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)
Buhari tasks universities on IGR for sustainable education
President Muhammadu Buhari has tasked universities in the country on the need for them to increase their internally generated revenue (IGR) to enhance sustainable education.
Buhari stated this during the 44th convocation ceremony of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, on Saturday.
The president, who was represented by the Deputy Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Dr Suleiman Raman-Yusuf, said that the present administration had contributed a lot in the area of education.
According to him, the future of Nigeria lies in the mode and quality of education provided to the teeming citizenry, especially the youth, as they are the nation’s future.
While reiterating that government alone could not do it, Buhari noted that in most developed countries, universities supported their governments in the funding of education.
He urged universities to be up and doing in contributing their quota to the efforts in diversifying the nation’s economy and creating opportunity for economic growth.
“It is the responsibility of all and sundry to move the nation forward and towards the right direction,” the president stated.
He warned members of staff of the country’s universities against abuse of office, especially sexual harassment, saying that anyone found wanting would be dealt with in accordance with the law.
Buhari urged the graduands to become honed in entrepreneurial skills, saying they should be providers of economic solutions rather becoming its problems.
He charged them to embark on research that would address the challenges of development and contribute to making life better.
“It is high time that universities took more proactive roles in ensuring that graduands perform more meaningfully in the world of works,” he counselled.
The president assured that government would continue to provide an enabling environment for the graduands to thrive in the country.
“It is in view of this that we wish to exhort our youths to start looking inwards, stay and advance the cause of their motherland. We have no other country than Nigeria. We should remain here to salvage the country together,” he said.
Also speaking, the Chancellor of the institution, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, the Etsu Nupe, observed that the relationship between the management, staff and students of OAU had remained cordial, thereby facilitating smooth academic programmes in the university.
He implored the graduands to be courageous in the world filled with twist and turns, bumpy hills, crossroads and many dead ends, adding that they should be good ambassadors of the citadel of intellectualism.
In his address, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, disclosed that the university was currently reviewing the curricular of all academic programmes, in line with current developments and standards.
Ogunbodede added that emphasis was being placed on training job creators and not mere job seekers.
He informed the gathering that the university would no longer be dependent on the national grid, as it would soon generate its own electricity, among other innovations.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that event witnessed the conferment of honorary doctorate degrees on some distinguished personalities including Mr Biodun Shobanjo, a renowned marketing communication practitioner.
Others were Mrs Ibukun Awosika, Chairman, First Bank of Nigeria Plc. and Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of African Export-Import Bank (AFREXIMBANK).
One of the graduands, Mrs Adeniyi Abimbola of the Department of Management and Accounting, who spoke with NAN, attributed her success to God.
Abimbola urged other students to be focused and be serious with their studies so as to achieve their lifetime ambition and be great in life.
Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq
Inclusive education: Stakeholders urge training of more special teachers
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)
Poor Salary: Kaduna joint tertiary institution unions shelve planned strike
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
Sokoto govt. solicits support on child protection laws
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
Kashim Ibrahim Fellows construct classrooms in Kaduna community
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.
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.
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