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Teachers in Oyo resume amid COVID-19

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Most teachers of public school teachers in Oyo State resumed work on Monday in compliance with the state government directive to that effect.

A News Agency of Nigeria correspondent, who went to the schools reports that as at 8.a.m on Monday, the number of teachers seen in most public schools visited in Ibadan was significant.

However, in some schools, between three and four teachers were seen in the premises.

Earlier, the Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force, chaired by Gov. Seyi Makinde, had directed that pupils in primary 6, students in JSS 3 and SSS3 would resume on July 6, while teachers should resume on July 29.

Some school principals told NAN that the teachers who had been trained by the government on COVID-19 prevention would  train their colleagues and other non-teaching staff on safety guidelines in view of resumption.

Mrs Folasade Ayodele, Vice-Principal of an Islamic high school, said that school resumption on July 6 was visible with the cooperation of other stakeholders in education, especially the Parents Teachers Association (PTA).

“We have been asked to speak with the PTA and philanthropists in the neighbourhood to donate.

“We will roll out our map on ensuring safety while we still deliberate on actualising the plans as the event unfolds,” Ayodele said.

Mr  Akinkunmi Ogunsola, Principal, St. Patrick School, Basorun, Ibadan, said that teachers were on ground to ensure adequate preparations for students to resume.

“We have provided the water, sanitiser and soaps; we have stickers displayed around the school to educate whoever that comes in.

“When the students finally resume, the school will roll out other plans as directed by the government,” Ogunsola said.

Also,  Mrs Dasola Bello, Principal, Oba Akinyele Memorial High School, lbadan, said: “we had series of seminars for principals, vice-principals and teachers and more will still be done on COVID-19 prevention with the modules provided by the state government.

“Government has provided the teachers and students with face masks which will be distributed.

“You can see that  individuals came with their masks and we are adhering to safety protocols right from the entrance of the school gate. We will keep this up”.

Bello said that parents also had their stake in education and believed they wete ready to do their own bit.

”They may collaborate with the government in fumigating the school premises; parents should keep their wards healthy and if any child is sick, the person should stay at home.

“Social distancing will not be a problem because only 150 students will be allowed to resume which is still a manageable size.

”There are classes and furniture to accommodate them to ensure safety.

“Some teachers have been appointed as health officials  and there as counsellors to see to it that safety guidelines are adhered,” Bello said.

Mr Aremu Akanfe, Proprietor of God is Able Group of School, said that the school had participated in the government training on COVID-19 and its teachers were also being trained.

“We have washing hand basins, sanitiser has been provided for our students and we have fumigated the school premises,” Akanfe said.

However, some parents who spoke to NAN expressed divergent views on releasing their children to resume school on July 6 as directed by the government.

Mrs Chinyere Babalola, a parent, said that her child would resume school on July 6 as she had confidence that she would adhere to safety rules on COVID-19. 

“I know she is mature and has very good knowledge on COVID-19. I can trust her to follow through on it.

“She will go with her face mask and sanitiser as school resumes. Schools can’t be closed forever because life has to go on in spite COVID-19,” Babalola said.

Another parent, Mrs Ibukun Anifalaje, said that she was not in support of students in terminal classes resuming because, according to her, adequate measures are not in place.

“In schools we have more than 30 pupils per class, how can they ensure safety? 

“Before schools were closed when COVID-19 just started, you will see schools providing water only with no soap.

“We can’t be sure things are provided in abundance for the students.

“I have told my children that they might not resume though he is to write the West African School Certificate Examinations (WASCE). He will do it next year if he needs to.

“Even these children cannot tolerate the face masks for long and they will play with themselves. It is someone that is alive that will write examinations,” Anifalaje said.

But the Oyo State Commissioner for Education, Mr Olasunkanmi Olaleye, said that the government was doing all it could to ensure safety of students upon resumption. 

“We are meeting the School Governing Board (SGB) of each school. I am on my way to Government College Ibadan and Lagelu Grammar School to meet with SGB.

“We will meet with PTA on Wednesday and we will be able to tell them things that have been put in place and provided,” Olaleye said.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Kayode Olaitan (NAN)

Emiola Ibukun: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

Education

Association distributes food items to 180 teachers, securitymen in private schools

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The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), Kakuri, Kaduna South Local Government Area of Kaduna State, has distributed food items to 180 teachers and securitymen in eight private schools in the area.

Distributing the items to the beneficiaries on Monday in Kaduna, the YMCA Secretary, Mr Jeremiah Elisha, said the gesture was to reduce hunger among the targeted groups.

“It is expedient to reach out to this set of people at this trying time, considering that schools are closed and private schools depend solely on school fees to pay the teachers’ salaries.

“It is even disturbing that securitymen of private schools have been going to work in the last few months without salary.

“This development has made it very difficult for the teachers and the securitymen to feed their families,” Elisha said.

He called on the State Government, individuals and other organisations to assist private schools’ workers, who had become vulnerable since the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Elisha noted that their only source of livelihood had been cut off in the last three months, following the lockdown occasioned by the disease.

“The harsh economic situation in the country is particularly unbearable to parents, who became unemployed, with bills and family needs to take care of.

“Although the lockdown had been lifted, schools remained closed and teachers of private schools are in the fourth month without salary, while others have lost their jobs.

“Therefore, YCMA decided to help out in its little capacity as a community-based organisation and urged other organisations to equally reach out to the private schools’ workers.

“Although the food items might be little, it will go a long way in helping them survive the next few days,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the private schools included Resurgence Academy Kakuri; Safeway International School; Blessed Academy, Kakuri; and Heyik Schools, Kakuri.

Others are Triumph Schools, Kakuri; HEKAN School, Kakuri; YMCA Primary School, Sabon Tasha; and YMCA Vocational Training Centre, Unguwan Gimbiya.

Edited By: Folorunso Poroye/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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SUBEB,World bank train 5,691 teachers on teaching skills in Bauchi

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The Bauchi State Universal Basic Education Board (BASUBEB) says it has trained 5,691 teachers on  different aspects of teaching and learning to enhance their quality in the last one year.

Malam Muhammad Abdullahi, the spokesperson of the board, who made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Bauchi on Monday, said the feat was achieved under the World Bank Better Education for All Programme (BESDA).

He said out of the total number of the teachers, 2,464 had recieved training on Jolly phonics, reading methodology and numeracy to improve their performances.

He added that 3,227 master trainers and facilitators were also trained on how to handle non-formal educational classes in villages and remote rural communities, especially for those attending  adult literacy classes.

In a related development, the board has procured 18,285 units of learning materials, including books, chalk boards, writing materials and other relevant complementary teaching materials, and distributed same to existing local Tsangaya schools.

He said toilets and learning shades were also constructed across some nine local government areas targetted for the programme.

“We also recruited 924 NCE graduate facilitators for Almajiri and the  Girl-Child to promote the educational quest of our people,” he added.

NAN reports that BASUBEB recently received N1.5 billion as its 2020 matching grant from the Federal Government.

Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Education

Reabsorb disengaged N-Power teachers, NUT urges Gov. Abiodun

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Reabsorb disengaged N-Power teachers, NUT urges Gov. Abiodun

Teachers

By Joy Akinsanya

Abeokuta, July 9, 2020 The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Ogun chapter, has appealed to the state government to reabsorb the N-power volunteer teachers disengaged by the Federal government into the state civil service.

Mr Titilayo Adebanjo, the Chairman of NUT in the state, made the appeal in an interview with newsmen in Abeokuta on Thursday.

Adebanjo said that the disengaged teachers should be considered in the ongoing recruitment of 1,500 teachers by Gov. Dapo Abiodun.

He said that should the teachers be allowed to leave, there would be challenges because of the shortage of teachers in the state.

According to him, the last time teachers were recruited in the state was in 2009, before the present administration of Gov. Dapo Abiodun began the recruitment of 1,500 primary school teachers.

He explained that NUT was shocked by the disengagement of the volunteers, adding that the union did not expect the Federal Government to disengage the teachers but absorb them into the public service.

He emphasised the need for regular recruitment of teachers by the government, saying the N-power teachers should not have been disengaged by the Federal government.

“So, we appeal to Ogun government to come to the aid of the innocent youth and engage them in the state service.

“The N-power teachers did amazing jobs. Honestly, our prayer to Ogun state government is to make sure that all of them are considered in the ongoing recruitment.

“They are good teachers. They are fresh blood, they are good in the job,” he said. (NAN)

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Edited By: Joe Idika/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Foreign

Boeing Dreamlifter transports 500,000 face masks for Utah students, teachers

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Boeing on Wednesday announced the completion of its 12th COVID-19 transport mission, using a Boeing Dreamlifter to bring personal protective equipment (PPE) to the United States.

The company transported 500,000 donated protective face masks bound for students and teachers across Utah returning to classrooms this fall. The state of Utah will distribute the face masks free of charge to school districts across the state with the greatest need, the announcement said.

Boeing donated the cost of the mission transport into Utah, with Atlas Air operating the flight on behalf of Boeing.

“Boeing is proud to continue to use our resources to help stop the spread of COVID-19,” said David Calhoun, Boeing President and CEO. “Today’s delivery, our 12th COVID-19 response airlift mission, expands our support of essential workers to include teachers and their students across the state of Utah so they have the protective tools they need to safely and confidently return to their classrooms.”

“As students return to school this fall, it will be important that they have masks available,” said Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert. “We thank Boeing and these partners for everything they’ve done to support our ‘A Mask for Every Utahn’ initiative and make it possible for our students to have these masks and help keep Utahns safe.”

Similar to previous airlift missions facilitated by Boeing, the Dreamlifter – a converted Boeing 747-400 Large Cargo Freighter – flew the mission with the face masks stored in the lower lobe of the airplane. Following the delivery in Salt Lake City, the Dreamlifter will return to its home base in North Charleston, South Carolina, for a 787 components delivery in support of the global aerospace supply chain.

To date, Boeing has helped transport more than 4 million units of PPE since its first COVID-19 transport mission from China on April 18, according to the company.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

20 Lebanese schools to shut down, 10,000 teachers to lose jobs amid economic crisis

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Around 20 out of 1,629 private schools in Lebanon will close down and 10,000 out of 63,000 teachers are expected to lose their jobs, Elnashra, an online independent newspaper, reported Tuesday.

Schools have been facing difficult financial conditions amid the increase in the price of United States dollar against the Lebanese pound, affecting the purchasing power of citizens and their capability to pay tuition fees.

Around 60 percent of parents are incapable of paying tuition fees in the coming academic year while only 35 percent paid their dues to schools, Elnashra noted.

A big number of people are considering transferring their children to public schools to avoid paying tuition fees.

However, Lebanon does not have enough public schools to offer services to all students.

(XINHUA)

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General news

Only qualified teachers will teach in Borno – Gov. Zulum

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Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno says only qualified primary and secondary school teachers will henceforth be allowed to teach in the state.

Zulum made this known during a media chat to mark his one year in office on Sunday in Maiduguri.

He said that his administration had set up a committee to examine the qualification and quality of teachers with a view to flush out the unqualified ones.

“If we are to maintain some of the unqualified teachers, then we have to post them to some other places.

“We want to ensure that we have the correct teachers to graduate qualified pupils from our schools,’’ Zulum said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that education was among the 10-points agenda of Zulum-led administration.

The governor said that within the year, his administration executed 76 educational projects, including the construction of 23 mega schools and rehabilitation of many other schools.

He explained that most of the schools, particularly secondary schools, were technical colleges to enable the students to acquire technical skills to be able to fit into the labour market.

“We want to promote hygiene, technical and vocational education, quality of our teachers and also maintain reasonable teacher/pupils ratio,’’ the governor said.

In the area of health, he has directed the state Ministry of Health and Hospital Management Board to recruit 20 more doctors, 150 nurses and midwives.

“They are to also to re-recruit 200 nurses and midwives all in an effort to revamp the health system.

“Our tertiary hospitals are overcrowded and the best way out is to strengthen the primary healthcare system.

“We have built 23 primary healthcare centres and we are still doing more because we want to achieve the minimum threshold as outlined by the World Health Organisation, which is having one primary healthcare per ward.

“Where we have more population we will establish more.

“We also constructed two maternal healthcare centres in Maiduguri for our free maternal healthcare programme as enshrined in our constitution.’’

The governor restated his administration plan to also expand areas of cultivation by farmers in the state this year to strengthen food security.

Zulum said his administration had provided fertiliser and other inputs.

He is also speaking to the Chief of Army Staff, who directed the military to expand the scope of agriculture activities in the state.

According to him, the Agro Rangers and Civilian Joint Task Force are also being mobilised to complement the military in protecting farmers.

In the area of potable water, the governor said that the Maiduguri Water Treatment Plant had been overhauled while 200 new boreholes were drilled and 300 others rehabilitated.

The governor noted that civil authority had been restored in many local government areas.

He added that his administration has built confidence in the citizens, particularly those affected by the insurgency in rural areas through regular visits and provision of humanitarian support them.

“I visited all the local governments, some of them three to four times to ensure stabilisation at the local government level, thereby reducing the trust deficit between the government and the people.

“It’s only when you bring the population to your side that you will win the insurgency and reduce recruitment of the locals by the insurgents,’’ Zulum said.

He urged the people of Borno, whose prayers, he said, was the magic for his administration’s performance to continue to be patient, resilient and steadfast as well as committed to transforming the state.

The governor assured that he remained committed, with his team, to continue to provide good governance.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Education

Schools reopening: Oyo begins training of teachers, distributes facemasks

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Ahead of the June 29 resumption of its  schools, the Oyo State Government has commenced training of teachers in all local governments.

This was contained in a statement issued on Monday in Ibadan by Olamide Adeniji, Press Officer to Dr Nureni Adeniran, the Executive Chairman of Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB).

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the training initiative under the Universal Basic Education Authority will focus on the basic procedures for handling COVID-19 in schools.

NAN also reports that the resumption is for Primary Six, Junior Secondary Secondary Three and Senior Secondary School Three pupils and students.

The statement quoted Adeniran as saying that the training on reopening of schools was part of the state government’s pre-opening mandate.

He added that the training was targeted at getting participants’ preparedness ahead of any possible identification of a COVID-19 case.

“The workshop is expected to equip participants with the necessary knowledge on COVID-19 and how to manage it during these trying times among pupils.

“Let me add that the workshop has representatives from each zone in the state and it is aimed at ensuring the safety of children and teachers in the state,” Adeniran said.

Adeniran said asking only Primary Six pupils to return to school was strategic, adding that each school was spacious enough to accomodate them.

He, however, stated that Oyo SUBEB would look into constituting an Advisory Board to complement the efforts of the state government in combating COVID-19.

“While every school has been mandated to adhere to all precautionary measures during this period to contain the spread of the virus in schools, the Oyo State Government has deployed trainers who would train teachers.

“These trained teachers would in turn train their colleagues on precautionary measures and how to manage each pupil after the long stay at home,” Adeniran said.

He also said that the board had distributed facemasks to all non-teaching and teaching staff across all Local Government Universal Basic Education Authority in the state.

Adeniran said this was part of the board’s precautionary measures taken to prepare every member of staff  for the task ahead.

He added that each school would provide wash hand basins and alcohol-based hand sanitisers.

(
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)

 

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Education

Educationist advocates special training for teachers

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Mrs Funmilayo Olajide, the Proprietress of a private school in Ilorin, has advocated the need for special training of teachers to improve the standard of education in the country.

Olajide, who made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in  Ilorin, said consistent training for teachers would place the country’s education system on the right path.

According to her, every teacher needs special training to upgrade and follow teaching trend globally.

“We cannot continue to rely on the old method of teaching, as everything changes in the world.

”There is the need to equip teachers on the use of computer and technology based teaching method.

“Government at all levels should prioritise teachers’ training. If possible, make it annual programme for the teachers. Invest in teachers and rescue education from imminent collapse.

“It baffles me when I come across teachers that cannot operate computer easily. Our teachers need upgrade to teach their students in this digital era.

“Let the government do something fast. Our education is not in safe hand, if we fail to invest in teachers training. Let us get the best to handle the so called future leaders in class,” she said.

The educationist also called on the government at all levels to encourage teachers by consistently paying their salary and other entitlements for them to remain focused

“Most teachers are no longer interested or focused in the discharge of their duties, due to irregular payment of their salaries. They sought for alternative means of survival and loose focus and passion for the teaching job,” she explained.

Olajide however advised teachers to upgrade themselves by going into more research and trainings and stop waiting for government to do everything for them.

Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Foreign

Across China: African students, teachers defend Wuhan universities against COVID-19

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Ndjike Pierre Paulin, a Cameroonian national, carefully sanitized every floor of the accommodation area of international students in Hubei University of Technology, carrying a blue container filled with 20 liters of disinfectant on his back.

In recent days, the disinfection work has been reduced for Ndjike, who is a student coordinator of the university, from once a day between January and April to twice a week, as the COVID-19 epidemic waned in Wuhan, capital of Hubei Province.

“Earlier, I had to refill the container at least five times to disinfect all seven buildings, each of which is four or six stories tall. And, it took me more than two hours every day,” Ndjike said, recalling the time when the outbreak was at its peak.

When Wuhan enforced a lockdown on Jan. 23, most of the university’s staff were on their Spring Festival vacation and were unable to return due to the entry restrictions. Ndjike and two of his Chinese colleagues, who were among the few staying on the campus, took the initiative to guard the international students against the virus.

“I never thought about leaving. The university has done a lot to help me, so I should stay back and help them,” said the 30-year-old Cameroonian, who has been studying and working in the university for four years.

During the lockdown, Ndjike used to get up at 7 a.m. to carry out disinfection and to check on every student to ensure they are safe. The arduous daily chores wouldn’t allow Ndjike to rest until midnight. Sometimes he would also try and help relieve the mounting anxiety among quarantined students through chats.

“I saw the solidarity between Chinese and foreigners in Wuhan. Everyone wants to do something for society. And all the people are disciplined,” said Ndjike.

Huang Yongjun, vice dean of the university’s School of International Education, said after several rounds of evacuations due to the outbreak, 277 of their 1,035 international students stayed back on the campus, 95 percent of whom are from Africa. None of them was infected.

Many African students volunteered to alleviate the severe manpower shortage on the campus.

Since January, Osei Ebenezer Yaw from Ghana has taken on responsibilities like delivering groceries and topping-up electricity cards for other students.

“It is impressive that Wuhan was locked down very quickly. And soon after that, free masks, food and water were provided to us,” observed the 21-year-old who is pursuing his bachelor’s in international economics and trade.

Students believe a first-hand experience could help the world better understand what transpired in the virus-ravaged city.

“I used to know ‘lockdown’ just as a word and I never thought I would experience it practically in my life,” said Henok Neguse Negash, an Eritrean Ph.D. student at the Zhongnan University of Economics and Law. He had to shelter his winter vacation plan of visiting other Chinese cities due to the lockdown.

“The initial three to four days were difficult. But the university kept us informed and created online shopping platforms. Besides, doctors were available online to assist us. I then got used to the new normal of living behind closed doors,” recalled Negash.

Confined to his apartment, Negash used to unwind by strumming his guitar, doing exercises, chatting with friends, and writing diary entries. Negash, along with some of his other foreign friends, chronicled the unfolding events since the beginning of the virus outbreak, in the form of a group diary.

“Some of us traveled abroad and are unable to return to Wuhan, some are living away from their spouse for months, and some were stranded at home. We candidly recorded our experiences,” he said.

Negash is also working on another book based on his own diary, in which he penned down stories that touched him.

“I remember the night when Wuhan people waved flashlights from their phones and shouted ‘Wuhan Jiayou’ (Wuhan stay strong) from their windows. I cried. The solidarity was remarkable,” he said.

“It is also touching to see that after China controlled the outbreak, it started to help other countries. Masks and protective suits were sent from China to Africa, Europe, America and so on, which helped a lot,” said Negash.

He hopes to wrap up the two diaries by the end of summer.

“The city is getting back to normal. The time has come for Wuhan to smile again, and I cannot wait to eat my favorite hot-dry noodles.”

(XINHUA)

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