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Repackage education curriculum, VC urges FG

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Prof. Kola Oloke, the Vice Chancellor of Precious Cornerstone University (PCU), Ibadan, has urged the Federal Government to convene a stakeholders meeting to repackage the nation’s education curriculum.

Oloke gave the advice on Wednesday at a debate and quiz competition organised for secondary schools in Ibadan.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the competition was organised by PCU in conjunction with DOHAL, the humanitarian arm of the Sword of the Spirit Ministries.

Oloke said that the Federal Government should saddle the stakeholders with the responsibility of repackaging the curriculum in consonance with the present day reality.

He said there was the need for government to place premium on acquisition of practical skills as against paper qualifications.

The vice chancellor said that PCU was making conscious efforts at de-emphasising paper qualifications by ensuring students of the university were professionally trained in the courses of their choice.

Oloke added that this would make the students relevant to themselves and the society after graduation.

NAN reports that Stars Comprehensive College, Everbest College and Sunshine College won the first, second and third prizes respectively in the quiz category.

The first, second and third prizes in the debate category were won by Seed of Life, Kings and Queens College and Olive Branch College respectively.

NAN also reports that the programme was attended by hundreds of students from different secondary schools in Ibadan. (NAN)


TAA/ORO/OJO

(Edited by Razak Owolabi/Mufutau Ojo

Education

Girl-Guides  links girl-child education to world peace, development

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The Nigerian Girl Guides Association (NGGA) has identified sound and qualitative education as a critical tool in empowimg the girl-child toward attaining  leadership positions.

The association’s Chief Commissioner, Mrs Maria-Goretti Sule, said in Lagos on Saturday that such empowerment would bring about global peace.

Sule spoke at the opening of the Nigeria Hub of the 2019 Juliet Low Seminar (JLS) on Saturday.

The seminar had the theme: “Lead Out Loud: Tackling Gender Barriers to Leadership”.

The Nigeria News Agency  reports that   JLS is hosted by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS).

According to Sule, the potential of any girl- child may remain untapped if not educated.

She said that education had the key to unlocking the potential.

Sule said that lack of education of the girl-child was a challenge to  achieving purposeful  leadership, national growth and global development, peace and harmony.

“That is the essence of this event.  Today marks a new dawn for us in the NGGA because this happens to be the first time we are hosting our movement’s global event.

“We have been playing host to many national and Africa region events and some others sponsored by the WAGGGS but when Nigeria was granted the hosting rights as one  of the 20 hubs for the seminar, our joy knew no bounds.

“You will agree with me that the girl-child is going through many issues such as gender discrimination, rape, poverty, barriers to education, violence and female genitsl mutilation, among others.

“We must not feign ignorance of these issues if we intend to give our girls the much needed empowerment through education to ensure freedom for them and find the space to develop their potential.
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“The theme for the 2019 JLS is a very timely one;  this is the reason we must call on stakeholders to join forces with  us to break barriers that hinder the girl-child and young women from developing their talents  and becoming who God wants them to be,” she said.

The commissioner  urged that from homes to schools,  workplaces,  markets or political campaign grounds, all barriers to girl-child development must be broken.

She called  for legislation that would destroy barriers working against  females, to achieve accelerated national  transformation.

“We appeal  for legislation that will help young women to gain the confidence to pursue their life dreams and pursue success in whatever field they desire.

“We appeal for appointments for women who have the capacities to lead and make  impacts rather than discriminate against them because of their gender.

“As an association, we are ready to continue equipping our girls and playing our part to ensure they are mentored and polished to be of great service to the world,” Sule said.

Mrs Lilian Damie, the Assistant National Project Commissioner of the NGGA, told NAN on the sidelines of the event that  about 700 members of the association were participating in the JLS in different countries, including Nigeria.

She said that the leadership programme  targetted females between ages of 18 years and 25.

According to her, the purpose is to identify gender barriers to leadership and come up with ways to overcome them.

“It is expected that when these participants and facilitators drawn from 18 countries  return to their local communities, they should be able to transfer skills and impact knowledge  garnered during the JLS experience to at least  100  girls, each.

‘”We strive to deal with  the issues facing the 21st century young women and girls by equipping them with the right education (formal and non formal), and skills that will enable them to discover themselves and unleash their potential for leadership roles.

“For us, education  remains the gateway. It remains the key to preventing all forms of challenge working against women.

“It is, therefore, important that every woman is given the opportunity to learn, lead and grow, ”  Damie said.

Christa Ochocki, a facilitaor from the U.S., said that WAGGGS remained one of the global organisations that had impacted on millions of the girl-child and women.

According to her, JSL which is in honour of Juliet Low,  Founder of the Girl Scouts in the U.S., over a century ago, has given girls, the world over,  opportunities to see themselves as change agents.

“‘This seminar comes up once in three years, and this year’s event is special in the sense that it is the first time it is holding simultaneously in 18 different countries.

“The good thing about the seminar is that it fosters international friendship,  creates better understanding among persons from different cultural backgrounds and different works of life and, therefore, ends up making the world a  better place,” she said.

Miss Ruth Afoko, a student of the Winscosin University, Accra, who participated in the event, urged more women to show interest in  politics and  governance.

Edited by Ijeoma Popoola

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Education

LAUTECH crisis unfortunate but surmountable -Minister

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Mr Sunday Dare, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development says crisis rocking Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso in Oyo is unfortunate but surmountable.

He made the disclosure during a courtesy call on Prof. Michael Ologunde, the Vice-Chancellor of the institution on Saturday in Ogbomoso.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the institution co-owned by Oyo and Osun States had been battling with crisis over the ownership.

Dare said that the problem bedeviling the institution were surmountable, assuring them that the university would rise again.

The minister described the recent meeting of Gov. Seyi Makinde and his Osun State counterpart, Gboyega Oyetola in Abuja as apt.

He said that LAUTECH had consolidated on its leadership position as a University of Technology.

Dare called on stakeholders to collectively work towards returning the institution to the period of uninterrupted academic activities.

The minister promised to play active role in finding lasting solution to the incessant closure of the university, which he described as a `model’.

He said that LAUTECH graduates were exceptionally good in their various chosen fields.

Earlier, Ologunde lauded President Muhammadu Buhari on the appointment of Dare as a Minister, saying his choice was an indication that government truly believed in the youths.

Ologunde admonished the minister to use his good office to help humanity and assist educational institutions as moulders of the nation’s future leaders to achieve their mandates.

NAN reports that the minister later delivered the 13th annual lecture of the LAUTECH Alumni Association.

Edited by Maureen Atuonwu

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LASG to focus on technical colleges, values, character-based education- Commissioner

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The Lagos State Government says it is working assiduously to improve education by focussing on the state Government Technical Colleges, values and character-based education.

Mrs Folashade Adefisayo, the state Commissioner for Education, made the assertion at a UNICEF supported youth dialogue in Lagos.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the dialogue was part of the activities to mark the 30th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child CRC@30 tagged “#Naija Youth Talk –Lagos Edition”.

The programme gathered 60 children and youths with breakout stations talking about Skill Development & Employability, Education and Health, Challenges and the Nigeria they want to see in these areas.

Adefisayo said: “It will also invest on teachers and repairing of infrastructure in schools.

“The Governor of Lagos State is working assiduously on repairing a lot of schools.

“We know the schools are falling into a state of disrepair and he is taking significant care of that, and giving them the resources they need to run their schools.

“We are going to invest in teachers, because many schools don’t have enough.

“So, we are going to train them and keep on training them; we are also going to look at the curriculum to know what they are learning.

“We are going to focus on our Government Technical Colleges, values and character-based education to ensure schools make sense for the students.

“We know we cannot do it alone with our own resources; what we are going to do is so huge in dimensions that we want to now partner with people.’’

The commissioner said that the state government was concerned about education.

“We have increased the budget and putting in more money to improve education; we are addressing the infrastructure in the schools for education development.

“We are recruiting teachers now and we are also looking at the curriculum to look into what they are learning as regards value,” she said.

The commissioner also advised youths to excel in their endeavour and be encouraged to do so.

“These young people deserve the best we can give them.

“We have to give them the education that will ensure that our future is assured, because the greatness of Nigeria lies in all these children,’’ she said.

Also, Mr Muhammad Okorie, Officer in Charge, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Lagos Field Office, explained that the gathering was to advance the rights of the child.

According to him, it is the 30th Anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

“It has been 30 years since after its adoption.

“The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is the most ratified UN Treaty and has played a central role to improve the lives of children around the world.

“ In our midst are young people talking about issues affecting them. We have youths across all segments telling us issues facing them.

“Children are very informed; the technology interventions have made children to make decisions.

“They know more than us and they are in best situation to tell us what they want. They discussed on health, education, skill development and employability,’’ Okorie said.

The UNICEF officer said that the ideas generated would be disseminated and tracked.

“All the beautiful ideas that will be generated will be taken further than this place. Technology has made things so easy for us.

“ The children are looking at Sustainable Development Goals themselves and looking at how it affects them; we are going to give additional voice to it.

“We will take notes of their views and ensure they are integrated into the core planning of policies,’’ Okorie said.

One of the participants, Samuel Onche , on behalf of his group, said that most parents in Nigeria do not care and only want to the child to focus on their own decisions or passion.

“The group also identified that the current environment in Nigeria is not conducive for students to learn, especially with inadequate facilities, equipment and teachers,’’ he said.

Onche urged governments to be steadfast and address the issue of quality education in Nigeria.

Also, Nmesoma Okonkwo, who represented her group, said that youths were scared of venturing into skills acquisition because of lack of support and funding.

Okonkwo tasked governments and parents to encourage their children and “raise next generations of creative thinkers providing innovative solutions’’.

/GOK

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Edited by Vivian Ihechu/Olagoke Olatoye

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Education

Sports Minister urges NYSC members to embrace entrepreneurial training

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The Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, on Friday urged National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members participating in the National Youth Service Coprs Batch ‘C’ Stream 1 in Lagos State to embrace entrepreneurial training.

The minister said this during a visit to the NYSC camp in Iyana-Ipaja, Lagos, where no fewer than 2,444 corps members are participating in a three-week orientation camp.

Dare, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Olusade Adesola, advised the corps members to take active part in the entrepreneurial trainings during the orientation.

He said that NYSC had various Skills Acquisition Programmes to properly empower and position them as entrepreneurs.

The minister commended the management of the camp for the peaceful environment.

Dare advised the corps members to work tenaciously above their qualifications and explore their intellect and give their best to their fatherland during the one year mandatory service.

He also encouraged them to be of good conduct and obey all rules that were stipulated by the camp Coordinator and ensure they do not fall below the standard.

“’Discipline is a very important aspect of the orientation, corps members are advised not to travel outside the place of their primary assignment,” Dare said.

He said the orientation period could be used to acquire skills outside their area of study and make a better future for themselves.

“In our current age, entrepreneurship is key to the development of our society because it is a process where one can learn, design, launch and run business,” Dare said.

He said the corps members could also use the platform to launch their sporting careers as they participate in the sporting activities while in camp.

“’Sports is an important aspect of developing youths, while the corps members participate in sporting activities they should ensure they put in their best.

“We have a channel where we can discover any talented individual in any sport and can be called upon if they are good enough,” Dare said.

The minister added that at the end of the one year service, an online portal had been created where the corps members could access for jobs.

(Edited by Tayo Ikujuni/Peter Ejiofor)

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World Bank to support integration of 53 ‘Almajiri’ schools into basic system in Katsina state—official

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No fewer than 53 ‘Almajiri’ Schools in Katsina State have been identified for integration into basic education system project supported by the World Bank.

The World Bank Senior Education Specialist, Thanh Mai, made the disclosure when she paid a courtesy visit on Gov. Aminu Masari on Friday in Katsina.

She said that the schools would cover a total of 26,000 children for the programme in the state.

Mai urged the state government to send 1,000 teachers and facilitators to the centers as soon as the project is launched.

She said that the facilitators would assist the children to learn basic literacy and numeracy in the identified and designated centers.

According to her, there were about 40,000 children in the state who dropped out of schools that needed to be brought back to the system.

She assured that when the state government commence implementation of the project, World Bank will provide additional resources to the State.

“If the state can implement this, we will bring more resources in addition to the $6 million that you have earned,” she said.

The Education Specialist added that there is another project focussing on girl-child education.

Mai revealed that the project tagged “Adolescent Girls Project” will cover 10 million girls.

She said that under the project, the girls would be given many learning opportunities.

In his remarks, Gov Masari said that his administration had accorded top priority to education sector since inception because ‘it is education that will make the state great’.

He said expressed happiness over the number of ‘Almajiri’ Centers that had been identified for the project.

“We will do it because it is our responsibility, the system will be transformed in such a way that it will not have conflict with the basic education system,” he said.

Masari further said that the government would re-engage retired educationists as facilitators and teachers to contribute to the project.

He noted that illiteracy is the cause of criminal acts.

“Kidnappers, bandits and most of criminals are illiterate of both Western and Islamic education.

“And without education, there will be extreme poverty and it is what pushes people into criminal activities,” he said.

Edited by Tukur Muntari.

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School administrators partner to tackle fear of public speaking among students

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School administrators in Lagos, on Friday, emphasised the need to encourage public speaking among secondary school students.

The administrators stated this during a discourse, organised by De Rehoboth Schools, Ojokoro Housing Estate, Ijaiye, in partnership with Eloquence Scholars Foundation.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the discourse had as its theme: “Social Vices: A Clog in Educational Progress in Nigeria.”

The Proprietor of De Rehoboth College, Mr Idollo Clement, stressed the need to create awareness on how to tackle ‘glossophobia’, meaning, fear of public speaking.

“We have been organising this discourse for some time now, in partnership with Eloquence Scholars Foundation.

“This is the third edition and the aim is to expose our students to public speaking and not give room for stage fright.

“We have been taking our students out and we also invite other schools for debate. This is for us to expose them, learn and know their weaknesses in public speaking.

“We don’t just do academics all year round; rather, we examine all other areas of extra-curricular activities, which can add value to the students,” he said.

Clement called for support from the government and the private sector to partner with schools on projects that would add value to students.

Mr Babatunde Omibekun, the Director in charge of schools debate and other curricula activities from the state Ministry of Education, said he was always excited whenever students were gathered to discuss salient issues.

He advised the students to develop interest in discussing trending issues and urged more schools to partner in tackling ‘glossophobia’.

“You should not only watch Nollywood but other educational programmes that can add value to your lives and inspire you.

“There is no knowledge that is lost, because you may be called upon at anytime to speak on issues. This is when you become a champion,” he said.

Mr Temitayo Abudu, President/Founder of Eloquent Scholars Foundation, said that the organisation was on a mission to be one of the foremost contributors to knowledge.

“We intend to empower the youths by dealing with ‘glossophobia’, the fear of public speaking, so that individuals will be able to express themselves in public,” he said.

Abudu said that the topic for the discourse was chosen, because it was one of the trending issues which the students could learn a lot from.

Adeniyi Eniola from Chris Flourish College, during the debate, described social vices, including cultism, examination malpractice and drug abuse as morally-unacceptable habits.

He urged the education board to make counselling effective in schools, adding that students should be educated on the use of drugs, while their minds should be disabused on the notion that drugs could  make people do great things.

Deborah Onyedika from De Rehoboth College, emphasised how the issue of sex for grades was a social vice, which she described a clog in the educational progress.

She condemned the act from both lecturers and students, attributing the cause to lack of proper upbringing.

“One of the social vices that cannot be overlooked is sexual harassment, which is not getting enough publicity and condemnation.

“An example is the sex-for-grades scandal, which was unravelled after an investigation by a journalist.

“We often get abused by neighbours, step parents and guardians. We need a society where cases of sexual harassment can be addressed so that victims can speak out,” she said.

Adeyemo Rereloluwa from Gray Royal College urged the Federal Government to check cyber crime, which was also damaging the image of the country.

“The internet, which should be utilised to advance our education, is now being used to defraud innocent people.

“Students should also be enlightened on the dangers of thuggery. We shouldn’t abandon our education only to be used as political thugs,” she said.

Jikiemi Temiloluwa of Chris Flourish told NAN that the project would provide good exposure for him and commended the organisers.

The discourse, which had three schools in attendance, ended with De Rehoboth College clinching the first position, Gray Royal, second and Chris Flourish, third.

The programme had students from the three schools and teachers, who cheered the speakers as they took turns on the topic.

/WAS

Edited by Dorcas Jonah and ‘Wale Sadeeq

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