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German gov’t launches program to support vocational training system

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German gov’t launches program to support vocational training system

With the start of the new vocational training year in Germany, the government would launch on Aug. 1 parts of a program to support the educational and vocational training system, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (BMAS) announced on Friday.


“Good vocational training is the foundation for the professional future of young people and for securing skilled labor in Germany,” according to a joint statement by BMAS, the Ministry of Education and the Federal Employment Agency.

A total of 500 million euros (592 million United States dollars) was earmarked for this program, which was intended to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Germany, according to the statement.

Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Hubertus Heil said that it was “important” that young people could get a vocational training despite the COVID-19 crisis. With its “protective shield” for vocational training, the government would support companies in “giving young people a perspective.”

The German vocational education and training system, also known as the dual training system, is highly recognized worldwide due to its combination of theory taught in public schools and job training at private companies.

“A good education is also the best protection against unemployment,” stressed Heil.

The program included training bonuses worth up to 3,000 euros for companies which, although severely affected by the COVID-19 crisis, “maintain or increase” their vocational training level, according to the statement.

Takeover bonuses were also offered to companies that take over trainees from companies that had to file for insolvency due to COVID-19, according to the statement.

(XINHUA)

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Defence/Security

Digital economy: Nigeria must shift focus from certificate to skills – Pantami

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The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, has advocated for shifting of focus from certificate to skills education for the actualisation of Nigeria’s digital economic drive.


Pantami made the call at the Graduation Lecture of the National Defence Collage Course 28, titled; “Digital Economy and National Development in Nigeria”, on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said that digital literacy and skills was one of the pillars outlined for the development of the digital economy of Nigeria in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS).

The minister added that emphasis on certificate must be reduced in engaging labour force, urging that focus should be shifted to skills if the nation must catch up with development.

He said that many developed and developing countries such as China, United States and Morocco had shifted attention to skills rather than certificate, adding that many of them had established skills centres.

According to him, certificate is important but secondary to skill and that is why we must pay attention to skills in our journey to digital economy.

“The digital literacy and skills pillar recognises the fact that citizens are the greatest assets in any economy, including the digital economy. It will support the development of a large pool of digitally literate and digitally skilled citizens.

“We recently provided a platform, the DigitalNigeria.gov.ng platform, to enable Nigerians receive training in diverse digital skills. Over 36,000 Nigerians have enrolled on the platform since the 2nd of April, 2020.

“We are championing a paradigm change that lays emphasis on skills, in preference to merely having degrees without skills.

“The National Defence College is an institution that supports the development of skills and there are many digital techniques that can support the great work that you are doing here,’’ he said.

Pantami stated that the digital economy was a prime catalyst for development, adding that in less than one year, government’s modest efforts had already yielded remarkable results.

According to him, the recent first quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that ICT contributed an unprecedented 14.07 per cent to Nigeria’s total real GDP.

The minister further disclosed that the national security architecture must key into the digital revolution in tackling the prevailing security challenge using digital technology.

He explained that emerging technologies came with different solutions to security challenges of every nation such as data analytics, artificial intelligence, robotic technology, drone and many more.

“These are some of the emerging technologies that will go a long way in promoting security of nations. The security officials are in better position to look into and see how to customize them and make use of them.”

Also, the Minister of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi, said the Federal Government had taken steps to adopt, adapt and internalise the digital economy in a functional manner.

Magashi, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Sabiu Zakari, said it was important that security and defence establishments show more than a cursory interest in the digital economy.

He added that the adaptation of digital economy could result in increased cybercrimes thus undermining national security.

“I wish to commend the Commandant, staff and the entire College community for their collective efforts in pursuing the ideals of the College.

“In particular, I commend you for organising the graduation lecture, which was exciting, educative and would be helpful to the economic and security needs of the Nigerian nation,’’ he said.

Earlier, the Commandant of the collage, Rear Adm. Markson Kadiri, said the lecture had become a key component of the training programme of the College and a major highlight of its annual graduation ceremonies.

Kadiri said that a total of 107 participants had successfully completed the course comprising 67 officers of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, seven Senior Police Officers and 15 participants from key Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

Others according to him, include 18 senior military officers from the Armed Forces of friendly nations.

“A large part of the Course was conducted online, after the general lockdown associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Course was conducted under the theme “Economic Diversification and National Development in Nigeria”. Economic diversification is a broad based strategy designed to cause positive and multi-sectoral economic growth and development,’’ he said.

Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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General news

Kwara Gov congratulates BUA boss at 60

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Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara has congratulated the Chairman of BUA Group, Abdul Samad Rabiu, on his 60th birthday anniversary.


The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the congratulatory message was sent on behalf of the governor by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Rafiu Ajakaye, in Ilorin on Tuesday.

AbdulRazaq described the BUA boss as a distinguished Nigerian businessman with a track record of investments in human capital and community development. 

“On behalf of his family, the people and government of Kwara State, His Excellency, the Governor sends his warm greetings to the business leader and philanthropist Alhaji Abdul Samad Rabiu on the occasion of his birthday.

“While assuring him of conducive business environment, the governor commends Alhaji Rabiu for his huge investments in Kwara State,” Ajakaye said.

The CPS added that the governor also acknowledged the head of the BUA conglomerate as the highest singular donor to the state’s campaign against COVID-19 pandemic.

He said Rabiu donated N100 million and three ambulances to fight COVID-19 in the state.

“The governor prays the Almighty Allah to continue to bless Alhaji Rabiu and his family and all his business concerns.

“He prays Almighty God to grant him more fruitful years and good health,” Ajakaye added.

Edited By: Tajudeen Atitebi (NAN)

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Environment

137 Rangers worldwide die in 2020, says International Rangers’ President

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No fewer than 137 park Rangers lost their lives to wildlife attacks among several unfortunate homicide related cases, across seven regions of the world in the last 12 months, the International Federation (IRF), said on Tuesday.


Its President, Chris Galliers, made the disclosure at the 2020 World Ranger Day, celebrated annually on July 31.

Galliers’ speech was read by Dr Ibrahim Goni, Conservator-General, National Park Service, during a Zoom meeting in Abuja to commemorate the World Rangers Day in Abuja.

He said that the figures accounted for the highest number of Rangers deaths since the inception of the Roll of Honour in 2011.

Galliers said of the seven IRF regions, Asia had the greatest number of rangers’ killed at 66 deaths, representing 48 per cent of all ranger deaths.

According to him, Africa has the second highest number of Rangers’ deaths of 40, making up 30 per cent.

“We know that this number could be considerably higher, as not all ranger deaths are reported or publicised.

“The number is still unacceptably high, with 1,013 recorded ranger deaths over the past decade.

“This is of major concern. We, as the ranger family, share in the loss of our colleagues and their families, and look to honour them on the World Ranger Day for all that they had contributed to the profession and conservation.”

He said the main cause of deaths on duty for rangers was homicide, which accounted for 43 deaths, adding that these deaths mostly occurred in Africa and Asia.

“In addition, the environment in which rangers work can be hostile and dangerous, threatened by the very animals that they serve to protect.

“Wildlife attack accounted for the second highest cause of rangers fatalities, with 24 deaths.

“Other causes include accidents- 33 deaths; drownings- 14 deaths and illness/natural causes- 23 deaths.”

The IRF president said the the federation, at the World Ranger Congress, at  Nepal in November, 2019, set some ambitious actions to professionalise the sector and support those working on the frontline.

He said for the rangers around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic had created new challenges and threats.

Galliers said that for the most part, rangers had been classified as essential services, allowing them to continue their invaluable works.

According to him, rangers need the support of the world, and to achieve this, regardless of COVID-19, or not, there is a need for empowered and well supported rangers, operating in a more secured work place, who will become ambassadors for the profession to inspire the next generation.

“We hope that the world takes a greater appreciation of the value of protected and conserved areas and the people who protect them, and realise having a minimum of 30 per cent of the earth protected by 2030 is a real necessity.

“On behalf of IRF and the Board, we thank all those that are taking the time to voice their support for rangers. Thanks too must go to all that are running programmes to keep rangers operational and effective through this difficult time.

“Finally, a thank you to the ranger families for their support and the sacrifices that they live with continuously.”

In his remarks, Mr Andre Dunn, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Nigeria Project, said the current COVID-19 pandemic had added to some of the challenges being faced by rangers.

Dunn, however, said it was commendable to note that ranger patrols by the Nigerian National Park Service had not once faltered during this turbulent period.

According to him, with the support from WCS, Rangers are a force for good in Nigeria.

Dunn: “Ranger teams in Yankari Game Reserve have not lost a single elephant to poaching since 2015.

“Dedicated ranger units in Cross River National Park have drastically reduced poaching of Cross River Gorillas, and there has been no record of Gorillas killed in Okwangwo since 2008.

“Only constant patrols by courageous rangers in Gashaka Gumti National Park has kept Nigeria’s largest wilderness area safe and secure, free from the scourge of Boko Haram.”

He, however, noted that Nigerian rangers needed automatic weapons, better training, improved remuneration and better working conditions.

Dunn added that the rangers also needed joint patrols with the army and improved recognition of the work they do to improve security for all Nigerians, not just for wildlife.

“Also, confidence that the poachers they risk their lives to arrest will be prosecuted according to the full force of the law, and would not be released to reoffend; zero tolerance for violence or threats of violence against rangers,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that some rangers from the various national parks across the country shared their experiences, and called for provision of more sophisticated equipment and support for effective service delivery.

Edited By: Kevin Okunzuwa/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

 

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Politics

Breastfeeding Week: Lagos First Lady seeks exclusive breastfeeding for child’s growth

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First Lady of Lagos State, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday urged expectant and nursing mothers to embrace exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months after delivery.


In a message to commemorate 2020 World Breastfeeding Week (WBW), Sanwo-Olu said that exclusive breastfeeding would go a long way to improve a child’s growth and development.

She said that the importance of exclusive breastfeeding could not be over emphasised, hence, the need for mothers to embrace the practice to safeguard the health of their babies.

”As a mother and physician myself, I have a clear idea of the high impact of exclusive breastfeeding on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and Nutrition.

”Hence the need for expectant and nursing mothers to be encouraged to embrace the practice to improve child growth and development.

”When observed for the first six months after birth, exclusive breastfeeding helps in no small measure to reduce morbidity in children.

”It helps to strengthen the immune system and protects against serious diseases such as respiratory infections, low growth, diarrhea and pneumonia, among others,” the First Lady said.

According to her, observing exclusive breastfeeding is equally beneficial to the nursing mothers, as it helps to burn extra calories and also lowers their risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

She said that exclusive breastfeeding also lowers the risk of Osteoporosis, a medical condition in which the bones become fragile from loss of tissue.

”Without mincing words, there are several benefits inherent in strict adherence to the practice of exclusive breastfeeding for both children and mothers.

”It is for this reason that I urge expectant and nursing mothers to embrace it to safeguard the health of their children,” Sanwo-Olu said.

Speaking on the theme of this year’s celebration – ”Support Breastfeeding For A Healthier Planet”, she said it could not had come at a better time than now as the world contended with COVID-19 pandemic that had changed life.

”This has brought to the fore the need for all, especially relatives, colleagues, and the community generally to make it a priority to support expectant and nursing mothers to observe exclusive breastfeeding for the recommended period.

”It is our collective responsibility to create the enabling environment for mothers to breastfeed optimally in the interest of the health of our children and mothers,” the First Lady said.

The WBW, which was inaugurated in 1991, is celebrated annually from Aug. 1 to Aug. 7 in over 120 countries across the globe, to promote breastfeeding as an effective practice to engender mother and child wellbeing.

Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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