Tag Archives: education

Lagos Gov’t to build more schools – Report

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The Chief Resilience Officer stated further that the design for the proposed school has provision for proper ventilation and lighting

As part of efforts to encourage more enrolment of school-age children and check out-of-school children, Lagos State Government has expressed its readiness to build more schools.

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The State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo disclosed this during a meeting with the Chief Resilience Officer (CRO), Lagos State Resilience Office (LASRO), Arc. Gbolahan Owodunni Oki and the Chairman, Itire/Ikate Local Council Development Area, Dr. Ahmed Olanrewaju Apatira at Ikeja on the proposal for the establishment of Itire/Ikate Model College.

In a statement, on Monday, the commissioner also hinted that special provision was made for additional schools in the Y2021 budget, while existing school infrastructure would be constantly upgraded to make the teaching and learning environment more conducive.

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She explained that education remained a potential weapon with which the government can fight crime, ignorance, poverty and underdevelopment, adding that the ongoing reforms embarked upon by the present administration would not only improve the State’s quality of education but encourage mass enrolment of pupils of school age.

While commending LASRO for initiating resilience strategies that could help the State Government realise its vision for quality education and technological development, Adefisayo affirmed that the State Government would always create an enabling environment for partnership in the ongoing education sector reforms and reduce activities that could promote street trading, hawking, child abuse and other related vices.

Adefisayo promised that the proposal for the Itire/ Ikate Model College would be taken to the Governor and the State Executive Council for consideration, noting that the establishment of a secondary school in Itire/Ikate community is long overdue because pupils have to travel to Mushin, Surulere, Coker-Aguda and other far distances on daily basis in the search for knowledge.

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Earlier, the Chief Resilience Officer, Arc. Gbolahan Oki explained that LASRO, in conjunction with the Itire/Ikate LCDA, had come to make a presentation in favour of possible consideration for the establishment of Itire/Ikate Model College in line with the State Government’s resilience initiatives in educational development.

Oki further explained that the proposed school, if approved, would help to reduce lateness to schools, students’ exposure to travel hazards, child abuse and similar vices to the minimum, while pupils’ enrollment for secondary education in the area would increase significantly.

He stated that after extensive stakeholder-engagements and due consideration, LASRO came up with a compact and comprehensive design that could accommodate junior and senior Secondary Model College to fit into the available space donated by the community.

The Chief Resilience Officer stated further that the design for the proposed school has provision for proper ventilation and lighting, classrooms that meet minimum requirements as well as amenities such as offices, staff rooms, library and other facilities that could make learning more conducive.

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In his contribution, the Chairman, Itire/Ikate LCDA, Dr. Ahmed Olanrewaju Apatira, who was represented at the meeting by his Vice, Pastor Gbenga Oyebode, explained that after a stakeholders’ meeting, all leaders of Itire Ikate community including Oba of Ikate Kingdom, (HRM) Oba Lateef Atanda Abiodun, the Regent of Onitire Kingdom, High Chief Atanda Aberejo, Itire/Ikate CDC Chairman, Otunba Dupe Adekoya and other prominent citizens of the area unanimously agreed on the need to establish a secondary school in the community to encourage more enrolment and reduce the stress of having to travel long distances to where schools are located.

Apatira said that apart from providing the land for the proposed Model College, the community is equally ready to give every other necessary support to the State Government to make the dream come to reality, noting that the establishment of a secondary school in the area is one of the needs of the people of the area.

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#Newsworthy

NASU-LASU strike begins; examination ‘postponed’

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‎The three unions are the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, Non-Academic Staff Union and the National Association of Academic Technologists.‎

Examinations at the Lagos State University have been put on hold after the Non-Academic Staff Union of the university started a warning strike over alleged breaches of agreement reached with the government.

Students were locked out of the school premises which prevented them from writing their exams on Monday.

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The union had earlier in January went on a five-day warning strike by the institution Joint Action Committee to press their demands.

The Chairman, SSANU-LASU Chapter, Saheed Oseni, said that the three unions in the university totally complied with the strike in line with the directive of their national bodies.

‎The three unions are the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, Non-Academic Staff Union and the National Association of Academic Technologists.‎

They said the university system is challenged by poor governance and administrative lapses which needs to be addressed holistically.

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“Poor funding of our universities, shortfall in payment of staff salaries, increasing corruption in the university system should be addressed,” the union said in January.

The Dean of Student Affairs, Dr Tajudeen Olumoko, while addressing students, said that the school authority was already making contact with state government and the issue would be resolved soon.

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#Newsworthy

NOUN staff open to join ASUU.

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Chief Iheanacho Ukaha, has assured NOUN that the community would strive to upgrade the facilities in the centre

Academic Staff Forum of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) has resolved to join the Academic Staff Union of Universities, (ASUU).

According to a statement signed by the Public Relations Officer, Dr. Chuks Enwerem, the forum held a meeting on December 3, 2020, to discuss modalities for getting its share of the Earned Academic Allowance (EAA) released by the Federal Government to ASUU.

The forum later had a second meeting on February 2, 2021, at the Convocation Arena, NOUN Headquarters, Jabi, Abuja.

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Chairman of the forum, Professor Abubakar Suleiman, briefed members on the progress made towards getting a staff of the university to be included in the payment loop. He said that after extensive deliberations with ASUU officials in the North Central, coupled with other available information, they were convinced that it would be very difficult for NOUN academics to get their entitlement by going it alone without the national body.

Members of the forum generally resolved to join the national body without further delay. They consequently mandated the executive committee to follow up on the membership process.

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SEQUEL to the opening of NOUN study centre in Asaga-Ohafia, Abia State, at the weekend, the President-General of Asaga Ohafia Development Union (ADU), Chief Iheanacho Ukaha, has assured NOUN that the community would strive to upgrade the facilities in the centre, to make the centre an epitome of educational reference.

He told NoRM‘s known Media that his community built the centre to expand access to higher education in the area through the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) programme and thus cushion the tertiary educational constraints and challenges of the area.

“The study centre was built by ADU and gifted to NOUN,” he said, stressing that the ODL programme had benefitted many Nigerians.

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“It is our hope that the establishment of NOUN in Asaga-Ohafia, the only one in Abia State outside the state capital, will positively impact on the lives of the members of our community.”

NOUN Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Abdalla Adamu, who was represented by Deputy VC (Academics), Professor Uduma Oji Uduma, at the commissioning, said that the Asaga Ohafia study centre would complement the existing centre in Umuahia and cushion the tertiary educational constraints in Ohafia and environs.

He consequently urged politicians to consider making provision of education opportunities to their communities as a top priority.

In this regard, he canvassed that politicians should channel their constituency budgets towards establishing study centres in their localities.

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“NOUN, as the single open and distance university in the country, provides individuals with the opportunity of studying anywhere and anything,” he stated.

Two monarchs from Asaga-Ohafia, the Ezematita II, Dr. Sunny Ukweni; and the EzieOgo, Emmanuel Kalu; lauded NOUN for approving the study center in Asaga-Ohafia.

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#Newsworthy

NYSC list conditions for allowing corps members into camps.

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Other protocols are “PCMS are expected to go to their dashboard and fill in the COVID-19 test self-reporting format before printing call-up letters.

The National Youth Service Corps Scheme (NYSC) has listed conditions that prospective corps members for the 2020 Batch “B” Stream II must meet, before they are allowed into orientation camps nationwide.

NYSC stated this in its “Safety protocols” issued ahead of the commencement of the 2020 Batch “B” Stream II Orientation Course on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.

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“It is imperative to restate that everyone coming into the NYSC camps must undergo COVID-19 test, Corps Members, and officials alike. Only those that test negative are admitted into the camps,” it stated.

“PCMs are to download and print slip generated for presentation at Orientation camps.

“PCMS must adhere strictly to their assigned date of reporting to the orientation camps.

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“No PCMS will be allowed into the camps if they come before their appointment date.

“Upon arrival at Camp, PCMS must subject themselves to COVID-19 test.

“PCMs must take responsibility for their own safety and ensure strict compliance with all COVID-9 safety protocols.

“All foreign-trained PVMS must arrive in the country two weeks before the commencement of the orientation course.

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“Frequent washing of hands at the wash hand points and use of alcohol-based hand sanitiser
Physical distancing must be observed in all camp activities.

“Avoid touching face with unwashed hands.”

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#Newsworthy

NUC SAYS School to resume after 9 months ASUU Strike.

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Following the approval given by the Presidential Task Force on COVID19, The NUC says universities can now resume academic activities.

The National Universities Commission (NUC) has directed vice-chancellors of universities to begin academic activities on January 18, following the directive of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) team on Covid-19.

NoRM recalls that Universities in Nigeria have been closed due to the strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) as well as the Coronavirus pandemic.

ASUU suspended its 9-month old strike on December 23, 2020, after the federal government met their demands, including paying the lecturers their outstanding salaries using an older payment platform, GIFMIS, different from the controversial IPPIS.

In a statement released, the deputy executive secretary (Administration) of the NUC, Chris Maiyaki, mandated administrators on Grade Level 12 and below to remain at home for a period of five weeks as earlier directed by the federal government.

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He asked university authorities to safeguard lives by strictly adhering to the existing safety protocols and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guidelines, which have been given severally to the Nigerian University System through NUC’s circulars.

“I am to add that universities on resumption of academic activities, must under no circumstance violate the full cycle of the semester system, consistent with the Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards (BMAS) approved by the NUC, as well as other extant quality assurance standards and guidelines,” the statement added.

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#Newsworthy

COVID-19: Lagos shut schools indefinitely

Meanwhile, another lockdown is likely in Nigeria with the rising COVID-19 cases, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on the Novel Coronavirus Control has warned.

In lieu of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, all the public and private schools below tertiary level in Lagos State have been instructed to remain closed indefinitely.

This was disclosed in a statement issued by the Head of Public Affairs, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Mr. Kayode Abayomi to Kemi Filani News.

“The recent directive makes it mandatory that all schools earlier scheduled to resume on 4th of January, 2021, must remain closed until a new resumption date is announced in due course.” the statement partly reads.

Parents and students were also urged to ensure strict adherence to guidelines issued by the government to prevent the spread of COVID-19 such as the wearing of face masks, physical distancing, washing of hands under running water and use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers.

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National Coordinator of the PTF, Dr Sani Aliyu, said the only way to prevent a re-introduction of a lockdown is by adhering to the advisories. He said this while speaking on a television programme on Sunday.

“If you don’t want a lockdown, the only way is to make sure we use our facemasks, avoid mass gatherings, avoid people who have respiratory tract infections, sanitise our hands and follow those non- pharmaceutical interventions. The very vaccines that we currently have are those non-pharmaceutical interventions.

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#Newsworthy

Jan 04: Akwa Ibom, Nasarawa & Rivers schools begins academic session

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This update is to notify both Nursery, Primary, and Secondary schools concerning school resumption.

Some states have chosen their resumption date against the federal government approved date while others are still waiting to resume on 18th of January in line with the federal government decision.

However, Today Academic activities begins for some schools as well as some state of the federation in Akwa Ibom, Nasarawa & Rivers State.

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#Newsworthy

Just in: FG, ASUU meeting ends in deadlock

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The strike was conditionally suspended following the intervention of stakeholders and government’s directive to suspend implementation of the controversial IPPIS for lecturers.

Two weeks after suspending their nine-month-old strike, university teachers have accused the Federal Government of reneging on the agreement reached with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

The dons, in a statement, said the government was yet to pay their December salaries, while “illegal” deductions were still to be refunded.

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In the release, the union said the government had “again failed to honour its agreement on payment of not only outstanding salaries of members ranging from five to eight months; Earned Academic Allowances (EAA) and check off dues illegally deducted before December 31, 2020.”

The lecturers had embarked on strike in March 2020 over government’s refusal to honour the agreement reached with ASUU in 2009 that revolves around university revitalisation, improved funding and infrastructure development.

The body also protested against government’s introduction of an alternative payment platform, Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), insisting the initiative was at variance with university autonomy and therefore directed members not to enrol on the platform.

But chairman, University of Lagos (UNILAG) chapter of ASUU, Dr Dele Ashiru, told The Guardian that successive administrations have always failed to honour agreements with the union.

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He said the government made some promises before the protracted industrial action was suspended but regretted that the current administration had allegedly failed to its part of the bargain.

Ashiru said: “For instance, the government failed to pay members’ illegally deducted salaries before December 31, 2020, and as of January 3, we are yet to receive December 2020 salary. Government promised to refund our illegally deducted check-off dues before December 31, 2020, but that has not been done as we speak. They promised to credit the Earned Academic Allowances account before December 31 and that also has not been done.”

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#Newsworthy

Abia: Ikpeazu approves reopening of schools from January 11

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This is contained in a statement by the state’s Commissioner for Education, Dr Kanaelechi Nwangwa, in Abia on Friday.

Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, has approved the reopening of all schools in the state on Monday, Jan. 11, for the continuation of the first term of 2020/2021 academic session.

Nwangwa directed all school heads and proprietors to ensure the observance of COVID-19 protocols for the safety of teachers and students.

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He said that this was imperative following the the second wave of the COVID-19 in Nigeria.

“They should also note that by this directive, the first term of 2020/2021 will now officially end on Wednesday Feb. 10, 2021.

“This is to ensure that the first term runs a full course as expected.

“Any school proprietor that shortchanges this schedule and decides to cut corners by running an abridged term will be appropriately sanctioned.

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“The duration of the first term for the 2020/2021 academic session is from Nov. 2, 2020 to Feb. 10, 2021 with the Christmas break in-between,” he said.

Nwangwa urged school heads and proprietors to be properly guided by the directive to avoid unwanted consequences.

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#Newsworthy

Just in: PGF DG offers solution to ASUU strike

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The PGF DG added that protests and strikes should however, be the last resort.

Alhaji Salihu Lukman, Director-General, Progressives Governors Forum (PGF), says a holistic approach is required to address recurring Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strikes in the country.

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Lukman said this in a statement in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that ASUU had been on strike since March 23, paralysing academic activities in public universities before the recent agreement to end the strike.

“Many who simply want to reduce these issues to opinions and commentary, may hardly recognise that this is not a matter that any government can resolve by fiat.

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“It is also not a matter that any group can sustainably achieve, no matter how aggressive and resolute the group may be,” he said.

Lukman said that the frequent ASUU strikes would destruct Nigerian’s education system if not well handled.

“To change this will require a new holistic approach, which should be based on a sectoral strategy coordinated directly by the presidency not at ministerial level,”he said.

Lukman recalled that in 1960s and 1980s there were hardly strikes at the country’s education system, noting that most academic disruptions at that time were caused by students’ protests over welfare conditions.

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“It is almost impossible to cite any country in the world with a record of strike in universities for nine months in one academic calendar like Nigeria.

“As patriots, we must all be worried, concerned and committed to resolving the problem permanently in the interest of all.

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#Newsworthy

Nigeria had suffer colossal loss – Profs spill after ASUU abort 9 months old strike

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For the students, he said staying at home for that long would have changed their orientation, most of them becoming burden on parents.

As the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) suspended its nine-month-old strike, yesterday, professors from various institutions said the action had left colossal loss to the nation.

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The suspension came after ASUU and the Federal Government resolved the contentious issues that had prolonged the strike. ASUU’s National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, announced the suspension of the strike at a press conference shortly after the National Executive Council meeting (NEC) of the union resolved that the protracted strike action be suspended conditionally.

Ogunyemi, however, warned that if government failed to fulfill its own part of the agreement, ASUU would resume the strike.

ASUU had embarked on an indefinite strike on March 23, over non-implementation of agreements and resolutions government reached with the union in 2009, as well as the introduction of a new payment system, Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), for university teachers.

Although the union proceeded to develop an alternative platform, University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), the reluctance of government to accept the payment platform and attend to their other demands kept university students out of school for nine months.

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The strike paralysed academic activities in the nation’s universities despite pleas from stakeholders to the warring parties to reach compromise and save the education sector.

While announcing the suspension, Ogunyemi said they had resolved to return to classrooms and do their best for the students and the nation at large.

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“We are going back to rekindle the motivation and aspirations in our members and encourage our students to excel, all in expectation that governments at both Federal and state levels would sincerely fulfill their own part of the bargain,” he said.

Ogunyemi also appealed to parents to show more interest in their children’s condition of living and learning, and be advocates of better funding, better laboratories and learning environment for their wards.

This, he said, would ensure an all-round education that would enable graduates compete with the rest of the world.

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Stakeholders have, however, lamented that the strike came at a huge a cost to the nation. Former vice chancellor, Bells University of Technology, Otta; Prof. Adebayo Adeyemi; Prof. Ayodeji Olukoju of the University of Lagos, and Dr. John Nwobodo, a lecturer in the Faculty of Law, Renaissance University, Enugu, described the strike action as ill-timed and a setback for the sector.

Adeyemi said the strike would negatively affect foreign students wishing to have their university education in Nigeria as well as the global rating of Nigerian universities.

It would encourage more prospective Nigerian students to seek education outside the shores of Nigeria, thus encouraging capital flight to other countries.

Some of the students, he feared, would have lost touch with the realities of their studies while others would have been affected by financial, environmental, social and family factors, which would prevent them from resuming after the strike.

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Such category of students, he noted, if not properly rehabilitated, might become social miscreants.

“Unfortunately, in this country there is no follow-up by institutions and no government social agencies that can provide follow-up or succour to such group. It is the society, in the long run, that bears the brunt of the negative consequences of abandonment,” he added.

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Adeyemi also argued that, with the prolonged strike, research activities, which should a major focus of academic pride, would be relegated to the background.

To address the problem of strike and ensure uninterrupted learning, the scholar said continuous academic calendar could be ensured and sustained with mutual understanding among stakeholders.

Dr. Nwobodo described the nine-month strike as an economic loss to government and the nation. Nwobodo lamented that an academic year had been lost to the strike, while government would have to pay teachers for months they did nothing.

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A Development Expert, Dr. Chiwuike Uba, said the economic and social costs of the strike were huge and indeterminable, stressing that the opportunity costs will be delays in students’ graduation, loss of revenue to businesses dependent on universities, decline in quality of education and its impact on the general economy, and workers demotivation, among others.

He said: “It is shocking that, even when Universities have been granted autonomy, they are still a one-hundred percentage dependent on government subventions for their programmes and activities. One would expect the institutions to generate funding from their intellectual capital through research, studies, and innovations. There is no link between our universities and industries in Nigeria. In other countries, universities attract huge research grants from industries and from their own social enterprises. What are the inputs of Nigerian universities on national and subnational policies and development?

“It is only in Nigeria that you see professors and other lecturers selling handouts and textbooks. Some are still teaching with the handouts with which they were trained. The more reason they are obsessed with strikes, which have led to the irretrievable decline in the quality of education in Nigeria. Over N2 trillion is spent by Nigerian students in universities abroad. In fact, during the recent strike, children of well-to-do parents left the country to study abroad.”

For Prof Femi Ajayi of Agricultural Extension Department, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, the strike is avoidable and could have been stopped if government had responded swiftly to teachers’ demands.

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Programme Coordinator, Gender and Social Inclusive, Ibrahim Maryam said the prolonged strike had led to increase in crime rate across the country.

A university don from Federal University, Gusau, Zamfara State, Dr. Abubakar Sadeeq Haruna, urged government to create enabling environment for private sector to invest in tertiary education as partial solution to ease huge budget allocation on education.
“ No doubt, the period covered in the strike is huge and it has crippled retention capacity of students. Although it is difficult to cover the whole time lost but efforts could be made to cover little. Universities should introduce virtual learning for students. Lecturers’ allowances should be paid and the university should be made conducive enough for lectures to start immediately,” Haruna stated.

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#Newsworthy

There are no agreements to end strike – ASUU

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He said that the Federal Government had promised to fulfil part of the agreement that led to the lingering strike, but had failed to do so till date.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) said it has not suspended its ongoing nine-month-old strike.

Dr. Lazarus Maigoro, Chairman of the University of Jos Chapter of ASUU disclosed this in an interview with NoRM on Friday in Jos.

According to him, the union has not signed any agreement with the Federal Government to call off the strike as being purported in some quarters.

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“It must be categorically stated here that ASUU never signed any agreement to suspend the strike but agreed on timelines for government to implement certain aspects of the issues in contention.

“For instance, one of the issues agreed was that all the six to nine months withheld salaries and check-off dues of ASUU members will be released by Dec. 9, but the date has passed and nothing was done.

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“The N40 billion earned academic allowances and N30 billion funding for revitalisation will also be released by Dec. 11, among other issues, but till now, none has been fulfilled.

“The next thing is that we heard Dr Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, telling the public that ASUU agreed to suspend the strike,” he said.

Maigoro said the minister was quoted in some sections of the media that government has fulfilled its part of the agreement reached to enable the union to call off the industrial action

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“He was quoted to have said the government had fulfilled its part of the gentleman agreement it entered with ASUU on Nov. 27.

“He was also quoted to have claimed that payment of the public university lecturers’ salaries being withheld would require presidential clearance due to the prevailing “No work, no pay” rule.

“It is important for Nigerians to note that salaries of lecturers of federal universities, who refused to enrol in the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) were stopped in February before they went on strike in March.

“It should, however, be noted too that IPPIS and salary stoppage were not among the demands of ASUU but was introduced by the government as a distraction,” he noted.

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He called on relevant stakeholders, parents and even students to join ASUU in its bid to ensure a better university and education system in the country, rather than see lecturers as bad eggs.

Maigoro called on the government to show high of level of sincerity in negotiating with ASUU, insisting that using threats would further aggravate the issue.

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#Newsworthy

[Nigeria] KSCE request upgrade to University

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The provost further said that the college had an International Computer Driver’s License (ICDL).

The Kwara State College of Education, Ilorin wants the state government to upgrade the school to University of Education to further produce qualified manpower for the nation.

Provost of the institution, Dr AbdulRaheem Yusuf, disclosed this in an interview with NoRM‘s known Media in his office in Ilorin on Friday.

Yusuf said that since the establishment of the institution in 1974, the school had produced good ambassadors representing the country in different areas of development.

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“If we can upgrade the College into University of Education, the issue of subvention can be a secondary thing, as more students will enroll into the institution in order to obtain their degree certificate,” he said.

The provost said the school management had made a proposal to the government on the upgrading and strongly believed that it would be approved.

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“We are moving forward in terms of development of our staff and that of the students.

“All our staff now are computer proficient and have undergone series of training, because there is need for upgrade,” the provost explained.

Yusuf said that the college had entered partnership with different organisations in terms of entrepreneurship, and the Entrepreneurship Grooming Institute (EGI) is establishing its centre in the institution.

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“The establishment of the centre means that the students will be taking more than a certificate, as they will take the NCE certificate and the entrepreneurship certificate

“We are much aware that the future may not depend only on the academic certificate, so we want to build students that will be job creators and not job seekers,” he said.

“Before anybody can be issued the license, that person must undergo training and pass the exam, and all our staff that participated in ICDL training passed

“An ICDL centre will soon be established in the institution, so that the college will be a centre for training,” he said.

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Yusuf added that all the college students were made to undergo Google Ambassador Training and the agent of Google recently visited the school to lecture them.

“We believe that with the ICDL and Google Ambassador certificate, the students will graduate as empowered citizens, with which they will not only be teachers, but a better person in the society,” he said.

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#Newsworthy

ASUU strike to end soon; read details

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The branch, however, called for payment of the allowance before the strike will be called off.

As results of the various congresses of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) trickle in, there are indications that the branches have accepted the Federal Government new offers.

But it is not yet uhuru as the congresses have given the Federal Government conditions to be met before the eight-month industrial action will be suspended by the union.

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Two days after the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, announced that the Federal Government’s negotiating team was still awaiting completion of Integrity Test on the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ (ASUU’s) University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), the Federal Government made an offer to the university lecturers. The latest offer seems to have moved the eight-month negotiation to a higher gear.

The Federal Government, at its recent meeting with ASUU, shifted grounds noticeably when it offered a total sum of N65 billion to the public university system to address some of its demands; revitalisation of universities and arrears of payment for earned allowances to lecturers. The government also said that salary arrears to striking lecturers would be reviewed for payment on an older platform, different from the government’s Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and the UTAS. This has also reduced some of the troubling points in the industrial dispute. The new offer has been taken back to ASUU by the union’s president for consideration, a marked change from the stasis of the past months. The ball is now back in the court of ASUU.

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It is part of the public record in Nigeria that a team was appointed by the Administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo to look into the accounts of the rested Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF), which was established by the military Government led by General Sani Abacha to accelerate the delivery of public goods and improve the general wellbeing of Nigerians. It was chaired by Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd).

The investigation team, which was called Interim Management Team, was composed of the these personalities, Dr. Haroun Adamu (Chairman), Alhaji Abdu Abdurrahim, Barrister Achana Gaius Yaro, Arc Edward Eguavoen, Mr. T. Andrew Adegboro and Engr Baba Goni Machina. They did a thorough job of the assignment.

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The purpose of the probe or investigation of PTF, many Nigerians believed, rightly or wrongly, was to find even the tiniest hint of possible breach of public trust by its erthwhile Chairman, Muhammadu Buhari. That possible sign of a possible wrong doing could have been used to dent his good name in the eyes of Nigerians who strongly believed that he was honest, prudent and genuinely committed to deploying national resources entrusted to him for the benefit of all Nigerians.

ACADEMIC Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) branches are divided over whether to accept the Federal Government’s offer and call off their eight-month-old strike.

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The union will harmonise the positions of zones and branches at a meeting in Abuja today.

With some branches insisting that the government must meet all the demands before the strike is called off, the union may put the decision to a vote.

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The Ahmadu Bello University branch agreed with the government on the N40 billion Earned Academic Allowance (EAA).

Lecturers at the Federal University of Petroleum Resources (FUPRE), Delta State, said negotiations with the Federal Government must be concluded before the strike is called off.

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Ezekiel Agbalagba, chairman of ASUU at the university, said the congress on Wednesday accepted the EAA, but rejected the N25 billion for the revitalisation of the varsities.

According to him, the latest concession by the Federal Government is “an offer”, adding: “Let it land in our purse first.”

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#Newsworthy

ASUU: We didn’t suspend the Strike

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The news was started by a Twitter handle purportedly run by the association.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities has said that the news making the rounds that it has suspended its eight-month-old strike in Universities, is fake and should be disregarded.

Social media was agog with news on Saturday, November 21 that the academic union had suspended its strike action and will resume academic activities across the nation on Monday, November 23.

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A senior member of the association has however come out to debunk the news, stating that the association doesn’t have a Twitter handle.

According to the member, if the union wants to suspend the strike, it will be via a press conference and not via Twitter.

Recall with NoRM that last Friday November 20, the Federal government in its negotiation meeting with the academic union, accepted the demand of the lecturers to be exempted from the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System.

The Federal government also agreed to increase the Earned Allowances to university staff from N30 billion to N35b and the Revitalisation Fund from N20b to N25b.


#Newsworthy

Update: Hopes rising as Gov’t begins gradual agreement with ASUU

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These are some of the agreements reached at the resumed meeting between the leadership of ASUU and the federal government team on Friday.

The Federal Government on Friday offered leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities N65 billion for Earned Academic Allowance and revitalisation.

The government also agreed to pay the striking lecturers through the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System) until ASUU’s University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) was ready for usage.

At the end of the seven- hour meeting, Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige told reporters that the Accountant-General of the Federation ( AGF) has offered to release N40 billion or in the alternative, N35 billion to be shared by all the registered Trade Unions in the universities after providing necessary evidence of having earned the allowance.

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“The FG reiterated that her offer of N40 billion or 35 billion whichever is accepted by ASUU was for all the universities unions: ASUU had proposed that N40 billion be paid immediately for all unions ,” the Minister said.

Ngige said all vice-chancellors are to submit details of the EAA/EA to the National Universities Commission (NUC) on or before November 30.

Speaking on the issue of withheld salaries, Ngige said the Federal Ministry of Labour and Federal Ministry of Education will review the issue of “no work, no pay” as stipulated in Section 43 of the Trade Disputes Act Cap T8 laws of the federation of Nigeria, 2004 with a view to getting approval for the withheld salaries to be paid.


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Notice of Resumption, false – ASUU spills

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The chairman, however, said that a meeting between ASUU and the Federal Government on the lingering strike may hold on Friday.

Dr John Edor, the Chairman of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Calabar (UniCal) branch, has debunked rumours that the union has called off its eight months old strike.

Edor debunked the rumour in a telephone interview with the NoRM‘s known Media in Calabar on Thursday.

He was reacting to a statement on Twitter purportedly credited to the union, calling off the strike.

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“As I talk to you now, ASUU does not have a Twitter account, so I wonder where that statement came from. As far as I am concerned, it is fake news, ” he said.

The union has been on an indefinite strike since April 4 and has held meetings many times with the Federal Government to resolve the impasse without success.


#Newsworthy…

ASUU: No Hope! – Lecturers alert parents, students

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ASUU accused President Muhammadu Buhari led government of not showing commitment in resolving the issues.

There is no hope in sight to call off the lingering strike action, the Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, informed parents and students.

ASUU had embarked on strike shortly before the Coronavirus lockdown, demanding the fulfilment of its 1999 agreement with the Federal Government.

The union said it will not end the strike until its demands on the Federal Government’s table are fully met, asking students and their parents to stop hoping that schools will resume soon

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The Zonal Coordinator of the Abuja zone of ASUU, Prof. Theophilus Lagi, made this known in a press conference at the University of Abuja campus, on Tuesday.

“[Our] members are relentlessly determined to continue with the ongoing strike until our demands are met,” the Coordinator said.

“Today, we wish to let Nigerians especially our students and parents know that there is no hope in sight to ending or suspending the ASUU strike that has lingered for several months as Government is yet to show serious commitment towards addressing our core demands”


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Get ready to resume School – ASUU tells Students

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The Union expressed optimism that students would return to universities next week after its meeting with the federal government.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) told students to prepare for resumption next week.

ASUU said this on its official Twitter page as the education body expressed hope of an agreement with the federal government.

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The tweet read: “ All Federal University students should prepare for resumption as we expect a positive outcome from ASUU on Wednesday.”

This is coming after the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, on Friday, expressed the hope that the agreement with the Union will be concluded next week.

Ngige lamented that ASUU was not considering the challenges their demands would create.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Greece Gov’t shut down schools amid new virus surge.

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This lockdown started November 7 and is to last until November 30, although experts suggest it might last longer.

Greece announced on Saturday the closure of its primary schools, kindergartens and daycare centres amid a surge in coronavirus cases that has saturated the national health system.

“The Greek government decided the suspension of the functioning of schools until November 30,” said a statement from Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias.

“Closing elementary schools was the last thing we wanted to do. This is a measure of how serious the situation is,” he added.

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Secondary schools have already closed and all lessons have taken place remotely since Monday.

Most European countries have kept schools open during the second wave of cases that have hit the continent since September, unlike in March and April when they were shuttered during the first lockdowns.

The World Health Organisation recommends that schools only be shut as a last resort.

Since late October, the daily number of deaths in Greece has quadrupled with 50 deaths reported some days, while the number of infections has doubled to around 3,000 cases daily.

Out of the 1,143 total, intensive care unit beds nationwide on Friday 830 were occupied.

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“The coming weeks will be extremely critical”, Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Thursday in the Greek Parliament where he was briefing MPs for the second lockdown since March.

Since Friday night a curfew from 9 pm to 5am has been imposed all over Greece.

The country with a population of 10.9 million people has experienced 997 deaths and 69,675 contaminations since the beginning of the pandemic in late February, most of them in the last four months.

The most hard-hit area is the northern city of Thessaloniki, the second-largest city in Greece.

“The health system is in the red,” Health Minister Kikilias has warned.


#Newsworthy…

Update: NECO fixes new exam day as EndSARs protest dissolves.

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NECO spokesperson, Azeez Sani, made the announcement on Monday.

The National Examinations Council (NECO), on Monday, announced that 2020 Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) in all states and Abuja, will resume on November 9.

Recall with Noble Reporters Media that the exam was suspended due to the nationwide End SARS protest.

Speaking on Monday Sani said, “Following the return of normalcy in the states and FCT, the examinations will now continue with a new Time-Table from Monday 9th November, 2020 to Saturday 28th November, 2020.”

He added that the exam body will make the new schedule available to the general public, schools and candidates from November 4.


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UNILAG Crisis: Babalakin resign as Pro-Chancellor.

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The University of Lagos Pro-Chancellor Wale Babalakin (SAN), has resigned following an alleged disagreement with the Nigerian Government on the visitation panel sent to the university.

“I would like to thank the President of the Federal of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari for giving me the opportunity to serve as the Pro-Chancellor of the University of Lagos (the “University”) from May 2017 till date,” Babalakin said in his resignation letter addressed to minister for education Adamu Ada

“I am also grateful that I was considered fit to be the Chairman of the Federal Government Negotiation Team on the Agreement reached with university unions in 2009, from 6th January 2017 till date. I equally want to thank you sir, for your role in recommending me to the President.”


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As school resumes: Sept. 14 resumption, only for final year students – Lagos Gov. [Nigeria]

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The Lagos state government has announced that only final-year students will be resuming when tertiary institutions reopen next Monday in the state.

Tokunbo Wahab, Special Adviser on Education to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, stated this.

Wahab said, “Basically, we are at a point where scientifically we’ve been proven to have flattened the curve. And it invariably means that we are not as exposed as we used to be some five, four, three months back.

So, consequently, we have to find a way to bring our lives back to normal. And in doing that, education is very critical to whatever we are going to do.

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“In the past few weeks, we’ve been putting in place measures and facilities that will enable our children come back to school.

“Even at that, what we seek to do from next week is to start a phased reopening of our tertiary institutions.

“On the 14th we have announced that our tertiary institutions are going to open to our students for the first time after six months.”

Wahab said the students have been having their lectures online all along and “they are going to come on campus to have their revision one-on-one and then they can now have their exams and their projects.”

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“For our tertiary (institutions) from on the 14th, we are going to start with the final-year students across our tertiary institutions. With those final-year students, we are sure that they are older, they are more mature, and they are going to meet up with the protocol as put in place by the institutions based on the regulations of the NCDC (Nigeria Centre for Disease Control).

“After we have phased them out, maybe after their exams, then, those in the penultimate year will come on campus. So, we are not going to put all our students on campus at the same time.

“For our secondary, from on the 21st, they are also going to have a phased resumption.” Wahab concluded.

Recall with Noble Reporters Media that Schools in the country had been shut in March as part of measures to curb the spread of the deadly covid-19 disease.


#Newsworthy…