UNICEF Nigeria, Bauchi Field Office in collaboration with Bauchi State Basic Education Board (SUBEB), is to train 120 youths drawn from 14 states and FCT in advocacy capacity building.
The UNICEF Field Office chief, Mr Bhanu Pathak, announced this development in Bauchi at the opening session of a three-day capacity building workshop on advocacy at Zaranda Hotel, Bauchi.
Pathak, represented by UNICEF Educationist, Hajiya Mairama Dikwa, said the programme was in commemoration of the 2019 Day of the African Child (DAC), with the theme: “Humanitarian Action in Africa: Children’s Rights First”.
He said that the training was aimed at engaging the youth on continuous mobilisation and advocacy for equitable and increased access to safe quality education for all children.
Pathak said strategic engagements were being organised among youths, policy makers and highly influential persons, including traditional leaders, to discuss the need for increased access to safe quality education for children, especially girls.
The UNICEF Field Office chief frowned at Bauchi State, recording more than 1.2 million out of school children.
He noted that the ration of teachers to pupils as well as shortage of classrooms and other facilities were not favourable for teaching and learning.
In his contribution, the Acting Chairman, Bauchi State Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Alhaji Mansur Abdu described the state as having the highest number of out of school children in the country.
Abdu asserted that “government alone cannot salvage the situation due to its lean resources hence, the need for organisations to assist”.
He lauded UNICEF for introducing various programmes towards salvaging the situation in the state.
The chairman particularly mentioned the provision of instructional materials, training and various programmes introduced by UNICEF towards high quality education for children as commendable.
Also speaking on the occasion, the representative of USAID and Northern Education Initiative (NEI), Alhaji Mustapha Ahmed, said that the initiative had targeted two million out of school children in Bauchi State.
Ahmed, who said that the initiative would soon embark on rehabilitation of youths in the formal education sector lauded the organisers of the training programme.
Gov. Zulum reconstitutes Teaching Service Board
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.
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.
While congratulating the appointees, Zulum reaffirmed his absolute confidence in them.
Former Cross River first lady advocates girl guiding in more schools
Mrs Onari Duke, Wife of former Governor of Cross River Donald Duke says there is need for schools across the country to embrace girl guiding to further protect the rights of the girl-child.
Duke made the call in her keynote address at the centenary celebration of the Nigerian Girl Guides Association (NGGA) on Tuesday in Lagos.
The theme of the celebration is: ” Years of Inspiring Girls.”
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the association started in Nigeria on Sept. 16, 1919 and became a full member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) in 1966.
According to Duke, the activities of the girl guides remain a sure way of equipping the girls with the requisite knowledge, morals, skills, confidence and leadership needed to take the country to its desired height.
“The fact is, in today’s world, beyond acquiring formal education, there is the need to stand out because the field is already saturated.
“To distinguish yourself, you need to inculcate a culture of service and excellence in your sphere of influence,’’ she said.
According to her, there is therefore the need for citizens to contribute their quota to national development and growth.
This she noted by inspiring and mentoring the younger generation with sincerity of purpose and to serve genuinely.
“True service will impact lives greatly and to impact excellence in service, we must set high standards and strive to keep them.”
Duke urged girls to always strive to acquire skills that would give them the edge over others, make strong and reliable leaders as well as successful and effective entrepreneurs.
She also emphasised the need for the girl-child to acquire planning skills that would tie their vision to practical steps that their chosen endeavours could take to realise that vision.
“This, in itself is a skill and a very important one because without it, your growth will be stagnated.”
The former cross river first lady further stressed the need for the girls and even young women to be innovative and acquire communication skills, which would be evident in all of their entrepreneurial activities.
This she said was necessary, adding that professional advancement was usually enhanced by innovation.
The Chairperson, Africa Region of the World Association of the Girl Guides Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), Mrs Larissa Cataria, from the Republic of Benin said there was more to be done in the area of advocacy, on the right and welfare of the girl -child in Africa.
“So as a guide, my take will be encouraging associations around the continent to keep sensitising our people in Africa, beginning from Nigeria.
“I believe the girl-child has the power to take up leadership positions, to be the voice of Africa and to be the change agent we all desire in our dear continent.
“These leadership qualities, start from the home, through to the larger society and therefore these girls must also be given the same opportunity as the boys, given that they do have the potential.
“It is not about going to school alone, but also being exposed to the same opportunity as the boys. We need to support them. “They need to be supported in order to perform better in school and outside school.
“The major challenge facing the development of the girl- child in Africa has always been the issues of the mindset and as parents, the issue is, how we see the girl-child matters in determining how far we want them to go.
“Therefore, I think for me, it starts from there.
So, once we change our perception about them, once we understand the importance of sending them to school, I think it will help get the change that we want to see,’’ she said.
The Chief Commissioner of the NGGA, Mrs Maria Sule, in her address of Wellcome said that the association had contributed immensely toward nation building,
This she said was through its numerous guiding and mentoring activities of the girl-child in the country through the years and still standing strong.
According to her, the association’s non formal training programmes are thriving, adding that girls in the country are becoming bold advocates of their rights wherever they find themselves.
“We, therefore, wish to call on the Federal Government and State Governments, and the National Assemblies at both the Federal and State levels to assist us in coming up with laws that will liberate the girl-child and women generally to fulfill their potential.
“We also want to appeal to them to assist us in completing our training centre in Abuja designed for the development and well being of the girl-child,’’ Sule said
Edited by Dada Ahmed
Ondo govt. promises to reposition Unity, Special Schools
The Ondo State Government has promised to reposition the five unity schools and four special schools in the state.
Mr Femi Agagu, the state Commissioner for Education, said this during a meeting with the principals and head teachers of the schools on Tuesday in Akure.
The commissioner said that the meeting was to deliberate on the various challenges facing the schools in order to proffer solutions.
He recalled that the schools were established to serve as models to others , adding that the state must maintain their status.
Agagu urged the head teachers to be responsible in the discharge of their duties and monitor the teachers and students under them to ensure better academic performance.
The commissioner also said that the government was deeply concerned about the welfare of the students in the special schools.
He admonished the head teachers to be proactive in their bid to make the students relevant in the society, adding that ” there is ability in disability.”
Speaking on security in the schools, the commissioner urged the head teachers to be more vigilant, noting that security guards must be alert always.
Responding, Mr Oyedeji Adegbenro, the Principal of Unity Secondary School, Epinmi Akoko, said inspite of the various challenges facing the schools, the principals’ efforts were yielding good results.
According to Adegbenro, beside improvement in internal examinations, the good results in the last West Africa Senor School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) results was a testimony of the principals’ efficiency and government’s commitment to the sector.
Mrs Tolani Olaitan, who spoke on behalf of head teachers of the special schools, said efforts were being made to discover the talents of each student with a view to making them useful to themselves, their families and the society at large.
The meeting had in attendance the principals of Unity Secondary School Epinmi Akoko; St.John’s Mary Unity Secondary School, Owo; St. Peter’s Unity Secondary School, Akure; St. Helen’s Unity Secondary School, Ondo and Unity Secondary School, Ode Aye.
Also present were the head teachers of the Physically-Challenged School, Ikare-Akoko, Visually Impaired School, Owo, Hearing Impaired School, Akure and Mentally Impaired School, Okeigbo.
Ekiti varsity gets new VC
The Nigeria News Agency reports that Olanipekun was a former Dean of the School of Post Graduate Studies of the university.
The appointment of the 53-year-old don, according to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Yinka Oyebode, takes immediatel effect.
Olanipekun, a native of Ado-Ekiti and former Chairman, Ilorin Zone of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), replaced Prof. Olubunmi Ajayi who had been in acting capacity since December 2018.
Ajayi acted as the vice chancellor following the sack of a professor of Educational Evaluation, Sam Bandele, by the governor following the recommendations of a visitation panel.
Olanipekun studied Chemistry at the first degree level and Industrial Chemistry at both the Masters and PhD levels.
600m people lack access to electricity in Africa- Don
Prof. Folasade Ogunsola, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Development Services, University of Lagos, says more than 600 million people in Africa lack access to electricity.
According to her, the access rate to electricity in Africa has been slowly rising since 2000 and currently stands at 43 per cent.
“Africa accounts for 600 million of the one billion people globally without access to electricity.
“The projection for sub-saharan Africa is that access will double by 2030 but there will still be about 600 million people without access to it due to high population growth rates and uneven development.
“This low rate of access can be turned to a major advantage with the embrace of renewable energy such as solar energy,’’ she said.
Ogunsola advised the Federal Government to urgently work on how to control the growing population.
She said unless population was controlled infrastructure development would not match a geometrically growing population.
The don also advised government at all level to address health care problems holistically.
“For Nigeria’s health institutions to be ready for the future, it must digitise patient records in an electronic management system.
“Few countries of the world spend over one per cent of their Gross Domestic Product on research, Nigeria spends less than one per cent of her GDP on research.
“Government must invest in human capital development rather than in infrastructure; only a literate populace will develop infrastructure,’’ she said.
Earlier, Prof. Idowu Olayinka, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, said that African researchers must conduct locally relevant researches that would leapfrog the continent into a global power.
Olayinka, who was represented by the Provost, College of Medicine, Prof. Oluwabunmi Olopade-Olaopa, said African scientists were more relevant in solving Africa’s problems.