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COVID-19: Academic Activities Ongoing At NOUN -ACETEL

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The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) says academic activities are ongoing at the institution, in spite of the stay-at-home directives by the Federal Government following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
The instititution said in a statement by Mr Ambrose Gowong, Communications Officer, Africa Centre of Excellence on Technology Enhanced Learning (ACETEL) last Friday in Abuja.
It said that NOUN was the only institution in the country without dislocation of academic calendar following the outbreak of the global health crisis, COVID-19 pandemic.
The ACETEL is a centre at the NOUN, sponsored by the World Bank, with special interest on the development of human capacity and research in digital solutions that will lead to the utilisation of technology for education.
It quoted the Director of ACETEL, Prof. Grace Jokthan, as saying that NOUN, as Nigeria’s flagship Open and Distance Learning Institution (ODL) allowed learning at a distance, as it focuses on open access to education.
According to the statement, NOUN through ACETEL focuses on freeing learners from the constraints of time and place, especially online courses that concerns Artificial Intelligence, Cyber Security and Management Information Systems.
“The Africa Centre of Excellence on Technology Enhanced learning is a world class centre assisted by the World Bank at the Headquarters of NOUN).
“The online learning environment provides opportunities for students to connect with lecturers, using video conferencing technology wherever they are.
“Also, discussion forums and chat activities are integrated in each course to facilitate effective interactions within the learning community.
“Tutor Marked Assessments (TMAs), registration and some administrative tasks are all being carried out online,” Jokthan said.
She said that aside maintaining its steady academic programme, ACETEL organised and executed a five day online virtual training workshop for its course writers on how to use ‘Adobe Captivate’ to convert course materials into e-learning format.
“The workshop attracted over 15 learned heads from across the globe, including a World Bank expert, Dr Dimitrios Noukakis, who need not to bother about travel ban or the scare of COVID-19.
“Noukakis also need not bother about any logistics coming to Nigeria for the training as the training took place in the comfort of the various participants’ homes.
“The World Bank expert commended the Vice-Chancellor of NOUN, Prof. Abdalla Adamu, while urging other universities in Nigeria to tow the path of NOUN,”

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Uniport Reopens Portal For Fees Payment

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The authorities of the University of Port Harcourt, Choba in Rivers State, say they have reopened the university’s portal to allow students who did not meet up the deadline to pay their school fees to do same within the new payment deadline.
The university said the reopening of the payment portal follows the recommendations of the Committee on Staff and Students Grievances’ regarding the need for the university to grant amnesty to students affected by the “No Payment of School Charges no Examination Policy”,
The Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof Stephen Okodudu had, on behalf of the university’s Senate, granted amnesty to various categories of students affected by that policy.
In a statement, the university’s Registrar, Dr Dorcas Otto, said the amnesty covered students who obeyed Senate’s decision and repeated the 2015/2016  academic session, while  those who didn’t obey are to repeat the session as well as  those whose results were withheld.
Others are those who had issues of late payment of school charges after the closure of the portal in the 2018/2019 session and those who failed to apply for temporary withdrawal and had issues with extra year.
The statement  therefore directs all affected students to contact their respective heads of departments for direction and urges all affected students who have not paid their charges to take advantage of the amnesty as the payment portal has now been reopened.

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CSO Lauds RSUBEB On Basic Education Dev

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A civil society organisation (CSO) in the South-South, has commended the management of the Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board(RSUBEB) for its efforts in the development of basic education in the state.
The South South Zonal Co~ordinator, Civil Society Action Coalition on Education for All (CSACEFA), Mr Tamunoala Bright made the commendation in Port Harcourt, recently.
Mr Tamunoala disclosed that the present RSUBEB management under the leadership of Ven. Fyneface Ndubuisi Akah has done well in terms of infrastructural development in the basic education sector in the state.
He averred that the association had been monitoring the transformations going on in the  basic education sector noting that there has been improvement in the sector compared to what is happening in other SUBECs withinthe region and country at large
He said consequent upon the various feats achieved by the management of the board, the group had norminated the board chairman for a national award.
“Mr chairman, you and your team are doing marvellously well in the development of basic education in the state and that is why we have recommended you for an award and when they call you, please answer them”he stated.
The South-South co_ordinator for CSACEFA said the group would monitor and supervise all ongoing federal government intervention projects in the state with a view to ensuring that quality and standard jobs are executed by the contractors for the overall benefits of the state.
He used the opportunity to warn contractors who applied for the 2019 federal government intervention jobs with the board to know that the association would be interested to see that the jobs are executed according to specifications adding that any defaulting contractors would be reported to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other security agencies for prosecution.

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Lekki Toll Gate Shooting: ASUU Makes Demands From FG

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has urged the Federal Government to lead the way in restoring peace and justice in Nigeria.
ASUU also said that security operatives must be stopped from the senseless killing of armless youth protesters, while infiltrators must be brought under check through active intelligence.
The union said this in a statement posted on its Twitter handle on Friday while condemning the shooting of Nigerian youths by soldiers at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos State.
The statement reads in part: “The Federal Government must lead the way in restoring peace and justice in Nigeria. Security operatives must be stopped from the senseless killing of armless youth protesters while infiltrators must be brought under check through active intelligence.
“For obvious reasons of past betrayal, the youth are right to insist on seeing evidence of how well the government has met their five-point demand. It is only by the continuous engagement that this would happen, not by the deployment of trigger-happy military personnel as reportedly done in the case of the Lekki Toll Plaza.”

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