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Defence/Security

Anambra State Fire Service more effective, efficient, says MD

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Anambra State Fire Service more effective, efficient, says MD

AVM Ben Chiobi (rtd.), the Managing Director, Anambra State Fire Service, says the organisation has been repositioned for more effectiveness and efficiency.


Chiobi spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria on the sidelines of the inauguration of two ultra modern firefighting trucks in Akwa on Friday.

“We are rejigging alot of things under the able leadership of Gov. Willie Obiano. We are repositioning in order to see that the service is more efficient.

“To see how we can bring best practices in what we are doing in the state fire service.

“In addition to that, the governor made funds available for us to refurbish about 10 fire trucks.

“Beyond that, we acquired two brand new firetrucks and currently, we are renovating some fire stations around the state, but the truth is that we can’t do all at once,” he said.

He said that the Anambra State Fire State Service enjoyed a good working relationship with the government, adding that plans were already ongoing to recruit men and women into the service.

“The other thing that has happened in the last nine months is also that the governor has given permission for us to recruit 120 men and women into the fire service.

“Actually, what is holding us from embarking on the training of the recruits is the present pandemic, otherwise we are ready and good to go.

“So, these are some of the things we are doing to ensure that the service is both effective and efficient,” he said.

He noted that the assets to achieve the desired result were readily aavailabe, adding however that resources were scarce.

“Of course these assets are there but you know in Economics we say that resources are scarce.

“However, the Federal Government through the Federal Fire Service saw the need to provide the Anambra State Fire Service with two sophisticated state-of-the-art firetruck.

“Before now, men and women from the federal fire service were deployed to the state, but of course, that most essential tool that they needed to work which is the fire trucks were not available.

“They used to take part in some of the things we were doing using state assets, but now they have their own assets and can respond when they are called upon.

“So, there are alot of great things happening now, alot of synergy between the Anambra State Fire Service and several agencies as well as corporate organisations in the state,” he said.

Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

Kelechi Ogunleye: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

Education

Resumption: Unity schools’ Principals in Lagos assure parents, guardians of students’ safety

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The Principals of King’s College, Lagos, Mr Andrew Agada, and Queen’s College, Lagos, Dr Tokunbo Yakubu-Oyinloye, have assured parents and guardians of safety of their children and wards as they resumed.


Agada and Yakubu-Oyinloye gave the assurance in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Lagos, on the resumption of schools by the exiting students of the 104 Unity Colleges across the country.

The students were resuming to write their examinations after a long break due to the lockdown and closure of schools following the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country.

NAN also reports that the schools had been shut following the directive from the Federal Ministry of Education since March, as a result of the ravaging pandemic.

The Federal Government after due consultations with other key stakeholders, agreed to reopen the schools only for the existing classes of the Senior Secondary School 3 and the Junior Secondary School 3.

This is to allow the SSS 3 students to participate in the 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

Agada said: “First and foremost, I want to thank God for sparing our lives, the children, our parents and all other stakeholders. We have also been looking forward to receiving them.

”I also want to seize this opportunity to thank the Federal Ministry of Education for the assistance rendered so far in order to make this resumption possible.

”Yesterday, the entire college was decontaminated, ranging from the classrooms, hostels the laboratories, everywhere, by the Federal Ministry of the Environment.

”We want to assure our parents that there is no need to panic, as our lives are in God’s hands but we will do our best and God will continue to protect us.”

According to him, the college has set up a committee called the “COVID-19 Guidelines Enforcement Committee”.

He said that the committee was made up of dedicated teachers that would be going round during the classes, the dinning halls and hostels to ensure that the students maintain the safety protocols.

Agada added that already,  messages had also been sent to the parents and guardians to also advice their children and wards against any form of gatherings or contact activities such as playing of football or games that would bring them together.

“They have come, let them concentrate on their examination as there is barely no time left, and so, we have put a committee in place whose responsibility is also to monitor the students.

”By tomorrow, full lecture will commence. We are fully prepared. The timetable is out and the teachers are very ready more than ever before to hit the ground running,” he said.

On the part of the management, the principal said that they have also put certain things in place.

“First, since it is only the SS3 students that are coming back, we have prepared hostels and spread them to all the hostels that hitherto, accommodated SS1, 2, 3 in the college.

”So, currently, we are not having more than 12 students in a room.

“Secondly, on the issue of classrooms, we have 30 of it at our main campus here, for the senior school.

“The SS3 students are coming in soon and these ones will be occupying 19 classrooms at the JSS section of the college, as against the 10 they used to occupy before now.

”All these are means of ensuring strict adherence to social distancing and also we have sanitisers, even customised ones, that is the pedal one.

“And graciously, where we procured some of these equipment from, the company is also coming in to assist us by giving us automated dispensers, like you see at the airports and other places,” Agada said.

He added that the college would also be mounting about 15 of such at the main campus and another 15 at the annex for the Junior Secondary School.

”We have also worked on our water, as we recently dug another borehole to expand our water reticulation system.

“The hostels too, we  have worked on the hostels,  the bunks, the broken down ones have been repaired, the classroom desks, we have also refurbished them.

”So, as the students are coming, we are sure that there is enough desks, bunks, space and water and all other necessary facilities that would ensure their safety and comfort.

“They have come, let them concentrate on their examination as there is barely no time left  and so we have put a committee in place whose responsibility is also to monitor the students.

“Again, another measure we adopted to reduce the crowd is to allow the borders in two houses, to be checked in first. We have four houses. By tomorrow borders in the other two remaining houses will be checked in,” he said.

The principal added that for now, only the borders were being checked in.

He said parents of some day students were also applying to be accommodated as boarding students.

The principal cited difficulty of accessing the roads to the college, following the closure of the 3rd Mainland bridge as a huge challenge.

”We have considered them, because we have the space.

”Our advice, therefore, to our parents is to remain hopeful and assuring that God who has kept us all these while, is still fully in control, and we must look unto Him and have faith in Him.

”It is our prayer too that our students will all finish their examination successfully in good state of health and will all return home to their parents safely,” he prayed.

Also, at the Queen’s College, Lagos, its Principal, Dr Tokumbo Yakubu-Oyinloye, took NAN Correspondent round the college premises.

Yakubu-Oyinloye said: “We have put all the guidelines and protocols in place to ensure that our students are safe when they resume and all through the period of their stay here.

“You can see the sitting arrangements in our classes. We do not have more than 20 students per class with their seats placed two metres apart from each other.

“Names of students per class have been pasted by the entrance of each of the respective classes.

”We have also fixed automated hand sanitisers in all the classes, including the foot pedal sanitiser at the gate.”

According to her, instead of using the 12 classes that were designated before now for SS3 students, 34 more classrooms, including those for the SS1 and SS2  have now been converted for tluse of SS3 students to ensure social distancing.

Yakubu-Oyinloye added that the same measures also applied to the hostels.

The principal said that the school management, in collaboration with the PTA had fumigated the hostels and all other sections of the college.

She said that already, the Federal Ministry of Education, also in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of the Environment, had decontaminated and disinfected the entire college.

”We have also serviced our water treatment plant as well as wash our tanks. In addition to keeping social distancing, we will also be staggering our break periods as well as our meal time.

”We have also designated a building as an isolation centre in the college, should there be any case of high temperature, before contacting the appropriate authorities.

“On the part of the teachers, they have been fully sensitised and equipped.

“In fact, teachers who will have no business on campus are not allowed to come around. They can do their jobs at home.

“In the same vein, all returning SS3 students must also come with at least five masks and must wear their masks before they can be checked in.

“They must also ensure that they come with their personal effects including cutleries as sharing is not allowed,” Yakubu-Oyinloye said.

The principal commended a set of the Old Girls of the college for donating 68 white boards for each of the classrooms in the college, adding that already another set of the old girls are set to donate four interactive boards to facilitate teaching and learning.

She pleaded with parents to impress it on their children and wards to ensure that they always adhere strictly to the safety guidelines.

NAN reports that the resumption of the JSS 3 students of the Unity Colleges in the state had been moved to Aug. 10.

Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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Defence/Security

Police warn private owners against opening schools to all students

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The Police Command in Osun has warned private school owners in the state planning to reopen school for all students, under the cover of partial reopening to exit classes for the purpose of writing examinations, to desist from such action.


The police command in a statement by its Spokesperson, SP Yemisi Opalola in Osogbo on Tuesday, said any private school owner found reopening school for all classes would face the full wrath of the law.

“The command has been reliably informed that some private school owners are planning to reopen schools for all students under the cover of the partial reopening to exit classes for the purpose of writing examinations.

“The partial reopening applies only to schools that have registered for WASSCE and to students in exit classes; students in SS3 and JSS3 classes who will be sitting for the examinations, beginning from Aug. 17, 2020.

“The Federal Government has not approved the reopening/ resumption of schools for all students.

“Therefore, any private school found operating under the cover of the partial reopening of the exit classes will face the full wrath of law,” the police warned. 

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

 

 

 

 

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Education

Robogarden set to empower education stakeholders on coding technology

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A digitised educational platform, Robogarden, has urged the Federal Government to imbibe personalised learning on coding, robotics, artificial intelligence and skills in the Nigeria’s educational system.


Its President, Dr Mohamed Elhabiby, made the plea at a webinar on Tuesday, in Lagos, saying this would ensure future of the new economy was dependent on successful and sustainable digital transformation processes.

According to him, this will be achieved through skills, education technology, personalised learning and artificial intelligence.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the webinar focussed on Personalised Learning, AI and Education Technology, Digital Transformation Skills, Challenges, Today and in the Future.

Its theme was: “Rights and Voices of Youth: Teach Coding for the Youth.”

Elhabiby said there was the need to prepare children from an early age for the new reality of professions and mastery of digital technology to address shortage of skill and enhance competitiveness in the future of jobs.

He said that Robogarden was created to engage and provide code execution support for persons of different races and culture, irrespective of language.

The founder of the garden also urged the government to stimulate plans to provide tools to enable individuals, communities and companies to become active innovators.

“The job market was already undergoing profound digital transformation, and so required professionals with an increasing knowledge of technology.

“Such qualifications would result in better income distribution, reduction of social inequality, unemployment and crime rates.

“Skills for the future in 2030 include: digital literacy and computational thinking, creative and innovative thinking, and cognitive flexibility.

“We are highly relying on technology and skills should be matching to them.

“It is important to be digitally literate to the emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, internet of things and data science.

“Today’s job vacancies may not be the same as tomorrow, and that is why humans should be able to adapt to the changes happening around them in the digital space.

“Currently, every country has issues with shortage of skills and high unemployment rates globally.

“Skills plus education is the new future, while the new literacy is coding,” he said.

In her remarks, Mrs Ngozi Ogoke, Chief Executive Officer,  Ovana E-learning Limited, said her organisation, in collaboration with Robogarden,  focussed on bringing transformation to the Nigerian digital economy and Africa as a whole.

According to her, the webinar serves to offer scholastically unique technology driven solutions that would lead to critical thinking and achievement of excellence in higher learning outcomes.

“We aim to create bright new opportunities for individuals and the entire community as we are in a new world of technology and

digitalisation,” Ogoke said.

Responding, the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, said the country had opened its doors to technological training with regards to robotics.

Adamu, represented by Mrs Muna Onuzo-Iyanam, Special Adviser, Technical Planning, Research and Development, Ministry of Education, said he was committed to upscaling training of teachers and students toward achieving digital transformation in the education space.

“Our schools will become more compliant at introducing AI, robotics, coding and technological learning to prepare our children for the future and advance the future of jobs,” he said.

Also at the webinar, Dr Sally Adukwu-Bolujoko, the President, National Association of Proprietors of Private School, pledged her support and commitment to ensuring public schools’ participation in technological personalised learning.

Edited By: Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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Education

Zamfara Govt directs schools to resume on August 9

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The Zamfara Government has directed secondary schools in the state to reopen from August 9, to enable exiting students sit for Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE).


The State Commissioner of Education,  Dr Ibrahim Abdullahi disclosed this while speaking to newsmen in Gusau on Tuesday.

Abdullahi said the state is complying with the Federal Government directives for the reopening of schools for the exit classes at Junior and Senior level.

“Based on this, Governor Bello Matawalle has directed the Ministry of Education to immediately commence the process of reopening schools for exit classes as directed by the federal government.

“As you can see, we have just conclude deliberation at management level, we have taken all issues under consideration, we have analysed all the problems and opportunities, we have resolved that.

“All the boarding schools will be reopened on the 9th of August, while the day schools will be reopened on 10th of August.

“The decision is to allow both public and private schools to make proper arrangements and prepare for the examinations in line with the  COVID-19 protocols”, the commissioner said.

Abdullahi said that the state government would fumigate all its 193 schools and examination centers across the state.

“We enjoin parents and guardians to ensure prompt resumption of their wards to school and also take certain responsibilities of equipping their children with certain palliative as well as adhere to COVID-19 protocols.

“The state would provide hand sanitizers, washing detergents and thermometers among others at the examinations centers and schools.

“We are going to deploy health workers to all schools and examinations centers.”

The commissioner further said that the state government was also making plans to reopen schools for other clases very soon.

He said that the government was considering Aug. 24, for the resumption of JSS students, as well as SS 1 and SS 2, and primary schools.

Abdullahi directed all public and private schools to ensure adherence to COVID-19 protocols, and appealed to all stakeholders to join hands with government for the successful conduct of the examinations.

Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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