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LASPOTECH clear air over eight staff prosecution

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

Following continued detention of about eight Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH) staffs over alleged attempted murder, the management of the institution has denied orchestrating their arrest, urging the public to disregard any contrary information.

The management clarification came hours after the Nigerian Police arrested its staff for allegedly attempting to murder two officials of Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and the school’s Director of Information Communication Technology (ICT), during the recent concluded JAMB CBT mock examination exercise in the Polytechnic.

LASPOTECH argued that their arrest was never connected with their involvement in protest against the institution where they demanded for a reversal in the migration of the polytechnic workers salary structure from the CONTISS 15 migration.

Debunking the allegations against the institution, Deputy Registrar ( information & public relations), Olanrewaju Kuye, in a statement made available to The Guild, stressed that the affected staffs were invited by the Nigeria Police for interrogation and charged to court in line with the dictates of the law.

“The suspects were alleged to be involved in assaulting with petrol, two officials of JAMB, and physically attacked and injured the Polytechnic’s Director of ICT on Friday, 29th March, 2019 during the preparation for the JAMB CBT mock examination exercise in the Polytechnic

“The general public could also recall that, the Registrar of JAMB- Prof. Ishaq Oloyede while reporting the readiness of his Board for the 2019 JAMB examination to the Minister of Education- Adamu Adamu on Monday, 1st April, 2019 lamented the attempt to set some of his officials ablaze at LASPOTECH centre and vowed to ensure justice is done,” he added.

The information officer recalled that, the affected officials reported the assault at the Shagamu road police station, and the Nigeria police had since taken over the case.

According to him, the story making rounds to smear the image of the Polytechnic’s Management is a calculated attempt to distract the general public from the heinous act.

“The ongoing trial is strictly between the Nigeria Police and the suspects. It has nothing to do with the ongoing trade dispute that is already being attended to by the Lagos State Government.”

No plan to hike tuition fee-LASU

By News desk

The Lagos State University (LASU) on Monday said there was no iota of truth in the rumour being circulated that it planned to increase its tuition soon.

The university’s spokesman, Ademola Adekoya, told news men in Lagos that the rumour was the handiwork of mischief makers.

According to him, the story is not correct. No iota of truth on the increase of school fees.

He said the university’s Governing Council also had not made any recommendation for the increase of school fees.

According to him, the governing council only recently approved an increase on the amount paid on certificates, transcript and other sundry charges as recommended by the Finance and General Purposes Committee of the university.

It was observed that the university has posted on its official twitter handle urging students to“Kindly disregard any information suggesting an increase in the school fees of LASU. School Fees remains unchanged, please.”

Former governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, had on June 11, 2014 announced the reversal of LASU fee which ranged from N197,000 to N350,000 for medical students to the old rate of N25,000 across board.

Fashola had in 2011 increased the fee from N25,000 to N197,000 for Arts and Humanities’ students, and N350,000 for medical students .

But following several protest by students and civil society groups, Fashola effected a reversal of the fee.

LASU’s tuition was increased in 2005 from N250 to N25,000 under former Governor, Bola Tinubu’s regime.

LASG orders shutdown of schools Thursday ahead Gubernatorial election

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

Ahead of the Gubernatorial and House of Assembly Elections, Lagos State Government has ordered that all public and private schools in the state be shutdown on Thursday.

The State Government added all parents, teachers and stakeholders in the education sector must adhere to the directives for safety reasons.

In a statement signed Deputy Director, Public Affairs, Ministry of Education, Shina Ogundeji, made available to newsmen on Monday, explained that education activities would resume in the state Monday, 11th March, 2019.

It stated further that the break is to ensure all students and pupils are in their respective homes during the Gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections that will hold on Saturday, 9th March 2019.

According to a statement, all Public and Private Schools in the State are expected to close on Thursday, 7th of March, 2019 and resume on Monday, 11th March, 2019.

The statement noted that it became necessary to correct the wrong impression in some quarters that schools will not open on Thursday, 7th March 2019.

Ambode orders schools resumption after elections postponement

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah
Following Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC postponement general elections, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has ordered resumption of schools in the state.
Director General, Education Quality Assurance, Ronke Soyombo, disclosed the order in a statement made available to pressmen Saturday, stressing that the new date fixed by the umpire required the government new stance.
She stated that all schools should resume on Monday, 18th February, 2019.
“All schools in Lagos state are expected to close on the following dates: Friday 22nd of February and to resume on Monday 25th and closes again Friday 8th March 2019 and to resume on Monday 11th March.
“All public and private schools, school leaders and school associations should take note and adhere strictly. Kindly give this public announcement wide and urgent publicity,” She added.
The DG stressed that the state government was compelled by the change in election dates to further review the 2018/19 school academic calendar.

LASG adjusts mid-term holiday over general election

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

Barely nine days to general election, Lagos State Government has reviewed the date for schools mid-term holiday, to protect the teachers and pupils from any possible attacks.

According to the government, the first mid-term break is scheduled for 14th to 18th February while the second mid-term break would commence 28th February to March 4th.

Giving the rationale behind the review in her office yesterday, the Director General, Office of Education Quality Assurance, Mrs. Ronke Shoyombo, explained that this would safeguard students in the state during and after the 2019 general elections.

Soyombo, who alongside the Joint Association of Private Schools Owners of Nigeria (JAPSON), officials from the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders at the Office of Education Quality Assurance, stated that the February 13th would be an Open Day for all schools in the state.

She also explained that the meeting in conjunction with schools association leaders present and education stakeholders and private sectors in the state also agreed that 7th of March, 2019 should be World Book Day.

The director further enjoined all stakeholders to urgently cascade the change in the academic calendar to other school owners and parents.

“Since schools activity fall in between the date for the general elections in the country, the adjustment became inevitable and security very paramount, to protect our wards and avoid crisis during the elections”, Soyombo added.

She also urged the Association Leaders present to strictly comply to the urgent adjustment to allow children stay away from academic environment during the voting exercise, for safety purpose.

The director, while rounding up the meeting urged all stakeholders to always support programmes that would raise the standard of literacy in schools and promote the development of education in the state.

Jigawa community laments dearth of infrastructures

The People of Padi Community in Sule Tankakar Local Government Area of Jigawa have appealed to the State Governor, Muhammad Badaru, to build a primary school for them.

According to the residents, improvement in school infrastructure would further increase rate of school enrollment especially the girl-child in schools.

It was gathered that many had raised concerns over the state of infrastructures at Sule Tankakar which is about 300 kilometres from Dutse, the Jigawa State capital.

The Village Head, Nura Haruna, who disclosed this to newsmen in Dutse on Thursday, added that the community, with a population of about 10,000, has no primary school.

He complained that children from the community trek for about 12 kilometres to attend school in a nearby village.

Haruna also appealed to the governor to build a dispensary for the community, adding that this would ease the suffering of the residents especially women and children.

He said that the residents of the community have to walk up to nine kilometres to access a health facility.

“We don’t have a single clinic, in our village. Each time we are sick, we walk to far places to seek for medication,” Haruna said.

300,000 applicants purchase 2019 JAMB UTME forms in seven days

By News desk

Barely seven days after Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) commenced sales of 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) forms, no fewer than 300,000 candidates has registered for the exercise.

The board commenced registration of candidates for the 2019 all Computer Based Test (CBT) on Jan.10 and it would close on Feb. 21.

JAMB Head, Media and Information, Dr Fabian Benjamin, who disclosed the statistics to newsmen on Friday in Lagos, said that this was coming a week after the commencement of the registration exercise.

According to him, the registration so far has been seamless, and the board is happy with the development.

“We are happy with the way the process is going; we hope it will continue this way

“So far, we have registered over 300,000 candidates as at Thursday.

“We are happy there have not been issues because so far, there is just a tiny gap between the number of candidates that have acquired the e-pin and that of those that have registered,” he said.

Meanwhile JAMB had insisted that all candidates with issues of biometrics must go over to Abuja for it to be rectified.

“I want to reiterate the fact that only the Registrar of the board has the sole right to attend to such issues.

“Any candidate who may have issues with the capturing of his or her finger prints at their respective points of registration will need to come down to our office in Abuja.

“This will require the Chief Executive to do it himself for the purpose of security,” Benjamin said.

This, however, was contrary to calls by some stakeholders urging the board to set up special centres in every state of the country to tackle issues.

The National Parent Teacher Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN) had argued that asking candidates with biometric issues to travel all the way to Abuja to get such issues sorted out was too demanding, citing dangers of transportation, fares, among others.

Second Deputy National President of the Association, Adeolu Ogunbanjo, said that most parents were barely struggling to get money to get their children and wards registered.

Ogunbanjo said that for those with such biometric issues, travelling to Abuja was an additional burden.

Sen. Andy Uba’s move to establish University in Uga gets a boost

Recent move by Senator Andy Uba for the establishment of a Federal University in Uga, Anambra state, has gotten a boost as the Senate has committed the bill to Public Hearing.

The Senate’s Committee on Tertiary Education and TETFUND, chaired by Sen. Barau Jibrin, on Tuesday, held a public hearing on to establish Federal University, Uga.

Barau who commended Sen. Uba for the move, said that the University would go a long way to boost tertiary education in Uga and the whole of Anambra state.

Addressing members of the committee during the hearing, Sen. Uba said that the university will further advance Nigeria’s body of knowledge through research.

Senator Andy Uba with some members of his Uga Community after the public hearing to establish a Federal University

“One of the yearnings of the people of Anambra state especially my Senatorial District, is to have increased access to quality tertiary education. This bill is crafted specifically to cater to that need.

“The establishment of this institution is informed by the imperative to create greater access to university education in view of a large number of qualified candidates who are annually stranded in their failed attempts to gain admission into universities in Nigeria.

“Our economy has very high potentials and requires high level scientific and technical skills to drive it. The establishment of this university will go a long way into achieving those targets.

“The bill is well organized for its very own purpose of a modern academic and research institution,” he said.

The senator argued that the establishment of the University will further advance Nigeria’s body of knowledge through research as well as nurture unique innovations, entrepreneurship, vocational training and wealth management.

The bill if passed into law will bring to five the number of federal universities in South East Nigeria.

Lagos students disrupt activities at Ambode’s office over unpaid N683m bursary

By News desk

Hundreds of National Union of Lagos State Students, NULASS, yesterday stormed office of the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, lamenting over unpaid N683 million bursary.

The protest came two months after the governor told the students that the funds has been released and that payments would be made immediately to ensure their academic pursuit does not encounter any hitches.

The students, who were armed with several placards to express their displeasure over continued withhold of the fund, alleging that the state government action was frustrating their academic pursuit.

Speaking on behalf of the aggrieved students, NULASS General Secretary, Padonu Mathew, lamented that the officials at the ministry of education have allegedly been tossing them around.

Matthew said: “Since announcing the release of the funds, we have been asking the state government officials when will the funds be paid. But they have not been able to give us any concrete date. Rather, they kept appealing for more time to effect payment.”

Addressing the students, Special Adviser to the Governor, Obafela Bank-Olemoh, urged the protesting students to exercise patients, saying, in few days, the payment would be sorted out.

SSANU begins three-day protest over N8b unpaid allowance, retrenchment

By News desk

The Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) has commenced a three-day nationwide protest over alleged refusal of the Federal Government to obey a court judgment on staff schools and honour agreements on earned allowance.

SSANU, in a statement by its National President, Samson Ugwoke, and National Public Relations Officer, Abdussobur Salaam, said the National Industrial Court, Abuja, had two years ago,  ruled that teachers in university staff schools that were sacked by government be reinstated.

The resolution to embark on the protest, according to the association, was reached at its 35th regular National Executive Council meeting held at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology.

The union accused the Federal Government of refusing to honour the judgment by failing to recall the sacked teachers of staff schools.

Ugwoke further stated that the government had not released the N8bn earned allowance it promised.

The statement reads, “The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, as part of the resolution reached at a conciliation meeting on March 13, 2018, had announced that the Federal Government would pay the three (groups of) non-teaching staff (National Association of Academic Technologists, Non Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities and SSANU) the N8bn as their earned allowance.

“But several months after the agreement was reached, the money has yet to be released. The delay in the payment has become a source of discomfort and agitation by members of the three unions and has also become a source of embarrassment to the leadership.”