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Commonwealth Day: Education minister calls for promotion of peace among members

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Commonwealth Day: Education minister calls for promotion of peace among members

Peace

The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, made the call in Abuja at this year’s commemoration of the day.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the theme of the celebration which is “Connected Commonwealth” aimed at promoting the ideal of members.

Adamu noted that Nigeria had been at the forefront of efforts to empower women, youths and marginalised communities through various policies and programmes.

He said the programmes were to encourage inclusive education and stimulate participation in economic activities.

“This year’s celebration therefore affords us the opportunity of exploring the theme in its multiple dimensions and to bring it home to our collective responsibility to build a united and prosperous country that will be the pride of the black race and all people across the globe.

“As we join others to celebrate the commonwealth day, let us connect to the underlying aspirations of the commonwealth which is to promote peace, democracy and development,” he said.

Also, Mrs Harriet Thompson, the British Deputy Commissioner to Nigeria, who read the Queen’s message said the Commonwealth had drawn support from cooperation and support it received from other nations.

“The vision and sense of connection that inspired the signatories has stood the test of time, and the Commonwealth continues to grow, adapting to address contemporary needs.

“Today, many millions of people around the world are drawn together because of the collective values shared by the Commonwealth.

“In April last year, I welcomed the leaders of our 53 nations to Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

“And we all witnessed how the Commonwealth vision offers hope, and inspires us to find ways of protecting our planet, and our people.

“We are able to look to the future with greater confidence and optimism as a result of the links that we share.

“With enduring commitment through times of great change, successive generations have demonstrated that whilst the goodwill for which the Commonwealth is renowned may be intangible, its impact is very real.

“We experience this as people of all backgrounds continue to find new ways of expressing through action the value of belonging in a connected Commonwealth.

“I hope and trust that many more will commit to doing so this Commonwealth Day.”

Also, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said the ministry was committed to promoting the ideals and values of the Commonwealth.

Onyeama, who was represented by Mr Olumide Oluyide, Director, European Affairs in the Ministry, said Nigeria had played critical roles in ensuring promotion of commonwealth ideals in line with contemporary realities.

NNN reports that the day is celebrated annually on the second Monday in March.

The Commonwealth, a voluntary association of independent sovereign states, mostly countries under the defunct British Empire, has 53 members with about 2.4 billion people.

This year’s celebration marks the 70th anniversary of the formation of the Commonwealth.

The highlight of the event was the launch of Queens Commonwealth Competition.

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Education

Yabatech’s products remain worthy ambassadors – ICAN

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President, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Chief Nnamdi Okwuadigbo, on Monday, congratulated Yaba College of Technology on its 33rd convocation, saying that its products had remained worthy ambassadors.

Okwuadigbo said that the leadership of the institute had done greatly in sustaining the institution’s legacy as the first higher college in the country.

According to him, the history of education and human capital development in the country will be grossly deficient without reference to Yabatech.

”Undeniably, this college has produced men and women of note, who are contributing to economic and social growth processes in the country.

”The products of this college have remained worthy ambassadors beyond the shores of the country,” Okwuadigbo said.

He added that his emergence as the 55th President of ICAN would not have been possible but for the foresight of one of the products of the old Yaba Higher College, Pa Akintola Williams.

”He is the doyen of Accounting in Nigeria; he co-founded ICAN with other visionary leaders.

”It is, therefore, a great delight for me to be part of this occasion, as I have benefitted, albeit indirectly, from Yabatech’s 72 years of making leaders.

According to the ICAN president, the theme of the convocation lecture, ‘Ethical Values, Good Governance and Nation Building’, speaks directly about the yearnings of Nigerians and other stakeholders in the economy.

”Even though the subject is global, the peculiarities of our political, social and economic structures make it particularly germane to us as a nation.

”Legitimate questions have been asked on why the challenges of the country remain intractable.

‘The theme of the convocation lecture is not just well-timed, but the organisers could not have chosen a better lecturer.

He enumerated the economic and infrastructural problems currently facing the country and questioned the leaders’ ethical disposition to governance as well as the roles of the followers in the entire situation.

Edited by Jane-Frances Oraka and ‘Wale Sadeeq

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Education

LAUTECH lecturers boycott lectures, other academic activities

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Lecturers of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), on Monday, carried out their threat by declaring total boycott of lectures and other academic activities.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the decision was reached at the congress of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), LAUTECH chapter, held at the campus of the institution.

This was contained in a statement issued by the institution’s ASUU Chairman, Dr Biodun Olaniran, and made available to newsmen in Ibadan.

Olaniran said that the decision to boycott academic activities was reached after reviewing the situation regarding the non-payment of three months salaries to the lecturers.

He said that ASUU had earlier issued an ultimatum to the university management to pay the lecturers their outstanding salaries or face industrial action.

According to the ASUU chairman, apart from boycott of lectures, results of rain semester will be withheld, while the project defence by final year students will be put on hold.

Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq

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We’ll improve education for knowledge-based society – Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his administration will continue to improve on education to fast track the country’s transition to a knowledge-based society.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Buhari stated this in Ibadan on Monday at the Foundation Day and Convocation ceremonies of the University of Ibadan.

The president, who is the Visitor to the university, was represented at the event by Prof Abubakar Rasheed, the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC).

“One of the cardinal objectives of education in any country is nation building, especially in the 21st century where knowledge is the key determinant of growth and development of nations,” the president said.

He enjoined the graduands to explore the enormous knowledge gained from the university to ensure the country’s socio-economic development.

“It is our hope that these graduating students will turn out to be worthy ambassadors of this university wherever they find themselves.

“The various speeches delivered today have highlighted the challenges and limitations of the universities and the nation at large.

“Since the inception of my administration, we have made appreciable contributions to education, and we will not relent in improving education to fast track Nigeria’s transition to a knowledge-based society,” he said.

The president, however, urged labour unions in the universities to be sensitive to the effects of industrial actions on the education sector.

While noting government was disturbed by the incessant industrial actions, Buhari sought for the understanding of the unions.

“Government is fully aware of the challenges in the university and will continue to do its best to address them,” he said.

In his address, Alh. Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto and Chancellor of the institution, said emphasis on producing quality graduates must not be limited to learning and entrepreneurship alone.

“The character of our graduates is also of paramount importance. As you are aware, the degrees of this university are awarded based on students having been adjudged to be worthy in character and learning.

“In this wise therefore, I appeal to our students to be circumspect in their conduct; resist every manner of indiscipline, irresponsibility, uncooperative and rude attitudes under the guise of students’ unionism,” he said.

Abubakar further said that the disruption of academic calendar, sometimes beyond reasonable redemption, had become the bane of Nigeria’s academic community.

According to him, it is a situation that has put students and the country’s institutions at a great disadvantage globally.

Also, the Pro-Chancellor of the institution, Nde Joshua, in his address, said that the university needed assistance in the area of funding of capital projects.

He appealed to government and well-meaning Nigerians to come to the aid of the university in the areas of manpower development, ICT overhauling, uplift of infrastructure, equipment procurement and other materials.

NAN reports that the event featured award of honorary doctorate degrees and fellowship to distinguished Nigerians for their service to humanity.

They included a legal luminary, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), who was awarded D. Litt. (Honouris causa) and Emeritus Prof. Ayodele Falase, Fellow of the University of Ibadan (FUI).

Others included Prof. Emmanuel Edozien, Alex Ezeh and Prof Folagbade Aboaba, who were all awarded D. Sc. (Honouris causa).

Speaking on behalf of other awardees, Babalola said that though he had received more than 10 honorary degrees from many universities in Nigeria and abroad, that of the nation’s premier university was special to him.

Babalola, who is the Founder and Chancellor of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Eķiti, used the opportunity to address the issue of university autonomy, saying it was key to quality and functional education.

“To attain world-class standard, public universities must be autonomous and free from encumbrances imposed by government.

“Top universities must be free to charge fees, which will vary according to the nature and requirements of each programme offered.

“They must be free to set standard and admission criteria. They must be free to appoint qualified and appropriate council members, pro-chancellors and vice-chancellors.

“What the government should do is to give subvention to universities as it is done in civilised countries,” he said.

NAN reports that the event was attended dignitaries from all walks of life including the Oyo State Governor, Mr Seyi Makinde and Pastor Enoch Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God.

Others were the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi and the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, among others.

Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq

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Niger Govt spends N600.5m to register students for WAEC, NECO examinations

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The Niger Government has spent over N600 million to register students in public secondary schools for the 2018/2019 School Certificate Examinations.

Malam Garba Abdullahi, Director, Test, Measurement and Evaluation, Niger State Ministry of Education, made this known in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Minna on Monday.

Abdullahi said that the passion of the present administration to promote quality education and encourage those who had dropped out of school to return was the motivation for government to do this.

“People see it as the sole responsibility of the parents but what of when the parents do not have the money to pay for the registration.

“Some of the students dropped out because they did not have money to pay.

Niger Government magnanimously recalled all the dropouts back to school. I can tell you the number of dropouts has reduced drastically.

“Our students that took school certificate examination this year performed excellently well across board. Over 50 per cent of our candidates performed excellently well.

“This is so because they had no stress or pressure of farm work in order to raise money for the examination. We also sensitised their parents to give their children and wards time to study,’’ he said.

Abdullahi further explained that it was the desire of the state to rid the state of drug abuse by youths, truancy, early marriage, banditry, amongst others.

“We can only succeed if we are able to tame our youths via education.

“We do not want them to go into early marriage, prostitution, banditry and other vices on the excuse that they did not have money to register,’’ he said.

Abdullahi also said that it was frustrating for a student to go through Junior Secondary School and drop out from Senior Secondary School because of registration fee.

“This examination encourages them and gives them a lot of opportunity and we are not going to stop the assistance.

“The former state government did it and we are continuing because it had paid off so much in reducing crimes in the state.

Edited by Bayo Sekoni/Adeleye Ajayi

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Kwara governor renovates NYSC hostels

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Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara has renovated the decrepit hostels of the state’s National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) camp, barely five months after he described the facilities as not fit for human habitation.

This was contained in a statement issued on Sunday in Ilorin by the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the Governor, Mr Rafiu Ajakaye.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the renovation came barely five months after the state government had supplied some items to the camp to make it more conducive more corps members.

The items included 400 mattresses, 200 double-bunk beds, 100 long benches and consumables.

AbdulRazaq had, on June 20, paid an unscheduled visit to the Yikpata, Edu Local Government area camp of the NYSC, where he lamented the state of the facilities which, he said, typified the deplorable state of things across the state.

He, however, pledged to fix the facilities, especially the hostels, which he described as an eyesore.

“We are really grateful to Mr Governor for keeping his words. I’m happy to inform you that the government has renovated the three main hostels, including the two-in-one Mayflower hostel.

“I don’t think there is any NYSC camp in the country that has the kind of facilities we now have,” the state NYSC Coordinator, Esther Ikupolati was quoted to have said in the state.

Ikupolati said that the camp management had decided to rename the Mayflower hostel as ‘Harmony Hostel’ in recognition of the governor’s efforts.

AbdulRazaq had openly apologised to the corps members for the condition of the facilities, saying that the visit was a challenge to him to do things differently.

“I apologise for the state of your accommodation. After seeing them, it is like a penitentiary. It is not fit for human living.

“The people in charge before should have done better. , I have thrown a challenge at myself and my administration to make things better.” the governor said.

Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq

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International Students’ Day: Gov. Akeredolu urges students to shun social vices

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Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has urged students in the country to shun all social vices, including internet fraud.

Akeredolu made the appeal in Akure on Sunday during the 2019 celebration of International Students Day tagged: “The Global Compact Under Scrutiny: Implication for Academic Mobility and International Exchange”.

The governor, represented by Special Adviser on Education, Science and Technology, Mrs Juliet Ilawole, said he was delighted to join other world leaders to celebrate students.

Akeredolu noted that the fundamentals, philosophy and objectives of student unionism had been compromised with hooliganism and moral decadence.

“In an attempt to drive our education sector and place it on the path of sustainable development, you will recall that an Ondo State Education Summit was held in 2017.

“In furtherance of our vision and policy objectives on educational development in the state.

“This has given impetus to the realisation of our administration’s educational goals.

“I want to reiterate the commitment of our administration to your education and to reassure you of an appropriate place in the socio-economic trajectory of our state,’’ he said.

According to him, efforts are being intensified to encourage the learning and teaching of science subjects and courses right from the elementary to tertiary institutions in our state.

“To this end, science equipment were recently supplied to schools in the state.

“The ongoing upgrading of infrastructure facilities in the state-owned tertiary institutions is, therefore, a testimony of our administration’s determination to give a holistic overhaul of our education system,” Akeredolu said.

Also speaking, the Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Mr Dotun Owanikin, lauded the giant strides achieved in the educational sector of the state.

Owanikin commended the impact of the government by using sports to curb as many menaces as possible by taking youths off the streets via sports.

The Special Assistant to the Governor on Youth and Student Affairs, Mr Banjo Adewumi, said government would continue to cooperate with students to continue to bring sanity to university environment.

Adewumi said that since the governor came on board, bursary had been regular for all students of the state origin.

Edited by Adeleye Ajayi

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