Statistic body introduces discipline course across 20 tertiary institutions

By NewsDesk,

The  Nigerian Statistical Association (NSA) member, Christopher Okafor, has disclosed association initiated programme which was aimed at bring statistics to fore, and as well contribute to growth of economy.

Okafor, who was former president of the association, said that the association would  start the program by supporting educational institutions offering statistics as a course and that as part of the initiative, the body had had organised maiden statistics competition for 40 final year students from 20 tertiary institutions across the country for five days.

Serving as chairman of the competition, NSA former president, speaking on the development on Sunday in Abuja, said that 20 Institutions, eight polytechnics and 12 universities, participated in the programme, each with three members.

According to him, each institution fielded two competitors with a coach, making a total of 40 students and the competition involved two sets of examination in the theory of probability for five hours each, taken in two days.

“This is a starting point for tertiary institutions, it is supposed to be an annual event but it requires some funding. It has started now and it will continue. The competition was held to promote excellence among the students,’’ he said.

He hinted that 20 participants won different categories of medals including three gold, seven silver and 10 bronze medals.

“ Emmanuel Ugwu emerged overall best out of 40 final year students of statistics, while the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), emerged best institution,” added Okafor.

In addition, he said NSA had been working on ways to restore statistics as a subject in secondary schools.

Meanwhile in a communiqué issued at the end of the competition, the participants recommended that specific areas should be given as syllabus in future competitions.

They observed that the area of study which was probability theory was vast and was not properly defined to take cognisance of differences in curricular of the polytechnic and university.

“Questions taken on day 1 and 2 were limited to same core themes for example; questions number two and eight for day 1 and 2 respectively.

“Thus, narrowed knowledge to those who did well in the first paper.

“For a National competition of these nature, the absence of corporate bodies was worrisome,’’ the participants noted.

They, however, thanked NSA for initiating such a loadable programme and also called for improvement in publicity in the subsequent competitions.

The NSA was founded in 1976 as a non-profit making professional body comprising Statisticians, Economists, Planners, Demographers, Analysts and corporate organisations with interest in Statistics.

The Association engages in generating interest in Statistics, professional development, retraining of users and producers of statistics.

It provides sound information base to enhance policy formulation and strategic planning in the public and private sector of the national economy.

UNICEF school enrollment programme threatened in Sokoto

By News Desk

Poor infrastructure and lack of furniture in some schools in Sokoto State have threatened the sustainability of the Cash Transfer Programme (CTP) introduced by UNICEF in 2014.

This followed an appeal to the government by the Management of New Rimawa Model Primary School, Goronyo Local Government Area, Sokoto State, to provide furniture for the school to sustain the programme in the locality.

Balekisu Garba, a class teacher in the school, made the appeal when UNICEF led the media on a field tour to the school to assess the progress of CTP in the area.

Garba, who decried the absence of furniture such as chairs, tables among other working materials in the school, emphasised that such gaps could discourage teachers, pupils and parents from partaking in the programme.

It was revealed that UNICEF, in 2014, introduced the CTP in the northern states to increase enrollment of children in schools.

The project focuses on meeting the needs of the poor in the northern communities as well as encouraging children to go to school.

The project also targets caregivers, especially mothers, with the promise of sending their children to schools.

NAN reports that pupils of the school were seen sitting on floor while teaching was going on.

Some of the teachers were also communicating with the children in Hausa language.

Garba says, “No mother will like to see her child sitting on the floor while in the school.”

According to her, if government can provide us with the necessary facilities that will attract children and parents’ attention to key into western education, it will go a long way to improve productivity and enrollment.

“I am the class teacher of Primary three but as you can see I have no chair and table to work with.

“Even, the children are sitting on the floor, which is discouraging. In spite of all this gaps, large number of pupils on a daily basis still floods the school.

“We need assistance of the UNICEF in terms of classroom renovation, provision of chairs, tables and more teachers.

“Our children are willing to learn, likewise mothers are willing to bring their children to school, but human resources are not available,” Garba said.

Also, Mr Yusuf Abubakar, Headmaster of the school, said several appeal had been made to relevant government agencies for the provisions of infrastructure but attention had not been given.

Abubakar said there is also no school feeding plan for the children, adding that such programme would go a long way to enhance enrollment.

He said that the school had experienced tremendous increase in its enrollment of children but this increase had overstretched facilities on ground.

Tsalha Liman, a parent, commended UNICEF for the initiative, pledging that he would continue to sustain the programme even after its expiration.

Liman also called on the government to be proactive in responding to the challenges in the school, saying that this would help children to access quality education.

A primary five pupil of the school, Mariam Maidabu, said the initiative had made it possible for her to return to school.

Maidabu said the CTP had also enable her parent to provide for her school materials such as books, socks, uniform and the rest, adding that this had also helped her willingness to go to school.

NAN reports that the school which was established in 1970 initially has the population of 300 pupils but has increased to a total of 1,170 populations comprising of 575 boys and 595 girls as a result of CTP intervention.

About 12 teachers were in the school serving children from 11 communities in the local government area.

NOUN nursing programme gets NUC, NMCN accreditation

By NewsDesk,

The Vice-Chancellor, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Prof. Abdalla Adamu, has disclosed that the institution’s Nursing programme has been fully accredited by  National Universities Commission(NUC) and Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria(NMCN).

Adamu, during his remark at  First Faculty of Health Sciences Public Lecture held at NOUN’s headquarters on Monday in Abuja, said that, with BNSc. Nursing, B.Sc. Public Health and B.Sc. Environmental Health-fully accredited and B.Sc. Environmental Health resource verified and approved by NUC, the institution needed partnership the Federal Ministry of Health.

“NOUN B.Sc Nursing has been fully accredited by NUC and fully accredited Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria(NMCN).

“ We are very proud of this achievement and we congratulate the faculty of Health Sciences.

“ This event is important for because it provides a window of interactivity with the Federal Ministry of Health; we want to see more facilitators and supervisors from the ministry,’’ he said.

In his speech, Dr Osagie Ehanire, the Minister of State for Health, said that the topic of the lecture was apt given that the Universal Health Coverage(UHC), a priority programme of Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, was the news recently.

He said that UHC was the result of World Health Assembly Resolution 58.33 of 2005, which urged countries to develop strategies that ensure people had access to needed healthcare services without risk of financial ruin.

Ehanire said that UHC was envisaged to provide accessible, affordable and equitable quality healthcare to all citizens, including rural dwellers and the urban poor to enjoy healthier, more productive and fulfilling lives which supports economic growth and social harmony.

According to the minister, UHC has regained new global momentum with the World Health Assembly and UN General Assembly calling on member states including Nigeria to scale up effort to reduce poor health indices towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals.

He said that it was regrettable that over 70 percent of Nigerians paid for healthcare out of pocket because public funding was sparse, due in part to prevailing economic conditions and low budgetary provision.

“A significant flaw in the past was the investment of huge sums in health care without commensurate results.

“Looking back, the focus was arguably on input, rather than outcomes, the approach had to change and it did with the `Performance for Result’’(PforR) strategy , introduced to power the `Save One Million Lives’ programmes as a government flagship intervention to improve Maternal and Child Health, through results-oriented partnership with states.

“The SOML PforR is based on restructuring flow of resources to pay for results, outcomes, and impacts, rather than simply for processes, or reimbursement of activity costs.

“It seeks to deliver high impact, evidence-based, cost effective health interventions based on six pillars and two enablers.’’

“SOML PforR) is a great opportunity to tackle Nigeria’s poor maternal and child health indices; so far, states have been accessing the funds for implementation of their work plans,’’ he said.

On his part, the Guest Lecturer, Dr Ibrahim Kana, National Programme Manager, SOML PforR, challenged the academia to step up research on primary health care, adding that the programme was already in partnership with the University of Ibadan.

He said that was need for the academia to triangulate government policies- to pick interest in better understanding of Government Policies and relate with realities as well as teaching students about current government policies.

Kana urged each department of public health to adopt one primary health care centre per Senatorial District; conduct regular operational research in those facilities; set standard for other facilities to follow and use the centres as laboratories to test new approaches and techniques.

Kano Govt. secures property worth N10M for Islamic school

By Abdulwaheed Usamah, 

The Kano state government has secured two houses worth N10 million at Madabo quarters in Dala local government area for an Islamic school, Madarastu Babban Malami Islamiyya School, so as to enable it construct its permanent site.

Besides, a senator, Kabiru Gaya, representing Kano South, also pledge to construct four classes for the school while another one, Barau I. Jibrin, representing Kano North, too promised to donate N1 million towards completion of the work.

The state governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, said that the government effort was intended at encouraging children to acquire sound religious education, stating that, despite teeming students of the school, does not have a permanent site.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony of 139 Qur’anic students of school over the weekend in the state capital, Ganduje noted that the school has about 3, 000 students, who troop to the school daily to learn about how to reading, writing and memorizing the Qur’anic text, at courtyard of houses in the neighborhood, making the acquisition of the knowledge stressful.

Describing the Madabo School as the oldest center of Islamic education in Kano, Ganduje assured that his administration would continuously support the school and other initiatives aimed at consolidating the position of Kano as a leading center of learning.

The governor praised teachers of the school for their commitment and sacrifice, urging them to maintain the trend. He also tasked the students to practice what they leant, to ensure a more wholesome society.

Earlier on, the patriarch of the Babban Malami na Madabo family, Malam Kabiru Babban Malami and the Head teacher of the school, Imam Mustafa Usman Ahmad implored the state government to support the school to acquire a permanent site in view of its teeming students.

Highlights of the occasion include presentation of a merit award to Governor Ganduje for his contribution towards the development of Islam and education generally.
Ameen K. Yassar
Director General Media and Communications,

FG rates Niger state best in technical, vocational education areas

By NewsDesk,

The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, has commended Niger State government’s effort at improving technical and vocational education in the state, describing Niger as best among other states that was leading educating youth in the key areas in the country.

Adamu, who passed the mark during the state governor, Abubakar Sani-Bello and members of state cabinet visited minister at the Federal Ministry of Education Headquarters on Monday in Abuja, stated that as far as technical and vocational education was concerned, Niger State was the best with the state proving itself through provision of numerous programs lately.

 

The minister disclosed that government intends to establish six new specialised universities of technology in each of the zones in the country and that a technical college would also be established in each states of the federation depending on the ability of the finances of states.

He said that the effort was to have at least three to 10 technical and vocational institutions in each of the local government areas across the country and urged states to key into the programme.

keep up with this effort because it is an area that our ministry is intending to collaborate with states on.

“We are proposing to the President to make the state of education different from what we have now,” he said.

On Sani-Bello part, the state government was revamping the educational sector through provision of infrastructure in schools and training of teachers.

He said that the state government planned to establish three teachers’ professional institute in the three senatorial districts, adding that one was already being established in Munya Local Government Area.

He said that two students per ward selected were presently undergoing training in the institution and were being provided with free accommodation and feeding.

“We realised that teaching profession has become a dumping ground, reducing the profession to lower cadre because most of our teachers especially in primary and secondary schools are not well equipped.

“These students, after being trained, will go back to their various local government areas to train other teachers.”

Bello, who commended the efforts of the ministry in improving the standard of education in Nigeria, called for its support towards establishing a teachers’ professional development institution.

Kaduna teachers suspend strike action

The Kaduna State wing of the Nigeria Union of Teachers has called off the indefinite strike action embarked upon in all public schools.

The group also commends Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai’s reforms on education in the state.

 

Details later…

Drogba opens school in Ivory Coast, dedicates it to train future doctors, scientists

As part of the effort to give back to the society, Ivorian footballer Didier Drogba has opened a school which will help no fewer than 350 children in the rural cocoa growing community of Pokou-Kouamekro in their academic pursuit.

According to Drogba, the school project which was commenced two years ago, was the brainchild of the Didier Drogba Foundation and was built with additional support from Nestlé and the International Cocoa Initiative.

Pioneer pupils of the school

”I am very proud to see it completed. The belief of my foundation has always been if we give children access to health and education, we will build future generations of doctors, scientists, businessmen and women and that is how we build a better Africa.

“I want to encourage the students to make me proud and I also hope that the school will nurture future doctors and engineers.”

 

The school has six classrooms, a kindergarten class, a canteen, latrines, a football field and houses for three teachers.

It would be recalled that in 2012, Drogba had disclosed that the Foundation was funded with money which he earned from endorsements from sponsors, and the Foundation’s Charity balls which is supported by David Beckham and Kobe Bryant. In 2012, the Charity balls raised £1 million.

Didier Drogba at the opening of the school in the Ivorian community

Drogba joined a reconciliation commission in 2011, designed to heal wounds after the violent post-election crisis in Abidjan, he also doubles as United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Goodwill Ambassador

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

By Adewunmi Abodunrin, 

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

By Balogun Alabi,

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.