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FG Links Poor Education Standard To Obsolete Curriculum

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The Federal Government has identified obsolete curriculum as the cardinal reason for the poor performance of students at the post primary level and a culminating factor to the low standard of education in Nigeria.

National Programme Coordinator, Curriculum Development, Federal Ministry of Education, Abuja, Prof Michael Adikwu, gave this indication at the opening ceremony of the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and Intel Corporation-sponsored Sixth Nigerian Secondary Schools Science Fair and Quiz Competition at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST), Nkporlu, Port Harcourt, recently.

Adikwu disclosed that “a recent study has shown that the problem of education in Nigeria is that of obsolete curriculum”, adding that a situation where the schools use outdated curricula in a technology-driven age has further pushed the students far behind in their development aspirations.

The programme coordinator noted the non-adaptability of the existing curriculum to the 21st century developments in the education system, particularly in the context of teaching and learning, stressing that the pace of advancement in science and engineering elsewhere has left most teachers and students behind in Nigeria.

He gave the commitment of the ministry towards a strategic reform of the school curriculum to bring it up to date with the prevailing standard globally, and appealed to other stakeholders to emulate the good job SPDC and Intel were doing to improve interest in the sciences and raise the standard of education in the country.

To push this commitment further, Adikwu said that the government was intensifying the funding of science education in the over 104 unity schools, all federal universities, polytechnics and colleges of education through infrastructure upgrade, provision and standardization of laboratories, libraries and workshops, while at the same time building and encouraging the teaching and learning of modern information and communication technology applications to drive the nation’s development.

Also speaking, Rivers State Commissioner for Education, Dame Alice Lawrence Nemi, said the Governor Chibuike Amaechi-led administration has given unusual attention to science education from primary to university level in the state.

She stated that this has been manifested in the incorporation of science and technology in the building of the new model primary and secondary schools across the state, the new RSUST complex in the Greater Port Harcourt City, the upgrading of facilities at the new Rivers State University of Education and Rivers State Polytechnic.

Represented by the Director, Higher Education, Mrs M.O. Solomon, the commissioner lauded the SPDC JV and Intel partnership to boost science education, and urged other corporate organizations to complement existing efforts by initiating game-changing programmes to bring the dream of the government for a new Rivers State to reality.

In her remarks, Bayelsa State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Josephine Ezonbodor, restated the readiness of the state government to collaborate with SPDC and other corporate bodies to redefine the education landscape in Bayelsa State.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mrs Victoria Tekena, the Bayelsa education commissioner stressed that apart from the Nigerian Secondary Schools Science Fair and Quiz Competition, other SPDC-driven initiatives aimed at enhancing educational development of the region have had tremendous impact on the people, and commended the SPDC JV and Intel Corporation for the wonderful initiative while tasking the students to take advantage of the opportunity to excel in their career.

Vice Chancellor, RSUST, Prof Barineme Fakae, explained the purposeful steps taken so far to entrench science and technology education in the institution’s academic and administrative structures, adding that the policy has paid off.

Fakae said, as the premier science and technology university in Nigeria, RSUST would continue to open its doors to host any programmes targeted at promoting science education in Nigeria, and thanked SPDC JV and Intel for partnering with the institution to make the Sixth Nigerian Secondary Schools Science Fair and Quiz Competition a huge success.

The events, which held March 8 and 9 at the auditorium of RSUST amphi-theatre, brought together more than 13 secondary schools from both public and private sectors, across the country for two days of interactions, networking, and intellectual display of innovation, creativity, courage, brilliance, hard work and perseverance.

 

Nelson Chukwudi

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Oil & Energy

Stakeholders Want Policies To Harness Gas Resources

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An earlier plan by the defunct Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) to equalise the consumption of gas, especially Liquefied Petroleum Gas may no longer fly as the government said subsidising the transport cost of the commodity in the face of a liberal market may not work.
This is just as stakeholders were demanding for deliberate policies that would enable the country to harness gas resources to benefit from the global energy transition agenda.
While the defunct PEF had disclosed earlier this year that a scheme to pay for the transportation of gas as part of an effort to encourage the use of cooking gas in homes across the country was being considered, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) said such a move may be unnecessary.
Executive Director, Distribution System, Storage and Retail Infrastructure at NMDPRA, Ogbugo Ukoha said although Nigeria has gas in large quantities, bottlenecks undermine realisation of full potential.
Speaking in Abuja recently on equalisation for gas, Uhoha said: “the Act provides for liberalisation. We can’t set prices, we can’t equalise it.”
According to him, the market would stabilise at some point and deal with prevailing issues. The Independent Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG), headed by Abdulrazaq Isa, has also noted the right policies were necessary if Nigeria would benefit from its gas resources.
Stressing on the evolving industry landscape, ongoing industry reforms, IOCs’ divestment, and the role indigenous exploration and production companies can play in this new era in guaranteeing the nation’s energy security, Isa said: “Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind in view of the global energy transition agenda. Natural gas should be considered as a transition fuel with deliberate policies formulated to attract investment into the sector.”
While noting that the PIA enactment will set a solid growth foundation for the entire industry, the IPPG Chairman said it was imperative that effective regulations are formulated to derive the full benefits of the Act.
According to Isa, ‘’industry-wide consultation in the enactment of regulations is required to promote inclusivity and ensure robustness of regulations’’.
The IPPG Chairman also identified key challenges being faced by the industry in the areas of security, funding, high operating costs, lengthy contract cycle, amongst others.
’’We look forward to collaborating with the NUPRC in finding long lasting and sustainable solutions to these challenges,’’ Isa said.

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Obasanjo Makes Case For Renewable Energy For Power Generation

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Nigeria’s former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has urged the country to embrace renewable energy for power generation.
Obasanjo, who led the country as military Head of State between 1975 and 1979 and civilian President from 1999 to 2007, made the call, last Friday at the inauguration of a two megawatts, MW, solar power project at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital,
He said solar energy is remarkably cost effective as it costs less than two and half years’ supply of diesel to power the generators at the Library and that the project marks one of the enduring personal legacies he is proud to call his own.
“Today, I am speaking to you in a facility powered by the sun – solar energy. It is the way of a future Carter envisioned all those years ago. It will help build the future we want. The Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library solar power project is a reflection of our commitment to clean and renewable energy and is the single largest investment this not-for-profit organization has made.
“As large an investment as it is, it is remarkably cost effective. It costs less than two and half years supply of diesel to power our generators. So in diesel terms it pays for itself in less than 3years. So in effect the electricity it produces after three years is almost at no cost,” Obasanjo said.
He noted that solar energy does not emit any green house gases that diesel generators do, and that, as such, it has the potential to earn carbon credits which are currently priced at US$40 per ton.
He added: “Based on estimated annual production of 2,307,000 kilo Watt hours per year, we can expect to earn nearly US$39,589 in carbon credits per year.
“By monetising this facility with strategic sponsorships and marketing alliances we will be able to generate revenue.
“Combined, this solar facility can generate electricity, generate revenues that contribute to the upkeep of the library, help save the planet making a small contribution to climate mitigation and adaptation, provide shade for parking, and be an inspiration for future generations. Who says you can’t make a profit out of saving the planet?”

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Oil & Energy

CSOs To Hold Confab On Fuel Subsidy Removal

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Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Nigeria operating under the aegis of Civil Society Coalition for Economic Development (CED), on Thursday, said plans were afoot to organise a conference on ‘Fuel subsidy removal’ in Nigeria.
The coalition, which comprised 82 groups, disclosed this at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, stressing that they were committed to pushing for subsidy removal as well as engaging other stakeholders in some sectors of the economy to see reasons with the government on the need to lay fuel subsidy payment to rest.
The convener of the group, Comrade Yusuf Dan Maitama, further said that the proposed theme of the conference is “Subsidy removal and the Future of Nigeria’s Economy,” adding that there was no better time for the total removal of fuel subsidy than now given the economic challenges the nation is going through.
According to the coalition, the conference which is slated for Tuesday and Wednesday next week will take place in Abuja and Lagos, featuring world-class resource persons in the oil and gas sector in order to refocus activities of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector and to secure the nation’s resources for its critical mass rather than private pocket benefactors.
The coalition lamented that the fuel subsidy regime which had been in place for the past 20 years, has enriched a few individuals and denied citizens of what was supposed to be a collective wealth, adding that moves by the present administration to end the subsidy regime were the right step.
Citing further reasons for the conference, the coalition posited that the Nigeria National Petroleum Company’s commitment to implementing a policy that ensures total removal of subsidy should be supported by all.
“The fuel subsidy regime has in the last 20 years done more harm than good to the economy of the nation and it appears Nigeria is the only country in the world that has a fuel subsidy regime in place.
“We have slated a conference for Tuesday and Wednesday, 2022 and we are going to assemble top class oil experts to speak on reasons fuel subsidy regime should be put to rest,” the group said.
Recall that the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, had a few days ago disclosed to the Senate Committee on Finance that the Federal government would offer a N5,000 transportation grant to poor Nigerians to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal in 2022.

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