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The window and the mirror

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The window and the mirror

It is clear to the blind and discernible to the deaf that there is a lot of tension in the land. From all indications, Nigeria is at one of her lowest nadirs as a result of the systemic dysfunctionality that stares us in the face. There is no reprieve at home as our health institutions are in the shambles. Our roads are mainly death traps and our highways kidnappers’ dens. Our education is comatose and the products lack the attitudinal refinement that comes with higher learning. Nothing works any longer as public infrastructure remains almost obsolete.

We are in a quandary or at best a nation at war with itself. On the one hand, terrorists, bandits, criminals and all sorts of human cretin among us are on the offensive, killing, maiming, kidnapping, raping and robbing people with reckless abandon while on the other, the security forces kill, harass, intimidate and sexually abuse those they are supposed to protect. Abroad, our people are being executed like chickens in South Africa and the Middle East while others are being dehumanized in Europe.

Medical tourism to some Asian countries is becoming nightmarish as Nigerians fall victim to organ theft syndicates run by dubious professionals. In the America s, our people are presumed c r i m i n a l s and fraudsters, by virtue of their nationality, until they are proven otherwise. M e a n – while, it is too late and irrelevant these days to be parroting Walter Rodney’s thesis of How Europe Underdeveloped Africa.

It is rather expedient that we do a collective soul-searching as a nation, look at the mirror and see the evils we do to ourselves in the name of ethnicity, religion and politics, the three of which constituted my submission in a presentation entitled “Religious Bigotry, Ethnic Jingoism and Prebendal Politics: Understanding the Centrifugal Forces of Underdevelopment in Nigeria” made at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, on April 17, 2019. The notion of looking at the mirror foregrounds the metaphor of the window and the mirror used for education in leadership theory, peace and conflict studies as well as sundry areas. In context,Paolo Coelho tells the story of a rich young man who met a Rabbi to seek his advice on what to do with his life.

The Rabbi led him to a window and asked him what he could see through the glass. “I can see men coming and going and a blind man begging for alms in the street,” he said. Then, the Rabbi showed him a large mirror and asked him what was there. The man responded, “I can see myself.” “And you can’t see the others.

Notice that the window and the mirror are both made of the same basic material, glass. You should compare yourself to these two kinds of glass. Poor, you saw other people and felt compassion for them. Rich, covered in silver, you see yourself. You will only be worth anything when you have the courage to tear away the coating of silver covering your eyes in order to be able to see again and love your fellow man,” the Rabbi remarked. In the same vein, when things are wrong, the tendency is to look at the window and point fingers at who is responsible.

Everyone else is to blame apart from the finger pointer. But when things are right, the same person stands before the mirror and sees himself, satisfied at his job well done. Students of our tertiary institutions are veritable examples of this window and mirror mentality. When they perform excellently, they look straight into the mirror, feeling gratified: “I made an A in that lecturer’s course!” But when the opposite is the case, they look at the window with disgust: “That lecturer gave me an F in his course!”

They always make good grades but are given bad grades! It is part of miseducation to always look at the window when things are awry. Those who are properly educated look at the mirror in bad times so that they may make adequate changes and adjustments. The situation of Nigeria today is the handiwork of Nigerians. Therefore, it is high time we all introspected and appreciated how we destroy our society and country, including selfish leaders and wayward parents who pay others to sit exams for their children. Always remember: “you will only be worth anything when you have the courage…to love your fellow man.”

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Education

A’Ibom clamps down on 1,140 illegal private schools

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A’Ibom clamps down on 1,140 illegal private schools
  • Stakeholders: Govt should carry out reforms in sector
  • Commissioner: Defaulters are to be prosecuted

 

CLOSURE
The Akwa Ibom State Government has moved to sanitise the state’s education sector by closing down over 1,140 illegal and sub-standard private schools, but the action has raised concerns among stakeholders. TONY ANICHEBE examines the development

 

Owners and operators of ‘illegal and sub-standard’ private primary and secondary schools in Akwa-Ibom State are in for difficult times.

They have been given a marching order to close shop or face the wrath of the state government.

The state government had few weeks ago, ordered the close down of no fewer than 1,140 illegal and unapproved nursery, primary and secondary schools operating in every nook and cranny of the state, for failing to meet the set standard and quality.

This is part of deliberate moves by the government to chart a new direction and restore sanity to operation and delivery of qualitative education in the state.

According to the government, the clamp down had become imperative as part of deliberate efforts to revolutionise the state’s education sector, which has been taken over by some unscrupulous elements and owners who established sub-standard schools without requisite approval and registration with relevant government agencies.

Worried by the proliferation of sub-standard private schools across the state, the state Commissioner for Education, Prof. Nse Essien, said the action of the government to close down the schools, was to stem the rising number of unapproved private schools with a view to tackling the sliding fortune, standard and quality education in the state.

While expressing dismay over the quality of the schools, he lamented: “These schools are not approved by the Ministry of Education, while the pupils and students are taught under unhygienic condition, deplorable and unfriendly teaching-learning environment.”

The Commissioner, however, noted that the ministry had minimum standards which must be fulfilled and obeyed before establishing private schools in the state, saying the ministry would publish the names and locations of the affected illegal schools for the public to be aware of their operation and to stop enrolling their children and wards in such schools.

Essien, who warned that defaulters would be prosecuted by the state government, added: “The names and locations of the schools would be published, and subsequently the schools will be closed down.”

However, the action of the state government to close down the 1,140 illegal nursery, primary and secondary schools has continued to generate mixed-feelings among critical stakeholders, including policy makers, parents and school proprietors across the state.

But, while stakeholders are appealing to the government to tread softly on its clamp down order considering the negative impact the closure would have on some pupils and teachers of the affected schools, the state government is insisting that there was no going back on the implementation of the directive, given the damage such schools were doing to the development of quality education and collective aspiration of the people of the state.

Already, more than 500 schools had been forcefully closed down across the three senatorial districts of the state under the strict supervision of the ministry of education and the Committee on Closure of Schools, raised by the government for that purpose.

Firing the first salvo, one of the critical stakeholders in the state’s education project, the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Akwa Ibom State chapter, however, frowned at the alarming rate and proliferation of sub-standard private schools in the state.

However, expressing worry over the development, the organisation attributed this to the comatose standard of public schools, saying: “These schools sprang up to fill the wider gap in education system due to the failure of the government to provide quality schools for the children. So, the government must, as a matter of urgency, rise to its responsibilities by ensuring that the standards they set for private schools, are first met in government-owned schools in terms of infrastructural provision.”

It added: “This is because the government cannot be carrying a log in its eyes and expect to remove the speck in the eyes of other, especially owners of the illegal schools.”

The organisation, which recognised the right of the Akwa Ibom State Government to regulate, supervise and set standards for the operation of education institutions, especially at the nursery, primary and secondary school levels in the state, therefore, lauded the various efforts initiated by the state government towards ensuring that children are properly educated in order to enable them to compete favourably in the increasingly competitive environment of a globalised world.

The CLO, which also described as apt the recent education summit convened by the state, which addressing pressing education issues, condemned the mushrooming of sub-standard schools across the state.

The organisation, in a statement signed by its Chairman and Campaigns/Publicity Secretary, Otuekong Franklyn Isong and Comrade David Augustine, respectively, and which was made available to New Telegraph, regretted that the schools constitute a setback to the state’s march towards a well-educated citizenry.

Towards this end, the CLO urged the government to do everything possible within its capacity to check the trend and ensure that only schools that met the standards and operating in line with the government guidelines are allowed to operate in the state.

For the government to actually sanitise the sector, the organisation advised the government to first address the many ills and shortcomings in the state’s public school system, which according to it, include deplorable level of infrastructure; dearth of qualified teachers in schools in the rural areas; inadequate facilities; lack of basic teaching materials; as well as lack of libraries, computer laboratories, science laboratories and other infrastructure that aid learning in schools.

The statement further blamed the poor standard of the state’s education on lack of the right political will on the part of the government, which it also accused of playing politics with the education of the children, saying it has become imperative for government to carry out fundamental reforms in the education sector.

“The CLO wishes to advise the government to painstakingly look at the teaching and learning environment in public schools, which necessitated the rush by parents to withdraw their children and wards in droves from public schools. It is instructive that even teachers in public schools do not send their children to public schools where they teach, let alone the well-heeled government officials and civil servants in the state,” the statement added.

The organisation wondered that several communities in the state have no public schools at the primary and secondary school levels, saying that the illegal schools were established to fill the gap.

“For a very long-time now, successive governments have not deemed it fit to establish new schools in the state or fix the decayed in the system. These are the unfortunate gaps in which these owners are cashing in on to milk parents in the name of private schools,” it added.

As a way forward, the state government has been urged to rehabilitate existing public schools by equipping them with necessary instructional materials and facilities for the school to be more attractive and conducive to provide qualitative learning and teaching.

This could be done by recruiting more qualified teachers, retraining of teachers, enhancing welfare of teachers through better remuneration and regular payment of pension to retired teachers.

“The state government should commence immediately massive establishment of schools to address the distance children have to cover before they can get a public school to enroll,” stakeholders said.

According to them, the so-called illegal schools, rather than being shut down with immediate effect as directed by government, should be given an ultimatum to meet the set requirements, as well as a period of window within which to shape up or be shipped off.

Thus, they expressed worry that a wholesale closure of the private schools would have terrible consequences on the sector as inadequate existing public schools will be over stretched, while shylock private school proprietors will capitalise on it to take school fees to the rooftops.

Still piqued by the development in which several thousands of students will be out of school and teachers out of job, the state Ministry of Education has been challenged to live up to its responsibilities in ensuring that schools that are not approved do not commence classes.

“It is a mark of utter dereliction of duties that over 1,140 sub-standard private schools are in operation across the state for this while without the attention of government,” they lamented.

While reacting to the development, some parents, who spoke with New Telegraph, said the shortage of public schools and poor quality of some of the schools forced them to enroll their children and wards in private schools.

“Since we are left with no option in the face of inadequate public schools across the state, and we must educate our children and wards, we have to enroll them in available private schools. The government should rise up to the challenge of improving the public schools and establish new ones to create unfettered access to education for children of the state,” they added.   

However, the government has vowed that it owed a huge responsibility to children of the state to provide them qualitative education.

Towards this end, the Commissioner for Education called on stakeholders to collaborate with the ministry in ensuring that the education sector is sanitised.

He told New Telegraph that the Committee on Closure of Schools had already been directed to shut down unapproved and illegal schools across the three senatorial districts of the state, and which had since commenced work.

Therefore, he said that it is now compulsory for private school owners to meet basic requirements they need to fulfill, while some level of inspection would be carried out before any school is given approval to operate.

The Commissioner reiterated: “Most of the private schools are operating illegally as the ministry is not aware of their existence. Our children deserve the best standard of education and parents must have value for their money.

“Until we conclude the process, schools that are trying to regularise would not be allowed to operate till they tidy up their papers. One of the dangers of patronising these illegal schools is that the schools will not be allowed to take placement examinations into our secondary schools; neither will they be allowed to register students for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and National Examination Council (NECO).

“We will liaise with WAEC and NECO to ensure that these illegal schools do not participate in their examinations.”

On the strategy to be adopted in making the exercise more effective, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Education Monitoring, Mrs. Idongesit Etiebiet, who frowned at the spate of illegal schools in the state, described the situation as alarming and unfortunate.

She, therefore, added that no child in such learning atmosphere can acquire qualitative education to measure up with the demands of the contemporary 21st Century society.

According to her, the schools lack necessary basic teaching facilities and conducive environment for qualitative learning to take place.

She advised parents to be mindful of the type of schools they enroll their children and wards forthwith, saying the schools are not only without identification, they lack qualified teachers and content to deliver the right knowledge, which is detrimental to the system.

Again, she noted that the school system was a very sensitive area that should not be toyed with, and urged prospective or intending school owners to take into consideration the requirements as stipulated by the ministry before venturing into establishment of schools, describing school ownership as serious business.

 

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Education

Stakeholders to chart course for education rights, inclusion

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Stakeholders to chart course for education rights, inclusion

Critical key players and policy makers in the education sector across the world will next month converged on Abuja for the Sixth International Society of Comparative Education, Science & Technology (ISCEST) Conference to brainstorm on issues bothering on education rights and inclusion in Nigerian schools.

In a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on the forthcoming conference, where these critical issues will take the front burner, the founding President of ISCEST Nigeria, Prof. Steve Azaiki, noted that the workshop was coming at a time when most Nigerians are concerned about of their educational rights.

While noting that the growth and changes taking place within institutions around the world have implications for national and sustainable development, he said the conference would provide numerous opportunities for participants from various countries to compare notes on key challenges and teaching techniques across all levels of education delivery.

The don said: “This conference purposes to stimulate debate on a wide range of practices, issues, and solutions related to education, science, and technology. As the 21st Century speeds along, it is imperative for curriculum developers, policy makers, education officials and all concerned citizens to consider best practices that will allow the broad spectrum of educational activities to contribute to Nigeria and Africa’s development.

“The sixth-ISCEST conference provides an important platform to discuss issues that bother many Nigerians concerning their education rights. The sessions and side-sessions will cover some of the most pertinent themes relating to educational rights and inclusion in Nigeria. These include Education, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Engineering Science and Technology.

“The range and depth of the discussions which have taken place at previous editions of the conference have positioned ISCEST-Nigeria as one of the premier scholarly organisation for shaping the conversations and policy outcomes on education in Africa.

“The diversity of conversations also caters to the diverse range of participants within the continent and beyond, and across civil society, the private sector, academia, government and other stakeholders.”

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Education

I love mathematics, science – Winner of Cowbellpedia TV show

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I love mathematics, science – Winner of Cowbellpedia TV show

“I love number and Mathematics right from primary school during my teenage days. I see Mathematics as a very interesting subject which I read and practise always. I feel great and happy for my outstanding performance at this mathematics competition.”

These were the words of Oghenero Ologe, a Senior Secondary School (SS) student of Zionfield Pinnacle Private School, Ikorodu, Lagos, who was crowned as the overall winner of the 2019 Cowbellpedia Mathematics Champions in the Senior Category.

Ologe, 15, whose ambition, is to study Computer Engineering at a university in either America or Europe, received N2 million, an all-expense paid education excursion outside the country, a plague for emerging as the Mathematics Champion in the Finals of Season Five of the Cowbellpedia Secondary Schools Mathematics Television Quiz Show.

“It is nice and wonderful to be the champion,” Ologe, a first time contestant in the Cowbellpedia competition, recalled how he watched several episodes of the competition to sharpen his preparation ahead of the contest.

“I did not participate in the junior category of the competition, but I was determined to make an impact and so, I practised and worked hard,” the 15-year old boy said.

He defeated Akinyemi Dabira of The Ambassadors College, Ota, Ogun State and Hezekiah Olabisi of Bibo Oluwa Academy, Ilesha, Osun State, who emerged first and second runner-up respectively in the senior category.

In the junior category, Michael Enehizena of The Scholars Universal Secondary School, Ota, Ogun State won the category with 125 points at the end of the two-round encounter, to defeat  Abdul-Quayum Alli of Ota Total Academy, Ota, Ogun State, who had 115 points and David Charles of Graceland International Secondary School, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, who scored 110 points to place second and third respectively.

Fourteen-year-old Enehizena, who dedicated his victory to God and his parents, explained that he ‘practised hard and prayed harder’ during the competition.

“I am always very excited with the way the Cowbellpedia winners are celebrated. We see them on television screen and read about them and their schools in the newspapers and online media. I am excited and grateful to God that it is my turn to be celebrated now,” he added.

Enehizena said his aspiration is to study Mechanical Engineering at the university.

His teacher, Daniel Ogunleye commended him for his wonderful performance and lauded Promasidor for exposing the students’ great talents through the Cowbellpedia initiative.

The yearly Mathematics contest was instituted and sponsored by Cowbell Milk, the flagship brand of Promasidor Nigeria Limited.

Oghenero mother, Mrs. Ologe Udochika Goodness, the Proprietress of Zionfield Pinnacle Private School, Offin-Ile, Igbogbo in Ikorodu, Lagos, who expressed excitement over the performance of his son, described Oghenero as a lover of numbers and Mathematics.

She said: “Oghenero, the first child of the family, has since childhood demonstrated love Mathematics as he always play with numbers. At his tender age he wrote from number one to four million, and from there I knew he is really in love with numbers. I am excited and very happy for winning the competition and for making the family and the school proud.

Mrs. Ologe, who is also a teacher, discouraged the practice in which some parents force career or field of study on their children, saying she only encourage her children on what they choose to do.

“Oghenero loves book and he is an introvert; he hardly talk. His field is science and he assists other students in science and mostly Mathematics,” she added.

On the school’s preparation for the competition, the Proprietress, who recalled that the school  organised Mathematics Clinic for the students, said the teachers adequately prepared and coached Oghenero for the competition from the preliminary to the final stage.

His teacher, Mr. Saheed Owolabi, who accompanied the student and his mother to the final stage of the competition, held at 1001 Studio, Bamako Street, Omole, Lagos, described Oghenero as a hardworking and a lover of mathematics.

“I am not surprised he made it to the finals and won the senior category of the competition,” he said.

For their exemplary performance, the two champions in the senior and junior categories received N2 million cash each, and an all-expense paid education excursion outside the country, and plaques.

The first and second runners-up in each category also received N1.5 million and N1 million respectively, while the teachers of the top prize winners were awarded N500,000, and the teachers of the first and second runners-up received N400,000 and N300,000 cash respectively.

Meanwhile, the Managing Director of Promasidor Nigerian Limited, Mr. Einarsson Anderson reiterated the commitment of the company towards education, saying it is the most important investment for the future of the Nigerian children.

He praised the finalists for their excellent performance, while also assuring stakeholders that Promasidor will continue to support and stimulate academic development of Nigerian children.

Over 56,000 students participated in this year’s edition of the competition, out of whom 218 contestants made it to the second stage.

The Registrar/CEO of the National Examination Council (NECO), which is partnering Promasidor in the competition, Alhaji Abubakar Gana, who was represented by Mr. Stephen Adebunmi, described the competition as a wakeup call for students to embrace mathematics.

He said the yearly event was designed to bolster students’ performance in mathematics, evaluate careers, identify mathematics champions, as well as provide a veritable platform to reward talents in mathematics.

Gana, however, praised the management of Promasidor for introducing the competition, which he noted, has gone a long way to promote the teaching and learning of mathematics in Nigerian schools.   

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Education

NASRDA trains 200 young African astronomers

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NASRDA trains 200 young African astronomers

No fewer than 200 young astronomers across West African countries, comprising undergraduate and graduate students have been trained by the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Centre for Basic Space Centre (CBSS), University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) at the International Summer School/Training 2019, which took place in Abuja.

The training is part of the mandates of NASRDA to develop Space Research and Technology Innovation through training of students.

The one-week training programme, which assembled over 200 undergraduate and postgraduate students were trained in various fields of Astronomy and Space Technology at the Borofice Ajayi Conference Centre, NASRDA, Abuja by no fewer than 13 foreign instructors.

The Summer School, tagged: “Empowering Young Africans in Becoming Scientific Leaders,” which is aimed at sensitising and training students in secondary school and higher institutions was the fourth edition of the programme.

The summer school was declared opened by the Acting Director-General of NASRDA, Mr. Jonathan Angulu, who was represented by the Director Space Application, Dr. Olufemi Agboola, who recalled that the agency through the office of the Astronomical Union-Office of West African Astronomy for Development (WAROAD) International had trained students for the development of the country.

Angulu, however, added that with the level of achievements and the milestone achieved by the agency in building synergy between the international community and its collaborators in the country, the development in space technology would thrive.

According to him, some research carried out by the centre had been recommended to various government agencies in the country with a view to tackling the high rate of insecurity at all levels.

He, therefore, encouraged the students to utilised the knowledge acquired at the summer school as the foundation of academic progress in their career, promising that the agency will not relent in its efforts in bring out the best in space technology towards the betterment of the country.

Responding, the Director, Centre for Basic Space Science, at the University of Nigeria, Dr. Bonaventure Okere recalled how the summer school was instituted at a conference in 2012 by Dr. Jielai Zhang of the University of Australia; Dr. James Chibueze and Dr. Linda Strubbe, University of British Columbia, and the first training was held at NASRDA Headquarters in Abuja, in 2013, which was hosted at UNN IN 2015, and Ghana in 2017.

Okere said part of the reasons for establishing the summer school was to set professional standard in actualising the vision in technology innovation; to set young Nigerians as a leading voice in astronomy research and development on the African continent.

He, however, implored the students to utilise the experience acquired at the training to create enduring careers for themselves.

On the challenges facing astronomy research and development in the country, Okere hinted that that there was the need for special funds to position Nigeria as first in world astronomy map.

Before the commencement of the 2019 Summer School activities, the instructors visited the Vice-Chancellor of University of Abuja, Prof. Abdulrasheed Na’Allah, who lauded the team, led by Dr. Okere of NASRDA on the positive impact of the programme on the educational development of institution.

The Vice-Chancellor, who was represented by Prof. Ekundayo Oyegoke Ajala underscored the positive impacts of space research in the advancement of the nation’s technology in winning the war against insurgency, environmental hazard and agricultural revolution, among others.

“Space Research and Innovation as fundamental of technology cannot be underestimated,” he said.

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Education

Lagos students win NTA national expo

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Lagos students win NTA national expo

Students of Lagos State schools have emerged the overall winners of this year’s edition of the 2019 Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) National Children’s Arts, Science and Technology Expo.

The students came first and third in the Arts/Crafts, and Science and Technology categories respectively.

While congratulating the champions, the state Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, commended the team for the victory and for making the state proud.

She, however, reaffirmed that the students of the state had over the years been consistent in winning laurels in various competitions, which according to her, has given credence to the state government’s efforts in enhancing the quality of teaching and learning in Lagos public schools.

“On receiving the news of the state performance in the competition, my joy knows no bounds that you took the challenge seriously and have made the state proud, especially with this excellent performance in the competition, and also for the trophy and gifts won. I congratulate you and wish you all the very best as a team, and as individual students,” the Commissioner said.

Mrs. Adefisayo, who expressed displeasure over the state’s third position in the Engineering Innovative Project in the Science and Technology category, however, charged the students to double their efforts in the next competition.

She said: “As a Centre of Excellence, Lagos State cannot afford to trail behind any other states. I implore you to up your game and overturn this result at the next competition.”

The NTA National Children’s Arts, Science and Technology Expo, is an annual event that is aimed at discovering and developing creativity among young, talented and intelligent students.

No fewer than 28 states across the federation contested in Arts/Crafts, Science and Technology categories, which were segmented into two stages, comprising the preliminary/state finals and national finals.

The Lagos State team won a trophy, plaque, and cash award, among other prizes for their outstanding performance at the finals of the contest.

The annual competition, with this year’s theme: “Promoting Unity and Innovations in Youths as Agents of Change through Science and Arts,” is being organised by the National Television Authority (NTA) Channel 10, in collaboration with the state Ministries of Education for primary and secondary school students nationwide.

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Education

Bank chief to UI graduates: Define your core values

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Bank chief to UI graduates: Define your core values

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, First Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, has counseled graduating students of the University of Ibadan (UI) to define their core values and take responsibility for their lives.

This was as he said that many people have negative challenges in their personal and professional lives after their academic pursuits simply because they failed to define their core values.

Adeduntan, a graduate of Veterinary Medicine from the nation’s premier university and now a financial expert, expressed this during the university’s convocation lecture, entitled: “A Journey Defined – Empathy, Courage, Industry (Discipline).”

In order to carve a niche for themselves, the bank chief urged the graduating students to be conscious of their decisions as it concerns their career goals and be intentional about employment or entrepreneurial offers.

He stressed: “As the university graduates you into the world of great possibilities and uncertainties, I would like to entrust you with some life hacks that will enable you to navigate the world in your personal and professional lives. I have adopted these life hacks in my personal and professional endeavour, and in all modesty, I can say that I am a comfortable man.

“Creating value for yourselves and others requires that you be purposeful in life decisions, beginning from choosing a career to building networks and nurturing relationships. Take responsibility for your life by defining your core values, which at this point in your lives should be hard work, integrity, discipline and living an impactful life. Even in the smallest of tasks assigned to you, exhibiting these values will give you a recognition and fast-track the leadership quality in all positions.”

Adedutan, however, pointed out that to climb the ladder of success and widen the horizon for personal and professional growth, the new graduates needed to demonstrate high level of discipline, “because the foundation of every civilized and prosperous society is discipline.”

According to him, some people, however, failed to adhere to this.

He added: “Being responsive in your professional capacity, you will be in a better position to effectively lead and inspire others, as well as, be a more caring, compassionate companion in any relationship. Building empathy in yourself is then crucial if you wish to have a global career of learning and interacting with new culture.”

The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Idowu Olayinka, urged the graduates to go out and be worthy ambassadors and alumni of the university, noting that “your thirst for knowledge should remain undiluted because readers are leaders.”

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FUOYE shines at NUTAF 2019, wins gold in drama

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FUOYE shines at NUTAF 2019, wins gold in drama

The management and students of the Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE), Ekiti State, are still savouring the institution’s performance at the Nigerian Universities Theatre Arts Festival (NUTAF), where they won gold in drama and bronze medal in drums respectively.

The university also won the best individual talents in directing, acting, costume and make-up.

The institution was represented at the festival, which took place at the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, by a team of 25 students from the Department of Theatre and Media Arts (TMA), led by the Staff Adviser, Mr. Tayo Isijola.

The feat came barely two months after the department came third in the African Drum Festival in which the university was participating for the first time.

Other departments that have won laurels for the university include Mechatronics, Food technology and Agriculture in various contests.

Speaking about the festival, the Dean, Post Graduate Studies, Prof. Rasaki Ojo Bakare, said the maiden edition of the Nigerian Universities’ Theatre Arts Festival was hosted by the University of Ibadan (UI) in 1981 (about 40 years ago), which was organised by the Nigerian Universities Theatre Arts Students’ Association (NUTASA) under the supervision of the Society of Nigerian Theatre Artists (SONTA), a body of Theatre Arts lecturers.

He noted: “The department registered for the festival in 2017, but could not participate. In 2018, we attended as observers, according to NUTAF regulation. This year the university team competed and we won many laurels. We won gold in the major event, including drama and came third in drums ensemble. In the individual talents category, out of six categories, we participated in four and won the Best Director, Make Up, Costume and Actor categories.

“The implication of this feat is that for the next one year, FUOYE will lead other 52 universities offering Theatre Arts in the country.”

Bakare, who recalled that the 25 students were selected from 100 Level to 400 Level, said they students because of the closure of the university were camped in Ado-Ekiti under the supervision and training of the Head of Department of Theatre Arts, Dr. Jonathan Mbachaga and the Staff Adviser, Tayo Isijola to prepare them for the contest. 

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ANUPA workshop: VC advocates e-registry, less paperwork in varsity

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ANUPA workshop: VC advocates e-registry, less paperwork in varsity

Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Igbekele Ajibefun, has tasked the institution’s administrative staff on the need to embrace electronic registry (e-registry) towards ensuring prompt and efficient service delivery and less paperwork.

The Vice-Chancellor gave the advice while declaring open the workshop organised by the university’s chapter of the Association of Nigerian University Professional Administrators (ANUPA).

Ajibefun, who was represented at the event by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Academic, Prof. Francis Gbore, also advised the senior administrative staff to replicate themselves in their subordinates, saying: “I want to urge those of you who had acquired professional skills over the years to begin to replicate yourselves in your subordinates, while you too should also strive hard to update your skills in tandem with the 21st century method of engagement and working.”

He added: “In addition, I want to challenge ANUPA to think of e-registry at this workshop in order to key into the vision of making administrative staff to be 21st Century compliant. Again, I believe that achieving this will further enhance your service delivery.”

While commending ANUPA’s efforts in honing the skills of its members, the Vice-Chancellor said the initiative complemented the university’s regular training of staff members through various platforms within and outside the country.

However, several papers were presented at the workshop, which was attended by key stakeholders and participants.

In his paper, entitled: “Adherence to Professional Ethics Makes a University Administrator Par Excellence,” the Acting Registrar, Mr. Opeoluwa Akinfemiwa, charged the participants to exhibit discipline, good attitude to work, courage, honesty and loyalty at all times.

Also, a Deputy Registrar (Human Resources and Development) from the University of Ibadan, Mr. Ganiyu Saliu, in his lecture, entitled: “Structure and Governance of 21st Century University: The Registry in Perspective,” stressed that governance and administrative structure of universities must be clear and adequate, adding that a truly professional administrator must imbibe friendliness, fairness and firmness.

Ajibefun further noted: “At the management level, we will continue to give adequate attention to the training and retraining of our staff members such that they could be at par with their colleagues globally.”

He further reiterated the importance of administrators to the development of the university system, saying: “Without mincing words, the academics are often helpless and distracted, when they do not have competent, experienced or dependable administrators to manage the processes and functions beyond teaching in the classroom and conducting research in the laboratories.

“Universities need professionals to document their decisions, carry out the implementation of specific regulations, guide and take custody of specific institutional issues and responsibilities, implement policies and programmes, service meetings and represent the university in activities of less academic nature.”

In his remarks, the Chairman of the AAUA chapter of ANUPA, Mr. Razaq Owamoyo, thanked the university management for its support and the Planning Committee, headed by Mr. Tope Famuti for organizing a befitting workshop.

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Education

N-Power teachers can’t drive early childhood education – NUT

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N-Power teachers can’t drive early childhood education – NUT

The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has said that the N-Power scheme of the Federal Government is not the best contingency approach to delivering quality education, especially early child education.

NUT National President, Dr. Nasir Idris, disclosed this during a four-day workshop on “Learning Through Play for Early Childhood Education Teachers in Federal Capital Territory (FCT), organised by the Nigeria Union of Teachers in partnership with the Danish Union of Early Childhood and Youth Educators (BUPL).

Idris, who stressed the need of providing the child with an early foundation and formation in life, said there was the need to strengthen the capacity of early child educators to conform to international best practice for a holistic and functional development of the child.

The NUT President, who was represented by the 1st National Vice President of the union, Comrade Akosile Samuel, underscored the importance of providing the child with strong early foundation and formation in life.

He said: “The capacity of teachers to deliver cannot be achieved using contingency approach such as the N-Power scheme of the Federal Government, but a full-time employment of qualified, well-trained, competent and committed personnel in the education sector most especially as it affects the early child development component.”

Chairperson of Danish Union of Early Childhood and Youth Educators, Jonna Jul Gudyundsen, who expressed delight over the sustained interest of the NUT in early child development, however, noted that the Union’s 11-year partnership with BUPL had positively impacted on teachers and the school child development as learning through play is good for the child and the teachers.

“It is important to keep playing with the kids,” Ms Gudyundsen stated, adding that the workshop was a platform to share knowledge and experience between Denmark and Nigeria Teacher Union.

According to her, the participants would be exposed to new methodologies and ways to play with kids, which must be sustained activities in schools for children in their early stage of mental development.

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Education

NGO distributes school bags, textbooks to pupils in Ogun

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Non-Governmental Organisation, Clare Cares Foundation (CCF), has distributed school materials and furniture to pupils of Saint Mary’s Roman Catholic Mission 1, Ayetoro in Ogun State as part of its back-to-school project.

The Chief Executive of the NGO, Claire Ezeakacha, while distributing the materials also announced the award of scholarship to one of the indigent pupils in the Senior Secondary School (SS) class, Rofiu Olaleye, who works as an apprentice vulcanizer after school and closes by 8.pm every day to support his education.

As part of measures to give back to the community, the organisation distributed about 400 exercise books, 100 story books from Naniboi, Bible cards and stationeries, as well as clothes, water bottles, school bags, text books, workbooks, learning calendars to the pupils.

Besides, the organisation also painted some classrooms in the school to give the classes a facelift in order to make them more attractive to the pupils.

Speaking at the event, Mrs. Ezeakacha said the organisation also provided Olaleye with uniforms and bought him all the school materials needed to make his education worthwhile.

According to Ezeakacha, the NGO, her pet project, was set up to assist children in the rural communities to have unfettered access to qualitative education, irrespective of their parents’ socio-economic background.

This was as she expressed her organisation’s readiness to help Olaleye to further his education.

In his remarks, one of the teachers in the school, Mr. Bright Kemasuode, expressed gratitude to the organisation for donating the items to the schools and for awarding scholarship to the pupil.

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