Amidst growing com
plaints over the stoppage of all forms of online examinations in the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST), Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Blessing C. Didia says it has stopped the practice to save money for the university.
In an exclusive interview with The Tide in his office, on Friday, the Vice Chancellor stated that those who complained did so out of ignorance of what the school lost per session.
He explained that not only was the manner in which the exams were conducted and results posted on line wrong, “the school was made to pay over N32 million per session to a firm external to the institution for a job the university has qualified personnel to do at no extra payment from their salaries.
“At the end of each semester exams, I get a bill of N8 million to be paid to the company.
“Apart from that, all the results of the exam are sent again to Cinfores to enter on-line to enable students check their results. For this, I get another bill of over N8 million for entering the results.
“I asked to see the results of these students from the Head of Department, only to find out that neither the HOD, nor the Dean has copies of the results of their students. Was I supposed to ask a foreign body (Cinfores) for the results of my students?, the Vice Chancellor retorted.
Professor Didia explained further that rather than paying over N16 million to set an exams in the semesters, and another same amount to upload results of the exams in two semesters, totalling over N32 million, he decided to save the amount and let those who are employed to do the job do it at no additional cost to the school.
According to him, the only part of the university that had been hitherto involved in on-line exams for students had been the Institute of Foundation Studies (IFS) which did not have students of its own because all students take a course from IFS.
The VC’s reaction was however against the mode of giving out the setting of the exams and marking of scripts to a foreign body which charged extra N32 million for a job that could be done by staff.
His response followed growing complaints by some students in the university who took IFS courses over the stop page of the on-line exams which they believed was better for them.
UNIMAID Develops Device To Tackle Insecurity
The Vice Chancellor, University of Maiduguri, Prof. Aliyu Shugaba has said that the institution has engaged in a Research and Innovative programme to develop devices to tackle insecurity challenges in the campus.
Shugaba who revealed this at a forum in Abuja, Yesterday, said the innovative idea became imperative following the devastating effects of insecurity in Borno and its environ.
Shagabu said the university was working with some relevant stakeholders in the area of research and development to provide an enabling environment for effective academic activities in the institution.
He said “ in recent years, we have started recording success in research; we have recorded about five patents and we have breakthrough in registering the patents.
We are now looking at the commercialisation of them”According to him, one of the patents was in veterinary medicine; a kind of ointment that could be applied for the treatment of some animal diseases. “The other one is in the area of telescope that will allow someone to view certain things from a far distance. Another one was in the area of engineering”, he stated.
The Vice Chancellor said the university had received some awards as a result of its achievements in research. Speaking on incentives, Shagabu said there were no specific incentives to motivate the staff to work except “the visiting lecturers whom the university gives 75 per cent of their salary.’’ He, however, said that in spite of the security challenges people were still taking up jobs in the region except those that were not from the region.
According to him, Maiduguri is the safest place in the country irrespective of the security challenges and urged Nigerian students to go into whatever field of study they had passion for even in the university and harness the opportunities in the areas, saying “there is no single course that one will study and will not find use for it.” Shugaba said that all the programmes in the University of Maiduguri had gotten full accreditation from National Universities Commission (NUC) except “Civil and Water Resources Engineering”.
“But we are trying to remedy it, we have put in enough resources; we have injected about N200 million through the appropriation budget and the Borno State government has also injected some facilities”.
Poor Management Of Tertiary Institutions’ Funds, Major Challenge – Minister
Federal Government has said that the poor management of funds allocated to tertiary institutions, especially polytechnics and colleges of education, remained the major challenge of the Education sub-sector.
Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, who stated this while inaugurating governing councils of new eight federal polytechnics and six federal colleges of education, also warned council members against corruption and interference in the day-to-day operations of the institutions.
He said: “Poor management of funds remains a major operational constraint in the sector. It is expected that the limited funds allocated by government should be judiciously utilised.
“Also it is evident that government cannot provide all the funds required to run polytechnics and colleges of education, councils should think out of the box and endeavour to generate more revenue, outside government allocations.
In this regard, councils should enlist the support of philanthropic organisations, individuals and other sources of revenue through an endowment for additional funding of their institutions,” he said.
Adamu warned that President Muhammadu Buhari would not hesitate to dissolve any council found to be corrupt and/or incompetent, noting, however, that with the calibre of men and women being inaugurated, “I am hopeful that he would have no need to exercise his powers in this regard.”
The minister urged the councils to respect the principle of federal character in the appointment of members of staff, stating that some institutions have become parochial and primordial enclaves, with the concept of universalism in education jettisoned, especially in matters regarding staff employment.
He charged members of the councils particularly to work with the Federal Character Commission to ensure compliance.
The minister added that the drive to revamp the quality output of higher education in Nigeria rests on governing councils, and expressed confidence that they would bring their wealth of experience, adherence to and respect for rule of law and due process, to bear in the discharge of their duties.
Mock Exam, Condition For NECO/ WASSCE Reg In Kogi
Writing of mock examination is henceforth compulsory for prospective candidates of National Examination Council and West African Senior School Examination.
At a meeting of the management of the Ministry of Education and proprietors of private schools in Lokoja, the Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Wemi Jones , reiterated the State Education Law 2020.
The Commissioner who was represented at the meeting by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr Emmanuel Idenyi, said schools should register and present details of their candidates for Common Entrance and Mock examinations to the Ministry according to provisions of the State Education Law 2020 or be sanctioned.
According to him, “Mock, which is designed to help students prepare for NECO and WASSCE had to be centralised like the external examinations it mimicked; this should be coordinated by the Ministry”.
The Commissioner explained that the guidelines of Kogi Education Law 2020 as approved is not punitive but designed to aid school owners to operate effectively and the Ministry to project and prepare schools in the state to best standards.
He encouraged owners of private schools who had hitherto failed to register with the Ministry to do so immediately as unapproved schools would not be allowed to write external examinations.
He further appealed to private school owners to register with the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools for ease of administration.
While announcing that four students in the state qualified for the 2022 Olympia National Maths Quiz Competition and would be sponsored to the next stage in Jos by the Ministry, the Commissioner noted that the State Education Ministry had addressed shortcomings of the past and better results were being recorded.
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