Kaduna budgets over N330M for teachers’ training

By Abdulwaheed Usamah,

Embattled Kaduna State Government has said that its has plan to train teachers through the state Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), the training which it disclosed would gulp N337.19 million from the government purse.

Upon sacked 22, 000 primary school teachers over poor performance, generating protest and strike by the Nigeria Union of Teachers, the state government expressed it readiness to ensure teachers in Kaduna become competence and turn around the state education sector positively.

From 2018 budget papers released on Monday by the state Planning and Budget Commission, it indicated that, “N337.19 million was earmarked for leadership and capacity training for school head teachers and assistants; jolly phonics training for 1,200 teachers and training of 200 Almajiri school teachers on literacy and numeracy skills.

the state hinted it that it would also train the teachers on use of Teachers Guide; training of 230 care givers on pre-primary curriculum; training of class teachers on reading methodology and post training impact survey.

According to it,  70 associate counselors from 23 local government areas will be trained on strategies for effective counselling skills in basic education; and training of 100 quality assurance evaluators.

“Other training includes evaluators and principals workshop on evaluating and student learning; evaluating and tracking student; workshop on coordination, monitoring and reporting and impact assessment on training of inclusive education teachers on Braille and sign language.”

Besides, a breakdown of the figure shows that N3.53 billion would be spent on the construction of classrooms, offices and toilets for primary schools, while N1.89 billion was for building classrooms and laboratories in junior secondary schools.

The board would also spend N15.1 million on the construction of Early Child Care Development Education games village in nine primary schools in nine local government areas.

It indicated that N821.27 million would go into procurement of furniture, materials for skills acquisition, teaching and learning aids, computers, magnetic boards, mattresses, sporting and instructional materials.

“N143.58 million was allocated for monitoring and supervision of projects, while N13.06 million was for maintenance of project monitoring vehicles.”

3,783 of 56,000 candidates to be admitted – UI

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The authorities of University of Ibadan (UI) has said that out of 56,172 candidates seeking admission into the institution through the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and Direct Entry (DE), 3,783 candidates would be recommended to the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) for the 2017/2018 academic session.

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), Prof Adeyinka Aderinto, told journalists yesterday in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, while speaking on the institution’s admission requirement for the new session.

Aderinto said the admission for the 2017/2018 would end in January while the screening of those given admission letters would commence soon.

He further noted that 26,769 candidates, who scored 200 and above, sat for its post-UTME, added that of the figure, only 9,268 scored 50 per cent and above.

He said 3,783 admission seekers, who were finally recommended to JAMB for admission, met the approved admission criteria.

Aderinto said since the premier institution was committed to meeting the mobilisation of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), the institution had begun second semester examinations.

He said: “The University of Ibadan is committed to mobilising students for 2017/2018 National Youth Service and to end the session (2016/2017), we have started the examinations. We have also recommended about 3,783 candidates to JAMB for admission and we are concluding the admission process by January ending. The University of Ibadan is committed to upholding its standards in admission. This is what makes us who we are in offering qualitative education to our students, to be the best in Nigeria and have the capacity to compete globally.”

NUT commences strike over 21,780 Kaduna teachers dismissal

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The Nigerian Union of Teachers, Kaduna State Section, said that it has directed its members across all 28 local governments in the state to commence strike on Monday, January 8, 2018, in order to ensure that the state government reversed its decision of dismissing 21,780 public primary school teachers.

It was gathered that the primary school teachers were sacked over allegations that they failed to score 75 per cent pass mark of the competency test organised by the state government in June 2017.

However, the notice of the strike was said to have been issued two weeks earlier to the state government to reverse its decision of sacking teachers, but the notice was not acknowledged by the state.

According to NUT, the decision became necessary after the state government began issuing sack letters to the affected teachers after the 2017 Christmas and New Year holidays.

The union explained that it decide to solicit for its members by putting the issues before the National Industrial Court in the state, noting that the court on December 4, 2017, granted an interlocutory injunction which restrained the state government from dismissing any teacher pending the determination of the case.

In the strike notice made available to newsmen on Sunday in the state, the union’s Assistant Secretary General, Adamu Anglo, alleged that the court order was served to the state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, but surprisingly, he refused to honour the court by going ahead to distribute of disengagement to the affected teachers, on November 3rd, 2017.

According to the union, following the governor’s action, the union members decided to meet on January 4, 2018 to unanimously resolve the issues on ground and embark on indefinite strike action from Monday 8.

“Other unresolved issues with the state government, such as compulsory retirement of secondary school teachers before their due date as against the 35 years of service or 60 years of age provided by civil service rules,” the notice read.

The union stressed that other issues it would look into included, non-payment of 2015 leave transport grant to 3,338 primary school teachers, as well as 2016 and 2017 leave transport grant to all public school teachers despite deductions at source.

NUT also asked for payment of salary arrears of more than 15,000 primary school teachers of one to 12 months from June 2015 to July 2016, alleging that the state government has failed to pay the salaries of some teachers, while others were under paid.

The teachers also alleged that the state government had also failed to promote teachers and provide teaching and learning materials to schools amongst others.

Intakes must be screened before 15th or forfeit admission – LASU

By Adewunmi Abodunrin

The Management of the Lagos State University (LASU) has warned that students who have been offered provisional admission for the 2017/2018 session, who miss screening which started on January 2 – 15 2017 may forfeit their admission.

The university’s Public Relations Officer, Adekoya Martins made this known yesterday in Lagos.

The institution offered 3,500 students provisional admission for the 2017/2018 academic session while increasing the acceptance fee from N10,000 to N20,000 payable once, with the tuition being N25,000.

Martins said the turn-out, screening and registration of new students had been impressive.

The spokesman, however, said candidates offered admission but are unable to register before the deadline may only be given grace with genuine reasons, stressing that those who refuse to register before the deadline on January 15 without a genuine reason, may have to forfeit the admission.

One of the students, who pleaded anonymity, said some of them had not been able to register since they came on Tuesday when the screening exercise began because there had been challenges in retrieving their data.

Martins, therefore said LASU was aware of the challenges and had directed candidates with such problems to the appropriate offices.

” Those applicants with different issues have been told to lodge their complaints or call some designated numbers for help,” he said.

 

Varsity don decries state of Nigerian economy

By Adewunmi Abodunrin

Former President of Nigerian Academy of Sciences, Prof. Oyewale Tomori, has decried the state of the Nigerian economy, stating that it was fast drifting into a state of collapse.

The renowned Virologist further projected that unless there was urgent step to reinvent itself in a new process of creative thinking , the system would be shut.

Tomori , a former Vice Chancellor, Redeemer University , who bemoaned the state of infrastructure  in the country, declared that the sad part of Nigeria’s life was that it pretended not to know that it was sick.

Delivering the 19th Benjamin Oluwakayode Osuntokun Memorial Lecture titled ” Rescuing Nigeria : Restoring Her Health and Her Sanity , at the Benjamin Osuntokun Auditorium , College of Medicine, University College Hospital (UCH) , Ibadan yesterday, Tomori  wondered how the country gradually came to this sorry state having been endowed with all the natural resources.

At the event , organised by Benjamin Oluwakayode Osuntokun Trust, eminent Nigerians poured encomiums on the late Professor of Neuroscience, Professor Benjamin Osuntokun, one of Africa’s foremost neuroscientists.

He was described as a great man with uncommon brilliance.

Tomori described Nigeria as a sick country, where there is aversion to excellence, desire to accept and settle for second best , culture of subtle and bare faced corruption, disdain for paying attention to details and talent for misapplication of resources. He pointed out that Nigeria, despite having all that it takes to achieve greatness, chose the path of retrogression.

On how it all started, Tomori said it was not as if the change came on Nigeria as a ” Tsunami ” without warning.

He said:  ” The change came as the relentless dripping of the acid of corruption .It was gradual ; it was slow but regular and that fall is a continuing journey ; a step by step march into the new and decadent future.”

Drawing a comparison between old and new Nigeria, the guest lecturer said: ” So, Benjamin Osuntokun died , and even before his death , we had begun to carve out a new country out of the old. Then and gradually , we let down our guard. Politics, ethnic rivalries, and the inordinate love of money all crept into the orderly excellence of our community life.”

Expressing shock on the decadence in education sector, Tomori asked: “How did we get to this point? I think the problem started with the neglect of proper education at home, at our educational institutions and our government offices and houses of assemblies ; where our representatives and senators gather to determine the the future of our nation.

“We need to take a hard and serious review of our university system with a view to restoring the university to it former glory.”

He did not shield the university administrators from corruption, saying that the system has become so serious that vice chancellors were now competing with seasoned politicians to enter Economic and Financial Crimes Commission( EFCC) net.

According to him, the first step was for the academic community to accept that there was a major problem with the university system.

” The system needs to examine itself and focus on being relevant to national development… Second, our government should not approve the establishment of more universities but upgrade existing ones and fully maximise the utilisation of the resources .

“The federal character policy has contributed in no small measure to the problem of Nigeria. We need to pursue an educational policy that will ensure that in 30-40 years from now , no part of Nigeria will be described as educationally disadvantaged. Having achieved that, we will not need to give undue federal character advantage to any section of this country. Time is ripe for all Nigerians to be treated with justice and fair play in issues of appointment and promotion at federal and state civil service ,” he said.

Present at the event were  the management of the University College Hospital (UCH) led by the Chief Medical Director (CMD), Prof. Temitope Alonge, former Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Prof. O. Oyediran, the Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Fola Esan, professor of Haematology, Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, Prof. Jide Osuntokun, and other members of the Board of Trustees of Benjamin Oluwakayode Osuntokun Trust among others.

 

Benue killings: ASUU charges Presidency on arresting culprits

By Adewunmi Abodunrin

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to not only berate the killings by Fulani herdsmen in the country but go further by ensuring that perpetrators of the act are brought to book.

The union also called for victims’ compensation for those who lost their properties and relations in Rivers, Benue and Kwara states.

It said the rising insecurity profile under the present administration shows a faulty security architecture and policy.

In a release signed by its University of Ibadan Chairman, Dr Deji Omole who described it as a sign of irresponsibility on the part of the Buhari-led federal government not to have tamed the ravaging killer-herdsmen.

Omole who said that the Buhari government who claimed to have special interest in agriculture has failed security competency test to protect vulnerable farmers in indigenous areas of Nigeria added that the president through his inactions to Fulani carnages is compounding humanitarian and food crises in Nigeria.

The ASUU chair who posited that Nigerians will suffer when farmers are killed at will lamented that the consequences of killing farmers is food insecurity.

According to Omole, the president is building a dangerous trend where citizens will rise to defend themselves by taking up arms since they are not protected by the state.

“The new year killings in some part of the country while the President was telling Nigerians that it has beaten Bokoharam should be rejected by all Nigerians. Time has come for all to rise and call on the government to fulfill her duty of protecting lives and properties or quit if it cannot do this. The government that wants people to go into agriculture but fold its arms when farmers are killed is not only irresponsive but also irresponsible. We have now added to the internally displaced profile of people in Nigeria. The problem is that the survivors are embittered that their government cannot protect them but prefers to set up campaign team for 2019 general elections. All victims must be compensated and all governors must visit the victims the way they all stormed Abuja to greet the son of the president who is hospitalised. If the son of the president is fortified with security meant for over 1,000 people even in hospital, it shows that the ruling class does not value the lives of ordinary Nigerians. ”

 

MAPOLY lecturers end strike action

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The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP), Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY) Abeokuta Branch, Wednesday, put an end to the strike action which they embarked on three months ago.

The suspension was made known at a congress held at its campus by the chapter’s Chairman, Mr Kola Abiola, in a bid to settle the unrest between Ogun State Government and ASUP.

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Mr. Kola Abiola, ASUP MAPOLY Branch’s Chairman

Abiola said that the congress made the decision to end the strike as a result of the pressure mounted on it by many concerned eminent personas in Ogun State.

He noted that the union was hopeful that its demands would be met by the government to prompt it to conduct the earlier suspended semester examination.

“Today, we had an emergency congress and after several appeals by notable stakeholders within and outside the state, the congress therefore decided to suspend the strike. The government is aware of all our key issues.

“When the crisis started, we actually went to these personalities to intervene and now that they have, we think it is high time we gave the government the room for discussion while academic activities go on. We have suspended the strike, and it is now left for the management to announce when academic activities will commence,” Abiola said.

The chapter chairman also explained that the union had never blackmailed anybody during the crisis, stressing that on no occasion did MAPOLY ASUP insult the state government.

It would be recalled that the union and the state government had been at loggerheads over the institution’s upgrading to Moshood Abiola University of Science and Technology.

The union also had issues with Ogun state government over the planned transfer of some of the institution’s lecturers to the newly-established Ogun State Polytechnic at Ipokia.

UNILAG set to rebrand – VC

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The newly appointed Vice Chancellor of University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, has declared his plans to reposition and rebrand the school, in order to increase the institution’s obligation of learning, teaching, community development and research.
Ogundipe indicated the institution’s intention to make the university continuously live up to its image as the ‘school of  first choice and the nation’s pride.’
Briefing journalists on the school plans on rebranding, Wednesday in Lagos, the VC disclosed that the university would embark on the proposed development by working on the school name and raising of funds through its friends.
“We are planning to bring together, friends of the University of Lagos to see what we have done so far in the past years, what we intend doing and where we want them to play or come in,’’ Ogundipe said.
The vice-chancellor also disclosed that there would be structural changes in the university to further improve the efforts to take the institution to the next level.
“We want the university to be greater than it already is, to be the best. As you may know, University of Lagos is a cosmopolitan and unique institution and we want people to know that it is still the best in the country in terms of  research,’’ he said.
He explained that the management of the university would be focusing more on research that would be relevant to the institution’s community in 2018.
Ogundipe also stated that the management of the institution would also ensure that UNILAG delves into innovation that will be readily useful to the country at large, as well as encourage incubation.
“This is an area where we are going to develop our students to meet the national needs. We will also go into entrepreneurship, to further enable our students to stand on their own,’’ Ogundipe said.

JAMB urges candidates to register timely, says mock exams starts January

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The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), has urged prospective candidates to register for their various school of choice in time, as adding that it would conduct a mock examination by January 2018 to ensure students were well prepared for forthcoming exams.

It implored candidates to ensure that follow due to process in order to avoid challenges when registering for the examination, and that students should make clear their choices of institutions, including disciplines and examination centres.

JAMB also assured Federal Government of increase in revenue by 2018 , adding that the forth coming examination would be more transparent than it had been.

The board noted that 2017 was a success, as it ensure that examinations conducted was almost free of malpractice, adding that it invested in development of intellectual structures, examination infrastructure and human resources.

In a statement made available to journalists on Sunday in Abuja, the board’s Head of Media, Fabian Benjamin explained that the investment would propel additional developments in 2018, as well as give the agency the chance of competing favorably with any global public institution.

Benjamin stressed further that it has ensure that candidates be treated equally as it had also exposed applicants to the new admission software, in order to check admission excesses.

“The only way to achieve this was to open the process up for everybody to see who is admitted, with what aggregate score, and who is not and why is he or she was not admitted.

“Also, candidates were able to use the CAPS window to monitor admissions into institutions of choice to ensure that they are not cheated,” he said.

JAMB’s registrar accounts for N7.8Bn against remitted N5.2Bn report

By Abdulwaheed Usamah,

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) Registrar Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, has cleared that  N7.8 billion was remitted  into Federal Government coffers from 2016 University and Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME), the amount which was contrary to report that only N5.2 billion was paid into the government purse.

Oloyede, during delegation of National Officers Council of Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) visit to the board in Bwari, FCT on Tuesday, who dismissed the speculated N5.2 billion as amount remitted to government during the period under review, said that the board paid the latter figure into the account as against the former.

To him, the board would work to ensure that it met the needs of the sector and strive to sustain education standard in the country, just as he urged for cooperation from stakeholders in the education sector to further raise  performance standard.

According to him, there is need for both the body and stakeholders to work together and push government to do the needful so that education would be where it ought to be.

“When we identify obstacles, we could push government to amend some areas to enhance the sector.

“I do not see why we should have more than four credits before one can get into college of education, forgetting that it created an opportunity for people like us in the past.

“I assure you that UTME score does not determine the quality of one’s education; it is the environment that makes the difference obvious by segregating institutions.”

Oloyede challenged the officers on the need to officially make a case for National Council of Education, which he said was made up of commissioners of education, to review the number of credits to be attained by intending candidates of colleges of education.

He said the board would not hesitate to work with unions to set up a Task Force that would check irregularities that may cripple the sub-sector.

Earlier, the President of COEASU, Mr Nuhu Ogirima, said that the challenge had
been an obstacle to admission status of colleges nationwide.

He called for review of the current application process into colleges of education, saying “a review is imperative, given the fact that the current application process
predisposes candidates toward university education.

“Notwithstanding the overwhelming preference for admission into university, the provision for college of education as third choice in JAMB sought to obscure the system from others.

“After the selection of the very best from the first choice list, colleges of education are left with no choice in JAMB but the low performing candidates and this does not augur well for the teacher education system.

“The union would, therefore, appreciate if JAMB, without prejudice to her establishment law, explore the possibility of collaborating with stakeholders in colleges of education.

“The collaboration would provide enabling environment that could improve the admission status of the colleges nationwide.”

He announced that the council would soon set up a committee that would come up with memorandum to tackle the issues before the necessary quarters.

The meeting was attended by directors of the board.