burden of parents in sending their children to school. We believe this will also encourage the pupils to return to school.

“This campaign is funded by donations from friends and family members across the world,” she said.

She said that millions of naira was expended in acquiring the 500 brand new school bags as well as exercise books  distributed to the pupils in Ibadan.

Akinlosotu expressed joy that the pupils would return to school with bags that would last them for between three and four years, promising that the campaign would keep improving.

“Our target is to keep increasing the distribution annually. Last year, we distributed 300 and now 500. May be we are going to do 1,000 in other states.

“We have been able to create a platform for everybody to come together, contribute the little they have and accomplish something big,” she said.

Akinlosotu also expressed fulfillment with the response and happiness displayed by both the parents as well as the pupils, promising more of such initiatives.

She said that the group was in Ibadan because the Oyo capital had the highest number of votes on its online platform.

Adelanke Adeola, who spoke on behalf of the parents, commended the group for extending the gesture to them, praying God would bless them the more.

“Some of the parents here told me they are widows and can’t afford to buy bags for their children.

” This is indeed a good gesture. I pray the Lord will help them to continue doing this,” she said.

reports that several other parents and pupils at the event expressed joy at the gesture from the group.

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Education

Kaduna Govt. to train 6,828 Primary 1 teachers to improve literacy, numeracy

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  Kaduna State Government said on Saturday that it would train 6,828 Primary One teachers on how to improve literacy and numeracy among primary one pupils in public primary schools.

Malam Habib Alhassan, Acting Director, School Inspection and Monitoring, Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board, disclosed this to the Nigeria News Agency in Kaduna.

Alhassan said the training would be conducted under the World Bank-supported Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) designed to improve enrolment and learning outcomes in public schools.

He said the process had begun with the selection of 321 master trainers and teacher facilitators for Reading and Numeracy Activities (RANA).

He added that the RANA initiative would be carried out across the over 4,226 primary schools in the state under Result Area Two of the BESDA programme, which sought  to improve literacy.

He explained that the master trainers and the teacher facilitators would train the 6,828 primary one teachers and monitor their performance and efficiency in improving literacy among primary one pupils.

“We have received over 500 applications from Federal College of Education, Zaria, Kaduna State College of Education, Gidan Waya, Ministry of Education, SUBEB and others from Local Government Education Authorities.

“We are currently conducting examination and interview for the selection and appointment of the 321 master trainers and teacher facilitators out of over 500 applicants.

“After the selection exercise, 107 will be appointed as Master Trainers and 214 as Teacher Facilitators.

“Hopefully by next week, the master trainers will be trained, who would then train the 214 teacher facilitators.

“The teacher facilitators will then step down the training to the 6,828 primary one teachers in the state,” he said.

The director added that the master trainers and teacher facilitators would closely monitor teachers’ delivery in classrooms to ensure improved literacy, including the use of Hausa language.

The director explained that the board had begun mobilisation of 2,000 influencers across relevant stakeholders for massive enrolment campaign to enroll about 145,000 out-of-school children by end of the year.

He said the enrolment campaign was the Result Area One of the BESDA programme that focused on increasing access to equitable and quality education for the 727,764 out-of-school children in the state.

“The Result Area Two will then ensure that after the successful enrolment of the out-of-school children, the teachers are well equipped to teach the children how to read, write and manipulate numbers and figures.

“We will then follow the teachers to the classrooms and monitor their activities to ensure that the expected result of improved learning outcome is achieved,” alhassan said.

reports that the Federal Government had in 2018 secured a 611 million dollars World Bank grant for the BESDA programme in 17 states with highest number of out-of-school children.

The programme was  to support the Universal Basic Education Commission in addressing Pillar One of the Ministerial Strategic Plan that seeks to address the problem of out-of-school children in the country.

The specific objectives are  to increase equitable access to education for out-of-school children, improve literacy in focus states and strengthen accountability for results through system strengthening.

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Education

Include artificial intelligence education in school curriculum – scholars tell FG

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Educationists,  researchers and others have said that Nigeria  must include relevant skills acquisition in its education curricula to remain relevant in the comity of nations.

They made their views known in a communique they issued at the end of a three-day  University of Lagos International Research Conference and Fair.

The International Conference of the Humanities and Science which began on Wednesday had the theme: “Automation and Artificial Intelligence: Opportunities for 21st Research and Development’’.

The  communique was signed by the Director, Academic Planning of the institution, Prof. Obinna Chukwu.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the conference –  the 14th edition – was attended by more than 400 scholars,  captains of industries and others  from within and outside Nigeria.

A total number of 168 oral paper presentations and 49 poster presentations were made the conference which had  Air Peace and Access Bank as major sponsors.

The participants observed that many countries suffered from significant skill mismatch due to inability of the education system to accurately reflect the demands of the labour market.

The participants noted that technology, specifically, artificial intelligence,  was rapidly changing trends and perceptions in different facets of life including education, employment, economy, communication and healthcare.

They added that artificial intelligence would aid resource utilisation and development of smart cities.

They urged that researches in the  academia that cut across disciplines should be carrief out in partnership with industries to build required competencies.

They also recommended that organisations in emerging markets should make  investments in automation to bridge the gap between  them  and their counterparts in developed markets.

“Higher education should help students compete in artificial intelligence age by including it in the curriculum.

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