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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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Ikpeazu Charges Stakeholders To Sustain, Improve Gains Made In Education

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Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu has challenged the state’s Ministry of Education to rise to its co-ordinating responsibility that will build stronger synergy amongst major stakeholders in the education sector.
He said the synergy must align with the global vision of producing children capable of being society’s desirable leaders of tomorrow.
Ikpeazu who gave the charge during a meeting with education managers in the state at his Aba Lodge identified capacity building, conducive learning environment and harmony among the education stakeholders as the leading factors toward the vision of bequeathing qualitative education for Abia children by his administration.
He noted that the setting up of the Continuing Education Center for teachers training, renovation of about 700 classroom blocks, the building of four model schools, procurement of smart boxes to enable Abia State Universal Education Board (ASUBEB) startup with the digital teaching platform for Abia children were all aimed at equipping school children for their future endeavours and enable them compete favourably with their peers.
The Governor also disclosed that plans have already been concluded to establish a Garment Factory within the year in addition to Enyimba Automated Shoe Factory which will produce uniforms and shoes for school children
He described them as motivations towards realising and sustaining high public school enrollment which the State’s School Feeding Programme has achieved.
He also reminded the stakeholders of the need to adopt innovations and technological ways of teaching that will expose the children to the current and dynamic learning trends of today’s world, adding that education is a pillar and enabler to any career which his administration recognised and adopted even to the point of formalising artisanal shoemaking.
Contributing, the Deputy Governor, Sir Udo Oko Chukwu expressed appreciation to the Governor for the immense interest he has shown towards improving the education sector which he described as a paradigm shift to the global challenge, and encouraged the education stakeholders to complement these efforts by restructuring the school system of the state.

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Education

Anambra Begins Recruitment Of Primary School Teachers

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Anambra State Government has commenced recruitment of 500 teachers into primary schools across the state to enhance teaching and learning.
Chairman, State House of Assembly Committee on Basic Education, Hon. Ejike Okechukwu disclosed this at the House of Assembly complex in Awka during an interactive session between the committee and Head Teachers in Aguata Local Government Education Authority.
He explained that the recruitment exercise would fill the gap created by primary school teachers who had retired from active service and improve the standard of primary education in the state.
He assured that all challenges outlined by the Head teachers hindering the progress of primary schools across the state would be tackled to the barest minimum to ensure the upliftment of education standard in the state.
Okechukwu encouraged the teachers to remain dedicated to duty and shun all forms of sharp practices that could portray the state in bad light.
Reacting, Education Secretary, Aguata Local Government Education Authority, Lady Ijeabalum Obi commended government’s performance in education sector.
She explained that the meeting offered the teachers and the committee the opportunity to brainstorm on ways to sustain the state’s legendary performance in education and tackle issues bordering on teachers welfare.
In a vote of thanks, Mrs. Ebere Nwankwo from Eziagulu Primary School, Ekwulobia appreciated the committee for living up to expectations, pledging the teachers’ preparedness to follow the lawmakers’ directives.

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Educationist Wants Early Introduction Of Art To Learners

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Director of Studies at Pampers Private School and Rainbow College, Dr. Olayinka Oduwole, has said Art should be introduced to children in the early years as it aids physical, cognitive, and behavioral developments.
Oduwole in a statement made available to The Tide, said Art was a creative expression that nurtures the imagination and allows children to externalise their feelings.
To celebrate Children’s Day this year and improve learners artistic skills, he said the  learners of Pampers Private Schools and Rainbow College published a joint e-book titled, “A Collection of Stories by Pampers Private School and Rainbow College.”
“Through painting, sculpture, collage, music, dancing, acting, clay, drawing, or any other medium, art is a way for children to work through emotions,  make decisions, and express their ideas. It should be introduced to children in the early years to aid physical, cognitive, and behavioral development. When children work together on art projects, they interact and share with their peers. This collaborative work promotes social learning.”
He explained that  children who performed arts regularly had been noticed to control their emotions and expressed the same in productive ways.
“Manipulating art materials provides children with a sense of freedom while encouraging focus and concentration, this informs the rationale for the promotion of art education and creativity as the bedrock of Rainbow College curriculum plan and implementation,” he said.

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