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Don urges FG to make funding of education a priority for four years

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A Professor of French Language and Applied Linguistics, Oluremi Sonaiya, has advised the Federal Government to adequately invest in education and make it a priority for four years.

Sonaiya, a retired lecturer from the Department of Foreign Languages, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, gave the advice in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Lagos.

She was reacting to statements made by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration would in the next four years focus on physical structures and human capital development.

Osinbajo had also said that more attention would be on the education sector, with specific focus on the education of the girl child.

“This is coming four years late because it should have been their priority right from the beginning; government has to adequately fund education, if they sufficiently fund education, every child will be in school and the society will be much better.

“Let us be sincere, Nigeria is not spending enough on education; instead we are giving money to all kinds of projects.

“There is this report that the federal government offered N100 billion to the Miyetti Allah Association of Nigeria, over two years, to stop kidnappings in the country.

“We do not have limitless money to spend, so if you give a N100 billion to Miyetti Allah, how much will you have left to give to the other important projects that we have?’’ the professor queried.

She urged government to match their words with concrete action, stressing that education had to be funded properly.

Sonaiya expressed regret on how photographs of dilapidated public schools were being splashed in the social media space on a daily basis, citing that it only suggests how less important education was to the government.

She hoped that the government’s utterances would be a realisable vision and not mere wishes, urging that concerted efforts should be evolved to ensure that they are accomplished.

Education

Banker decries suicide rates by students, admission seekers

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An Executive Banker, Mr Adebayo Adeyinka, has decried the rate at which Nigerian youths were committing suicide due to failure in their academic pursuit.

Adeyinka, the Regional Bank Head, South-West 1, Fidelity Bank Plc, made the assertion at the 2019 National Pre-University Conference in Badagry, organised by CityMood Communications.

“Many Nigerian youths are committing suicide because of academic failure, not knowing that failure is part of life.

“Suicide is not the next thing in life, if you fail the first time, prepare and do it again.

“Nothing can stop you, not even lack of resource can stop you from achieving your dreams, it is only you that can stop you in life,” Adeyinka said.

He urged those students who did not get admission to institutions of their choices after several attempts to work hard and prepare to do it again, saying that nothing good comes easily.

Adeyinka urged students and admission seekers to be free to dream and be focussed.

“A dream is not what you see in your dream, but a dream is that which keeps you awake in the night.

“Have a clear cut goal and ask yourself if I gain admission today to the university, what do I intend to achieve at the end.

“Resist any attempt by anyone to put you in the secret cult. Please never join any cult in school,” he pleaded.

Adeyinka, however, advised them to make good friends and build good network when they gain admission into the university.

Also, Ms Chizobam Ofoegbu, a Confidence Coach, urged the students to be careful about the type of groups they mix up with in higher institution.

Ofoegbu said that peer pressure was the number one killer of youth nowadays.

According to her, peer pressure is when you are easily motivated to sabotage your life and life of others.

Ofoegbu urged students to know the type of friends to keep while in school, adding that bad friendship would destroy their lives.

She also advised them to always associate themselves with people of same character and value.

Commenting, Mr Folaranmi Oyediran, an Author and Youth Leadership expert, urged students seeking admission to know the purpose of their going to the university.

“Knowing the purpose of going to university is to study and become purposeful in life and you must give it everything to succeed.

“University is not a place where you go and play, but to study squarely.

“You will succeed in university without comparing yourself with others.

“You must manage your life within the time allocated to you,” he advised.

Also, Opeyemi Oke, the Executive Director, Equip Africa, advised students that have talents to utilise it.

Oke appealed to parents to allow their children to explore their talents, urging the students to search for their talents and develop them.

Earlier, Mr Sewhupe Akande, Chief Executive, Citymood Communications, said the aims of the event was to enlighten graduating senior secondary school students and young school leavers about higher education pursuit.

“Developments in our Ivory Towers have necessitated a national re-orientation of our admission seekers with the hope of shaping and sharpening their perspective about university education and positioning them for a quick start at excelling on campus.

“With the pedigree of speakers at this conference, participants are guaranteed of receiving knowledge that will impact their lives and nation for good,” he said.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that many students in senior secondary schools and young school leavers within and outside Badagry attended the conference.

Edited by Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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Raise teachers’ salary to improve enrolment in Colleges of Education — Committee of Provosts

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The Committee of Provosts (COP) of Colleges of Education in Nigeria on Wednesday urged the Federal Government to raise teacher’s salary towards improving enrolment of students in the colleges.

Prof. Johnson Pongori, National Chairman of COP, said this in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency during the opening of the COP 85th Regular Meeting at Federal College of Education (Technical ) (FCE) (T), Akoka, Lagos.

Pongori, also Provost, Adamawa State College of Education, Hong, said the teaching profession could only be attractive for Nigerian youths if teachers’ salary was increased.

“The Nigerian youths of today are only interested in management courses that enable them to make quick and huge money.

“That is why a lot of them are not interested in teaching and this is affecting enrolment in the colleges of education,” he said.

According to him, teachers in developed countries such as Finland receive similar salary as other professionals in the fields of medicines, engineering and the likes, thus making teaching attractive and competitive.

Pongori said that colleges of education were specialised institutions established to provide qualitative training for teachers who would teach students from creche to tertiary level.

He noted that the teachers were trained to build individuals from cradle into a matured and enlightened citizen, as education was fundamental to the growth of any nation.

The COP Chairman said that any serious government should not ignore the teaching profession because teachers produced professionals in other sectors of the economy.

“It is unfortunate that most people at the helm in our government today are those that benefited more from education through scholarship but are not giving back to the sector.

“Education is not what we should joke with because it affects all facets of the economy,” he said.

According to him, an educated and informed population will be projective, focused and disciplined in their engagements.

Pongori however urged the private sector to partner with the government to improve quality of education in the country by providing infrastructure and support in the training of teachers.

The COP Chairman disclosed that the meeting was being held in Lagos to commiserate with the family of the late Immediate Past Provost of FCE(T), Akoka, Dr Sijibomi Olusanya, who died on July 27.

“This is in line with our tradition and to also extend our condolences to his wife, children and family and that is why the meeting was scheduled to hold at FCE(T), Akoka.

“We also give credit to the late Provost and colleagues for piloting the affairs of the college for eight years and moving it to an enviable status,” he said.

In his welcome address, Dr Wahab Azeez, Provost, FCE(T), Akoka thanked the executives and members of the committee for giving the college the right to host the meeting.

Azeez said the college would surely benefit from the wealth of experience of the provosts and would implement decisions reached at the end of the meeting.

NAN reports that the COP 85th Regular meeting ends on Thursday.

Edited by Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Uniben publishes book in honour of outgoing VC, Orumwense

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Prof. Faraday Orumwense, the outgoing Vice Chancellor(VC) of the University of Benin (Uniben) was beside himself with joy on Wednesday as guests at the launch of a book his honour poured endless encomiums on Him.

Orumwense’s five-year tenure at the university, which ends on Nov. 28, was described as very fruitful and rewarding for both staff and students.

The book titled, “Faraday Osasere Orumwense: Footprints of a Vice Chancellor,” was edited by Jacob Ehiorobo.

In his remarks, at the Book Presentation/Launch at the University’s main auditorium, Mr Michael Osasuyi, the institution’s Public Relations Officer, said the book comprised articles by the erudite professors chronicling the milestones of Orumwense’s administration.

Osasuyi said the book contained materials on developmental strides of the University, academic growth, weath creation and how these could further be improved upon by subsequent administrations.

According to him, the book openly presents performance, development and management charts of Orumwense in the areas of infrastructure, health, employment, staff and students’ welfare among others.

Orumwense said he was humbled that the book and its launch had been put together in his honour.

He thanked the committee and the 26 professors for an excellent job, which succinctly captured his achievements and challenges in the book.

Prof Lilian Salami, the incoming VC, in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency commended Orumwense for his administrative diligence while in service.

Salami, who is currently Director General/Chief Executive of the National Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA, Ondo, will assume office as the second female VC of Uniben, after Prof. Grace Alele-Williams, on Dec. 4.

According to her, Prof Orumwense has done well for Uniben. “I hope that I will give to Uniben all that I have learnt through my experiences of work in Uniben and different ministries.

“With God on my side, I hope that we can truly move University of Benin to the height and choice of everyone.

“I wish Prof Orumwense well in his life endeavors,” she said.

Salami, professor of Home Economics/Nutritional Education, who hails from Edo was born in Jos, Plateau on Aug. 8, 1956.

Edited by Kevin Okunzuwa/Salif Atojoko (NAN)

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Chikun education authority promises improve welfare for teachers

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The Chikun Local Government Education Authority (LGEA) on Wednesday promised to improve the welfare packages of primary school teachers as part of efforts to improve the delivery of quality basic education in the council.

The Education Secretary in the area, Dr Ibrahim Danmaraya, made the promise in Kaduna, at the opening of a one-day health talk and general medical diagnosis organised by the LGEA.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the health talk was organised for teachers, administrative staff, cooks, Parent Teachers Associations and School-Based Management Committees in the council.

Danmaraya described welfare of teachers as “a key element in the delivery of quality education”, adding that improved welfare would motivate the teachers to give in their best.

According to him, the health talk is one among several welfare packages being rolled out for teaching and non teaching staffs in the local government area.

“This is to ensure that teaching and non teaching staffs are academically sound, healthy, physicality and mentally fit to carry out their academic and administrative duties.

“Also, the education authority, with the support of the Local Government Chairperson and the Kaduna State Government has been doing the best it can to meet the needs of teachers and learners for improved learning outcomes.

“We have recently supplied 1,000 chairs for pupils, provided scholarship to female teachers and the girl child, organised training and retraining programmes to build the capacity of teachers.

“We are equally engaging community members for school improvement among others, while many schools have been renovated, rehabilitated and equipped with instructional materials.”

Also speaking, the LGA Chairperson, Hajiya Hadiza Yahuza, said that the council would continue to support the education authority in meeting the welfare needs of teachers and infrastructure needs of schools.

Yahuza noted that outstanding salaries of teachers were being paid and assured all teachers of government’s commitment to their welfare, stressing that education was among priority areas of the current government.

On his part, Malam Aminu Ibrahim, Director Social Mobilisation in the State Universal Basic Education Board, commended the education authorities for organising the health talk.

Ibrahim, who described the initiative as “the first of its kind” in the LGEA, urged the participants to reciprocate the gesture by being diligent in the discharge of their duties.

Sunday Garba, State Treasurer, Nigerian Union of Teachers, who spoke on behalf of the teachers, thanked the LGEA education secretary for the efforts in meeting the needs of teachers.

“We are particularly thankful for the effort in settling all our outstanding salaries and pray that subsequently, teachers’ salaries would paid as and when due,” Garba said.

Dr Laah Shehu of World Health Alternative Medical Solutions, Barnawa, Kaduna, noted that many people regularly take care of their cars and houses, but rarely take care of their health.

According to him, maintaining a healthy life style will guarantee a long and productive life.

He stressed the importance of regular exercise, good eating habit and regular medical check up to ensure a healthy and productive life.

Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz

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Continuous training of teachers is our top priority — LASUBEB Chairman

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Mr Wahab Alawiye-King, Chairman, Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board, has said that continuous training of teachers and investment in school infrastructure would optimally yield expected results.

Alawiye-King said in a statement on Tuesday that since the state government wanted teachers that were academically and professionally qualified, there was the need for the government to continuously train its workforce.

“We can have the best of infrastructure, if we don’t have the right sets of teachers, I don’t think the learning outcome we are going to get is going to be very encouraging.

“The world is changing, evolving on a daily basis and in order for us to survive in a competitive world, we need extra-ordinary skills.

“We need additional skills and that is why it is necessary for us to provide these skills for teachers,” the LASUBEB chairman said.

He said that the just concluded capacity building workshop for Early Child Care Development Education in Lagos was to enable the teachers be at par with their contemporaries globally.

‘Through the acquisition of necessary skill that is required of them to be competitive anywhere in the world,” he said.

He assured that LASUBEB remained committed to its promise of providing a better educational standard to the people of the state especially through its mantra of ‘leave no child behind’.

Edited by Wale Ojetimi

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Sex-for-marks: UNN VC warns against sexual harassment on campus

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Prof. Charles Igwe, the Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), has warned lecturers of the university to avoid  sexual harassment of their students or be prepared to face serious sanctions.

Igwe gave the warning on Tuesday at a symposium entitled, “Sexual harassment in tertiary institutions: Time for action is now”, organised by UNN Gender and Development Centre in collaboration with Women’s Aid Collective (WACOL).

He said his administration had zero tolerance for sexual harassment and would not hesitate to sanction any lecturer found guilty after thorough investigations.

“Under my watch in UNN as VC, the institution will maintain and respect the motto of the university, which is to ‘Restore the Dignity of Man’”.

The VC commended the organisers of the programme, saying that it came at a period sex-for -marks in tertiary institutions had become a national dicourse.

Igwe, who was represented by Prof. Pat Okpoko, the Deputy VC (Administration), also advised female students to avoid indecent dressing, with the intention to lure lecturers with low moral standard.

He said: “UNN has beamed its searchlight on both staff and students that will involve in sexual harassment.

“Female  students should dress well to avoid sexual harassment as provocative dressing most times lead to sexual harassment.

“The reason why your parents sent you to school is to read so as to graduate with good results and not to seduce men with indecent dressing.”

The Founder of WACOL, Prof. Joy Ezeilo, who spoke on the theme of the symposium, said that research by the group showed that in every three female students in any tertiary institution, one was sexually harassed.

She said that victims were not always ready to speak out because of the fear of victimisation or stigmatization.

“Female students are always more vulnerable when it comes to sexual harassment as recent research shows that one in every three female students, one is sexually harassed.

“The law, religion, tradition and morality are against sexual harassment, but unfortunately this has become a cankerworm in our tertiary institutions,” she said.

Ezeilo, who is also the Dean, Faculty of Law, UNN Enugu campus, therefore, challenged administrators of tertiary institutions to spearhead the fight against all vices in educational system particularly cultism, sorting and sexual harassments.

“Sexual harassments have devastating effect on learning and the capacity of persons graduating from tertiary institutions in the country.

“We must seek for effective ways to curb this menace and restore the dignity of men and women and build a conducive learning environment, where academic discipline and freedom reigns supreme,” she said.

Earlier, Prof. Anthonia Achike, Director Gender and Development Centre, UNN, expressed concern over the rising cases of sex-for-marks in tertiary institutions in the country.

Achike commended the National Assembly for its move to enact legislation against sexual harassment in tertiary institutions and society at large.

“It’s unfortunate that some victims have refused to report cases of sexual harassment for fear of losing their jobs as well as the public stigma it will bring to their image.

“When we talk of sexual harassment, it is not only men harassing female students but sometimes female lecturers also sexually harass male students.

“To tackle this societal menace that has become a serious hindrance and setback to academic excellence, all hands must on deck,” Achike said.

(Edited by Philip Dzeremo/Sam Oditah)

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