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Education: NUT, ASUP Laud NEC, Want Speedy Implementation

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The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has commended the recommendation of the National Economic Council (NEC) that state governors should declare ‘state of emergency’ in the educational sector.
The decision was reached at the just-concluded NEC meeting in Abuja chaired by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
NEC also recommended that the Federal and State Governments should allocate 15 per cent of their allocation to education.
Mr Adedoyin Adesina, Chairman, NUT, Lagos State Chapter, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Lagos that the recommendations should be speedily implemented.
Adesina said that the declaration of state of emergency in the sector was long overdue, taking into consideration all the challenges confronting education.
He said the recommendation was timely; adding that government at all levels should prioritise their needs.
“Education is the bedrock of any economy; any country that fails to take its education seriously will have itself to blame.
“The recommendation is a welcome development because that is what we have been advocating for, that government at all levels should allocate 26 per cent of their annual budget as stipulated by UNESCO standard.
“In 2014, when the National Education Summit Group met, they told the government then that for the economy of this nation to grow, we must invest heavily on our teachers.
“If you want to get a Banker, Doctor, Nurse, Lawyer, Journalist, Engineer and others, who are suppose to create wealth and boost the economy, they are to pass through teachers at primary, secondary and tertiary levels.
“The 15 per cent recommendation is not yet there, but it is better than what we have now. UNESCO recommended between 15 and 26 per cent. To set a good standard, it must not be less than 15 per cent.
“In the 2018 budget, only Lagos State allocated 12.07 per cent to education others including the Federal Government are single digits,” he said.
Adesina said the state of emergency should focus on curriculum planning, policy somersault, frequent change of textbooks, poor remuneration, training of teachers and infrastructure.
“Ordinarily, state of emergency is supposed to be declared so that we do not have half baked graduates that cannot read or write.
“No nation can develop beyond the level of its education, our governments are not priortising their needs,” he said.
Also speaking, Mr Usman Dutse, President of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), said that the implementation of the recommendations would determine the impact.
Dutse said many policies and recommendations had been made in the past to revampe the sector but received little or no commitment from government.
According to him, in the past, we have received fantastic and brilliant recommendations and policies that can help shape the system, but implementation has always been the problem.
“Many of these recommendations die natural death, they were never implemented.
“It is a welcome development but our concern is the implementation. Most of the time they are political statement, a pronouncement that government will just make without fulfilling it,” he said.
Speaking on the 15 per cent recommendation, Dutse said that the percentage was not significant, adding that it would not make significant changes required in the sector.
“UNESCO already set a benchmark and our thinking is that any pronouncement by government should be in line with it.
“Actually, if you see any country that has improve its education system, it’s either their budget is higher than UNESCO recommendation or it is 26 per cent.
“If truly they will implement what has been recommended with serious commitment, I believe it will bring a little succour to improving the sector,” he said.

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Centre Wants Govts To Update School Curriculum

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The Centre for Distance Learning, Modibbo Adama University, Yola, has urged governments at all levels to update school curriculum in tune, with the realities of the new normal.
A Deputy Director in the University, Dr Abdullahi Bashir, made the call at the National Teachers Conference organised by Maltina Teacher of the year, on Friday, in Yola, with the theme:  ”Classroom Without Border; The New Normal.”
Bashir said that the current school curriculum needed to be revisited in the light of current developments in the education sector caused by technology and current global realities.
He said this would help to improve the standard of education in the country and enable students compete with their peers around the world.
Bashir also stated the need for governments to look into teachers’ welfare with a view to align their remuneration with doctors, engineers and other professions.
In her remarks, Adamawa Commissioner for Education,Mrs Wilbina Jackson, appreciated the efforts of the organizsers for their contributions to education development in the country.
Jackson, who was represented by Executive Secretary, Post Primary Education Management Board,Mrs Maryam Abubakar, charged teachers to impact positively on the life of their students to succeed in future.
According to her, the world is moving towards technology, hence the need to encourage students to embrace it in order to succeed.
Mrs Christable Malachia, who spoke on behalf of the participants, said the conference was timely, as they had learnt a lot, having been exposed to how to relate well with the students, parents and other staff, as well as how to be good mentors.

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Admission: College Begs JAMB For Waiver On Technical Courses

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The Federal College of Education (Technical), Akoka Lagos, has requested the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), to grant it a waiver in technical courses.
The Provost of the institution, Dr. Wahab Azeez, who disclosed this in an interview with newsmen on Saturday in Lagos said that such waiver would attract more prospective students to the college.
Azeez was speaking against the backdrop of the poor enrolment of students in the college.
He explained that the idea was to create openings to attract school certificate holders to the college and build a career in technical education.
“Enrollment has not been encouraging and we are not silent on it.
“So, what we did was to approach JAMB to give us a wave in certain technical and vocational courses.
“We are hopeful that our request will get positive response from JAMB and it will throw opportunity for more students to register for technical or vocational courses in our college.
“Technical and vocational education is where the money is.
“Students who finish from the college may not necessarily look for a paid job because of the training they have acquired,’’ he expressed.
According to him, part of efforts to project the image of the college, was to reach out to the ministry of education with the purpose of having direct access to technical Secondary Schools.
Azeez explains that the college teaches related vocational subjects, which serve as foundation for students, who may want to settle in the field.
“Five technical schools are here in Lagos, including our FCE, Technical, which prompted our visit to the Lagos Commissioner for Education.
“The focus is more on technical teaching, where our seasoned lecturers take them through oral, practical rudiments of vocational education and inculcate in them, self reliance,’’  he said.
Azeez said that infrastructural developments, researches, academics, welfare, administration and social activities would continue to be prioritised, in order to make the learning environment conducive for students and staff.
According to him, construction of buildings for lectures, programmes and staffroom are ongoing, as part of measures to upgrade and bring the institution to an amiable state.
He said that under his administration, the science complex was being constructed and would be equipped with modern laboratory materials for the teaching of sciences and computer studies.
“Also, part of the ongoing constructions in the college is a technical workshop.’’
The management has equally taken steps to address issues of security water projects, he added.
The provost expressed optimism that the ongoing amendment bill on the Act that established the college, now at the National Assembly, would lead to the upgrade of the institution to a Federal University of Technical Education.

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CEAPoly: Governing Council Chairman Lauds Members, Rector On Commitment

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The Governing Council of the Captain Elechi Amadi Polytechnic (CEAPOLY) has been described as one of the best in the comity of governing councils in the various institutions Rivers State.
Chairman of the council, Senator Lee Maeba, stated this during at the ground breaking ceremony for the construction of the two storey governing council building complex at the insititution in PortHarcourt, recently.
Maeba, who noted that the governing council of the institution was committed to the progress of the institution, said it remained unwavered even in the faces of the challenge of a building for members’ meetings and deliberations.
Describing the members of the council as steadfast and lovers of the institution, Maeba expressed joy over the cordial relationship that existed among members, maintaining that their zeal and forthrightness would take the polytechnic to greater heights.
He said, “This governing council is one of the best governing councils in the schools in the state. I want to thank members of the council for their forthrightness and love for the school. These are members who spend their money to come to school on private visit to see to the welfare of the school. There is no friction between governing council and members and our meetings have always ended cordially. I am happy to be associated with these cream of members”.
While assuring that the polytechnic would witness flagoff of other constructions on campus, Maeba averred that the destruction of the former governing council building by the wildwind was a deliberate act to bring about a modern and beffiting complex in the institution.
“This auditorium was blown off by wildwind sometimes in May 2018. The sole purpose of the wind was to blow off a building that was no longer befitting for the school and the aim of the wind is actualised today”, he said. 
The CEAPOLY governing council chairman further lauded the Rector of the institution, Dr Samuel B Kalagbor for his dedication towards the growth of the institution.
In his words”the Rector is committed as he wants to move the school forward. We have passed a vote of confidence on him twice. First as a provost and then seeing his dedication, it was on us to convert his duty as a provost to a rector and that was done seamlessly because he deserves it.

By: Lady Godknows Ogbulu

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