Education

BUK establishes multi-studio digital radio station-VC

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The Bayero University, Kano (BUK), with the support of MacArthur Foundation, has established a multi studio digital radio station as part of efforts to enhance the studies of mass communication in the university.

The vice chancellor of the university, prof. Mohammed Yahuza, disclosed this at a workshop on experience sharing in investigative journalism held at the permanent site of the university in Kano on Thursday.

The workshop was organised by the Faculty of Communication, Bayero university Kano, to exchange ideas among veteran journalists as well as to inspire students and journalists to engage in investigative journalism.

The Nigeria News Agency (NAN), reports that the Vice Chancellor of the university was represented by the VC (Academics), Prof. Adamu Idris-Sambo.

He said with the grant, the university had been able to set up a 150 computer laboratory, gave scholarship to about 100 undergraduates and postgraduate students as well as support a number of knowledge enhancement activities.

According to him, the grant has also helped the university to review and unbundle the national mass communication curriculum which will change the face and process of communication studies in the country.

“This will ensure that what the university offers align with global dynamics in ICTs as well as the changing realities in the country,” the vice chancellor said.

He said the workshop was one of the significant professional engagements designed to improve the quality of journalism training in the university.

He maintained that the university would continue to welcome professionals in order to add value to the quality of training in the university.

Earlier, the Dean, school of postgraduate studies, Prof. Umaru Pate,said the workshop was designed to exchange ideas and share experience on investigative journalism with veteran journalists and professional journalists.

“The event which is one of the series of capacity enhancement activities in the faculty was aimed at sharing experiences by professional journalists, scholars and students of journalism,” he said.

NAN reports that the event was attended by veteran journalists including the multiple award winning and undercover Ghanaian journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, and lecturers of mass communication from various universities in the country.(NAN)

MTM/AMM/AMY

Edited by Abiemwense Moru/Abdullahi Yusuf

Education

Lagos govt to upgrade Adeniran Ogunsanya College to university

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The Lagos State Government says there are plans to upgrade Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED) to a University of Education.

The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu said this on Monday, when the newly elected Zonal Coordinators of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Zone D, led by Comrade Kappo Olawale paid him a courtesy visit at the Lagos House, Ikeja.

Sanwo-Olu said his administration was committed to the reform of the education sector, as it has the ”lion share” in the year 2020 budget.

”We want to elevate Adesanya Ogunsanya College of Education to a University of Education. This is one of our plans as a government.

”We are training all primary school teachers and also recruiting new ones.

We will ensure that the quality in our classrooms are the same. And this is based on development of teachers first.

”Once we are able to push that, we will also improve the quality of teaching. We will see better outcome and that will give us better pupils.

”We will also duplicate this in secondary schools across Lagos. We want to continue to reduce truancy, cultism and all those unhealthy acts amongst pupils.

We will increase infrastructure in schools,” he said.

The governor said that his administration would build new facilities for state institutions and complete the ones that were yet to be completed.

He urged the student leaders to ensure that they uphold peace in their various institutions and be good representatives of their citadels of learning.

”We want to have positive impacts at all levels of education but we need you to understand and appreciate the efforts of the government.

”We need you to be able to speak to your fellow students to ensure that we continue to work in an environment where there is peace, harmony, understanding and collaboration,” Sanwo-Olu said.

The students were received by the governor and his deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat; Special Adviser on Education, Mr Tokunbo Wahab; Special Adviser on Tourism, Mr Solomon Bonu; and Special Adviser on Civic Engagement, Mrs Folashade Adebowale-Owoeye.

Edited by: Oluwole Sogunle
(NAN)

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Lagos flags off EkoExcel training programme

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Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LASUBEB) on Monday flagged off the EkoExcel programme with the aim of transforming teaching and learning in the state.

Mr Wahab Alawiye-King,  Chairman, LASUBEB said that the initiative by  government was aimed at bridging the gap in the delivery of quality education.

It involves training of primary school teachers on the use of modern-day technology to enhance teaching efficiency. 

EKO EXCEL’ (Excellence in Child Education and Learning) is also aimed at upscaling teachers’ development for global competitiveness.

“It will equip teachers with the needed resources to complement the traditional way of teaching and to keep pupils more engaged in classroom activities,”,  Alawiye-King said.

He reiterated that the training would  afford teachers the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the technology devices that would be deployed for teaching in public primary schools. 

The chairman, therefore, charged the teachers to pay rapt attention and seek necessary clarification in the course of the training, as they are the key parameters in the success of the programme. 

He appreciated the stakeholders and partners for their continuous support and investment in “Eko Excel”, stating that it “takes a whole village to raise a child”.

Alawiye-King promised that the Board will ensure that “no child is left behind” in accessing quality education in the State.

We must realise that our pupils are very expectant and excited about the deployment of technology in their classrooms and are also willing to explore new learning experiences.

At this level, the overall objective of making teaching and learning more effective for the 21st century will hopefully be realised,” he said.

The Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo, who flagged off the training, said  that the programme became imperative as outlined in the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda of the present administration in which the third pillar stands for Education and Technology.

According to her, the training programme would incorporate the integration of technology into education from the primary schools level.

“The aim of this training is to deliver on Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s commitment to ensuring that every child has access to quality education anywhere in the State”.

Adefisayo said the objective of ‘EKO EXCEL’ was to successfully develop skilled teachers and improve teachers’ quality while leveraging on technology.

Mrs Ajimotu Folusho-Kehinde,  Board Secretary LASUBEB told NAN that the day was significant as history had  been recorded in education in Lagos State.

She said  the training programme which would last for ten days was important to the development of the teachers through the use of technology.

Integrating technology with education will at the end,  aid teachers to step up into the digital world so that they can be at par with the larger world.

This administration has the interest of everybody at heart and once our teachers round up their training and receive the tablets to work,  it will serve as a new era for them,” Folusho-kehinde said.

The programme is expected to train and retrain over 14,000 government teachers across the state using technology-driven devices. 

Edited by: Chioma Ugboma/Oluwole Sogunle
(NAN)

 

 

 

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U.S.-based Nigerian gives scholarship to 14 Enugu indigent students

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U.S.-based Nigerian gives scholarship to 14 Enugu indigent students

Scholarship

Enugu, Dec.9, 2019 A US-based Nigerian philanthropist, Mrs Ada Emmanuel-Igbo, has announced a scholarship award to 14 indigent students in Oji-Government of Enugu state.

Emmanuel-Igbo tagged the award, ‘’Mission Educational Support/ Scholarship to Umuome Inyi in Oji-River LGA of Enugu state’’, saying that she wanted to use the gesture to give back to society.

She said that the essence was was to ensure that no undergraduate in Umuome Inyi dropped out of school due to their inability to pay school fees.

The philantropist, who was represented by her husband, Dr Emmanuel Igbo, thanked God for making the award a reality.

She said that the beneficiaries were in their final year in different tertiary institutions.

She said that those in the continuing education category would be given school fees to cover two sessions to ensure that they did not drop out of school.

Emmanuel-Igbo said that the award would be enough to cover their tuition fees within the period.

Mr Uche Ugwu, the Deputy Speaker of the state House of Assembly, who officially launched the award, underscored the importance of education to human life.

Ugwu said that the scholarship would go a long way in assisting the beneficiaries to pay their tuition fees and urged them to utilise the gesture judiciously.

He also commended Emmanuel-Igbo for her kind gesture and called on other wealthy sons and daughters of the state to emulate her.

Also, Mr Jeff Mba, representing Oji River onstituency in the House of Assembly, thanked Emmanuel-Igbo for her philantropy.

Mba said that Oji River was known for producing intellectuals, who were currently doing well in their chosen fields.

He said that the gesture was in line with the state government’s agenda of making education accessible and affordable to all indigenes and residents of the state.

A beneficiary, Miss Chinaza Ugochukwu, an undergraduate of the  Nigeria, , prayed God to bless the initiator for assisting their poor parents to pay their school fees.

Ugochukwu called on other wealthy individuals in the state to emulate the initiative so that the society would be a better place.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the beneficiaries were drawn from UNN, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu and other higher institutions in the state.

(Edited by: Victor Asije/Sam Oditah)
(NAN)

 

 

 

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NYSC Director urges corps members to be security conscious at all times

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Mr Hillary Nasamu, Director, Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), has advised corps members to be security conscious at all times.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Nasamu gave the advice during his visit to Batch C Stream corps members at the ongoing Orientation Camp in Iyana-Ipaja, Lagos State.

”The life’s of every corps members is our top priority, so we don’t joke with any one of them; we also have the federal might well behind us at safeguarding their lives.

”However we charge them to also be security conscious and not to go to places where relevant and quick information cannot be sent across,” Nasamu said.

According to him, corps members are of great importance to the Federal Government and do not take issues concerning them for granted.

”The fact is there are problems of insecurity everywhere and the menace of kidnapping is a problem faced by every one of us.

”We are working round the clock with the Nigeria Police, the Army and other security agencies to ensure corps members do not fall in situations that cannot be handled.

”We also train them on security tips and give them relevant information on what to do if situations go beyond their control,” Nasamu said.

The NYSC director said that a female corps member, Faith Onyiwara, who was kidnapped in Epe, Lagos State had been rescued in good health by the police and reunited with her family.

Nasamu said that the essence of the NYSC service year was to create a training ground for corps members to develop the skills to do business of their own.

Edited by: Wale Ojetimi
(NAN)

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ASUU in South East rejects IPPIS, says it will erode university autonomy

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in the South East has insisted that enrollment of its members into the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) will erode autonomy of universities.

 

The ASUU leaders, who spoke to the Nigeria News Agency , in separate interviews, said they were in total support of the position of the national leadership of the union.

 

Dr Egwu Ogugua, ASUU chairman of Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu Alike, Ikwo (AE-FUNAI), Ebonyi pointed out that members of the union were committed to the collective struggle.

 

“We have recorded 100 per cent compliance to ASUU National Executive Council (NEC) and the ASUU AE-FUNAI Congress resolution to reject the forceful migration to IPPIS.

 

“We are committed to the struggle and no member of the branch has shown up to be enrolled.

 

“The university is an autonomous entity and enrolling lecturers into the IPPIS will erode and violate this autonomy with attendant ugly effect on the standard of university education in Nigeria.

 

“It violates existing laws and autonomy of the universities and also IPPIS does not make provisions for payment of arrears of promotion, study leave allowance and responsibility allowance among others,” Ogugua said.

 

Dr Gilbert Ekuma, a university lecturer and human rights activist urged the Federal Government to toe the path of dialogue with ASUU to avert disruption of academic activities in the nation’s federal universities.

 

“We have had enough of strikes which continue to lower standard of university education and make products from our ivory towers look inferior before their foreign counterparts.

 

“Incessant strikes have led to brain drain as most of the nation’s best brains are leaving for European, America and even other African countries to look for greener pasture.

 

“The federal government has threatened to stop salaries of the university teachers for refusing to enroll into IPPIS while lecturers have responded by threatening a nationwide showdown with the government.

 

“Any nationwide strike by ASUU will further worsen situation in our universities and this will not be in the best interest of the nation and our students in particular,” Ekuma said.

 

The union said that in place of the IPPIS, it had offered to be given the opportunity to develop an alternative to IPPIS.

 

The Zonal Coordinator of ASUU in Owerri Zone, Comrade Uzo Onyebinama also maintained that IPPIS violated university autonomy and agreement and did not address the peculiarity inherent in the nature and structure of universities.

 

“Specifically, IPPIS violates and erodes university autonomy inherent in the extent provisions of section 2AA of the Universities Miscellaneous Provision (Amendment) Act 2003,” he said.

 

The ASUU zonal coordinator noted that academic activities (teaching, research and community service) in universities had specific milestones with timeliness.

 

“Universities are structured to be independent and free from civil service bureaucracy. As a result, university establishment is not only flexible and dynamic but also pragmatic with the primary objectives of rapid response to critical exigencies.

 

“IPPIS negates this. The union views the claim by the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) that ASUU’s position against IPPIS as an endorsement of corruption as cheap blackmail.

 

“ASUU cannot be blackmailed into shirking her sacred responsibility of defending the autonomy of the universities.

 

“ASUU’s zero tolerance for corruption (individual and institutional) is widely acclaimed. The union has offered to be given the opportunity to develop an alternative to IPPIS,” he said.

 

Onyebinama explained that the union had been clamouring for the constitution of statutory visitation panels to federal universities that was long overdue adding that visitation panels provided the platform for inquiry into the conduct of the affairs of universities.

 

He said that the failure of the Federal Government to inquire into the conduct of the affairs of universities through the instrument of visitation panels was the real endorsement of corruption.

 

On the 2009 Agreement, he said that the attempt at the renegotiation which ought to have been done in 2012 had failed due to what he called the high handedness of a team formed by government.

 

He alleged that the team acted out of a script deliberately designed to frustrate the renegotiation exercise.

 

“For 10 years, the salaries and allowance of staff members have remained constant, double digit inflation and the devaluation of the naira notwithstanding.

 

“We are, therefore, using this opportunity and the medium of the press to call on well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on the FG to rescind the forceful and compulsory enrollment of universities into IPPIS.

 

“It should also ensure that the renegotiation of the 2009 Agreement is concluded without further delay. A stitch in time clearly saves nine.

 

“Our universities surely need a break from incessant industrial crisis caused by government insensitivity,” he said.

 

Meanwhile, in Enugu State, Mrs Jacinta Ani, IPPIS Coordinator in the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), said over 400 academic staff had so far been captured in the ongoing enrollment for public universities in the country.

 

“The exercise is going on smoothly, our problem is managing of crowd as both non-academic and academic staff are struggling to be registered.

 

“From my record, no fewer than 400 academics staff have enrolled in IPPIS, since the exercise started,” she said.

 

Ani said that due to the crowd, the exercise had been extended till December 12.

 

“Initially the deadline for the enrollment is Dec 7 but it has been extended to 12 to enable the IPPIS team capture every staff,” she said.

 

Efforts to get comment from Dr Christian Opata, the Chairman of ASUU-UNN proved abortive as he was said to be on his way to Minna the capital of Niger State for ASUU National Executive Council meeting.

 

However, the immediate past Chairman of ASUU in UNN, Dr Ifeanyichukwu Abada, said he had not enrolled in IPPIS and would not unless ASUU National body approved it.

 

Adada described the number of lecturers said to have registered by UNN -IPPIS coordinator as `propaganda and unrealistic’.

 

“One or two lecturers who are not ASUU members may have enrolled but the coordinator is exaggerating to say that no fewer than 400 lecturers have enrolled,” he said.

 

A lecturer, who pleaded anonymity, told NAN that he decided to register because some of his friends told him that they have registered because they did not want the Federal Government to sack them.

 

“I have five children, two are in tertiary institutions so if I am sacked from UNN where will I get money to take care of my family as well as pay school fees of my children,” he said.

 

Mr Paul Aruah, Chairman UNN Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) said he had enrolled in IPPIS, describing IPPIS as one of the best things that had happened in Nigeria public universities in recent time.

 

“With IPPIS, the salary of staff in public universities will be harmonised, so that the salary of every grade level will be the same.

 

“This scheme makes it possible for all public university staff to receive their monthly salary the same date.

 

“Those that are afraid of IPPIS, to me, have skeleton in their cupboard, “he said.

 

Speaking, Mr Peter Eze, a former official, Non-academic Staff Unions (NASU) commended President Muhammadu Buhari for introducing IPPIS scheme which he said would fight corruption and ‘ghost worker’ syndrome in public universities.

 

“IPPIS will fight corruption and eradicate ghost workers in Nigeria public universities.

 

“I am happy the exercise has been extended to Dec 12 so that every staff will be captured in IPPIS,” he said.

 

When contacted, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration in UNN, Prof Pat Okpoko, said the exercise had been going smoothly and would also end smoothly in UNN.

 

“It is a Federal Government directive to all public universities and UNN has put adequate measures in place to ensure the exercise is successful,” he said.

 

In Abia, ASUU branch of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU) said that its members were not involved in the ongoing registration into the IPPIS.

 

Prof. Chinyere Echendu, the Chairperson of the Echendu, told NAN that the members would not enroll because they were not core civil servants.

 

She said,” We are not enrolling into IPPIS because we are not civil servants.

 

“Again, the IPPIS enrollment will erode the university autonomy.”

 

On ASUU members who were allegedly enrolling, she said,  “We heard that some people said that they belonged to the Congress of University Academics (CONUA), but they denied any involvement.

 

“So I can tell you that nobody among us has come up to say he or she participated or is participating in the exercise.”

 

Meanwhile, a reliable source, who is a member of staff of the university told NAN that many ASUU members, especially the younger ones, had already enrolled into the IPPIS.

 

The source queried why some ASUU members would claim that they were not part of the exercise, but would allow their wives who were equally staff of the university to participate in it.

 

“I can tell you reliably that over 70 per cent of ASUU members of this university have enrolled since the commencement of this exercise,” the source said.

 

Also, Mr Tochukwu Ekwomadu, the Secretary, Non Academic Staff Union of Universities and other related institutions (NASU), MOUAU chapter said that NASU was among the unions that supported the Federal Government for the initiative.

 

Ekwomadu, who disclosed that there were over 2,000 non academic staff of the university, said that over 50 per cent of the university staff had been captured so far.

 

He commended the five personnel from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation for the manner they were conducting the exercise on campus.

 

He however, expressed concern over the delay in the biometric capturing, which he attributed to bad network.

 

Meanwhile, the Anyim Pius Anyim Auditorium of the university, the venue of the registration was busy as many staff whose turn it was to register according to the university timetable, were seen either filling the IPPIS form or waiting to be captured.

 

A memo by the Registrar, Mrs Jacinta Ogwo, informing the staff about the exercise, dated Nov. 22, was posted on different notice boards in the school.

Reporters/MNA

Edited & Vetted By: Maureen Atuonwu
(NAN)

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Association appeals to Enugu govt. for regular payment of pension, gratuity of teachers

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  Association of Primary School Head Teachers of Nigeria (AOPSHON) Enugu State Wing, has urged the state government to prompt and regular payment of pension and gratuity to retired teachers.

The association’s Chairman, Mr Chilotanwa Okoli, made the call while speaking with the Nigeria News Agency in Enugu on Sunday.

Okoli said the lack of regular payment of pension and gratuity was affecting the welfare of retired teachers in the state.

“We implore the government of Enugu state to look into the teeming population of our retirees in the primary school sector as the payment of the pensions that they survive on is sporadic and irregular.

“Gratuity is a dream or mirage and it was last paid in 2005.

“In fact, Local Government Pension Board needs state-of-emergency, total over-hauling or deliverance and this ugly situation makes our retirees to be on the highway to the grave,’’ he said.

Okoli also urged the government to restore the running cost of Head Teachers, which was  N25,000, adding that it was last paid in 2017.

According to him, since 2017, Head Teachers have been using their paltry salaries to run schools.

“We hope this anomaly will soon be normalised,”  he said.

Edited & Vetted By: Chioma Ugboma/ Tukur Muntari.
(NAN)

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FGGC Yola old girls pass vote of confidence on Saromi

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Class of 89 of the Federal Government Girls College (FGGC) Yola, have passed a vote of confidence on Mrs Ngozi Saromi, and her team to continue to stir the affairs of the old girls for another two years.

The Nigeria News Agency , reports that the class exercised this franchise at the end of its 30th Anniversary celebrations and Reunion with the theme: “Greater Together’’, in Abuja.

Saromi voluntarily accepted to take on the mantle of leadership after much pressure from her classmates, who said she had performed creditably well, to continue without elections.

“I am humbled by the confidence my classmates, the Class of 89, have in me that they want me to continue as their president. I know is a daunting task, but I must say it is worth doing.

“It is not easy presiding over your mates that all come from different backgrounds, tribes, religion and culture; it is a lot to contend with.

“It is indeed humbling to be a leader because in the course of leading this class, I learnt a lot of things and so now I am determined not to take anything for granted.

“I have learned how to be patient; I have learned diplomacy and negotiations. These are skills I have acquired in the last two years and so will apply them in carrying out this assignment for the second time,’’ she said.

Saromi, however, promised to be true to herself and continue doing what brought her to the position; and that is bringing together and uniting her classmates to achieve greater things together.

“I will identify some of us who are a bit more influential than others, and see how we can harness the resources that we have, to pull up those who are at a disadvantage.

“Sometime, we have people among us who have a complex because they do not fit into a particular class in the society. So, going forward, I will make sure that we bridge that gap and go back to the days when we were in Yola; those days that we love for the sake of loving.

The FGGC Yola Class of 89 president, projected how the association will look like in the next five years.

“In the next five years, I want to see the widows more empowered and contributing too to those who have challenges.

“I want to see a stronger and more united class of 1989 set, and also to see our love blossom as we continue to aim to be greater together,” she added.

Speaking with NAN, a visibly excited National President of FGGC Yola Old Girls Association, Ms Aisha Mohammed-Hassan, who is also a member of Class of 89, could not contain her happiness over the reunion and the anniversary celebrations.

Mohammed-Hassan said it was “a mixed feeling having to celebrate 30 years after secondary school and meeting many of your classmates for the first time after such a long period’’.

She said such feeling could not be easily expressed seeing that many that they started with had either died or could not be accounted for.

She, however, promised to ensure that those that were left continued to forge a bond and shared love in spite of life’s many challenges; as well as ensure that she united not just her set, but the association as a whole.

“Once there is a so much love, there will be no problem in a society or organisation; and I have so much love to share.

“The support I have always enjoyed, and the love I have for my sisters that made me to emerge as president general of this association, is the same love I will give and even more,’’ Mohammed-Hassan added.

NAN reports that part of activities to mark the event was the presentation of love gifts (cash support) to sisters with challenges; and lighting of candles at a deceased sisters’ stand in honour of their memories.

Edited & Vetted By: Nyisom Fiyigon Dore
(NAN)

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Katsina state govt. pays N208m WAEC fees for 21,589 candidates–Commissioner

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Katsina state govt. pays N208m WAEC fees for 21,589 candidates–Commissioner

The Katsina State Government has spent over N208 million on the payment of WAEC examination fees for 21,589 candidates in 2019.

The Commissioner of Education, Prof. Badamasi Lawal, made the disclosure on Sunday in Katsina during a press briefing.

He said that 7,276 out of 21,589 candidates who sat for the examination, scored five credits and above including Mathematics and English Language, which represents 50 per cent.

According to him, 14,481 candidates also scored five credits and above in other subjects, representing 66 per cent.

Lawal attributed the successes to the commitments of the administration in enhancing infrastructure development in schools, teachers recruitment and training as well as provision of instructional materials, among others.

He commended the 12 Zonal Quality Assurance Offices in the state for the job well-done in the area of monitoring, inspection and evaluation that assisted in recording the successes.

The commissioner further revealed that the performance of state candidates has been improving since inception of the present administration in 2015.

Lawal further said that from 2015 to 2018, no fewer than 245,126 candidates sat for WAEC, NECO, NABTEB and NBAIS pointing out that 158,908 candidates obtained five credits and above in other subjects.

Lawal added that a total of 96,334 candidates scored five credits including Mathematics and English Language during the period under review.

“For easy comparism, it is important to note that, we took over from a government in 2015.

“Between 2011 to 2015, a total of 417,756 candidates sat for all the four examinations.

“During the period under review, 79,044 candidates got five credits and above in any subjects.

”So, we can say that the present administration has improved performance of students in examinations conducted.

”Gov Masari did not only scored the N1 million votes, but also trying to reposition and restore the lost glory in education in the state,” he said.

He said that the state government had earmarked over N20 billion for education sector in the 2020 budget adding that does not include payment of salaries of SUBEB teachers.

He said that the ministry has designed a One Inspector, One School Approach system so that every school would be monitored effectively.

The commissioner urged parents to reciprocate the gesture by continuously sending their children to school and supporting the government policies.

Edited & Vetted By: Tukur Muntari.
(NAN)

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Education remains potent weapon to reduce unemployment -Buhari

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Education remains potent weapon to reduce unemployment -Buhari

President Mohammadu Buhari on Saturday said education remained the most potent weapon to reduce unemployment as well as social vices in the country.

Buhari, who stated this in Jos at the 31 & 32 combined convocation of the University of Jos, also said that education remained the key to addressing the nation’s challenges.

Represented by Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund),  th President said that Nigerians looked up to the academic community to use research and make their contributions to the nation’s drive for veritable knowledge of the economy which he said, is the trend in the 21st century.

“As a government, we are committed to giving education its pride of place.

“As it stands, education remains a potent weapon in our hands that can be used to change the narrative of unemployment, corruption and other forms of vices in our nation.

“Therefore, we place high premium on education by creating a wider access to higher education opportunities through improved funding and a more conducive atmosphere for teaching and learning.

“It is for this reason that we are expanding the funding sources for infrastructure in our tertiary institutions.

“Precisely, that is why the Federal Ministry of Works recently moved into university campuses to construct roads,” Buhari said.

The visitor added that some government agencies such as the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), had been providing key facilities as well as professorial chairs in the universities.

The President said that universities offered the best pathways toward breaking out of the shackles of ignorance, poverty, deprivation and despair.

He congratulated the graduands for their character and learning that qualified them to be awarded the degrees.

He urged them to use the knowledge they gained  for the good of themselves, their communities and the nation.

Buhari lauded the university’s management for the massive turnaround of the institution’s fortunes.

Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau in a goodwill message, said that the state was proud to host the great citadel of learning.

Lalong said that the university had produced numerous graduates that were making significant contributions to the development of the nation and the world.

“This is evidenced by the fact that many of those who have run or are currently overseeing the affairs of Plateau and by extension Nigeria, have either passed through the University of Jos or have been touched by the products of this institution.

“We are also proud of the fact that the university stands tall in the area of ground breaking research that has produced solutions to many of the problems of the immediate community and the nation.

 “One example we are really grateful for is the Anti-Snake Venom Vaccine recently developed by the African Centre of Excellence in Phyto-medicine Research Development of the University of Jos.

“The vaccine will assist us in curbing deaths resulting from snake bites,” he said.

The governor said that the state started its own University at Bokkos, and was making good use of products of the University of Jos.

According to him, the Plateau State University, Bokkos, is steadily making progress and introducing more courses because of the support and collaboration from the University of Jos.

“As a government, we place high priority on education particularly technical and entrepreneurial education which help in skills development.

“That is why we are establishing new technical schools and revamping old ones because we need to inculcate the training that is productive and not just based on certificates.

“Our legacy projects are also centred on making public schools not only available,
but also learner-friendly.

“This is to maintain our steady rise in national performance in JAMB, WAEC, NECO and other examinations,” Lalong said.

He assured that Plateau Government would continue to support the University of Jos to ensure that it delivered on its mandate of spearheading teaching and research that addressed national challenges.

Edited & Vetted By: Saidu Adamu and Abdullahi Yusuf
(NAN)

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