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Japan Hands Over 317 Classrooms To Nigeria

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The Japanese government Thursday  in Abuja handed over to the Federal Government 317 classrooms aimed at strengthening mathematics and science education in the country. The classrooms, including 308 toilet booths equipped with furniture, were constructed in 33 primary schools across 22 local government areas of Kano State by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, acknowledged Japan’s assistance and support to overcome the myriad of challenges facing the country’s education sector. According to him, the Federal Government was committed to ensuring quality education. He said the concerted effort of all stakeholders was crucial to achieving the goal.

Wike said that the project would contribute significantly to improving access to basic education as well as strengthen the teaching and learning of mathematics and science education.

He said, “It is another important contribution of JICA towards improving the teaching and learning of mathematics and science subjects across the basic education system in the entire country.”

The Minister noted that Niger, Plateau and Kaduna had benefitted from the initiative in the past. Wike assured JICA that the Ministry of Education would ensure that the classrooms were put to effective use to achieve the purpose for which they were provided. “Let me also challenge the beneficiary communities to make good use of this opportunity by ensuring that every child of school age is enrolled to attend any public school nearest to them,” Wike said.

Handing over the project, Ambassador of Japan to Nigeria, Mr Ryuichi Shoji described education as an invaluable asset for children. He said that N2.31 billion was expended in the construction of the project.

Shoji said that investing in people was crucial for the economic development of a country and the emancipation of each individual. He also announced plans by Japan to provide classrooms for 5,000 pupils in the FCT this year.

“It will be achieved in collaboration with the local Non-Governmental Organisations.” Chief Representative of JICA, Mr Seki Tetsuo, said that the project constitutes part of the Government of Japan’s Grant Aid to Nigeria. He said that the project commenced in June 2010, with the overall goal of constructing additional classrooms and toilets. Tetsuo said the effort would enable more children to attend school in a suitable and conducive environment. “It is expected that approximately 12,680 pupils will benefit from these facilities,” he said. He added that innovative engineering techniques originating from Japan were employed with regard to roofing, doors and windows, to ensure durability of the buildings. Tetsuo called on State Universal Basic Education Boards and Local Government Education Authorities responsible for overseeing the schools to improve the system of monitoring and maintaining the facilities.

“This project is envisaged to help reduce the problem of congestion in primary schools and encourage pupils, particularly girls, to attend school regularly,” Tetsuo said. The Governor of Kano state, Dr Musa Kwankwaso, commended the Japanese government for complementing the state’s efforts in improving primary education in the state.

Kwankwaso, who was represented by Ahmed, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Kano, Mr Tajudee Ahmed pledged the judicious use and maintenance of the facilities.

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Education

NANS Lauds College For Reinstating Students Unionism

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The National Association of Nigeria Students on Saturday commended the Management of the College of Health Sciences and Technology, Ijero-Ekiti, for the restoration of students union activities in the college.
Students’ unionism was suspended in the college in 2013.
Mr Olanrewaju Olamide, NANS Chairman in Ekiti State gave the commendation in a statement issued on Saturday in Ado-Ekiti while reacting to students’ union election held in the college on September 8.
At the end of the election, Victor Osadare emerged as president, having polled 506 votes to defeat his closest rival, Damilola Oyejide who polled 298 votes.
Olamide expressed confidence that the union and her newly elected officers would thrive under the leadership of the college’s provost, Dr Cecilia Adebayo.
He commended the efforts of the Deputy Provost, Mr Kayode Abolarin, the Dean, Students Affairs, Mr Michael Adewumi as well as the college’s Electoral Board Members for the successful conduct of the election.
According to him, the high level of transparency displayed in ensuring that students were freely allowed to exercise their franchise is highly commendable.
Olamide also commended the outgoing caretaker executives of the students union for the selfless services rendered during their administration.
The new executives will be inaugurated tomorrow, September 14.

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Students Want STEM Introduced At Primary Level

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Some students have underscored the need to introduce Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in their curriculum right from the primary level to stimulate their interest in the fields.
They stated this on Saturday at the STEM showcase organised by the Pan African University of Life and Earth Sciences Institute (PAULESI), University of Ibadan, in collaboration with Co-Creation Hub (CCH) to mark the African Union Day celebration.
It was gathered that the 110 students, mainly drawn from both secondary and primary schools in Ibadan were introduced to Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, 3D design and scientific-practical to solve real-life problems.
Anuoluwapo Okunneye, a JSS III student of UCH Staff School, Ibadan, said learning on how some scientific practical work and what he can do with it was exciting for him.
“I learnt about things like crafts and other robotics that can be made with scraps at home, thereby recycling what was initially considered as waste.
“I learnt in practical ways how mechanical energy turns to mechanical and the light energy that can be used to power appliances.
“This is an edge for me to start thinking of how to deploy all I have learnt to solve problems in my environment, especially the problem of waste management,” Okunneye said.
Another student, Inioluwa Ireniyi, a JSS II student said “the event has opened my mind to the fact that I can be an engineer, that STEM is not only for males, but that I can excel there too.
“That I can be an inventor also and I would like to solve the problem of light for Nigeria by inventing a machine from renewable sources that switches itself on whenever there is a power outage.
Isabella Akinyede, a Primary Four pupil of Richmab International School, said she was fascinated about how robotics and artificial intelligence were used to make things work.
“I would like to become a medical doctor in the future and use the knowledge I am gaining in STEM to make things better,” Akinyede said.
Also, Michael Oladunjoye, a Primary Six pupil of Rolis International School, Ibadan said he would like to become a physicist and the event has further stimulated his interest in STEM.
“I would like to develop more in this field and also build machines that will ease work when I grow up,” Oladunjoye said.
In her address, the Director, PAULESI, Prof. Titilayo Akinlabi, said as a professor of Mechanical Engineering, there was the need to encourage many more students, right from their tender age into STEM.
According to her, this would turn them into solutions providers and make them compete favorably with their counterparts worldwide, especially girls whose numbers are few in the STEM field.
“For the young girl-child here today, for you to know that it is possible to be a woman and excel in STEM fields and even be at the top of your career,” Akinlabi said.
In an interview, Mr Abraham Akpan, the Programme Manager, Co-Creation Hub, said that the company organised community engagement projects for communities and stakeholders to drive technology toward problem-solving in the country.
According to him, the programme focused on students from age 10 to 16 years old, to have firsthand knowledge of what STEM was all about.
“As technology and youths are taking over our world, students need to have hands-on knowledge and this is our way of contributing and impacting our world,” Akpan said.

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Education

Attacks On Schools, Threat To Nigeria’s Future -UN

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The United Nations has said that the incessant attacks on schools by insurgents across the nation in recent times remains a threat to the nation’s future.
The United Nations in partnership with major stakeholders in the education sector and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), said the attacks on schools has affected hundreds of children in a number of states of the federation.
This was the fallout from the deliberations marking the 2021 International Day To Protect Education From Attack, held last Thursday.
Speaking at the Virtual Roundtable Discussion organised by the United Nations Children’s Education Fund(UNICEF) and the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIA), the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof Peter Okebukola described the situation as a disgrace to the nation’s education sector and stressed the need for the end of the trend to safeguard the nation’s future. 
Okebukola, who is also the Chairman of the event called for the mobilisation of both the government and its citizenry to rise to the occasion by harnessing every machinery to end the trend.
“We have to equip our military even as we cut supply and logistics to the insurgents attacking our schools. We must use education to prevent education from attack. We must take extreme countermeasures to mobilise everything that we have to take the battle to the end. Funding of our schools and support for traumatised schools are also key. We must train school personnel on intelligence gathering”, he said.
While noting that education was the antidote to poverty and ignorance as well as unlocking natural resources, the NUC boss harped on public awareness which he said would help to stem the tide of attacks on schools.
“My desire is that we raise public awareness. It is not that the public is not aware but we want to raise it from where it is today to a higher heights so that all stakeholders in education which includes everyone in Nigeria and across the globe to be more alert to the fact that education is the key to unlock natural resources.
It is also the antidote to poverty and ignorance. It is at the heart of the development of countries. So, we are not going to sit here today to bemoan our situation but we are going to raise awareness as we indicate roles the government and everyone of us will play”, Okebukola said.

By: Lady Godknows Ogbulu

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