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Niger Delta

Expert Advocates Radicalisation Of Education Sector

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A former lecturer in Education, Professor Pai Obanya, has called for the radicalisation of Nigeria’s educational sector in order to achieve global best practices in the field.
Making the proposal, Wednesday, at the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education’s 10th Anniversary Public Lecture, the Emeritus Professor, Institute of Education, University of Ibadan, stated that radicalisation of the education sector is necessitated by the fact that a state of emergency needs to be declared in the sector.
“It (education) requires a paradigm shift from education for all, with all, and by all.
“It calls for concerted and radical action to be guided by a National Education Emergency Response Strategy (NEERS) that should tackle our education sector’s burning issues anchored on three pillars – politics/policy, planning/management, and operations/practicalisation”, he said.
According to Prof Obanya, under the first pillar (politics/policy), the entire citizenry has to be mobilized, with wide spread stakeholders/multisector synergy, and synergy from the beginning to the end of the policy development process.
It will also require the government to build social will to synchronise with political will, invest necessary funds, fully integrate private providers into the process, as well as have regular, inclusive policy dialogue at all levels.
In planning and management, he said, there should be planned development of education, ministerial strategic plan on education, commonality of interest in terms of pillars (policy makers) and enablers (policy executors).
He continued that there should be updating/harmonization and vigorous pursuit of policies, addressing of the data drought question, harnessing of ICT potentials and micro planning in the education sector.
The third pillar, Obanya stated, should be the era of “business unusual”, sowing/nurturing and reaping quality, instituting educative schools everywhere and returning quality teachers in their numbers to the system.
Others are institutionalization of teachers’ professional support, prioritization of lecturer psycho-social support, promotion of curriculum enrichment and mainstreaming of the implicit curriculum.
The emeritus professor, also known as the “Grand Sage of Education in Africa”, called for de-intoxication of the continuous assessment in its true form, and monitoring of learning achievement.
Earlier in his address, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Ozo-Mekuri Ndimele, stated that the institution has achieved a lot in ten years.
He recalled that from awarding degrees in only education, the university first got National Universities Commission’s approval for 25 programmes, then another approval to run Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science in 25 new programmes, as well as creating four new programmes.
“By 2017, we applied and got approval from NUC to mount PGD, Masters, and Ph.D, and we can boast that we have one of the best Ph.D programmes in Nigeria”, he said.
He continues that “our students graduate in record time, with little hassles, and by the next convocation, we will be introducing our first Ph.D graduates”.

 

Sogbeba Dokubo

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Niger Delta

Okowa Signs 2021 Budget Of N383bn

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Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State on Monday in Asaba assented to the state’s 2021 Appropriation Bill of N383 billion.
The bill tagged “Budget of Economic Recovery” is made up of N210 billion capital expenditure and N173 billion recurrent expenditure
The Delta House of Assembly increased the budget figure of N378.48 proposed by the governor to N383 billion.
Signing the budget, Okowa assured the people that the state would strive to recover from the economic challenges engendered by Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The governor commended the state house of assembly for the speedy passage of the bill.
He said that signing the budget before December would avail the state government the opportunity to further plan towards its implementation from January, 2021.
According to him, the state government would remain focused on the implementation of the budget as passed, for the benefit of the people.
The governor noted that there was a warm working relationship between the executive and the legislature in the state.
“You have just witnessed my signing into law, the 2021 Appropriation Bill, and as I said on Oct. 27, during the presentation of the bill, we are in very difficult times this year.
“The second wave of the pandemic will create a further challenge for the recovery of the economy of our nation.
“However, we are optimistic that in the 2021 fiscal year, things will gradually improve and we will be able to get back to the desired levels of infrastructural and human capital development for our people.”I pray that God will help us and this nation to rediscover ourselves and to commit every work of our people and our state and nation for the common good of all our citizens.
The budget is termed ‘budget of economic recovery’ because we are very much aware of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on both our health systems and the economy of the country.
“The pandemic obviously impacted negatively on our budget in 2020 that we had to reduce it twice in the year.
“I want to appreciate our contractors who have continued to stay in their various sites to work even when it is becoming increasingly difficult to make payments on contractual agreements already made.
“We will continue to be very responsible as a state, and we will continue to work with them to deliver on our projects,” he said.

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Niger Delta

Gunmen Attack Delta Monarch’s Wife

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There was pandemonium on Monday in the Ughelli area of Delta State as gunmen numbering five laid siege to the palace of Ughelli Kingdom.
The Queen of the Kingdom, Queen Rachael, narrowly escaped after the gunmen ambushed her in front of the palace along Isoko Road in Ughelli North Local Government Area of the state.
An orderly attached to the palace, Inspector Bello Chinye, also narrowly escaped the incident but sustained a gunshot wound.
It was gathered that the monarch’s wife and her driver had gone to a new generation bank along the Isoko Road and were returning to the palace when they were accosted by the gunmen.
A source said, “The gunmen upon sighting the policeman, opened fire on him and shot him on the hand. It was during the melee that ensued that the queen also ran into the palace for safety while the hoodlums also fled the scene.”
The remains of the deceased has since been evacuated and deposited in the morgue by the Police.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Oneme Onowakpoyeya, who confirmed the incident on Tuesday, said it was an incident of attempted robbery and not kidnapping.
“We were told it was attempted robbery not kidnap. However, irrespective of their intentions, they didn’t succeed,” Onowakpoyeya said.
Meanwhile, there was tension in Ovwian Community in Udu Local Government Area of Delta State as gunmen shot a yet-to-be identified man dead in front of Free-Nice Hotel, adjacent Izomo Junction.
Details as to why he was killed were still sketchy at the time of this report.
Residents of the area scampered for safety when the gunmen struck.
When contacted for comments, the Delta State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Onome Onovwakpoyeya confirmed the report in a telephone chat with Warri yesterday.
The Police Image maker said, “It’s true. He was shot in the stomach.”

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Niger Delta

Delta LG Polls Hold, March 6

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The Delta State Independent Electoral Commission has fixed March 6, 2021 as date for the conduct of elections into chairmanship and councilorship positions in the state.
The Chairman of the Commission, Michael Ogbodu, made the announcement after meeting with stakeholders and party chairmen yesterday in Asaba, the state capital.
He said, “The Commission is set to organise credible local government elections in 2021. We will further use this platform to urge our esteemed stakeholders including the various registered political parties in the state and electorates to give us the much needed support as we embark on the journey of delivering free and fair election.”
Ogbodu disclosed that additional 34 wards were created to add to the existing 466 wards across the 25 local government areas in the state.
The commission’s chairman approved that pre-election activities such as campaigns commence immediately.
Also speaking at the meeting, the Chairman of Inter-Party Advisory Council, Emeka Bidokwu, appreciated the commission and sought more cooperation to ensure the election is violence-free and successful.

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