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COVID-19: No Resumption Date Yet For Schools, Says Bayelsa Ministry Of Education …Warns Private Schools Proprietors, Commences e-Learning

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Permanent Secretary Bayelsa state Ministry of Education,comrade Walton Liverpool says no date has been slated for the resumption of schools in the state.

Liverpool hinted The Tide this during an interview held with him in Yenagoa.

According to him,that the Federal Government has slated part reopening of schools for 3rd August is not a yardstick that the state must do so.

He noted that due to the peculiar nature of the state in terms of having more far-flung communities in all the Local Government Areas,the Government is being meticulous in resuming schools without adequate preparations, saying that before doing so the state Government through the Ministry of Education would work out appropriate and sustainable modalities to ensuring that Covid-19 is contained in the Education sector within the requisite National centre for disease control,NCDC stipulated guidelines.

Liverpool restated his commitment towards ensuring an unimpeded school curricular,emphasizing that the Ministry has since introduced various e-learning platforms comprising the social and electronic media to

cushion the learning deficit occasioned by the pandemic.

While reacting to the recent feud between the State wing of the Nigeria Union of Teachers,NUT and the Academic staff union of secondary schools,ASUSS the Education Permanent Secretary who served as the pioneer state chairman of the NUT berated ASUSS,saying they took the laws in their hands.

He described ASUSS as an association and not a registered trade union,advising that they desist from further parading themselves as such,just as he restated that under his leadership in NUT years ago a similar splinter group sprung up, reassuring however,that there was a solution to the problem which can still be applied today to amicably resolve the lingering issues rather than parade as a splinter group.

“We’ve not taken a date to resume schools in the state.Even though the Federal Government has taken and again reordered,due to our peculiar problems we’ve not slated any date”, he said.

“Before we reopen we would have to provide measures to containing the spread in and amongst our schools”, he added.

“But to bridge the learning vacuum created by

Covid-19 the Education Ministry has commenced e-learning programmes on different social media platforms and on Radio too for schools and students in both primary and secondary schools in the state”, he stated.

“For ASSUS, my advise for them is that they stop parading themselves as a trade union henceforth.They’re an Association under the NUT and not a trade union as they claim. I’ve been the NUT state chairman and I know this very well” he concluded.

Meanwhile in a press statement made available to The Tide by the Ministry,the permanent secretary has warned owners and the management of private schools in the state to desist from resuming schools.

The pioneer State NUT chairman restated that even though the West African Examinations council has fixed 3rd August and 5th September as the date for the commencement and rounding up of the 2020 WASSCE the schools in the state may not resume until the state is certified fit by the NCDC to reopen schools.

In another development it seems not yet Uhuru with the proposed schools reopening date in Nigeria as the Federal Government has again reordered its earlier decision on the resumption

date.

In the same vein there are indications that in consonance with dissenting opinions on a possible resumption date as earlier expressed by some state Governments and stakeholders in the Education sector, the Federal Government may no longer be willing to permit Nigeria’s participation in the regional examinations this year following the resurgence of more cases of the novel Covid-19 pandemic.

The Tide learnt that the Federal Ministry of Education has expressed concerns on the safety of Nigerian students when schools are resumed amidst rising number of the Coronavirus infections in the country.

You would be recalled that penultimate week the Federal Government announced August 3rd as the resumption date of schools in Nigeria, while the West African Examinations council,WAEC also followed suit by giving 3rd  August through 5th September as dates for kick-starting and ending up of this year’s WASSCE.

Inset:comrade Walton Liverpool, PS Bayelsa state Ministry of Education.

By Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa.

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My Passion Is To Lift Young People From Poverty -Banigo

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Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr Mrs Ipalibo Harry Banigo, says her passion is to lift young people from poverty.
Dr Banigo disclosed this during a courtesy visit by the Acting Regional Manager, South-South of the Bank of Industry (BoI), Mr Pacqueens Irabor, at the Government House in Port Harcourt, at the weekend.
The Deputy Governor said, “we must lift up our young people and young adults out of poverty, financial, physical, spiritual and mental poverty. We want to give them the mind-set that they can do it”.
According to Dr Banigo, with the support of the State Chief Executive, Nyesom Wike her office held a Six week, skills acquisition training in collaboration with Redemption Ministries, where over 3,677 trainees were empowered with 12 different entrepreneurial skills across three local government areas, using 44 facilitators as well as people from the Central Bank and Micro Finance Agency at the end of which starter packs were given to some of them.
“We cannot let them go, we cannot let them fall off the cliff, we have to empower them in a sustainable way that is why we tried to reach out to the Bank of Industry and the Bank of Agriculture as well. For farmers our focus is to give them something that will keep them progressing, we are happy that quite a few of them are doing very well with the skills they acquired.  These are the kind of people we really want to encourage. We are happy that you can assist us to develop common manufacturing pools, for instance these beneficiaries have been registered in 57 co-operatives in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry,” she further stressed.
The Deputy Governor who encouraged youths to be creative with what the Almighty God has deposited in them said: “Let them know it is not all about Government work and politics, they have so much that God has put in them that they can use for themselves and others, to be a blessing to their community and to be a blessing to others.”
She said Governor Wike had provided an enabling environment for businesses to flourish in the state. “As the Chairman of the Ease of Doing Business Council, I know how much he has improved the business climate in areas of tax reforms, where people can pay their taxes without going through middlemen and also the general infrastructural development in the State that has enabled businesses to thrive it is a great positive”, she quipped.
Dr Banigo who expressed delight with the role the bank of industry is playing in the development of the economy, noted that the mandate of the Bank which is to increase the Industrial landscape across the nation and expand the business climate, opined that a country that is not able to manufacture what they are using can never really develop.
“This has been the bane of our nation, that we have put aside manufacturing and industry we have preferred to be middlemen instead of using what God has given us to be creative, God has given us the brain to be creative that is what the youths are now showing us”, she stressed.
Earlier, the Acting Regional Manager, South-South, Bank of Industry, Mr Pacqueens Irabor, had informed the Deputy Governor that they were at the Government House to fashion out ways on how to collaborate with the State Government in the quest to develop Rivers State, noting that the Bank of Industry is all about promoting productivity.

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#EndSARS: Diri Unveils Judicial Panel, Heads Com’ttee

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Bayelsa State Government has constituted a judicial panel of inquiry as well as a special security and human rights  committee in response to the demands of the #EndSARS protesters in the state.
Governor Douye Diri announced this shortly after an Executive  Council meeting of the state in Yenagoa.
He said both committees were set up as part of his government’s commitment to meet the demands of the protesters.
The governor said the judicial panel of inquiry would investigate police brutality and allegations of rights abuse while the special security and human rights committee is to supervise and monitor the new police unit, Strategic Weapons and Tactical Squad, SWAT in the state.
The judicial panel is headed by retired Justice Y.B. Ogola with Barr. Alaowei Opokuma as Secretary.
Other members of the panel according to a statement made available to The Tide  by the Governor’s spokesman, Mr Daniel Alabrah are, A.T. Ambaowei, Mr Fortune Alfred Godson, Miss Perelade Demanche both representing civil society and Russell Newman representing the National Human Rights Commission respectively.
The statement said the panel’s terms of reference include: “to receive and investigate complaints of police brutality and or related extra-judicial killings in Bayelsa State,evaluate evidence, draw conclusions and make findings on the validity of the complaints, to recommend compensation and other remedial measures.”
The statement added that the panel had six months to complete its assignment.
The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor told The Tide sources that the committe on Special Security and Human Rights is headed by Governor Diri with the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Biriyai Dambo, SAN as Secretary.
Other members are the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Mike Okoli, the State Director of State Security Services, Mr A.A. Mahmoud, Special Adviser to the Governor on Security 1, Mr Akpoebi Agberebi, Special Adviser on Security 2, Mr Felix Ngobiowei and Barr Alaowei Opokuma.
Mr Eugene Baadom and Dr Mathew Ayibakuro represent the National Human Rights Commission and the #EndSARS protesters respectively.
The committee’s terms of reference is to supervise and monitor the SWAT unit and ensure that the rights of Bayelsans and residents are protected.

 

Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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Okowa Warns Against Attacks, Destruction Of Property

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Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, has warned hoodlums hiding under the guise of #ENDSARS protest to loot and destroy public and private assets in the state to stop or face the full wrath of the law.
The governor gave the warning while inspecting buildings and other structures torched last Wednesday night in Asaba by suspected hoodlums.
Some of the places Okowa inspected included Koka Modern Leisure Park, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) office, both on Asaba-Benin Expressway and the High Court Complex on Ibusa road, Asaba.
The governor said that he was in support of the reforms in the country being championed by the #ENDSARS peaceful protesters, but condemned the acts of the hoodlums who had hijacked the peaceful protest to loot, maim, kill and cause unrest in the state.
He called on residents of the state to be vigilant and also synergize with security operatives and the government in fashioning out ways to arrest and prosecute those behind the dastardly act.
“Unfortunately it appears some people are not quite happy with the beautification we have done here and they decided to vent their anger and criminality on the gardens; they destroyed everything, cut down trees just to deface the city.
“It’s very unfortunate and you can see that a lot of damage has been done to the High Court that was set on fire”.

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