The spokesman of the University of Port Harcourt, Dr William Wodi, said on Thursday that part-time students of the university were consulted before school fees were increased.
Wodi said in Port Harcourt recently that the University increased the fees due to the withdrawal of lecturers from the part-time programme.
Part-time students of the university on Monday, embarked on a peaceful protest against the “arbitrary increase in our school fees.”
The students claimed that the fees had been increased from N40, 000 to N105, 000 for part-time students and from N50, 000 to N200, 000 for new students.
Wodi said the institution had earlier agreed with the students for an increment of N105, 000 as against the N40, 000 they presently paid.
He said the university had increased school fees for part-time programme only and never hiked fees of regular students.
The university spokesman claimed that some universities in the country charged as high as N200, 000 to N250, 000 for their part-time programmes.
“It is not true that the children (students) were not consulted. We had a town hall meeting with them here on campus; they on their own said we should give them N90, 000, we said no, we argued down to a N105, 000.
“The Vice Chancellor personally presided; he did not associate it to any of his deputies. He spoke with them and told them (students) the difficulties we were encountering, especially the threat by the lecturers.
“We do not teach part time students with rented lecturers as is the case in some other institutions, because we want to assure the same quality control (with senior lecturers of the university).
“For instance, Professors are withdrawing from the programme, that they cannot go to CCE (Centre for Continued Education) from the campus to teach, come back 11 in the night and be paid N40, 000, so they said unless they are paid more than that (they will not teach). “Now we want to pay professors N100, 000 to return them to the programme.”
Wodi said the part-time programme was being run by the university, adding that fees adjustment did not need to be approved by the National Universities Commission.
He debunked the claim that the university threatened to dismiss students who took part in the protest.
MAN Boss Wants Students To Join Manufacturing Sector
The Chairman of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Rivers/Bayelsa Branch, Senator Adawari Michael Pepple has charged the graduating students of Showers Christian High School to join the manufacturing sector now, in order to excel faster in life.
Senator Pepple said this while delivering his speech on the theme,”Working in the Lord’s Vineyard, Manufacturing Option”, at Showers 2020/2021 graduation ceremony in MAN’s conference hall, Port Harcourt.
He noted that no nation has become industrialised without the manufacturing sector, adding, “for developing economy like Nigeria to move to a developed economy, we must be serious with the manufacturing sector”.
The guest speaker urged the graduands to think big and make up their minds to join the sector which he said is the highest employers of labour outside government.
He warned against sitting down to wait for white collar jobs which does not allow for expansion, adding, “all you need is hardwork, commitment and the ability to transform a raw material into a finished product”.
Also speaking, the chairman of the occasion, Engr. Vincent Nnadi, congratulated the graduating students of Showers, stating that, “the best results TotalEnergies projects for her children always comes from Showers students.
He commended the “Catch Dem Young” programme of the company in collaboration with Evo and Egi Kingdoms as a transforming force and charged the graduands to develop themselves the more.
“Take advantage of the local content law and face the competitive world”, he said, stressing the need to start Showers University.
The representative of TotalEnergies, Engr. Okechukwu Obara, who is the Deputy General Manager, Community Affairs Development Programme (CADP) said the benefits of the programme cannot be over emphasised, stating that the streaming down programme could not stop it.
Engr. Obara noted that any child given an opportunity can compete effectively with others even from the developed countries.
In her speech, the Executive Managing Director of the school, Mrs. Emilia Akpan said: “ Catch Dem Young (CDY) programme sponsored by TotalEnergies has produced notable results over the years.
They have proved that, given the right mentoring and support, they can do as well as other students with more privileged backgrounds.
“The students have consistently improved their results over the years, since 2013.
“The Class of 2020 produced the best results in Cambridge International Examinations in Nigeria in the O’ Level categories. All the four students entered in the November 2020 Cambridge International Examination, passed with flying colours.
In her speech, the head girl of the graduands, Atili Tamunosisi Jaja said, “the months have been full of mixed experiences, and they have contributed immensely to our growth. The experiences have given us opportunity to have more focus on our areas of interests and helped us to have a crystal-clear idea on how to develop and achieve our vision and future careers”.
By: Lilian Peters
Don Advocates Organic Trajectory For Food Production
A Professor of Agricultural Economics in Ignatius Ajuru University of Education (IAUE), Prof. Sixtus Anyanwu, has called for the use of Organic Agriculture for an increased agricultural productivity, poison-free food consumption and sustainable food security.
Anyanwu made the call during his Inaugural Lecture titled The Contemporary Trajectories for Increased Agricultural Productivity in Nigeria’ at the university’s main campus, Rumuolumeni, PortHarcourt, last Wednesday.
Anyanwu said the call became imperative following the challenges posed by the inorganic agricultural system not only on the economy but the health of the Nigerian population.
Anyanwu stated that the trajectory for the reported increased agricultural productivity required reexamination to determine it’s roles in the contemporary global warming occasioned by soil, ground water and general environmental pollution, adding that if such pathways were implicated in the exacerbation of human misery or fails the test of environmental sustainability, then, an alternative trajectory becomes a desideratum.
The Agricultural expert who noted with dismay the apparent scarcity of inorganic fertilizers, tardiness in its supply as well as the environmental hazards associated with its use stressed the need for the extensive practice of the organic manure and indeed organic agriculture.
Anyanwu said: Increased agricultural productivity is dependent on the fertility of the soil. In the 1950s, most of the nutrient needs of crops were supplied by the natural fertility of the soil and added manure while inorganic fertilizers comprised only an insignificant percentage of the nutrients needed for grain production.
“However, certain inadvertent environmental and human health externalities of the mineral fertiliser driven trajectory for increased agricultural productivity has made the interrogation of this pathway a desideratum in the search for a more sustainable food security paradigm”.
While explaining that organic agriculture was a form of agriculture that uses sustainable natural resources and strategies such as the application of bio-fertilisers, biological pest control and crop rotation, Anyanwu revealed that extensive usage of organic manure was already culturally acceptable to the farmers because livestocks rearing was already an integral part of their farming systems.
The expert therefore recommended that organic agriculture trajectory be considered due to the salient attributes and available data based empirical evidence particularly of a safe consumption of agricultural produce.
By: Lady Godknows Ogbulu
NGO To Organise Education Talk Show In PH
The Centre for Social Transformation and Human Development (CHDST) in collaboration with the Nigeria Network and Campaign for Peace Education has reiterated its readiness to organise the first Independent Talking Across Generations on Education (iTAGe) event in Africa.
This was contained in a statement jointly signed by the organisers, Dr Polycarp Henetu and Collins Imoh and made available to newsmen in Port Harcourt at the weekend.
According to the statement, the event would be in partnership with UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP).
It also hinted that the high profile-event will hold on September 4, 2021 in Port Harcourt and added that participants will be drawn across the country.
It further revealed that emphasis would be made on youth engaging with senior policy makers on “Deepening a Culture of Peace and Democracy through Education’, over the years, on TAGe events held in India, USA, and Canada.
Defining its nature and purpose, it stated that MGIEP focuses more on achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4.7 towards education to foster peaceful and sustainable societies by developing programmes and products that promote social and emotional learning, innovate digital pedagogies and empower the youth.
About Talking Across Generations on Education (TAGe) initiative, it said that it was a youth-driven intergenerational dialogue on education, premised on the centrality of the transformative nature of dialogue.
“The world is home to more than 1.8 billion young people. More often than not, these young people are pushed to the periphery of the policy making process in the areas of education, peace, sustainability and global citizenship; they are not viewed as key stakeholders. MGIEP believes that any strategy aimed at the youth cannot be successful without their voice being heard by policy makers.
“Therefore, effective engagement of Nigerian youth should include incorporating perspectives from young people into each component of policy making, education opportunities, programme planning and other vital national/international decision-making avenues. This lies at the core of the Talking Across Generations on Education project”, it said.
In addition, it hinted that the dialogue in Port Harcourt will be expected to achieve these objectives by facilitating an unrestrained dialogue between young people interested in the field of education together with experienced and high-level senior decision makers for an intergenerational dialogue on education.
By: King Onunwor
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