The Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Prof. Zana Akpagu has identified formal and informal education as a veritable tool for national development, adding that no country can achieve meaningful development without investing in education.
Prof. Akpagu stated this recently at the Institution’s Senate Chambers during the 9th Annual Conference of the Faculty of Education with the theme, “Inclusive Education, Entrepreneurship and National Development.”
While noting that, no country can attain real national development without emphasis on formal and informal education, the Vc said the citizenry needs to be educated and trained in entrepreneurial skills to enable them create wealth for themselves.
“The citizenry needs to be educated for skills development through concerted efforts on entrepreneurship to create wealth and instill balanced development amongst young entrepreneurship’’, he said.
The Vice Chancellor, who was represented by the Vice Chancellor, Academic, Prof. Uche Amalu, also described the theme of the conference as apt.
Prof. Akpagu who also underscored the importance of research in any institution added that any institution devoid of research cannot function effectively.
In his welcome address, the Dean of the Faculty of Education, Prof. Simon Akpama said the Faculty’s determination to sustain sacred Academic tradition in a knowledge driven economy in tandem with global best practices.
Prof. Akpama urged participants to dissect the theme and also emphasize the synergy between inclusive education and entrepreneurship to midwife national development. Acting Vice Chancellor of the Cross River State University of Technology (CRUTECH), Prof. Akon Joshua said education moulds a child, adding that without it the society will be valueless. She urged parents to strive hard to provide their children with qualitative education, which she said, will prepare them for the challenges of the 21st century.
Also speaking, former Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Prof. Chigozie Asiabaka described inclusive education as the fundamental principle that children must learn together. Prof. Asiabaka, who was also the keynote speaker, explained that inclusive education has also evolved with different nomenclatures such as normalization, mainstreaming and integration.
He stated that inclusive education focuses on supporting all learners, educators and the system to address the full range of learning needs.
The keynote speaker enumerated benefits of inclusive education to include: creating opportunities for children with varying abilities when motivated, encouraging involvement of parents in the education of their children, fostering a culture of respect, and to provide all children with opportunities to develop friendships with one another.
Speaking on the theme, ”Inclusive Education, Entrepreneurship and National Development’’, Prof. Asiabaka stressed that inclusive education focuses on providing education for all, irrespective of inabilities, adding that education can be formal or informal.”
He also said inclusive education provides equal opportunities for learners irrespective of handicapping condition or severity.
In a paper presentation, Prof. Samuel Killian Bassey from Cross River State University of Technology said equipping learners in an inclusive education system with self employable skills can ginger national development.
PAP Under Buhari Has Failed, Agitators Insist …Allege Corruption In NSA’s Office
A militant group, the Joint Revolutionary Council (JRC), has said that the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government is a monumental failure.
The group attributed the failure of the amnesty programme to what it termed as the ‘greed, inefficiency and incompetence in the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) under whose purview the programme had been housed since 2015.
The JRC, in a statement issued yesterday, and signed by its Joint Spokesperson, Cynthia Whyte, a copy of which was obtained by The Tide in Port Harcourt, called on Buhari to immediately remove the Amnesty Programme from the direct supervision of the NSA, alleging that the latter has turned the programme into his personal Automated Teller Machine (ATM).
The statement, which was addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari, reads, “Mr. President, the Presidential Amnesty Programme under your watch has failed. The singular reason for the failure of the Presidential Amnesty Programme is the incompetence, inefficiency, malfeasance, greed and corruption in the Office of the National Security Adviser, under whose watch the Amnesty Programme has been domiciled since July, 2015.
“The Presidential Amnesty Programme has since then, been transformed into the personal ATM machine of the National Security Adviser, guaranteeing him of withdrawals of millions of dollars on scheduled basis.
“As a result of the demand to service the Office of the National Security Adviser, the Presidential Amnesty Programme, run by lackeys appointed by the NSA, continues to run short of the funds it requires to service its main operational purpose and mandate, thereby short-changing the thousands of ex-militants on whose account the Presidential Amnesty Programme was founded.
“First, it was Brig-Gen Paul Boroh, who was appointed as coordinator of the Amnesty Programme in July, 2015. His appointment was terminated in March, 2018, amidst allegations of fraud, embezzlement and recklessness. The entire story was not told.
“Now, it is Prof Charles Dokubo, whose appointment was announced on March 13, 2018,” the group said, adding that the failure of the programme has led to the increase in illegal oil refineries across the Niger Delta region.
“The failure of the Amnesty Programme has, thus, resulted in an astronomical rise in the proliferation of illegal oil refineries across almost all the nooks and crannies of the Niger Delta.
“More than 250,000 barrels of crude oil is diverted daily for the operation of these illegal oil refineries which are present in almost every community in the Niger Delta, and which are owned and operated by former militant leaders and their followers who have laid down their arms but have lost faith in the Amnesty Programme.
We’re Set For Project Assessment, NDDC Confirms
The former acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr Joi Nunieh, has said that the commission has empowered its Project Assessment Committee to begin visits to project sites in communities across the Niger Delta region.
Nunieh spoke during a courtesy visit to the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt, by some chiefs from Kula, in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, under the auspices of concerned citizens of Kula Kingdom, recently.
The former NDDC boss said that through his findings in the just concluded contract verification exercise, the commission had been able to reduce its indebtedness to contractors and consultants considerably.
She declared: “We are ready to begin the assessment of the project which will entail going to the sites and it would be a name and shame exercise.”
Nunieh emphasised that the Interim Management Committee (IMC), which she heads, would not succumb to pressures from contractors who want to be paid even before validation of their claims.
The former NDDC boss urged the Kula chiefs to support the IMC and stand with the NDDC to ensure the sustainable development of the Niger Delta region, noting that the story of the region would not be complete without a mention of the contributions of Kula as an oil-producing community.
Nunieh said that the assessment committee had worked out a schedule for the visit of project sites in various communities, including Kula, to inspect on-going projects, emphasising that no contractor would be paid without evidence of work done.
She said: “I want to assure you that we will visit your community for site inspection. We expect your people to receive us. We will look at the measurements and every detail of work done and if they are accurate, we will pay.
“I want to say that I am privileged to be at NDDC at this time. The money for the execution of projects is not mine. It belongs to the Federal Government and if a contractor does well, I don’t see why he will not be paid,” she stated.
Earlier in their presentation, the Concerned Citizens of Kula, led by Anabs Sara-Igbe, appealed for the investigation, reconsideration and completion of abandoned NDDC projects in Kula and other communities in the Kingdom.
Don Tasks FG On Prison Reforms, Lists Benefits
Professor of Theatre Arts and Film Production, University of Port Harcourt, Professor Henry Bellgam, has called for the relocation of prisons from city centres to the rural communities through public private partnership (PPP).
Speaking with The Tide yesterday in Port Harcourt, Bellgam said that the move was imperative following the recent jail breaks in Abuja and other parts of the country.
According to him, “This call, which is in line with global best practices, would bring the best”, noting that it will check the incessant jail breaks in Nigeria prisons.
He said, “It will be difficult for the prisoners to escape and blend with local population, stating that prisons in rural areas.
“Furthermore, such prisons would have land for correctional facilities that would equip the prisoners with new skills, preparatory to life after jail.”
Professor Bellgam, also stated that the Federal Government should be committed to building more new correctional centres across the country.
Bellgam, further said the PPP procurement option was one of the issues to be considered by the ministry charged with such responsibility.
He expressed support for the reforms of the prison system, the PPP plan offers, but emphasised that the proposal should be thoroughly reviewed with all stakeholders.
The erudite scholar explained that issues regarding the correct valuation of the prison when implemented would benefit the government.
He, however, said discussions should commence in the earliest regarding the issue which involves most states, including, Ogun, Lagos, Akwa Ibom and Imo, which should accept the relocation of the prisons in their states.
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