Gov. Bello Matawalle on Friday bade farewell to 92 students sponsored by the state government to study various degree programmes in Cyprus.
The beneficiaries are expected to study Pharmacy, Radiology, Petrochemical Engineering and Architecture.
They are part of the 200 students the governor had promised to offer scholarship to study abroad.
While bidding the students farewell, Matawalle, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Bala Maru, charged them to be good ambassadors of the state and Nigeria, and concentrate on their studies.
“During our electioneering campaign, we promised the good people of the state that the educational sector will be one of our areas of focus.
“We specifically promised to encourage our young and talented students to further their studies within and outside the country.
“I emphatically wish to enjoin you to dedicate yourselves to your studies, and to ensure that you have justified the confidence we have reposed in you.
“We hope to receive people who have not only improved their own lives, but also people who will help reshape the future of our state and the country at large,” the governor said.
Earlier, the governor’s Special Adviser on Scholarship Matters, Mr. Lukman Majidadi gave details of the students who benefited from the foreign scholarship.
Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed
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Kwara North elders reject appointment of new KWASU VC
A coalition of Kwara North Elders on Monday rejected the appointment of Prof. Muhammed Akanbi as the new Vice-Chancellor of Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete.
The elders in a statement issued in Ilorin, described the decision of the state government to appoint Akanbi as ‘insensitive’, claiming it is extremely against the principles of ‘equity, justice and fairness’ in such a symbiotic and heterogeneous political entity like Kwara.
The Nigeria News Agency recalls that Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq had on April 1 approved the appointment of Akanbi in the statement issued by Hajia Sa’adat Moddibo-Kawu, the State Commissioner for Tertiary Education, Science and Technology.
Akanbi who hailed from Kwara Central is the son of the late Justice Mustapha Akanbi, a former President of Court of Appeal and the pioneer Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
The statement, endorsed by prominent elders in Kwara North led by Sen. Shaba Lafiagi, a former governor and senator in the state, and Shehu Abdulrahman said that the zone was marginalised for the position.
“The entire people of the Kwara North Senatorial Zone in Nigeria and the diaspora have been much saddened by the appointment of Prof. Muhammed Mustapha Akanbi as the new Vice-Chancellor of the Kwara State University (KWASU).
“The appointment is quite nauseating and very insensitive because it goes extremely against the principles of equity, justice and fairness in a symbiotic and heterogeneous political entity like our beloved Kwara State.
”It is very timely for us to recall here that the fact that the Kwara State University was established with the resources of all sections of Kwara State is really never in doubt.
“Indeed, it is an undeniable fact that not until recently, our five local government areas that constitute the Kwara North Senatorial Zone contributed funds through monthly deductions from our monthly statutory allocations and internally generated revenue, not only for the establishment but also for the sustenance of the university,” the statement read in part.
It faulted the appointment as failing the norms and conventions in Nigeria’s socio-political engineering process of balancing the allocation of the resources and privileges derivable from common patrimony.
This, it said, included sharing of political appointments and positions of influence in government amongst the three senatorial zones of each state like the federal government sharing among the six geopolitical zones.
The situation, the elders said was different in Kwara.
“Apart from the initial consideration in the three major positions where the governor came from Kwara Central; the Deputy Governor, Kwara South and the Speaker, Kwara North.
“The idea of sustaining that equilibrium in the interest of equity, justice and fairness has been jettisoned, with a clear disregard for the interest of the Kwara North Senatorial Zone, especially in the light of the subsequent appointments made since the advent of the present administration in the state.
”It cannot be argued or claimed that only professors from the Kwara Central Senatorial Zone are the only persons qualified for the position of the VC of KWASU.
“This claim could not stand as available facts disclosed that while the Acting Vice Chancellor Prof. Mahmud Sakah (from Kwara North) came first in the interview conducted, Prof Muhammad Mustapha Akanbi who was just appointed came third!
”Although, it is understandable that Your Excellency as the Visitor to KWASU reserves the right to choose a qualified person for the position of VC of KWASU.
“However, the pledges and assurances Your Excellency gave to the people of Kwara North Senatorial Zone that you will arrest the marginalisation on all fronts that the senatorial zone has been suffering for decades coupled with the zoning principle would have been considered in your decision in the appointment of the VC for KWASU,” the statement further quoted the elders.
Other signatories to the statement are Chief Timothy Saba, Alhaji Alfa Shonga, Alhaji S.Y. Haliru, Alhaji M T Mamman, Alhaji S Y Abdullahi, Dr Mohammed Haruna, Alhaji Tajudeen Abdulkadir, Mallam Umaru Sha’aba, Alhaji Mohamed Kudu and Alhaji Kollo Rifun.
Alhaji Sule Ahman Patigi, Alhaji Dabarako Mohammad, who is a former Head of Service in the state, Alhaji Zubairu Rogun, Mallam Abdullahi Lade, Alhaji Attahiru Manko and former Speaker Benjamin Yisa, among others, also signed the statement.
NAN recalls that Kwara North Groups under the aegis of Coalition of Kwara North Groups (CKNG) had in a statement last week said that Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq-led administration has marginalised the senatorial district in the appointment of aides.
The CKNG in its analysis stated that Kwara Central had 16 appointees, Kwara South 10, while only three appointments were made from Kwara North.
Edited By: Fela Fashoro/Muhammad Suleiman Tola
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KWASU VC appointment: Kwara PDP stakeholders dissociate from call for review
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Concerned Stakeholders Forum in Kwara has dissociated itself from call for a review of appointment of the new Vice Chancellor of Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete, Prof. Mohammed Olarongbe-Akanbi.
The forum said this in a statement signed by the former Chief Press Secretary to former Senate President, Alhaji Masjid Adebimpe, and former Commissioner for Special Duties in the state, Alhaji AbdulRasaq Lawal, in Ilorin on Monday.
They said the state Chairman of the Party, Alhaji Kola Shittu, was not speaking for the Party.
“We dissociate ourselves from the purported media reports credited to the state party chairman, Engr. Kola Shittu, calling for the review of the appointment of new KWASU Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mohammed Olarongbe-Akanbi,” the statement said.
The party stakeholders’ forum described the controversial statement calling for review as self-serving and personal opinion of Shittu.
It said that there was no time that the party held executive meeting, nor any key stakeholders consultation, where decision was reached calling for the review of the appointment of Prof. Akanbi as the vice chancellor of KWASU.
The party stakeholders maintained that the said statement was the imagination and opinion of an individual using his exalted position to seek cheap political relevance at the expense of party members who are the majority.
According to the statement, “the purported press release was at the instance of the chairman alone, Mr Kola shittu, it does not have the support and endorsement of members of our great party.
“As party stakeholders, we would have ignored the report, but to put the record straight, PDP is an organised political party with a well-coordinated mechanism of addressing issues”.
The forum said as an opposition party, it has ways of assessing the government performance when it comes to serving the people as well as when it affects the wellbeing of the citizens.
“It is not for us to applaud or condemn appointment of the government of the day.
“It is therefore, suffices to say that the purported claim of Engr. Shittu was a misrepresentation of our party in the state, we thus, dissociate ourselves from the unofficial statement,” the forum said.
The Nigeria News Agency recalls that Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Wednesday approved the appointment of Prof. Mohammed Olarongbe-Akanbi as the new vice chancellor of KWASU, Malete.
The new vice chancellor, who was former Director, School of Preliminary Studies, University of Ilorin, and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), succeeds the current vice chancellor of the University of Abuja, Prof. AbdulRasheed Na’Allah.
Akanbi became the second vice chancellor of the university since its establishment in 2009.
Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Muhammad Suleiman Tola
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Nigeria to benefit from GPE’s $250 million for developing countries battling COVID-19
Nigeria and 38 other countries are to benefit from the 250 million funding dollars announced by the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) for developing countries.
The funds will help developing countries to mitigate both the immediate and long-term disruptions to education being caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funds will also help to sustain learning for up to 355 million children, with a focus on ensuring that girls and poor children who will be hit the hardest by school closures to continue their education.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the Global Partnership for Education supports developing countries to ensure that every child receives quality basic education, prioritising the poorest, the most vulnerable and those living in countries affected by fragility or conflict.
However, the GPE in a statement on Monday said that on the whole, there are 67 developing countries eligible for the COVID-19 funding.
In Africa, the 39 eligible countries include Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea and Ethiopia.
Others are The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Of the 67 countries eligible for the GPE funds, 63 have already closed schools nation-wide in response to the pandemic.
Julia Gillard, GPE Board Chair, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic is creating an education emergency that could have devastating impacts on children in developing countries.
“Unless we act now to support education systems, millions of vulnerable children, especially the poorest girls, may not be able to resume learning when this crisis is over.”
SerigneMbaye Thiam, GPE Vice Board Chair, said: “GPE has acted swiftly in the face of an unprecedented challenge.
“These funds will ensure that developing countries, like Senegal, are able to act quickly to mitigate the detrimental impact COVID-19 will have on the most vulnerable children and maintain the resilience of education systems.’’
Also, Alice Albright, GPE’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are stepping up to mitigate the impacts that school closures in developing countries will have on the most vulnerable children.
“GPE is committed to ensuring that learning can continue, and that no child’s education is left behind.’’
The GPE said the funding will be available immediately to support coordinated and country-driven responses in up to 67 countries and meet both urgent and longer-term needs.
The Ministries of Education and local education partners can use the funds to ensure learning can continue, particularly for the poorest and most vulnerable, for example by producing educational radio and television programmes and distributing equipment such as radios and textbooks to the poorest households.
The funds can also be used to support teachers, ensure children with special needs and disabilities are included and collect data to know that learning is happening, the statement said.
It added tht they can be used to mitigate poverty and gender barriers to learning, which will be exacerbated by economic shock; and ensure that teachers and schools are equipped to re-open when it is safe to do so.
Edited By: Vivian Ihechu/Peter Ejiofor)
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Lockdown: Kaduna govt. introduces radio, TV classes to sustain learning
The Kaduna State government has introduced radio and television teaching programmes to keep pupils and students learning at home during the lockdown period, occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs Phoebe Yayi, who disclosed this in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Kaduna on Sunday, said the that programme would commence on April 6.
Yayi said that the digital lessons programme would focus on Senior Secondary School Students preparing for the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and the National Examinations Council (NECO) examinations.
She said that the programme was aimed at preventing students from being idle at home while on lockdown, which, she said, might affect their academic performances.
According to her, the programme is designed to keep the students busy with academic activities, which would be delivered through television and radio stations so that they could continue learning, while staying safe at home.
“This is part of the state government’s efforts in deploying digital platforms to improve teaching and learning in public schools.
“You are aware that senior secondary school students will write WAEC and NECO examinations as soon as the Coronavirus crisis is over.
“We are trying as much as we can to ensure that the lockdown does not affect their performances in the examinations,” she said.
The permanent secretary said that the programme would be aired on all major television and radio stations in the state, between 9:00 am. and 11:30 am., adding that it would cover all the subjects.
She said that the lessons would be 20 minutes per period and two times in a week, with the exception of Mathematics and English Language, which would be three times in a week.
She also said that the contacts, names and phone numbers of the teachers would be provided for the students to ask questions.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma and
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KWASU VC: Professors’ forum rejects appointment, says process not fair
”In the statement referred to, the Commissioner alluded to the fact that the governor, in making the appointment, relied on the recommendation of the Governing Council of the institution headed by Professor Saka Nuru.
”We want to state from onset that Prof. Akanbi, SAN, is ordinarily qualified for the position of Vice- Chancellor of the Institution.
”It would be recollected that during the Selection process in 2019, the OPF raised the issue that the Selection Board ( a committee of Council) was skewed in favour of Ilorin Central Senatorial zone (where they constituted 4 out of 5 members, including the chairman).
” The exercise went on never the less and three (3) Professors were recommended in the following order of merit:1st Professor Mahmud Sakah (from Kwara North), 2nd Professor Gana (from Kwara North) and 3rd Professor M. M. Akanbi (from Kwara Central)
”This was the state of affairs by the time the present government came in May, 2019.
”The then in- coming government set up a Transition Committee preparatory to its taking over government and it was advised, concerning KWASU, that the selection process for VC was faulty and that the Council should be dissolved (for so many other reasons also), a new council constituted and the position of VC re- advertised.
”When the government took office, it ordered a Visitation to KWASU, which was overdue and also recommended by the Transition Committee.
”It is noteworthy to state that the Visitation Panel was chaired by somebody from Kwara Central. The Visitation Panel also recommended the dissolution of the University Governing Council.
”The government thereafter constituted a panel, also headed by somebody from Kwara Central, to draft a white paper on the Visitation Panel Report.
”The OPF did not encourage its members to apply for the position of VC of KWASU because it felt that the then Deputy VC, Professor Mahood Sakah, who is from Kwara North is eminently qualified and that it was high time the North be encouraged to occupy the position, in the spirit of fairness and inclusiveness,” the statement said.
According to the forum, KWASU is owned and jointly funded by all the three zones and the situation where the Chancellor, Pro- Chancellor, Vice- Chancellor and Acting Registrar are all from only Kwara Central is ” repulsive.”
The statement added that the argument being put forward that Sakah is 67-years-old does not hold water.
”The Council saw his age before he was short- listed, interviewed and ranked first in the selection process carried out by a panel of five consisting of four members from Kwara Central.
”To now use his age to disqualify him is a ploy to perpetrate over-lordship of a zone over the two other zones.
”Ilorin is reputed to be a centre of Islamic scholarship which is looked onto to practicalise all what Islam preaches.
”Definitely the way KWASU Vice- Chancellorship is handled cannot be said to be in the spirit of justice and fairness,” it said.
The forum told the governor that he was not properly advised on the appointment of the vice- chancellor of KWASU.
”This is not in tandem with what you promised Kwarans to be fair to all sections and be just.
”The candidate that came first in the interview should be appointed in line with the dictates of Allah which enjoins justice, even if the other party is your relative.
”We pray for the success of your administration and pledge our support in ensuring a just Kwara state,” it said.
Edited By: Mufutau Ojo)
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Lockdown: Educationist advises parents to engage children in informal learning
An Educationist and National Consultant for Accelerated Christian Education in Nigeria, Mr Muyiwa Okunlola, has advised parents to engage their children in informal learning during the current lockdown imposed to check the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Okunlola, who gave the advice in an interview with Nigeria News Agency on Saturday in Jos said informal learning was a form of learning that occurred away from a structured formal classroom setting.
He said informal learning was in various forms that entailed coaching sessions by parents, viewing videos and making use of the internet to conduct researches and have a better understanding of a particular field.
“Parents can guide their kids in having a better perspective of a certain field in various subjects, such as science.
“The kids are left to study a certain plant and the parent helps the child to have a better understanding via the use of the internet to have a better insight and understanding of such plant,’’ the expert said.
He said the lockdown was an opportunity for parents to expand the educational horizon of their children which would enable them to have a robust educational experience outside the formal learning structure.
Okunola also urged parents to think of creative ways to engage their kids, saying that children could learn various things such as cooking, practicing musical instruments, recitals and learning their dialects.
Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo and Abdullahi Yusuf
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Yobe SUBEB unveils maiden strategic plan
Prof. Musa Alabi, Executive Secretary of the Board, told newsmen on Saturday in Damaturu that there was no strategic plan guiding its operations since inception in the state.
Alabi said the maiden strategic plan was initiated under the administration of Gov. Mai Mala Buni.
“This is the first time that the Board is coming up with a strategic plan which will be launch soon.
“The strategic plan is for us to chat our own course”.
Alabi noted that it was part of new strategic plan to recruit enough and qualified teachers into the system to fill the existing gaps and replace the unqualified ones.
“We have plans to redeploy unqualified teachers to other sections of the civil service and recruit new and qualified ones to fill in those positions.
“Unless we do that there is no way we can have a system running the way we want it.
“We will surely do the recruitment and we hope that will be the turning point,” he said.
Abali disclosed that the Board would construct mega schools in various local government areas in addition to the existing model schools in the state.
He said that the mega schools would be established at Potiskum, Nguru, Damaturu, Gashua and Buni Yadi, among others.
The chairman explained that the mega schools were designed with bigger size and capacity to change the face of education in the state.
“We hope before the lifespan of this administration to have three to four of these mega schools in each local government area, to solve the problem of congestion in schools”.
Alabi revealed that various school development projects were so far executed under Universal Basic Education (UBE) interventions such as construction over 200 classroom blocks, 42 offices and stores as well as 33 x 2 bed rooms and 75 x 3 bed rooms staff quarters.
He lsited other projects to include construction of fencing and barb wiring in 13 schools; provision of 17 boreholes, procurement of 14, 317 classroom furniture and 619 units of teachers’ furniture, among others.
Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Rabiu Sani Ali
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I’ll prioritise students, staff welfare, attract research funding – New KWASU VC
Prof. Muhammed Akanbi, the new Vice-Chancellor, Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete, says his priorities will include students and staff welfare, attracting research funding and usage of ICT for development.
Prof. Akanbi told newsmen on Friday in Ilorin that he would strive to help academic staff attend local and international conferences to widen their horizon and secure grants for them for research and innovations.
He added that he would also focus on adequate motivation of members of staff to enable them deliver optimally.
The professor of law said that he would also ensure that the university focused on its students, stressing that the essence of a university was to primarily teach students and, in turn, help the society.
”I will also be looking at funding, because in a state university, we need funding. Without adequate funding, we will not be in a position to deliver much.
”I also intend to look into Information Technology (IT), because we live in an IT world.
”The school already has a solid foundation for IT. So we intend to improve on it.
”As you can see, with the Coronavirus challenge that we are having, students are not in school but we can’t sit down.
”We will have a vibrant and robust ICT learning resource centre and we can, from our homes, do teaching and research.
“Of course, the people that will support me to achieve this mission are the members of staff, both academic and nonacademic. So I intend to invest in their welfare.
”We are going to ensure that they are well motivated so as to be able to deliver”, Akanbi said.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the state government had, on Wednesday, accepted the recommendation of KWASU’s governing council to appoint Akanbi as the new Vice Chancellor.
Edited By: Bayo Sekoni and
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LASU-ACEITSE set to begin 6 higher degree courses virtually
The Lagos State University (LASU)-Africa Centre for Excellence in Innovative and Transformative STEM Education (ACEITSE) has concluded arrangements to carry out interactive delivery of six courses.
The Leader of the Centre, Prof. Peter Okebukola, gave the assurance in a statement he issued on Friday in Lagos.
He said that the project would be hosted by LASU.
According to him, the LASU-ACEITSE is one of the Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE Impact).
”Based on the success of the Africa Centre for Excellence (ACE) Phase One project, the World Bank and the French Development Agency, in collaboration with African governments and the Association of African Universities (AAU), launched the ACE Impact Project in 2018,” he said.
He said that the launch was to strengthen post-graduate training and applied research in existing fields, and support new fields essential for Africa’s economic growth.
Okebukola said that following advice
by the World Bank and AAU, he started setting up the interactive online delivery of six courses expected to begin on April 6..
”Human and web resources are being mobilised to enable LASU-ACEITSE to take off effectively on Monday, April 6,” he said.
Okebukola said that online registration opened on April 1, adding that the entire process would be documented and published as a case study of a practical response to the coronavirus lockdown.
”LASU-ACEITSE is deploying the virtual courses using customised moodle and zoom for all interactive video presentations,” he said.
The don gave a breakdown of master’s courses to be offered virtually by the LASU-ACEITSE as Educational Research Methods and Statistics,
Trends in STEM Education and Graduate Seminar and the Culturo-Techno-Contextual Approach to STEM Education and Research.
According to him, PhD courses to be offered virtually include Advanced Educational Research Methods and Statistics, Advanced Trends in STEM Education and Graduate Seminar, and Culturo-Techno-Contextual Approach to STEM Education and Research.
Edited By: Janefrances Oraka/Ijeoma Popoola
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