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RSG, SPDC Partner To Reverse Education Fortunes

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The Rivers State Government, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership (DCGEP) have expressed commitment to reversing the falling standard of education with a new page in integrated multimedia education resource application in primary schools in the state.

The $2million (approximately N320million) four-year pilot programme is designed to revolutionise teaching and learning in 20 select primary schools across Rivers State with the introduction of educational video programming in the teaching of various subjects from mathematics, basic science subjects, including physics, chemistry, biology, geography, environmental science, as well as information and communication technology (ICT) application and general social sciences.

The partners project positive impact and new chapter in educational capacity and capability of more than 600 teachers, 12,000 students and 35,000 community members by 2014, while community ownership and sustainability of resource centres are the long-term drive of the programme.

Speaking at the official launch of the SPDC-DCGEP Learning Centre Initiative at Model Primary School, Elekahia, last Thursday, Commissioner for Education, Dame Alice Lawrence-Nemi, said the government’s policy of building 750 world-class primary schools across the 23 local government areas was aimed at bridging the yawning academic imbalance and opportunities between children of the rich and poor while providing a veritable launching pad to reverse the ugly trend in the education sector in the state.

Represented by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr Clifford Ofuru, the commissioner noted that the novel multimedia educational window “has a good fit with the strategy of the Rivers State Government in the education sector, which has involved an ambitious upgrade of primary and secondary school infrastructure”, and expressed happiness that “the programme would complement the efforts of the state government in improving teaching and learning in primary schools.”

While advising teachers and pupils to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the facilities to enhance their academic performances, the government tasked Shell to look beyond the 20 primary schools, and fashion out how to assist in upgrading the effectiveness and efficiency of teaching and learning in the adult and non-formal education centres, just as they consider up-scaling the reach of the project to more primary schools across the state.

Managing Director, SPDC, Mutiu Sunmonu, said “the launching marks the successful start-up of a four-year project to provide, in close collaboration with the Rivers State Ministry of Education, teacher training and support to integrate educational video programming in the classrooms.”

Sunmonu, who is also the Country Chair of Shell Companies in Nigeria, said, “we are pleased to be part of this initiative to boost education at the primary school level…, it takes our support for education, which began in the 1960s, to a new level”, adding that, “the primary school is a good place to begin if we are to help our children to identify and develop their talents.”

He said with the completion of installation of multimedia educational video programming facilities in the 20 schools dotted across some five local government areas of the state, 245 teachers have already been trained, while 7,050 students are applying the tools in learning, just as over 21,150 community members have improved their skills with the facility.

The Shell managing director projected that in the next three years, 49,315 stakeholders would have benefited, including 639 teachers, about 12,169 students and 36,500 community members, adding that the long-term goal of the project is a major reversal of the dwindling fortunes of education so as to enable the state compete favourably with others across the world.

In his remarks, President, Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership, Aric Noboa, said the aim is to use the power of media to transform education and improve lives in under-resourced schools and communities around the world, noting that with the launch of the project, Discovery Channel was now poised more than ever before to train and mentor teachers to improve their versatility, effectiveness, cognitive and language skills, as well as motivation to impart sound academic knowledge in their students as a catalyst for enhancing education in the state.

Represented by the Programme Director, Mashala Kwape, the president said, “we know from evaluations of our work elsewhere in Nigeria and beyond, that the learning centre initiative consistently leads to enhanced teacher effectiveness, student interest in learning and academic performance,” and added that, “we look forward to the same results in Rivers State.”

In their separate testimonies, both teachers and students expressed satisfaction with the level of improvements recorded so far since the deployment of the learning aids in their schools, and promised to make effective use of the facilities to turnaround the glory of education in the state.

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RSG Alerts On Orchestrated Media Campaign

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The Rivers State Government has raised alarm over alleged moves by some critics of the government to use selected media houses in the state to denigrate the state government.
A statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, yesterday, reads, “The Rivers State Government is aware of clandestine plans by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State to use selected media houses in the state to denigrate the government of Governor Nyesom Wike.
“This is as a result of the intimidating sterling performance of Governor Wike in infrastructure, healthcare, education, agriculture, rural transformation, housing development, administration of justice, social welfare and sports development.
“This orchestrated campaign spearheaded by a defeated and dumped governorship aspirant of the APC, Dr. Dakuku Peterside is designed to portray the government of Governor Wike as one that is not meeting the developmental aspirations of Rivers people.
“However, the uncommon transformation of the 23 local government areas as witnessed during the last six years of projects commissioning and flag off shows clearly that Governor Wike is actually meeting the yearnings of the people.
“The fact that Rivers people that turn out en mass at the various projects sites to heartily welcome their beloved governor and his guests drawn from all political divides is a clear indication that Rivers people can no longer be swayed by cheap politically induced blackmail.
“The truth of the matter is that the APC government that boasted that Governor Wike will not see money to pay workers’ salaries and execute projects has been humbled by the revolution in governance currently witnessed in the state.
“Instead of people like Dr. Dakuku Peterside and his acolytes to eat the humble pie, they are busy looking for cheap popularity through sponsored appearances in the media.
“No matter how hard these detractors push their propaganda, Governor Wike will never be distracted in executing his social contract with the people of Rivers State.
“In the next few weeks, more projects that have direct bearing to the lives of Rivers people will be unveiled.
“Governor Wike’s promise to continue working as if this is his first tenure and not abandon any project remains sacrosanct.
“Rivers people are watching those whose stock in trade is to dance naked and pray that they continue as merchants of mischief, falsehood and baseless allegations.”
“The people of Rivers State love Governor Wike whose outstanding achievements in salvaging the state from the dearth of basic infrastructural development required for speedy socioeconomic transformation has received national and international applause.
“Therefore, no amount of negative propaganda by the failed APC can diminish the legacy of Governor Wike in Rivers State.
“Rather than launder the thoroughly battered image of the APC, such media appearances by Dr. Dakuku Peterside and his cohorts will further expose APC’s penchant for lies and deception which is now a public knowledge.
“The former governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili, has confirmed that Governor Wike is the best Rivers State has produced.
“’I have been there. And I make bold to say Governor Nyesom Wike, you are the best,’ Dr. Odili said.
“Odili’s comment serves as an answer to those masquerading as informed commentators with puerile and suffocating commentaries”, the statement added.

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Bandits In Trouble As Super Tucano Aircraft Arrives

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The first batch of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft has arrived in Kano, yesterday, at about 12.34 pm.
The NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, confirmed the arrival of the fighter aircraft in a statement.
“On hand to receive the aircraft were the Hon. Minister of Defence, Maj-Gen Bashir Magashi (rtd); Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Farouk Yahaya; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao”, he said.

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We’ve No Patience With Failure, Oyedepo Lashes Out At Sacked Pastors

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The General Overseer and Founder of The Living Faith Church International also known as Winners’ Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo, has reacted to the recent sack of over 40 pastors by the church.
One of the affected Pastors, Peter Godwin, took to social media, claiming they were sacked for not generating enough income.
Godwin, who was in one of the church’s branches in Ekiti State, had claimed, “I was told by the management that the church doesn’t operate at a loss.
“They also told me that the total income that is being generated from my station should be able to cater for my welfare and accommodation, so as a result of low income, I’m hereby dismissed.”
Reacting to the allegation in a video posted on the social media, Oyedepo said the sack of the pastors was not about money, adding that the latter were sacked as a result of their failure and the church “has no patience with failure.
“Money? Nonsense! We have never lacked it, and yet, we have never prayed for it.
“We are just simply obeying God, and He is backing up what He is asking us to do. Awesome God,” he noted.
On those criticising the sack, the GO said, “People are confused about our ministry. I learnt some fellows said, you know, they are not bringing income, that is why they asked them to go”.
He added, “We asked you to go because you are unfruitful. Unfruitful! Blatant failure. Doing what there? We have no patience with failure here.
“When we employed 7,000 people at a time, social media was dead.
“We have more employees in this organisation than most of the states. No one is owed a dime salary and we don’t borrow, we don’t beg. Ask our bank whether we take overdraft.
“We are covenant bound, working in the light of God’s word, enjoying an open Heaven.”

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