A Senior lecturer in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Dr Okechukwu Nwaubani, on Thursday urged the Federal Government to rescind its decision to scrap the National Examination Council (NECO).
Nwaubani of the Department of Social Science Education told newsmen in Nsukka that the council’s existence was in the interest of education.
According to him, scrapping NECO will be a setback on the present administration’s commitment to improve the quality of education in the country.
“The advent of NECO has made West African Examination Council (WAEC), to improve on organising the external examination since it knows that candidates have on other alternative.
“Scrapping of NECO may reduce the number of candidates who have access to external exams in a year.
“If NECO is scrapped the monopoly WEAC will enjoy may affect quality of external secondary school exam in the country.”
Nwaubani said that government should remember that NECO is the only exam body owned by the country since WAEC is West African body and advised government to rescind its decision to scrap NECO in the interest of quality education,” he said.
The don, however, said that scrapping the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) exam was a welcome decision.
Nwaubani noted that it would spare candidates from wasting money in sitting for JAMB as well as post-UTME exam screening adding that the step would be a boost to university autonomy.
“The public can now hold tertiary institutions responsible for their graduates since they conduct entrance exams for candidates themselves,” he said.
Also reacting to scarping of NECO, the Commissioner for Education in Enugu State, Dr Simon Ortuanya, said that there was no cause for alarm.
Ortuanya noted that government could have weighed the consequences very well before arriving at the decision.
“After all, before the establishment of NECO, WAEC was the only external exam body and it was doing well.”
According to Ortuanya, having many exam bodies is good but having an effective and reliable one is better
“I know government could have consulted widely before arriving at scrapping of NECO and stopping of JAMB exam.”
The Commissioner said that stopping of JAMB exam will give tertiary institutions full right to conduct admission exams for candidates who want to study in their institutions.
“Nigerians should support government policies since they are targeted at giving the best to citizens,” he said.
Akwa Ibom Approves N10,000 Bursary For Public Tertiary Students
As part of alleviating the suffering of students, Governor Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom State has approved the payment of N10,000 to each indigene who is studying in a public institution.
The payment which will be paid through an innovative bursary payment portal has already commenced with some students applauding the transparent nature of the process.
According to Dr Frank Ekpenyong, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on ICT and Digital Services, the initiative reflects Governor Eno’s commitment to sound education and his quest to uplift the state’s academic community.
Ekpenyong, who led the team that developed the portal in collaboration with the Ministry of Education said the portal will serve as an exclusive gateway for bursary applications and payment.
“This user-friendly portal ensures swift payment processing upon validation, granting immediate disbursement upon meeting the necessary criteria. Students are required to submit specific documents including a valid ID card, admission letter, certificate of origin, last school payment receipt, and a current passport photograph for seamless validation and payment processing.
“The digital platform stands as the sole authorized channel for bursary applications. Students are urged to exercise caution and avoid any pseudo or secondary websites to prevent misinformation or misrepresentation,” emphasised Ekpenyong.
He stated that payments will be directly credited to the provided bank accounts upon successful registration. Furthermore, measures have been implemented to deter fraudulent activities, ensuring fair and equitable distribution among eligible candidates.
To aid students in the registration process, he stated that various support channels such as dedicated control room, call centre, live chat and email assistance have been established. Additionally, extensive outreach programmes will be conducted to facilitate application processes and assist students in need.
Addressing concerns during a Q&A session, Ekpenyong reinforced the importance of adherence to the portal’s guidelines and revealed that some students have applauded the seamless registration process.
“Each Akwa Ibom student in a public tertiary institution is entitled to this support.The people-centric Governor has made adequate funding available for all beneficiaries. You need not belong to any group or political party. We’ve instituted measures to verify and validate applications to prevent exploitation and secure the benefits for genuine students.”
While encouraging students to commence their registration immediately via the portal for prompt processing and payment, he noted that the bursary scheme marks the beginning of a transformative initiative aimed at supporting education and empowering the future leaders of Akwa Ibom State.
Pro-Chancellor Urges TETfund To Support Private Varsities
Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin, Alhaja Sekinat Yusuf, has called on the Tertiary Eductaion Trust Fund (TETfund) to support the institution and other private universities in Nigeria.
Making the appeal on Saturday in Ilorin at the 13th Convocation of the institution, Yusuf said private universities are in dire need of assistance.
She noted that government alone cannot shoulder the heavy load of funding tertiary education at all levels, despite the substantial intervention assistance by the TETFund.
“The Committees of Pro-Chancellors as well as that of Vice-chancellors of Private Universities have over the years made representations to the Federal Government on the dire need for support.
“It is my humble plea that the President would consider this request for TETFund support of Nigerian private universities and this could be achieved by amending the enabling Law which established the body,” she said.
In the same vein, the Chancellor, Alhaji Sayyu Dantata, said the university was working vigorously putting in place modalities to satisfy the criteria for the establishment of Engineering and Medical programmes.
“However, infrastructural deficiency due to paucity of fund is our major challenge.
“The university is therefore in dire need of assistance to make teaching, learning and research conducive to our students across our three campuses at Adeta, Atere and Igbaja.
“In particular, we need sponsors to establish these important faculties and we urge friends of the university, wells wishers, parents and the Alumni to key into the development agenda of the university,” Dantata urged.
Earlier, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Noah Yusuf, urged the graduands to be good ambassadors and not disappoint their Alma mater.
“We have a total of 1,584 graduates, comprising 1,207 Undergraduates, 343 Postgraduates and 31 Diploma Certificate holders.
“Out of the Undergraduates, 26 had First Class, 472 – Second Class Upper, 600 – Second Class Lower and 109 -Third Class.
“For the Post Graduate graduands, 27 were Ph.D while 213 were Masters graduands.
“We are also glad to have eminent Nigerians among the graduands, including the Inspector General of Police, IG-P Kayode Egbetokun; and Chief of Staff to former President Muhammadu Buhari, Amb. Ibrahim Gambari, among others,” he said.
The vice chancellor disclosed that as part of efforts to contribute to food security in Nigeria, the university launched the Green Campus Initiative on August 23, which involved planting of 50,000 tree seedlings at the Faculty of Agriculture, Igbaja campus.
Corruption, Bane Of Nigerian Education – Methodist Old Students
The National President, Methodist High School Old Boys Association, (MHSIOBA), Dr Lekan Abioye, says the bane of Nigerian education is corruption.
Abioye stated at the opening of the 2023 maiden Mega Reunion of the association in Ibadan on Friday that the poor state of education sector in the country was fuelled by corruption.
The Tide’s source reports that the event has the theme: “Education, Innovation and Possibilities for a Better Nation”.
According to him, the present state of education in Nigeria is truly in a very big distress occasioned by corruption.
Abioye cited poor attitude to work, mismanagement of resources and laziness as factors aiding corruption in the education sector.
He stressed the need for leadership at all levels to show right examples and adhere to standards to bring sanity into the education system.
“When you are not doing you what you are supposed to do that is corruption. When you are to be at work for eight hours and you only spent five hours and you left that is corruption.
“One of the things that can curb corruption in Nigeria is right leadership,” Abioye said.
Citing his experience as the leader of the MHSIOBA, he stated that none of his executive members or those working in close connection with him was corrupted because of the leadership style he adopted.
Abioye said people should lead by example as the problem in the Nigerian education sector was corruption emanating from the leadership.
“If the leadership gets it right everything else will fall in line.
“Nigerians are the kind that when you set out the rules and you bring out two to three scapegoats everyone will comply,” he said.
He emphasised transparency, integrity and openness, adding that the ripple effects of corruption have been poverty and younger generations that were after getting rich quickly.
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