Education

NGOs train stakeholders on promotion of child rights in Kebbi schools

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Active Support for Rural People Initiative (ASURPI), in collaboration with Action Aid of Nigeria, have commenced training of education stakeholders on the promotion of rights of children in Kebbi schools.

Chief Executive Officer of ASURPI in the state, Alhaji Ibrahim Ngaski, while addressing participants at the four-day training organised by the NGOs on Wednesday in Birnin Kebbi, said that the aim was to engage stakeholders to promote quality public education in the state.

“The workshop is also aimed at engaging citizens in improving quality of education, as well as promoting rights in schools in the state,’’ Ngaski said.

He stressed that children had the right to free and compulsory education as declared and adopted in 2005 State Universal Basic Education in the state.

“These rights define children’s rights to protection, education, health care, shelter and good nutrition. We want these rights to be realistic and actualised in the schools.

“Our major concern now is on education, as we want you as stakeholders to promote these rights in schools.

“These rights are there, especially rights to basic education; and we want to find out challenges and opportunities for a gender responsive public education,’’ he said.

The executive officer urged the stakeholders to come out with fruitful findings that would help civil society organisations pressure the government into implementing such rights.

The Nigeria News Agency , reports that the stakeholders comprised representatives from Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Kebbi State House of Assembly members, the media, among others.

Edited by Saidu Adamu/Nyisom Fiyigon Dore

Education

Inclusive education: Stakeholders urge training of more special teachers

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Stakeholders and advocates for inclusive education in Nigeria have called on government at all levels to train more special teachers to meet the needs of children in special schools.

A cross-section of the stakeholders made the call in separate interviews with the Nigeria News Agency during the end-of-year party organised by SafeHost International Academy, Abuja.

They further requested for the establishment of more special schools that could help to take special children out of the street and offer them quality education to make them self reliant.

NAN reports that the school is an inclusive education centre for both special and normal children.

Mrs Ngozi Belolisa, a special needs teacher at the school, called on parents to accept the gift given by God and stop denying the children their right to education.

According to her, “education is a basic need of every child. It is supposed to be available to every child regardless of their physical or social limitations.

“We have our challenges, one of them is our challenged parents. Some of them live in denial and that makes our work difficult.

“Whatever we do at school, we try to tell the parents to continue with it at home. We cannot do all.

“We also need support from government to be able to make progress, while taking care of the children with special needs.”

Also, Mr Gana Tuayeringha, parent of a child with special need (cerebral palsy), called for government’s intervention to inclusive schools to enable them to accomodate and take care of more children with special needs.

Tuayeringha said that although the Federal Government had some special schools, they were inadequate to meet the educational needs of the special children.

He said: “I have a child in this school whom I brought here a year ago. I have seen some considerable improvement in her.

“The school is taking care of every child based on their needs. They cannot do this alone but they need government’s support.

“It is a known fact that children with special needs are exceptionally brilliant but their skills and talents can only be developed and harnessed if they are enrolled in special school.

“Government should therefore rise to the challenge and put a proper platform on ground to assist special needs children in our society.”

Mrs Margaret Azinkpali, also a parent of 16-year-old Ebube, an autistic child, commended the school for its efforts in giving hope to the hopeless.

She thanked the school for having nurtured a lot of children with autism, saying that there had been a great improvement in the children’s hyperactivity and motor moverment.

(Edited by: Sam Oditah)

(NAN)

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Education

Poor Salary: Kaduna joint tertiary institution unions shelve planned strike

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A Joint Union of Tertiary Institutions of Kaduna State has suspended its planned indefinite planned strike over poor salary.

This is contained in a statement signed by the Joint Chairman of the unions, Mr Noah Danlami and made available to Nigeria News Agency in Zaria on Saturday.

NAN recalls that the joint unions had on Nov. 21, issued a 21-day ultimatum to Kaduna State Government to address its demands or face an indefinite strike.

NAN also reports that the institutions included; Academic, Non-Academic as well as Senior Staff Associations in the state owned tertiary institutions.

The institutions are Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic, Zaria; College of Education, Gidan-Waya, Kafanchan; Shehu Idris College of Health and Science Technology, Makarfi and Kaduna State College of Nursing and Midwifery, Kafanchan.

Danlami listed some demands of the joint union to include; implementation of the existing salary structure payable to tertiary institutions in the state, domestication of the 65 years retirement age and address critical cases of infrastructure deficiencies in the institutions.

He said the decision to suspend the planned industrial action was informed by the interest, commitment and passion shown by the Commissioner for Education, Dr Shehu Muhammad-Makarfi in resolving the issue at stake.

The Chairman said the commissioner had used his office to constructively mediate between the union and Gov. Nasiru El-Rufa’i on the issue.

“Our unions after an elaborate meeting with the Commissioner, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry and all Directors, hereby temporarily suspend the ultimatum.

“This is with a view to allowing the Commissioner more time to consult with government and other critical stakeholders in the state towards resolving the issues in contention.

“The decision is informed by the openness, humility, transparency, understanding and interest shown by the Commissioner in the course of deliberations over the issues at the meeting,” he said.

The chairman said the temporary suspension was also to allow government more time to look into the legitimate demands between now and Jan. 2020.

He assured that the union was positively disposed to dialogue with government and hence it would embark on strike only as a last resort.

According to him, the union still believes that government will reciprocate the patience and understanding shown by the congress members in pursuing their demands over the last 10 years.

Danlami said the union would be compelled to embark on an indefinite and total strike should the Kaduna State Government fail to take advantage of the union’s positive disposition.

He appealed to well-meaning indigenes and residents of Kaduna State, who value education to intervene towards resolving the lingering problem.

Edited by: Joan Nwagwu/Ismail Abdulaziz

(NAN)

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Education

Sokoto govt. solicits support on child protection laws

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Sokoto state government has called for public support towards the enactment of the children protection law aimed at making them better adults.

Nigeria News Agency reports that state’s Ministry of Women and Children Affairs and UnUnited Nations Children’s FundNICEF) are working with community groups and other stakeholders toward domesticating the law to suit the state.

At the 2-day engagement which ended on Saturday, participants discussed various issues relating to religion and cultural beliefs of some sections of the child rights law.

Three Islamic scholars, Dr Aminu Sufi, Dr Jabir Maihula and Uztaz Umar Bagarawa, presented resolutions reached on the use of DNA on child paternity issues outside statue laws provided by Islamic Shari’ah laws.

The scholars along with other participants also agreed on punishments of a child which should not harm the child as well as deter his progress.

Scholars said it is permissible in Islamic history to look at prevailing societal ills and suggest modern and relevant measures to tackle them.

The Director Shari’a in Sokoto State Ministry of Religious Affairs, Imam Muhammad Maigero, said the effort would ensure suitable legislation to protect the children and encourage its implementation.

Maigero said the state’s by-laws on children education and parental supports designed according to beliefs and cultural practices were incorporated into the draft.

He exlained that in the proposed draft, Shari’ah court judges were accorded windows on issues of DNA in parternity cases and others.

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, who was represented by Prof. Sambo Junaidu, said resources and efforts have being expended to ensure domesticated law were in line with Islamic and cultural beliefs of Sokoto people.

He explained that the draft would benefit Sokoto people in recognition that it is closer to what Allah has ordained as Islam is religious of past, present and future.

Hajia A’isha Dantsoho, the Permanent Secretary, Sokoto state Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, said the meeting was part of preparation to compile draft for onward transmission to State House of Assembly.

Dantsoho said state contingents have attended different national conferences on the child right act, adding that traditional, religious and other groups were involved to ensure seamless draft suitable to protect children in the state.

She said the state considered 18 year and below as a child age bracket, stressing that all parts of the draft were in conformity with religious and cultural practices of the people.

According to her, 66 district heads, 50 religious’ scholars were involved in the exercise at the state level.

She added that committees were establised in 23 local government areas and contacts were established with the office of the Attorney General, State Assembly and media organisations.

The facilitator, Dr Umar Alkali, said children are individual human beings totally dependent on adults, therefore adults must be responsible for how they are treated.

Alkali said healthy development of a child was crucial to the future and well being of any nation, noting that society cannot treat them anyhow.

He said the views of children are rarely heard, but adults should continue to make efforts to change their lives to a better one.

Edited by: Ismail Abdulaziz

(NAN)

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Education

Kashim Ibrahim Fellows construct classrooms in Kaduna community

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The Second Cohort of Kashim Ibrahim Fellows (KIF), has begun the construction of a two block of classrooms at Local Government Education Primary School Danhonu I, to improve the learning environment.

Gov. Nasir El-Rufa’i had in August 2018 inaugurated the KIF, a one-year programme for 16 fellows from all over Nigeria to develop and nurture their leadership abilities for public service.

The school located around Millennium City, Chikun Local Government Area of the state, had 1,660 pupils and 250 adults, predominantly women undergoing adult education.

The primary school has only a block of two classrooms built by the state government and additional uncompleted single classroom being built by members of the community.

Dr Maiwuya Abubakar, one of the fellows in-charge of supervising the project, said at the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction on Friday in Kaduna, that the school was experiencing shortage of classrooms.

Abubakar, with a PhD in Construction Management from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, disclosed that at the moment, nursery and primary one pupils, about 542 of them use a single class.

He also said that primary two, three and four were also congested in one class; primary five and six were equally stuffed in a single class, while adult education holds in the open.

He added that the school has no fence, no source of water and no toilet facility, while the roofs of the existing classrooms were leaking.

According to him, the construction of the classrooms, which would be concluded within 50 days, was part of the KIF community service to help decongest the school and improve teaching and learning.

“Education is in the heart of the current administration and we decided to contribute our quota by supporting the government to improve school’s infrastructure to ensure conducive learning environment.

Also speaking, the Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, described the project as a “lasting legacy” that the fellows would be remembered for by the community and the state.

“This is very touchy, very commendable and worthy of emulation. Thank you for making a difference.

“This will go a long way in supporting the state in developing the needed human capital with requisite education, skills and talent for the overall development of the state,” Balarabe said.

The Commissioner for Education, Dr Shehu Makarfi, equally thanked KIF for the support and urged the community members to take ownership of the projects to ensure sustainability.

Makarfi said that the state government would take necessary steps to address the challenges of the school in line with ongoing transformation of the education sector.

Sen. Uba Sani, representing Kaduna Central at the National Assembly also promised to construct and furnished additional block of two classrooms for the school.

Sani, who was represented by the Executive Director, Uba Sani Foundation, Alhaji Ibrahim Dan’Halilu, called for more support to the school to improve access to quality education in the state.

Similarly, the Caretaker Committee Chairperson of Chikun Local Government, Hajiya Hadiza Yahuza, said that provisions have been made in council’s 2020 budget to improve the infrastructure of the school.

The Head Teacher of the school, Mrs Hanatu Kadafo, thanked the Kashim Ibrahim Fellows for coming to the aid of the school and appealed for more support to provide quality teaching and improve learning outcome.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the activity was part of the KIF week-long community services to give back to the society.

The community service began with employability workshop on Monday and Tuesday that exposed 331 graduates to what was required to gain employment in the labour market and how to be self-employed.

Edited by: Yakubu Uba/Tukur Muntari.

(NAN)

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Education

Makinde approves N300m for Ibadan Poly for accreditation, capital projects

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Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State says he has approved the sum of N200 million for The Polytechnic, Ibadan to secure accreditation for some of its courses and another N100 million for capital projects in the 2020 budget.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Makinde disclosed this at the 34th convocation ceremony of the institution on Friday in Ibadan.

The governor, who was represented by Prof. Daud Shangodoyin, the state Commissioner for Education, said that his administration appreciated quality academic culture and would not do anything to hinder its development.

“My administration is determined to salvage the education sector from its doldrums.

“The problem facing education is multifaceted, but we are prepared, more than ever before, to confront the problem and make the state a model educational state to be emulated by others in terms of quality personnel engaged in academic activities at all levels.

“The budget recently presented to the state House of Assembly has given education the highest allocation of 22 percent, hence we hope that Oyo State will bounce back as the leading educational state and fountain of knowledge setting the pace for others.

“To ensure the accreditation of all your courses, the sum of N200 million was approved and released to your institution with the hope that the money would be spent judiciously and accreditation of all listed courses secured.

“We have also approved a sum of N100 million in the 2020 budget for the execution of capital projects in the institution. All these, from the records available to me, have not happened in the institution in the last 10 years,” he said.

The governor noted that the major challenge in tertiary institutions in the country was electricity, saying this had hampered learning and researches.

He, however, said it was imperative to end the parity between university and polytechnic education in Nigeria as was done in the United Kingdom.

Shangodoyin, who spoke in his capacity as the commissioner for education, said government would do its best to take the institution to an enviable position.

“This institution should be repositioned, not to maintain a fourth position among its peers, but to be the foremost polytechnic nationally and globally, taking the lead role in technological education,” he said.

The commissioner alluded to the cordial working relationship with the unions and the staff, expressing the hope that it would translate into improved level of performance in promoting the status of the institution.

He, however, charged the graduands to think of survival strategies in view of the challenges in the labour market and come up with solution with the training and education acquired from the institution.

In his address, the institution’s Rector, Prof Kazeem Adebiyi, stated that the support received from the governor had helped in making appreciable progress.

He noted that the institution’s management had given priority to the welfare of members of staff and students and had promoted peace among students, especially in the area of unionism.

“The world has become a global village and this institution cannot afford to be left out in terms of upgrade of its teaching facilities, both human and physical, as well as the by-products of teaching, which are the students,” he said.

The rector said that all hands must be on deck to ensure quality education at the tertiary level.

He charged the graduands to be good ambassadors of the institution.

“The institution has trained you, not only to use your brains, but more importantly, your hands. Due to the nature of your training, you are job creators, not job seekers,” Adebiyi said.

In his valedictory speech, Abdulganeey Olayiwola, the overall best graduating student of the institution from the Department of Applied Chemistry, urged his colleagues to continue to work hard and pray to achieve their goals in life.

Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq

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