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Model Schools: Head Teachers Laud Rivers Initiative

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The Association of Primary School Headteachers of Nigeria (AOPSHON) has described the Rivers State educational system as world-class which other states of the federation are silently emulating.

The Chairman of the Association, Rivers State Chapter, Comrade Tennyson Amadi, stated this in an address at the 10th Annual National Workshop for Headteachers and Teachers in Port Harcourt, Wednesday.

Comrade Amadi, who described school building renovation in Rivers State as a taboo, said that it is total pulling down of old and dilapidated buildings and erecting a world-class edifice with state-of-the-arts facilities that cannot be compared with any primary school in Nigeria.

He recalled that in 2008, the Governor of Rivers State, Rt Hon Chibuike Amaechi, enlivened the lives of primary school teachers by taking over the payment of all salaries and allowances from the local government councils.

The Chairman of AOPSHON acknowledged that the training and retraining of about 3000 teachers in Rivers State has improved the teaching and managerial skills of teachers.

He expressed optimism that primary school teachers would attain the status of Permanent Secretary since they also possess Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate Degrees.

He explained that “Rivers 2011 with its theme: “Basic Education: Place in the National Transformation Agenda – The Head Teachers Challenges,” was very apt because most of the teachers are yet to comprehend which direction Nigerian educational system is heading to in transformation agenda of the present administration.

He maintained that the theme also became necessary concerning the roles the Head teachers have to play in the current dispensation especially where they are faced with so much challenges ranging from unstable school cumculum, non-engagement of head teachers in policy formulation and massive politicisation of education which the end product is mass failure at the upper level of our educational system, as well as the use of ICT.

His words: “We have chosen to practise teaching at the lowest rungs of service to humanity, the lowest of education profession, the sorriest in incentive and motivational encouragements, yet the most noble of all the professions world over”.

He, therefore, appealed to the government to release the domesticated curriculum for use in primary schools as well as reconstitution of local government education authorities to properly manage schools as provided in the edict establishing UBEB.

The AOPSHON chairman, who is also the Head teacher of State Primary School, Rumueme, said the challenge encountered last September was the influx of pupils from private schools from that area.

He disclosed to our  correspondent that he recorded population of about 1000 pupils while the facilities available were meant for 300 only, stressing that the rest were asked to leave.

He, therefore, urged the government to put up storey buildings to utilise the available spaces since good things must attract more people.

Another challenge he maintained, was the reformation of the children since some of them come from poor background. He recalled a situation where some pupils come to school even at 9.00am when first lesson might have been taught.

He advised government to evolve a policy where children would be picked up while loitering during school periods, keep them somewhere while their parents / guardians would be meant to pay fines or be prosecuted, because according to him, “It is child abuse”.

He emphasised that provision of car loans to head teachers would also ease their mobility stressing that government should have confidence in the head teachers by giving imprest grants and duty post allowances for minor expenses instead of running to the ministry for every little maintenance.

“To the head teachers and workshop participants, he said, it is pertinent to know that our challenges and added responsibilities  which gave supervisory role over our teachers and the academic performance of our pupils lie squarely on our ability to manage both human and material resources at our disposal.

“The teaching profession is our treasure and heritage that we need to guard jealously from crumbling. We must show the way with our wealth of experience,” he emphasised.

Mr Amadi enjoined the headteachers to guide their teachers aright urging them to strive for high ethical standard and good work ethics.

Eunice Choko-Kayode

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Strike: We’re Waiting For Govt’s Reply To Our Presentation — ASUU

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has said it was waiting for the Federal Government to respond to its presentation, so it could determine whether to call off the over four months strike its members embarked on to press home their demands.
According to the union, calling off the strike soon rests squarely on government responding to its presentation made through a committee set up by the government to negotiate with it.
Checks by newsmen, last Friday, showed that the national leadership of ASUU had made its presentation to the Prof. Nimi Briggs-led committee set up to renegotiate the 2009 agreement signed by the two sides.
Speaking in a telephone chat with The Tide Newspaper, National President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, said his union had done its best in the circumstance.
“We have made our presentation to the committee and there is nothing more to add,” Osodeke said.
On when the feedback was expected from government, he said: “They promised to get back to us within a short time.”
Though he did not say anything about what the union’s presentation contained, it was gathered that the union could give the government more time to meet some demands that had financial implications.
When contacted, Briggs said his committee had met with ASUU and had done its assignment.
“We have met and ASUU have made their presentation. Some people sent me on an errand and I have to report to them. The committee is not the final authority on this matter. We are not the ones to determine what will be done,” he stated.
It would be recalled that ASUU went on a four-week warning strike on February 14 this year and had extended the strike twice, first, by eight weeks and second, by 12 weeks.

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Lagos Solicit Stronger Partnership For Equitable Education

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The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has stated that collective committment and political will of government is required to advance quality and equitable education in the State.
The Governor who stated that the ultimate aim of government is to ensure all students in Lagos State receive quality education in a conducive environment confirmed that his administration paid 1.1billion for WAEC students in 2022 as it continue to ensure yearly increment in budgetary allocation for the sector.
The Governor who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat at the Y2022 Equal Summit held at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island stated that the past three years has witnessed tremendous improvement in the overall value chain of the education ecosystem.
His words, “Our model of investment is informed by the desire to entrench 21st century technology into the sector.  This huge investment will ultimately result in significant improvement in learning outcomes’’.
Expressing the desire of the state government in taking the education sector into an enviable height, Sanwo-Olu said the education summit is an opportunity to present the education score card and inform Stakeholders of the government’s future plans and needs of the industry.
He said the initiative organised by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Office of Sustainable Development Goals and Investment will continue to open up opportunities for public private partnership interventions and mutually beneficial investments.
According to him: “Our administration also seeks to recognise and appreciate the tremendous contribution and donations of various private partners who supported the State Government’s Education Transformation Plan, most especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown of schools.

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Group Gives WAEC Scholarships To 35 Indigent Students In Imo

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The Old Peers of Owerri Development Initiative, a non-governmental organisation based in Abuja, Saturday awarded WAEC scholarships to 35 indigent students from seven schools in the Owerri Municipal Council of Imo.
The award is the second edition following the maiden project in 2021.
Presenting the scholarships in Owerri, the Interim National President of the organisation, Dr Nina Nwulu, urged the beneficiaries to show determination in succeeding in life.
“Under no circumstance should you joke with your education or indulge in drugs.
“The mentality that education is a scam should be jettisoned because in Nigeria, your certificate counts,” she said.
Nwulu, who described education as the “hallmark to every development,” urged the Federal Government to do the needful in resolving its impasse with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
“The issue is not about salary but about the government putting in place all the infrastructure that would make reading and learning conducive for students.
“We want our students to be exposed to every facility needed to learn properly; the lecturers are equally going through hell in terms of their packages.
“If politicians taught by teachers can be comfortable, why not the teachers,” Nwulu, a senior lecturer at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), asked.
The Coordinator of the organisation, Mr Jasper Opara, said the body aimed to assist the beneficiaries fulfill their academic pursuit.
According to him, if the students miss it at this stage of their major examination, they can lose it from there.
Opara, who explained that 25 students were sponsored in 2021, expressed delight that most of them performed excellently in the WAEC examinations.
He explained that the organisation, with different chapters in seven states and some countries, was made up of people from different tribes, who grew up and schooled in Owerri.
Also, the Secretary of the organisation, Mrs Olaedo Ike-Godson, said the body was passionate about helping government and doing charitable work, literacy, health programs, economic empowerment and sanitation.
One of the beneficiaries, Franklin Igwe from Emmanuel College, commended the organisation for the gesture.
“It will spur me to focus more on education so that when I grow up, I will be able to sponsor those around me,” another beneficiary, Miss Precious Onyemuche, said. (NAN)

 

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