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JAMB announces 160 as UTME cut-off mark

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Key stakeholders in federal universities across the country on Tuesday pegged 160 as the minimum bench mark for admission of candidates for the 2019/2020 academic year.

The decision was reached at Joint 19th Policy Meeting on Admissions to tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

The event held in Gbongan, Osun.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the stakeholders also unanimously agreed to commence the  admission registration procedures for institutions of  first choice of candidates in all  public  universities from Aug. 21 to Nov. 16.

They  also agreed that all private universities would  peg minimum admission benchmark on 140 and above.

The admission registration process for candidate’s institutions of second choice will  commence on Nov. 17 to Dec. 17, according to them.

They voted that  the minimum UTME score of candidates  for  public Polytechnics should be  pegged on 120 and above while that of their private counterparts was fixed for 110 and above.

The  minimum cut off mark for the Colleges of Education  was also  agreed on 110 and above.

The  stakeholders also agreed to  extend the admission registration procedure for  private universities to Feb. 15, 2020.

“The admission process would be guided by the approved institutional /programmes cut-off marks and minimum UTME score as submitted by the  respective institutions.

“The minimum UTME score for admission will be as prescribed by each institution subject to the respective National Minimum UTME score,” the JAMB Registrar, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede told the stakeholders.

According to him, admission for the 2019/2020 academic session would be conducted on the Central Admissions Processing System (CAPS).

         He added that the principal             participants would include himself  as the Chairman,  head of tertiary institutions, JAMB’s director of admissions, its desk officers and the candidates.

He said that the policy guidelines for the 2019 admission as approved by the policy meeting and the directives by the minister of education would be formally communicated to all institutions on or before July 1.

According to him, documents for the 2019 admission exercise will include the 2019 UTME/DIrect Entry results,  JAMB’s 2018 admission quota as prescribed by the respective regulatory bodies of the various tertiary institutions and the 2019 UTME brochure as published on IBASS.

He added that it would include the guidelines on admission into tertiary institutions as prescribed by the proprietors (federal, state and private).

According to Oloyede, institutions are also to recommend  candidates for admission, after presenting to the board, through the CAPS, the approved general quota for each institution and the distribution to the various programmes.

“‘Other information needed to be forwarded to CAPS  are the UTME score for each programme,  minimum direct entry qualification  grades for Direct Entry candidates as well as components of cut-off marks and the allotted score for each component.

“The institutions are also required to recommend the cut-off date for the first and second choice admission of candidates after which no result upload nor chance into the institution as first choice will be allowed,” he said.

He added that supplementary admissions could be allowed.

Oloyede said that any institution interested in conducting any form of post UTME screening could do so, but  warned that the gross charge for such screening must not exceed  N2,000.

“It is not  allowed for any institution to make post UTME candidates, directly or indirectly incur further related expenses such as administrative and bank charges.

“Such should be at no additional cost to the candidates.

“JAMB will  provide for free, to all institutions, access to photo images and finger -print data of all candidates in order to curb the substitution of candidates.

Earlier in his address, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Mr Sonny Echono, commended the board for efforts to fight examination malpractice.

Echono, who was represented by the Director, Tertiary Education in the ministry, Mr Ojo Samuel, said that the recent investigations carried out  candidates suspected to have been involved in malpractice in recent UTME was a pointer that the examination industry  must re-strategise in order to sanitise the system.

He urged the board not to leave any stone unturned in a bid to ensure that all culprits and collaborators were brought to justice.

“I, therefore, urge that all institutions must ensure that candidates seeking admissions must be thoroughly screened to ensure that they are the real owners of the results they carry.

“All institutions must also ensure that the matriculation list  on the CAPS are appropriate in content and in time.

“I want to plead with JAMB and  heads of tertiary institutions to ensure that candidates with special needs such as the blind are considered for admission, provided they meet the minimum requirements,” Echono said.

CCN /IGO

      Edited by Ijeoma Popoola

Education

VC urges inclusion of private varsities in TETFund support

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Prof. Idika Kalu, the Vice Chancellor of Evangel University, Okpoto in Ebonyi has appealed to the Federal Government to include private universities in the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) support.

Kalu made the appeal during a media interaction in his office on Wednesday, saying that it was regrettable that private universities were excluded from the fund.

He said that denying private universities TETFund support to finance their academic programmes, including research and infrastructure development, amounted to great injustice.

He said that the main aim of every academic institution was to contribute to nation building through impartation of knowledge and character moulding rather than profit making.

Kalu said that the university, which is owned by the Assemblies of God Church, Nigeria, was built to provide quality education in line with international standard.

He said that private universities offered the same academic services like their government-owned counterparts, hence should enjoy similar financial assistance from the federal government.

Kalu hinged the high fees charged by private universities on the enormous financial burden they bear in the attempt to maintain the best minimum standard required by the regulatory agencies.

He said: “The establishment of universities all over the world is usually not for profits.

“Most of the foremost universities in the world started as faith-based, some were established by individuals and families with trust.

“So, one cannot break even in a life time for establishing a university, no matter the fee the person or organisation charges.

“Imagine a university established with N10 billion, what fee will students pay within the life time of the proprietor to make him recover the capital.

“Students in private universities should be made to enjoy the education tax paid by oil companies operating in Nigeria, which is collected as TETFund.

“Our lecturers should also be given the opportunity to benefit from research grants from the fund.

“These private universities will still have to pay very high salary bills and meet up with the requirements of the National Universities Commission (NUC) and maintain their learning facilities for best academic performance.

“Because education is a highly regulated industry, we have to meet the demand and benchmark required of us.”

The vice chancellor said that the university, which began academic activities in 2012 at its temporary site at Okpoto, had a student population of at least 600.

He said that four colleges in the institution, including Physical Science, Management Sciences, Health Sciences and College of Arts and Social Sciences, had received full accreditation from the NUC.

He said that the university had zero tolerance for cultism, indecent dressing as well as sex or money for marks syndrome, among other social vices.

“The institution has zero tolerance for cultism and other social ills that are prevalent in most of our premier universities.

“We have a chapel where our students must show 75 per cent attendance to qualify for graduation,” Kalu further said.

 

 

 

 

 

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Bank chief highlights benefits of artificial intelligence, says it has come to stay

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A bank chief, Dr Dere Awosika, on Wednesday called on Nigerians to harness the potential that artificial intelligence was presenting in a growing economy.

According to her, artificial intelligence technology has permeated every industry and area of existence, with immense benefits.

Awosika , the Independent Non-Executive Director, Access Bank Plc, gave the advice while delivering a keynote address at the opening of the 14th University of Lagos Annual Research Conference and Fair.

The International Conference of the Humanities and Science has the theme: “Automation and Artificial Intelligence; Opportunities for 21st Research and Development”.

According to Awosika, Automation and Artificial intelligence have come to stay and make better the lives of the citizenry.

She said that engineers and researchers  faced  challenges ranging from sharp growth in demand in emerging countries, to market fragmentation driven by consumers’ taste for customisation.

According to her, budget constraints also required engineering teams to improve their productivity and efficiency.

“This is even as limits on the number of designs that can be considered and optimised against process capabilities restrict the predictability of product performance.

“Artificial Intelligence-powered technologies can help deliver more efficient designs than previously achievable by eliminating waste in the design process.

“ Innovation can also be brought to the market faster as these artificial intelligence facilitates lower process cycle times and increase focus on real-time negotiations and other interactions,’’ she said.

Awosika said that artificial intelligence would not make people lose their jobs.

According to her, on the contrary, job tasks that are more unstructured and involved managing people are harder to be replaced by artificial intelligence.

She said that with the job replacements and displacements generated by artificial intelligence, future job market and required skill sets would be significantly different from now.

Awosika added that higher education would be impacted by artificial intelligence in many ways but basically in the area  curricula and enrolment.

Accordng to her, artificial intelligence will have a sweeping impact on curriculum in higher education since its strength is its speed, accuracy and consistency and will be used to teach subjects such as mathematics, science and engineering.

She said that some universities were already offering Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning courses to  computer science students and business students.

“These persons will one day be business managers and executives who need to understand the capabilities, limitations and implications of artificial intelligence in the business world,’’ she said.

She said that multiple studies indicated that jobs that involved routine tasks  and structures were  easier to automate and would be replaced by artificial intelligence soon.

Awosika noted that universities were already exploring artificial intelligence applications that could improve student retention.

She said that some schools  were already testing advanced analytics and machine learning to identify students in trouble and offer them support.

According to her, Civitas Learning and Salesforce collaborate on a service for universities that identifies and engages with students at risk of quitting.

She noted that the Salesforce tools used machine learning to recommend engagement strategies to optimise retention and graduation rates.

“The University of Lagos can be a leading light in driving artificial intelligence and automation to solve the rather unique problems in Africa by African institutions.

“ We in Access Bank, in our strive to be the world’s most respected African Bank, will be delighted to partner with the university,’’ she said.

In his address, the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, said that the research conference and fair had become customary, noting that researchers from within and outside the university converged at the conference to share works and seek best possible solutions to challenges.

According to him, the core understanding that research is important and the realisation that government or universities alone cannot fund research, there was need for more collaboration with industries.

He said that several research grants had been won by the university  and more submissions made to organisations such as the European Commission.

“In a bid to entrench our research driven hub, not just in Nigeria, the university of Lagos recently won the Ministry of Steel and Solid Minerals Research and Development Award.

“As part of efforts to enhance our research visibility, we have collaborated with organisations such as Vitafoam Nigeria, and this has led to the donation of a Polyurethane Laboratory worth over N20 million to enhance research in nanotechnology and materials.

“We also received equipment worth 200,000 dollars from the U.S. to support research in the Central Research Laboratory, among many others,’’ he said.

The vice chancellor said that although many argued that new technologies such as the artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics might take away jobs and increase unemployment, it was believed that the the fair would create superior arguments that would change the perception.

He lauded the efforts of the students who had been uniquely involved in research and innovation implementations.

According to him, this would enable them to acquire skills as problem solvers as well as make the desired impact on their future careers.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the three-day conference would also have in exhibition, a zero emission car, a solar refrigerator and other research products developed by a groups of students of the university.

The research fair is in collaboration with Access Bank Plc, Vitafoam, Union Bank Plc and other key industry players.

CCN/IGO

Edited by Ijeoma Popoola

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ENSUBEB distributes N1.4b instructional materials to over 1000 schools

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The Enugu State Universal Basic Education Board (ENSUBEB) has distributed instructional materials worth N1.4 billion to over 1000 primary and junior secondary schools in the state.

The Executive Chairman of the board, Chief Ikeje Asogwa, made this known on Wednesday in Enugu, when the State House of Assembly Committee on Education visited the board on oversight function.

Asogwa noted that the educational materials were distributed to the schools to improve teaching and learning, adding that every primary school in the state benefitted from the distribution.

He said the board was also renovating dilapidated buildings and providing desks and sports equipment in schools across the state.

According to him, the project is being financed through the Universal Education Board Commission,(UBEC) fund.

On the recent recruitment of primary school teachers in the state, the executive chairman informed the committee members that the 1500 teachers were recruited on merit.

Asogwa added that the teachers would assume duty in the next academic session.

He gave the assurance that the board would cooperate with, and support the committee to ensure it succeeded in its assignment.

The Deputy Speaker of the assembly, Mr Uche Akadu-Ugwu, commended Asogwa for the achievements the board had recorded since his assumption of office as chairman.

He said the committee would not relent until total success was achieved in its assignment.

Earlier, the committee Chairman,  Mr James Akadu, said the oversight was to ensure that the state government’s massive investment in education was secured in the interest of the public.

Akadu urged the board for collaboration to ensure that government’s policies and programmes were actualised.

The committee chairman commended Asogwa for his speed in project execution and diligence in duty.

He also commended Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi-led administration for the transformation of the education sector.

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Education

LASG releases results into model colleges, Upgraded junior secondary schools

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Dr Oluwafemi Hassan, Director, Lagos State Examinations, disclosed this in a statement released to newsmen in Lagos on Wednesday.

Hassan said the candidates that sat for the Computer Based Test (CBT) had already received their results through messages and email addresses of their parents and guardians.

He added that the steps to check the results were provided in the portal.

Hassan, however, said the admission of the candidates would be determined by the Basic Education Services Department of the Lagos State Ministry of Education after determining the cut – off marks.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that over 11,000 candidates participated in the common entrance examination into Lagos State Model Colleges and Upgraded Junior Secondary Schools for 2019 /2020 academic session.

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Education

Gov. Zulum reconstitutes Teaching Service Board

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Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno has approved the reappointment of Prof. Suleiman Bello, as the Chairman of the four-member state’s Teaching Service Board.

Malam Isa Gusau, the Special Adviser on Public Relations and Strategy to the governor, made the disclosure in a statement issued in Maiduguri on Wednesday.

Gusau added that Zulum also approved the appointment of the three other members of the board.

Those appointed were Hajiya Hamsatu Laminu, Mr Mohammed Joji and Alhaji Makinta Monguno.

Gusau said that the governor would accord support to the chairman and members of the board while expecting them to uplift the quality of teaching in line with his education agenda.

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While congratulating the appointees, Zulum reaffirmed his absolute confidence in them.

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