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60m Nigerians Are Illiterates – Perm Sec

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Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Mr Sonny Echono, says nearly 60 million Nigerians are illiterates, assuring that literacy centres will reduce the high percentage of illiteracy in the country.
Echono made this known last Thursday at the Federal Government College Otobi, during the inauguration of  a  pilot literacy centre for the North Central geo-political zone.
The permanent secretary expressed regret that  the illiteracy rate among the youths and adults is high, saying that the literacy level at the lower cadre of the college was also alarming.
According to him, literacy centres to be established in 104 Federal Government Colleges (FGCs) are aimed at reducing the high rate of illiteracy at the low or cadre of the staff of the institutions, stressing that the Federal Government designed the literacy programme to cater for them and others in the host communities.
He said literacy was both a social and human right issue and called on the learners at the pilot centre to remain committed and take their studies with all seriousness.
Also speaking at the occasion, an officer in the office of the Social Development Goals (SDGs), Mr Stephen Ojo, commended the ministry for the laudable initiative aimed at tackling illiteracy in the country.
He said that the SDGs office would partner the ministry to ensure the success of the programme.
Earlier in a welcome address, the principal of the school, Mr Gabriel Amudipe, commended the federal government for selecting FGC, Otobi as the centre for the pilot scheme in the North-Central Zone.
He said that the programme would benefit both staffers of the school and members of the host community.
Speaking to journalists in a post-event interview, the Coordinator of the programme, Mrs. Abisode Oloyiwole, said that she was impressed with the turn out of learners at the event.
“Arrangements were made for only 40 learners, but those that turned out were in excess of 80 people,” an excited Oloyiwole said.

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School Head Makes Case For Children’s Education

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The Principal of Sure Foundation Comprehensive College, Port Harcourt, Mr Nkom Peter, has urged the government, parents and the society to work in synergy for the future of children, saying that no kind of development without a solid foundational education for the younger generations would make sense.
Mr. Peter made the statement in his office in Port Harcourt, last week, while exchanging veiws with The Tide.
While commending the Rivers State Government for providing free education for primary and secondary schools across the State, Mr Peter also lauded the state government for setting up the Committee on Accreditation and Approval of Private Schools in the state, maintaining that the state government had done what it was expected to do.
“I think the state government did what is quite required of her because she established free education in primary and secondary schools in the state, and the clamping down on sub standard schools is to raise the standard in the state,” he said.
The principal dismissed allegations of witch-hunt, politicisation and favouritism leveled against the committee by some persons, stressing: “people would say what they want say no matter what you do”.
He stated that until the committee’s report is made public, he could not comment on it, saying that the in which the committee discharged its duties was transparent.
“Anybody who feels marginalised or shortchanged by the committee has avenues including seeking redress in court to pursue his case. We are in a modern era,” he added.
The principal however expressed the confidence that his school had met substantially most of the requirements, adding: “Those not in agreement with the government requirements in order to raise the standard of education in the state do not mean well for the future and education of our children.”
Asked if he would support government regulations on fees for privately owned schools, Mr Peter answered: “Yes, I would support if government would subsidise education costs for the private schools. No because different environmental requirements take toll on the cost thereby affecting the educational cost.”
He further noted that the free education offered by the government would not affect the educational appetite of the parents, adding that the private schools noted for quality and high standard would continue to enjoy patronage.
“Those that like private schools no matter what would still send their wards to private schools and those who prefer government schools would send their wards to government schools”, he said
He equally tasked government to introduce strict measures to monitor activities in the public schools so that they could compete favorably with the private schools.

 

Tamunoiminabo Fyneface

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Education

72 Students Bag First Class At Federal University, Otuoke

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Seventy-two (72 ) graduates of the Federal University, Otuoke, in Bayelsa State, have bagged first class degrees.
The Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Seth Accra Jaja, disclosed this last Saturday at the maiden convocation ceremony of the university.
He said that 462 other students graduated with the second class upper division, adding that a total of 1121 students graduated with various divisions.
While congratulating the graduates, Prof. Jaja admonished them to learn how to be innovative and live independently.
The VC urged them to endeavour to pursue various entrepreneurial opportunities to be self-employed.
Jaja commended the Federal Government for its efforts in delivering quality tertiary education to the teeming youths of the country.
He announced that the National Universities Commission (NUC) has approved additional 16 programmes of the institution, thereby bringing the total programmes offered by the school to 28 at the moment.
He said: “It is worthy to recall that between 2011/2012 and 2015/2016 academic sessions, the university ran 12 academic programmes.
“This situation limited the number of prospective students offered admission into the university.
“On assumption of duty as Vice Chancellor in 2016, the first major challenge I faced was how to bridge this need gap.
“This challenge was resolved when the National Universities Commission, after due resources verification exercise, graciously approved 16 additional programmes.
“Bringing the total number of programmes in the university to 28, this singular achievement helped to minimise our challenge of meeting the university’s social responsibility of granting admission to deserving Nigerian youths.
“However, those programmes that were not having full accreditation status before my assumption of duty, now have full accreditation.
“With the rising profile of Federal University, Otuoke and without prejudice, non-conformist staff and students to the standard of the university culture and those who possess questionable scholarly credentials will be reclassified and shown the way out.
“Apart from enthroning academic discipline, our university has excelled in several research breakthroughs as also contained in our university compendium,” he said.
In his remarks the best graduating student, Mr Stephen Chukwunonso, said with hard work one could be the best he or she desires.
He urged other students to be focused, disciplined and committed, adding that reading at night will always help you to understand when you read.

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Education

OPM Flags Off 13th Free School In Rivers

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As part of efforts to curb rising crimes and criminalities in the society, the General Overseer of Omega Power Ministry (OPM), Apostle Chinyere Gift Chibuzor, has flagged off the 13th free education school with a charge on pupils admitted to benefit from the scheme to take full advantage of the opportunity to chart a meaningful path towards contributing the sustainable development of the country.
While commissioning the facility, completed at a cost of N100million, and located at Agip by Ada-George Road, in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, last Wednesday, Chinyere also challenged other religious bodies and Nigerian leaders to set the right priorities on education to help give quality direction to young generation of Nigerians.
He emphasised that low amount set aside for education in government annual budgets across the board was responsible for many years of youth restiveness, massive unemployment, and all manner of criminal activities in the country.
Chinyere, therefore, urged leaders in all sectors, especially politicians to gradually reduce the huge allocation to security votes, adding that when the young ones are given sound education, peace would prevail and security infractions would drop significantly and development would spiral.
He challenged Nigerian leaders to unequivocally give desired attention to upgrading investments in education infrastructure and human capital development, adding that once the population of educated youths rise to a reasonable level, issues such as insecurity and youth restiveness would become history.
Chinyere called on religious leaders to increase their focus on soul winning and spreading the gospel, stressing that the more souls are saved, the more the society becomes a better place for all to live in.
He used the opportunity to direct the OPM Welfare Director, Mrs Maureen Chukwu, to make available a donation of N.5million to a Gabonese woman, who has been squatting in a make-shift apartment with her four children, saying that the money should enable her start a business, just as the church also gave her accommodation at the OPM Free Estate.
The Tide reports that the OPM Free Schools are populated with some of the best graduate teachers while students are provided with free uniforms, sandals, text books notebooks, and writing materials such as pencils and pens.

 

Susan Serekara-Nwikhana

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