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Education

Lecturer advises undergraduates to keep learning during lockdown

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Dr Theo Adebowale, a Political Science lecturer, on Friday urged students not to relax, but keep seeking knowledge, as the COVID-19 lockdown continues to keep them out of school.

Adebowale, who lectures at Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State, told the News Agency of Nigeria that this was important  as undergraduates were sent home at the verge of examinations.

“The lockdown arising from coronavirus pandemic came so suddenly that everyone was caught unawares and the social gathering prohibition worsened the matter, compelling closure of schools and students being sent home compulsorily.

“While they are still observing the stay-at-home order, they should maximise the period to read and study more, rather than playing away at the detriment of their academics.

“The commitment they bring to bear now will keep them academically active and go a long way to prepare them for better performance when the institutions reopen,” Adebowale said.

He said that students should  take skill acquisition opportunities on the social media and  key-in to sources to learn,  as a way to add value to their lives.

According to him, those who already have skills can equally exhibit them through the social media as part of measures of making the best use of the ongoing lockdown.

“Given that they are at home now, bubbling with much energy, it is wise and reasonable they put their time to good use of the social media.

“Some can even learn their parents’ business or career and those that have land can do some gardening in an agrarian community, as farming is recommended to motivate youths,” he said.

The AAU lecturer advised undergraduates to engage in regular physical exercise while they maintain COVID-19 precautionary measures and keep informed on developments through the mass media.

Edited By: Edith Bolokor/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

Education

Igbinedion varsity VC lauds lecturers over online teaching

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Prof. Lawrence Ezemonye, Vice-Chancellor, Igbinedion University Okada (IUO) Edo,  has commended ongoing efforts of its Lecturers to sustain teaching and learning online,  despite lockdown occasioned by  the Covid-19 pandemic.

Obajide Ilugbo, Public Relations Officer of IUO, made this known in a statement made available to newsmen on Friday in Benin.

The Vice-Chancellor assured parents that his administration remained committed to the continuous wellbeing and welfare of its students and their academic progress.

He expressed regret over the COVID-19 pandemic which started as a long distance story in faraway Wuhan city of China, disrupting all levels of educational institutions .

“There is no doubt that the nation-wide lockdown altered the age long traditional behavioural pattern of doing things in Nigeria. Yet Igbinedion University, Okada, has adapted rather dramatically through the adoption of modern technology,”  he said.

According to him, the institution has deployed its online Learning Management System (OLMS) through which students engage in virtual academic teachings; attending classes and taking continuous assessments from the comfort of their homes.

He noted that the university as part of its Community Social Responsibility (CSR) recently donated its mass-produced face masks and hand sanitisers to its host community – Okada Town,  through its Community Service Programme (CSP).

He advised students to stay safe and concentrate on their e-learning while looking forward to going back to campus.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)

 

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Defence/Security

Police confirm killing of Unijos lecturer, arrest one suspect

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The Police Command in Plateau has confirmed the killing of Dr Nandi Drenkat, a lecturer with the University of Jos, by gunmen.

Mr Edward Egbuka, the Commissioner in-charge of the command confirmed the incident at a news briefing on Sunday in Jos.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that gunmen stormed the residence of the deceased in the early hours of Saturday, shot him and kidnapped his six-year-old daughter.

According to Egbuka, the police immediately mobilised to the scene and engaged the criminals in a gun duel  and arrested one of them.

He also confirmed that the kidnapped daughter of the deceased was also rescued from the abductors.

“Yesterday, at about 5:30 a.m., we received a distress call  from Road 6, University senior staff quarters, Jos, where some hoodlums entered the house of one Dr Nandi Drenkat, a lecturer with the University of Jos, shot him and kidnapped his six-year-old daughter.

“Immediately we received  the information, a combined team of conventional police men, mobile men, the anti kidnapping unit, vigilantes and hunters were deployed to the hilly  areas where the kidnapped victim was suspected to have been kept.

“The scene was thoroughly combed and in the process, the kidnappers were sighted on the hills and there was a gun duel between them and the security men.

“In the process one of the kidnappers, Ali Mohammed, was shot on his right leg and was  arrested with one AK 47 rifle and 29 rounds of live ammunition was recovered.

 “Consequently, the deceased kidnapped daughter alongside another victim, Chiboze Joseph, were rescued unhurt,” he said.

The commissioner said after preliminary interrogation, the suspect confessed to the crime, adding that he would be charged to court after investigation.

He said that manhunt for other fleeing members of the gang continued and vowed that the command would not rest on its oars until they are arrested.

The commissioner, however, regretted that one of the hunters was shot during the gun duel and was later confirmed dead.

Egbuka appealed to Plateau residents with useful information that would lead to arrest of the remaining criminals to avail it to the police.

He also called on the residents of the state to promptly report any suspicious movements around their vicinities to the security agencies

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Education

COVID-19: LASU lecturers urge Nigerians to adhere to safety precautions

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Some lecturers at the Lagos State University (LASU), have urged Nigerians to adhere to safety precautions in order to avoid contracting the novel coronavirus.

 

 

The lecturers made the call on Tuesday in Lagos at the virtual training series lecture themed, “Current Knowledge and Funding Opportunities,” organised by the university for workers.

 

 

They also urged the Federal Government to review the lockdown imposed on some states in the country with a view to lifting it as it appeared not to be curtailing the spread of the virus as expected.

 

 

Dr Adeyinka Adeniran of  Department of Community Health and Primary Health Care, LASU College of Medicine (LASUCOM), urged Nigerians to protect themselves as the virus was already spreading at community levels.

 

 

Adeniran said that 45 per cent of infected persons had no travel history which meant the coronavirus now existed in the communities.

 

 

Also speaking, Dr Bola Oyefolu, Medical Microbiologist/Virologist at LASUCOM urged Nigerians to stay safe, be responsible, and live healthy because coronavirus was real.

 

 

 

“There is a high chance of presence of the three circulating strains of the causative agent of COVID-19 in Nigeria.

 

 

“This is, going by its importation into the country through index case from Italy, being Type C, travelers from USA being Type B and some Chinese in the country tested positive being Type A.

 

 

 

“Sadly in Nigeria, the three strains of the virus are most likely circulating, which portends for the possibility of emerging new strain because of the mutating virus,” Oyefolu said.

 

 

 

Prof. Wahab Elias, Professor of Sociology and Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, said that countries with high population, cultural diversity and poverty rate like Nigeria would bear greater social, political,  economic and spatial consequences of COVID -19.

 

 

“Government must review the issue of lockdown as it is clearly not achieving the desired result.

 

 

“Instead, they should consider implementing infection prevention control evidence – based measures, including social distancing, hand washing and wearing of face masks,” Elias said.

 

 

 

He urged the government to use influential private individuals to identify the vulnerable in the communities since they could help share the palliatives equally.

 

 

Elias called for more testing centres, more public awareness, and dialogue between employers and workers unions in order to mitigate the spread and impact of the pandemic on Nigerians.

 

 

 

In his opening remarks, Prof. Olarenwaju Fagbohun (SAN), Vice Chancellor of LASU urged workers to take full advantage of the virtual lectures to deepen their knowledge in different fields.

 

 

Edited By: Razak Owolabi/Obike Ukoh (NAN)

 

 

 

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Education

COVID 19: Buhari approves immediate payment of university lecturers withheld salaries

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate payment of the February and March, withheld salaries of lecturers in federal universities who have not registered in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, made this disclosure in a statement signed by his new media aide, Emmanuel Nzomiwu.

Ngige said the president also directed the Minister of Finance, Budget and Planning, and the Accountant General of the Federation to effect the payment urgently to cushion the deleterious effects of COVID 19 pandemic lockdown on lecturers and members of their family.

The Labour Minister added that all the Vice Chancellors were asked to revalidate the affected lecturers Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) and forward to the Accountant General of the Federation for the payments.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Federal Government had directed all federal tertiary institutions in the country to enroll in the IPPIS from February 2020.

 

MNA

Edited By: Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)

 

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Health

COVID-19: Transmission from infected mother to child through breastfeeding not proven – Lecturer

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Prof. Sunday Omilabu, a Professor of Medical Virology at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, says presently, COVID-19 has not been established to be transmittable from an infected mother to child.

Omilabu, who is also the Hospital Virologist to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), disclosed this during an online interactive session with members of the Health Writers’ Association of Nigeria (HEWAN) on Thursday in Lagos.

Omilabu, also an Adjunct Professor of Medical Virology to the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), spoke on the possibility of the virus getting into the foetus.

“Talking about pregnant women and breastfeeding, infected mothers, who we have had from our little experience during this COVID-19 outbreak, have no virus in their breasts milk.

“And this is not far-fetched because the virus is a localised infection in the respiratory tract.

“It takes a long time before the virus moves into the bloodstream.

“It also takes a long time before the virus moves into other body fluids and that is what we’ve seen in this instance.

“It is localised, it is not a systemic viral infection,’’ Omilabu, who is also a principal investigatory consultant at the Lagos State Bio Bank, said.

According to him, this requires further studies as COVID-19 is still a new disease.

“So, we need more studies to prove that the virus can get into the foetus.

“But we know that it is localised, it will take a long while before the virus can get into the foetus.

“It is an instance where we have viremia that will make it much easier for the virus to gain access into the foetus,’’ he said.

Viremia is a medical condition where viruses enter the bloodstream and hence have access to the rest of the body.

Omilabu charged Nigerians to keep observing standard precautionary measures, including handwashing with soap and clean running water, use of hand sanitisers and maintaining social distance to guard against COVID-19.

Edited By: Vivian Ihechu/Abdulfatah Babatunde
(NAN)

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Judiciary

2 lecturers drag Kaduna COE to court over unpaid salaries, wrongful disengagement

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Two lecturers of the Kaduna State College of Education, Gidan Waya, on Tuesday, dragged the school before a High Court in Kafanchan,  court over unpaid salaries and termination of their contract without due process.

Musa Markus and Yohanna Dutse are challenging the purported removal of their names from the school payroll and non payment of their salaries.

According to the claimants, they were engaged as specialised lecturer by the college on contract from 2006 to 2009.

They also alleged that their contract was renewed for another three years from 2009 to 2012 and also from 2012 to 2015 and lastly renewed from 2016 to Dec. 31, 2018.

They alleged that the college paid their salaries from 2006 to September 2017 but stopped paying for October 2017 to December 2018 without any query, notice of contract termination nor payment in lieu of notice.

They argued that they never committed any crime nor breached the terms of their employment contract to warrant such action by the school without notice and justifiable reasons.

The applicants are praying the court to order the college to pay their accrued salaries and allowances from the date of purported termination of contract of employment.

They are also praying for payment of their contract gratuity of over N8 million as well as damages to the tune of N2 million each for the physical and psychological trauma caused by the infringement of their fundamental human rights.

The matter comes up for hearing on March 12.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza
(NAN)

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General news

Recruitment of more female lecturers curb sexual harassment – Lecturer

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Dr Aisha Bawa, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of History, Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto (UDUS), has recommended recruitment of more female lecturers as a panacea to sexual harassment in schools.

She specifically called for the recruitment of more female lecturers in higher institutions to reduce incidences of sexual harassment on campuses.

Aisha made the appeal in an interview with newsmen on Sunday in Sokoto.

She stressed that having more women in academia would surely reduce sex-for-marks menace and other sexual harassment plaguing the system.

She posited that academic institutions comprising  both sexes as students and teachers in equal proportion would ensure a system that would harness maximum potentialities of both sexes as well as reduce exploitation of a section.

Bawa, who is the only female lecturer in the Department of History in UDUS, lamented that the space in the university system for the female folks was yawning.

“When there are more female lecturers, the female students will feel free to discuss their issues with them than going to the male folk.

”So more representation will help the system to wipe out issues of sex-for-marks and other sexual harassment strategies,” she stated.

The lecturer noted that having more females in the system would also encourage them to work hard.

“They have been calling me our mother, the mother of the department, so they feel happy when they see me as the only female in the department, and they feel free to come to me than to go to the men because I welcome them as my children,” Bawa said.

She however acknowledged that a lot of requirements in the academic system keep the women out of it, just as she noted some cultural constraints in the lifestyle of people in northern Nigeria.

“After the first degree, some women find it very difficult to come back for Masters and the university system is a system that you need to have additional qualification for you to fit in,” she noted.

She expressed optimism that the situation would gradually improve, as at present we have between eight to nine women in the Faculty of Management Science.

”In my faculty, Arts, we are only three, but we are hoping that by the time we have more of the women folk joining the Master’s programme, they will be interested in going for a PhD.

“We are hoping that very soon with these issue of gender balance that is being promoted by the international community, in the next recruitment, we will see more of our female folk in the system,” she said.

Bawa who doubled as the Coordinator, Women Networking Forum, Sokoto, emphasised the need for women to strike a balance between family and work.

She enjoined women not to be discouraged and face the challenges.

The lecturer therefore urged parents and husbands to consider the society’s need of more females in specialties and support them accordingly.

Edited By: Emmanuel Nwoye/Muhammad Suleiman Tola
(NAN)

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General news

Sexual harassment: MAUTECH Yola sacks 2 lecturers, Deputy Registrar for fraud

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approved the termination of appointments of three senior staff of the university.

“Two of the senior academic staff appointment, was terminated for their involvement in acts of victimisation and sexual harassment.

“They are Dr Yakubu Bobboi and Dr Toma Fulani Mbahi both staff of the Department of Animal Science and Range Management and were penalised for their involvement in the victimisation and sexual harassment of one Miss C. A. Bathon, a Masters student in the Department.

“While the appointment of Alhaji Mohammed Bakari-Girei, Deputy Registrar, Registry Department, was also terminated for his role in the misappropriation of the University Primary School Parent/Teacher Association’s (PTA) funds to the tune of One million, One hundred and Twenty thousand (1,120,000.00) Naira.’’

According to the information and protocol officer, the termination is with immediate effect.

He stated that misappropriation of funds, which it found, was in contravention of the condition of service for staff members of the institution.

Edited By: Fela Fashoro/Donald Ugwu

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Health

Clinical lecturers withdraw services from teaching medical students

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The Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria (MDCAN), University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) Chapter, says its members, clinical lecturers, have withdrawn from teaching medical students.

Its President, Prof. Usang E Usang and Secretary, Dr Henry Okpa, made this known on Friday in a statement jointly signed and made available to newsmen in Lagos.

Usang and Okpa said the decision was taken at “an emergency general meeting of MDCAN, UTCH Chapter, on the circular released by the National Universities Commission (NUC)”.

According to them, the circular dated Dec. 24, 2019, addressed to Vice-Chancellors of Nigeria Universities, made PhD a requirement for career progression for clinical lecturers in Nigerian universities.

They said that the National Officers Committee (NOC) of MDCAN had issued a 21-day ultimatum to the NUC on Jan. 31 to withdraw the “obnoxious and discriminatory circular”.

The association leader said that the NUC had failed to heed to the demands of MDCAN.

“Following the expiration of the ultimatum on Feb. 24, MDCAN, UCTH met and unanimously agreed to fully comply with the directives of the NOC of MDCAN.

“This is contained in the letter of notice of withdrawal of services of clinical lecturers,” they said in the statement.

The association’s president and secretary said that the implications of this directive involves the withdrawal of services of all clinical lecturers in the University of Calabar from the followings:

“All undergraduate and postgraduate teaching of all courses domiciled in the College of Medicine.

“All undergraduate and postgraduate examinations whether as internal or external examiners for courses domiciled in the College of Medicine.

“All lecturers, tutorials, clinical teachings, practical’s or demonstration of any kind.

“Supervisions of projects of any kind, whether at the undergraduate or post-graduate levels for all courses domiciled in the College of Medicine.

“Participation in all other courses or examinations run by sister colleges, faculties or department in the University of Calabar.

“All meetings, committee work and all other activities as lecturers of the college of medicine in the university,” they stated.

According to them, all clinical services in UTCH are not affected by the ongoing action by MDCAN-UCTH.

Usang and Okpa informed the public that patient care and other clinical services in UCTH were not affected by their action, saying, “the services are going on smoothly”.

Edited By: Olagoke Olatoye

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