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Ex-education minister, Rufa’i decries shortage of professional teachers in public schools

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A former Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufa’i says over 30 per cent of teachers at the nation’s primary, junior and senior secondary levels are unqualified.

Rufa’i made this known in Lagos on Tuesday at the “2019 Distinguished Guest Lecture Series of the Faculty of Education, Lagos State University (LASU)’’.

The former minister who delivered a lecture titled; “Teachers Preparation for Nigerian Schools: Adequacy, Effectiveness and Impact’’, said that the development indicated inadequacy of professional teachers in the country.

As a way out, she said that the country would need to make conscious effort to recruit 250,000 qualified teachers annually to tackle the challenge.

“The Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria believes that Nigeria has only two million teachers and as a result of this, it is said that the country will need about 250,000 qualified teachers per year in the next few years.

“This is due to the large population as well as the high number of out-of-school children, estimated at over 13 million and requires teachers to support their educational needs,’’ she said.

According to her, reports have revealed that out of 243,276 teachers at the primary level, only 162,909 are qualified and at the junior secondary school, only 67,037 out of the 92,769 are qualified.

She further disclosed that at the senior secondary level, only slightly above 50 per cent of the 117,651 teachers, which is about 65,357 are qualified.

“The situations in some states, especially in the north are even more dire due to insurgency and high rate of out-of-school children.

“A report commissioned by the new governor of Yobe State, shows that 40 per cent of the teachers in the state have no teaching qualification,’’ she said.

Rufa’i explained that with the prevailing situation of teachers in the country, it would be difficult for Nigeria to meet its educational objectives.

According to her, this is because adequate teachers are very critical to students’ learning as well as attaining the goals of education.

She said that what the situation required was the need for urgent and adequate attention to be given to preparation of teachers.

“In line with these, government at all levels in the country should have it as a matter of policy and priority to pay attention to the preparation of teachers for the school system,’’ the don said.

According to her, this can be achieved through strong political will in supporting the preparation of teachers and must include availability and timely release of funds meant for education.

Rufa’i noted that there should also be limited interference in the recruitment of teachers and administrative processes in schools by the political class.

“Professional approaches to educational administration should, therefore, be a key priority as we seek to enhance the preparation and utilisation of teachers,’’ she said.

In his welcome address, Prof. Yemi Akinkuotu, Dean, Faculty of Education, LASU, said that the title of the lecture was very apt.

Akinkuotu noted that this was because Nigeria was at a period when almost every level of its education system was affected by ill-preparation, inadequate funding and bad maintenance culture.

He said it was only natural that only teachers who were well equipped, motivated and who had mastery of the subject matter, could be effective in the classrooms.

Prof. Okuneye Rafiu, Chairman, Organising Committee of the lecture series, appreciated sponsors for collaborating with the faculty in ensuring the success of the event.
RUKY/KKA/AJA

Edited by Kola Adeyemi/Adeleye Ajayi

Rukayat Mohammed: 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

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Rape: Runsewe commends El-Rufai, Fayemi’s efforts

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Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, Director-General National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC)

 

Rape: Runsewe commends El-Rufai, Fayemi’s efforts

Commendation

By Taiye Olayemi

Lagos, July 9, 2020 (NAN) Chief Olusegun Runsewe, Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), has commended Governors Nasir El-Rufai and Kayode Fayemi for their fight against rape and gender-based violence in the country.

In a statement on Thursday in Lagos, Runsewe said that the rising cases of rape and gender-based violence in Nigeria was worrisome.

He said this was fast becoming another form of pandemic.

Runsewe noted that the stand of Gov. Fayemi to deny culprits of rape the prerogative of mercy, plea bargain and bail would go a long way in checking the menace of rape.

He described as commendable Fayemi’s determination to take the campaign against rape to the Nigeria Governors’ Forum for adoption.

Similarly, Runsewe lauded Gov. El-Rufai for enacting a law that provides life imprisonment for anyone who was convicted of rape of a minor and 21 years imprisonment for rape of an adult.

The NCAC Director General called on all well-meaning Nigerians to join hands and speak out against social vices.

“I’m encouraged that NCAC has partners in eminent Nigerians like Governors El-Rufai and Fayemi in the efforts to revive our cultural values,” he said.

Runsewe blamed the moral decay on the deterioration of nation’s cultural values, noting that steps needed to be urgently taken to put the nation on the path of morality.

He noted with regrets that youths and even adults now indulged in other ungodly behaviours like violation of children, transgenderism, homosexualism, amongst others.

Runsewe said that it was cruel and abominable for a man to rape a three month-old-baby or for a father to rape, impregnate and carry out abortion on his biological daughter three consecutive times.

He said that, unfortunately, these evil acts were also being perpetrated by some religious leaders and institutions of learning where values and morals were expected to be inculcated in the youth.

“Rape and other forms of sexual assaults are evil and criminal, they are plans from the pit of hell to destroy our children and pervert our society.

“The rising cases of rape and sexual-based violence have become a national emergency and must be stamped out of our society,” he said. (NAN)

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Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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COVID-19: El-Rufai commends Kaduna Traffic Authority, donates 15 vehicles

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Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has commended the contributions of Kaduna State Traffic Law Enforcement Authority (KASTLEA) to the fight against the spread of COVID-19 when the state was on lockdown.

El-Rufai gave the commendation at the presentation of 15 Peugeot Pick-up Vans to the agency, on Wednesday in Kaduna.

The governor was represented by the Commissioner for Public Works and Infrastructure, Balaraba Aliyu-Inuwa at the event.

He said that the marshalls were visible during the lockdown while their sense of duty was exemplary.

According to him, four states had asked for the law setting up KASTLEA and its guidelines, so they could establish same.

The governor pledged continuous support to the Agency to enable it discharge its mandate to make roads in the state safe and accident-free.

He disclosed that more marshalls would be recruited whiie current ones would be made to undergo more training to improve their skills.

El-Rufai urged the agency’s personnel to be resilient and fastidious in the discharge of their responsibilities.

The governor also commended the Corps Marshall, Major Garba Rimi (rtd), for injecting enthusiasm into the agency.

Earlier, Rimi thanked the governor for the gesture and pledged that the agency would redouble efforts to make roads in the state more safer for all. ( NAN)

Edited By: Chidi Opara/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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We are raising a pool of detrabilised Nigerians through Sir Kashim Fellowship – Gov. El-Rufai 

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The third set of young Nigerians for the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Fellowship (KIF) were unveiled on Wednesday by Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai in Kaduna.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the fellowship was initiated by the Kaduna State Government to groom young Nigerians in leadership and other facets of life.

El-Rufai said while unveiling the 16 fellows that the aim was to raise a pool of detrabilised, intalectually curious and patriotic Nigerians that will contribute to public leadership across the country.

He added that the programme was a deliberate investment in building capacities among youths, as future leaders.

According to him, the sustained mentorship is an effective path to raising future leaders and public servants.

El-Rufai, however, said that the plan to raise the number of Fellows from 16 to 24, was not possible due to disruptions unleashed by Coronavirus pandemic.

He stressed that the state government values young people and have given them responsibilities to deliver progressive outcomes for the people.

“The second set of fellows resumed in August 2019 and have lived up to the hopes that inspired the fellowship.

“A significant chunk of their program time has unfortunately fallen within the uncertainties created by Covid-19. But they have adopted magnificently,” he noted.

El-Rufai expressed gratitude to the pioneer and current members of the governing board of the KIF for lending their time and resources to support goverment in nurturing future leaders of the country.

He also aknowledged the hard work of the steering committee comprising government officials who did the preliminary work in the selection process.

Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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El-Rufai inaugurates board responsible for community projects

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Kaduna State Governor Nasiru El-Rufai has inaugurated the Governing Board of the state Community and Social Development Agency (CSDA), responsible for identifying developmental projects at various communities within the state.

Inaugurating the board in Kaduna on Monday, the governor said that the CSDA is one of the state’s most important agencies as its focus was on community development.

“It is a community driven institution which ensures developmental goals are achieved. What we are doing now is the final act of qualifying the agency in full support by the World Bank.”

He said members of the board are senior government officials and should work diligently to ensure that communities are touched in a positive manner.

“You will be enjoying support from the World Bank, but the way and manner World bank funds are spent is quite different from the usual government funds, procedures must be complied with.

“I therefore urge the board to carefully supervise the management of CSDA to ensure that the good reputation Kaduna State has with the World bank and other financial institutions is maintained.”

Responding, Chairman of the Governing Board, Alhaji Salisu Ten-ten, appreciated the governor for entrusting them with such task and assured of working to make Kaduna great again.

“I want to use this opportunity to pledge our joint commitment in ensuring that the dream of making Kaduna great again is not undermined,” he stressed.

Ten-ten promised that the goals and ideals of the agency would be pursued diligently.

Alhaji Hussaini Jalo, Director General of the Agency, also thanked the Governor for finding them worthy of carrying out the task.

He assured that they would do their best in going to every nook and cranny of the communities to ensure better development.

Jalo called on members of the board and staff of the agency to ensure that they delivered the mandate effectively, for greater development of the state.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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El-Rufai advocates drastic measures  to tackle rape

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El-Rufai advocates drastic measures  to tackle rape

Measures

Kaduna June 28,2020 Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has said that drastic action was needed to tackle rape,  including vigorous law enforcement to prosecute rapists.

The governor made this known at a virtual meeting organised by the Movement Against Rape and Sexual Violence (MARS-V)p>

The governor said that the state had provided a law that provided life imprisonment for anyone convicted of the rape of a minor and 21 years for rape of an adult.

El-Rufai said it was important for parents to teach their male children, the importance of respecting women from childhood.

The  governor noted that the fear of stigmatisation, breakdown of the judicial system and lack of detailed investigation were some of the factors hindering the prosecution of cases of rape and gender based violence.

He called for the training of victims and law enforcement officers on the preservation of evidence for successful prosecution of rape cases.

According to him, there was also a seeming conspiracy of silence by traditional and religious leaders, “where society as a whole insists on covering up cases of rape.”

‘’One of the primary challenges faced in the fight against gender based violence is the breakdown in the judicial process, which results in delay in justice being served and it could also be as a result of corruption, personal beliefs and laxity of some  judges,’’ he added.

“Most of those charged with the investigation of Gender-Based-Violence (GBV) are not well trained, and can be easily compromised through corruption,’’ but incompetence was however, the primary problem.’’

The governor advised that ‘’victims should also be sensitised on the importance of keeping evidence, to ensure that perpetrators of such heinous acts are brought to justice.’’

According to  him, though rape is a criminal offence that needs to be proven beyond reasonable doubt, there is often “no preservation of evidence after rape, either by the victims or by officials put in charge of investigating such cases.’’

El-Rufai said that Kaduna State has put measures in place to fight against rape and GBV, having domesticated the Child Rights Act in February 2018.

‘’Under the state’s Child Welfare and Protection Law, girls are not allowed to get married until they complete their secondary school education, which in essence means marriages can’t happen until the age of 18,‘’ he disclosed.

El-Rufai said that the state had also passed the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, which will help to speed up the trial of criminal matters, adding that it also established four sexual assault referral centres for medical and psychological counselling.

The wife of the governor, Hajiya Ummi El-Rufai, who was one of the panellists, called for ‘’ harsher and more extreme laws against rape.”

Ummi argued that the present laws are not even being implemented and that there was a need for more stringent ones to serve as deterrent to would-be rapists.

While noting that  rapists are becoming more violent and brazen by the day, she asked   “why don’t we have laws that are addressing these gender based violence issues?”

The wife of the governor emphasised  the need for parents to always speak up when their children are raped  and not cover up the problem.

She called for a joint effort between government agencies and Non Governmental Organisations to speak out with  one strong voice in condemning rape and other GBV.

In her remarks, Minister of  Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, explained that the rape epidemic has existed for a  long time in Nigeria, adding that  women and girls have always been disproportionally affected by GBV.

The minister who  said that for every one rape case that is reported, about 10 other cases go unreported, underscored the  need  to eliminate vices that violated the  fundamental rights of women and girls.

Tallen also stressed the importance of credible and verifiable database to aid the  more efficient ways of  carrying out decisions on GBV.

She also called for  collaboration between governmental agencies such as NAPTIP and  NGOs in tacking rape cases and other GBV.

The minister who campaigned for girl-child education, also advocated for the provision of one million sanitary pads for them, including more  shelters for gender based violence victims./

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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Community lauds El-rufai’s developmental projects in Kaduna

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Some community members in Rigasa area of Kaduna State on Thursday commended Gov. Nasir El-rufai of the state for the developmental projects to the community.

The residents, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria in an interview on Thursday, said the governor had fulfilled most of his campaign promises to the area.

Abdullahi Shehu-Dakare, a community member said that the governor had brought a lot of developmental projects to the community which he said had transformed the area from village to semi-urban area.

“He had dualised our roads, rehabilitated our schools which were in a sorry state and he is now constructing a standard drainage to tackle flooding on our roads during rainy season.

“We are really grateful with what he has done and we are appealing to him to construct a bridge along Lokoja road, so that pupils crossing the road would find it easy,” he said.

Another resident, Muhammad Kabir said that the governor had done a lot in security, education and infrastructure, and doing his best to fulfill all his campaign promises.

While commending the governor for a job well done, he appealed to the state government to rebuild the Rigasa market and provide job opportunities for the youths in the area.

Also a resident, Babayaro Dan-wasa described El-rufai as a leader, who keeps to his words, adding that the people of Rigasa would continue to support his administration.

He urged the governor to support sport activities in the community to foster unity among youths in the area.

“After dualizing the Rigasa road, the governor also provided street lights along the roads which are regularly maintained.

“There is also the Lokoja road which has been marked for reconstruction; we pray that God gives him the wisdom to continue with his good work,” he said.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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Gov. el-Rufai approves N200m for women empowerment, says Commissioner

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Gov. Nasir el-Rufai has approved N200m fund for the Kaduna State Women Empowered Programme (KADSWEP) to support women at the grassroots in their entrepreneurial activities.

Hajiya Hafsat Baba, Commissioner for Human Services and Social Development, Kaduna State, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Kaduna.

Baba said that the programme, established in 2017, was specifically designed to improve financial inclusion and provide women access to low-interest loans to begin new or expand existing business.

She explained that the ministry was working on the guidelines and modalities for the disbursement of the money to new beneficiaries.

The commissioner added that the state was working with the Central Bank of Nigeria to deepen financial inclusion among women, adding that about 14,000 women have recently opened bank accounts.

According to her, the women will be thoroughly screened to ensure that only new beneficiaries access the money.

“We will use Bank Verification Number to screen existing beneficiaries out so that others can benefit,” she said.

The commissioner said that over 7,000 women benefited from the programme in 2019, noting that individual received N20,000 while association of 10 members got N200,000.

She said that while others have paid back, the ministry was working with the remaining beneficiaries to pay back the soft loan to provide opportunities for others to benefit.

Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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El Rufai opens up Kaduna, gives guidelines

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Gov. Nasir el Rufai has opened up Kaduna State after 75 days of partial lockdown, following  the invocation of the Quarantine Act.

In a state broadcast on Tuesday, the governor paid tribute to the people of the state for their immense sacrifices in the last two and half months as containment measures against Covid-19 were implemented.

He said that as from Wednesday, the Quarantine Order would be amended to permit significant reopening of the state, especially businesses and places of worships.

He, however, said that schools and markets would remain closed because at this stage of COVID-19 containment, it was still considered unsafe for markets and schools to reopen.

He promised that government would keep engaging the relevant stakeholders on the matter to determine the appropriate timing and conditions precedent.

‘’Businesses can reopen, subject to the provision of thermometers for temperature checks, sanitizers or hand washing equipment and physical distancing measures within all facilities. Working hours will be between 9am and 3p.m. daily,’’ he said.

The governor further said that church services are allowed only on Sundays and mosques are allowed to conduct only Friday Jumat services for the time being, subject to compliance with the safety stipulations.

El Rufai maintained that transport operators must reduce capacity to not more than two passengers per row and not more than 50 per cent of capacity.

The governor said that the ban on intra-state travel has been lifted but government officials would continue to control state boundaries to reduce unauthorised interstate travel.

‘’Within the state, security checkpoints will be allowed only to enforce compliance with the night curfew.

”During the day, any violations of the adjusted Quarantine Order like failure to wear facemasks will be enforced by Operation Yaki, KASTLEA, the Vigilance Service and Mobile Courts,’’ he said.

According to him, ‘’supermarkets and personal services providers such as hair dressing and barbing salons can reopen; hotels can fully open, but with their restaurants and bars offering only room service”.

The governor warned that restaurants may all reopen after decontamination, but still restricted to takeaway services.

On office, he said that public servants would be summoned back to work in phases to be announced by the Head of Service.

El Rufai cautioned that after the opening up of the state, the next step of staying safe while pursuing socio-economic activities was strictly in the hands of each individual.

‘’While we require citizens to practice personal responsibility, the places where they work, worship or shop and the vehicles they travel in must also protect their health and safety.

”Any facility or sector that violates the guidelines will be closed down under the Quarantine Order No. 2 of June 2020 that I will sign today for immediate gazetting,” he said.

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Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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We won’t allow bandits disrupt farming season – El-Rufai

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Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai of Kaduna  State on Monday assured farmers that the government would not allow bandits to disrupt farming activities anywhere in the state.

The  governor gave the assurance during the roll out of seed distribution for farmers for the 2020 planting season by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, in Kaduna.

“We are going to continue to make our farms safe for our people,” he stressed, adding that the government would wipe out the bandits to ensure the security of all citizens.

“We won’t talk to them, we are going to wipe them out by the grace of God through the combined operations of the Nigerian Air Force, Army and Police.

“We are working round the clock to ensure that these bandits are wiped out before the raining season advances.”

He particularly assured the people of Igabi, Giwa, Birnin Gwari, Kajuru and Chuku local government areas, where the bandits operate most, that the government would would ensure their protection and restoration of normalcy.

”We will stop the banditry or they will die, we will kill them all and no apology for doing that,” he added.

El-Rufai commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s agricultural policy, noting that it had succeeded in placing Nigeria on the path of self-sufficiency in many agricultural products such as rice, maize and many others.

”I don’t know where Nigeria would have been amidst this coronavirus pandemic if we still needed to import food from abroad,“ he noted.

The governor thanked the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and the National Assembly for providing the needed support to make the agricultural policy a reality.

According to him, Kaduna state produces 22 per cent of Nigeria’s maize and is also a leading producer of soya beans, tomatoes and sorghum among others.

“We have seen the impact of Federal Government policies on rural income, a major contribution to security.

“Because when people have money in their pockets they tend to live in peace: so we must congratulate the federal ministry of agriculture and Mr President for the policy consistency in agricultural sector from 2015 to date.”

He assured the ministry of the state government’s willingness to cooperate with it on any agricultural programme, so that farmers in the state derive maximum benefits from it.

He described the issue of agricultural mechanization as very essential to ensuring food security.

“Even with the improved seedlings this government is giving, greater access to fertilizer, herbicide and pesticide, we need to multiply our production and  productivity through investment in mechanization and extension workers.

“On our part, I will like to inform the minister that here in Kaduna we already have a tractor assembly plant, and with private sector partners, we are raising the level of tractorization in the state so that every farmer will have access to a tractor when he needs it.”

El-Rufai called for the recapitalization of the Bank of Agriculture, to ensure that it has the capacity to lend to farmers with ease.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono flagged off the distribution of the agricultural inputs to farmers in the state.


Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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