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Rivers Education Sector In Focus

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With the inauguration of the present administration in Rivers State, under the able leadership of Chief Nyesom Wike on May 29, 2015, the state began to witness massive infrastructural development across all sectors of human endeavours. These development projects which are visiable across the 23 local government areas of the state, including Port Harcourt metropolis indeed, have direct bearing on both the rich and ordinary citizens in the state.
At the inauguration of this present administration in the state, the governor did among other things promise rapid transformation and development across the length and breadth of the state. Indeed, Governor Wike has kept his social contract with the people of the state through his NEW Rivers Vision mantra.
In keeping with this promise, Governor Wike has not left any one in doubt with the infrastructural and sectorial rebirth being witnessed in the state including educational sector.
The present administration embarked on a radical developmental approach to redeem the state educational system from the comatose it inherited from the past administration.
Within the two years in office, Governor Wike had through the Ministry of Education and its various parastatal anchored a deliberate and sustained policies which have made the educational system more vibrant, effective and functional.
This was due to the critical role education plays in the development of every society, hence, no meaningful government can undermine the importance of education in development of the state.
Rivers State plays a very important role in the economy and development of our country, therefore, the people of the state need to acquire the relevant educational skills and qualifications in order to continue to occupy her prime position in the comity of states and drive the wheel of governance in the country.
The present administration had made some landmark achievements in the development of the education sector in the state within the period under review.
Wike made a historic landmark achievement through the renaming of and upgrading of the former Rivers State College of Arts (RIVCAS) to Port Harcourt Polytechnic. With this new status, the state now has two Polytechnics. These measures have also added to the high number of graduates the state produces, every year.
Also, it was the administration of Governor Wike that made it possible to the change of the former “Rivers State University of Science and Technology to now Rivers State University (RSU). This initiative has given the university the needed opportunity to advance the scope of its operations. The Rivers State University (RSU) at the moment has commenced a full programme in medical sciences and other related courses associated with medicine. This noble achievement was made possible courtesy of Governor Wike’s administration.
Recently, Governor Wike in pursuance of his administration’s avowed vision and commitment in the infrastructural development of the state built and commissioned two faculty blocks for management sciences and environmental sciences and also proscribed sorting, a social crime being perpetrated in the university.
The governor’s action received commendations among the students and major stakeholders in the education sector.
Secondary and primary schools were not left out in the New Rivers mission Initiative anchored by the Wike-led administration. The governor embarked on the reconstruction and remodelling of some secondary and primary schools in the state to make teaching and learning easier.
The benefiting schools that have received the Wike led administration midas touch include Nyemoni Grammar Secondary School, Abonnema, Birabi Memorial Secondary School, Bori, Government Girls Secondary School, Rumuokuta and Etche Girls Junior Secondary School, Umuola, among others.
The Wike-led administration had in a concerted effort to ensure quality, efficient and affordable education through the state Ministry of Education last year, clamped down on the unapproved and substandard schools in the state.
The ministry further set up a taskforce across the of the state for effective monitoring of the state government’s directive.
In October last year, the Ministry of Education through a proactive campaign suppressed the monkey pox scare that rattled schools in state on the alleged rumours of virus vaccination by military authorities in the country.
Teachers and students in the state have also felt the positive impact of the the various development policies of the Governor Wike led administration. The state governor during a recent visit to the Rivers State University, Nkpolu, Oroworukwo promised to construct a befitting modern secretariat for National Union of Rivers State Students (NURSS) as well as the approval for the payment of their bursary allowances which hitherto were not made possible in the last administration.
The welfare and regular payment of teachers’ salaries have continued to be the hallmark of the present administration.
Governor Wike without equivocation fronties has advanced 30 months of education within the of his administration in the state. A great achiever, an icon of education development, W has made indelible marks in the development of education in the state. The past two years have witnessed outstanding achievements in the education sector. This will in no measure position the state for future greatness. With the dexterity and commitment of Wike-led government in the remaining years, it is sure that more good days are ahead for the education sector in the state.

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Education

Group Warns Against Underage Drinking In Educational Institutions

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As concerns grow over underage drinking, especially among young students in higher institutions, the Beer Sectoral Group (BSG) has disclosed that its ‘Smashed Project,’ advocacy against underage alcohol drinking, has impacted over 65,000 adolescents in 35 institutions across the country in the last five years.
BSG Chairman, Baker Magunda, stated this at the launch of the fourth edition of the smashed programme in Abuja, as part of its renewed commitment to addressing the menace of underage drinking in Nigeria.
Smashed project is a programme of BSG, an umbrella body for leading brewing companies in Nigeria, who are members of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN). They include, Guinness, Nigeria Breweries and Ab-In Bev.
Smashed is a global project that started in 2005, with the aim of using drama and theatre to help adolescents understand the dangers of alcohol to their health.
Speaking, Magunda noted that the renewed effort is aimed at furthering the objective of the Smashed project in line with global strategy to reduce the harmful effects of underage consumption of alcohol.
“Every time young people experience the core messages of the smashed project through drama, it sticks because the message is clear and it also makes them avoid the social pressures of trying alcohol before they are of age. At BSG, we are committed to this and we will continue to invest in this programme,” Magunda said.

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Education

Expert Harps On Importance Of Indigenous Languages

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A Professor of French and Translation Studies at the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Rumuolumeni,  Port Harcourt, Prof. Priye Enemi Iyalla-Amadi, has identified the importance of  indigenous languages  on the development of technology, and called on African leaders to take advantage of the multiplicity of languages to advance technology in Africa.
Amadi stated this while delivering her lecture at the 40th Inaugural Lecture Series of the institution titled: “Translation As Tool For Indigenous Language Engineering: The African Experiment,” last Thursday in Port Harcourt.
“Translation as a communicative tool, should serve as a needed bridge to provide a platform for accessing the world technological heritage of which we are all a part. I am charging you my fellow African speakers, that the technological future is here, so let’s own it linguistically.
“We have to be able to translate our languages, expressly using these languages to visualise what is being expressed. The power to invent like other countries across the globe lies in our ability to be able to understand and translate our indigenous languages,” Amadi added.
She lamented that Nigeria as an Anglophone country, has thrown away her various indigenous languages, making everyone disintegrated instead of united through their various indigenous languages that would have helped form a strong positive force in language translation as well as world affairs technologically.
“There is nothing wrong with a child to be able to speak six different languages. It is high time parents stop speaking English to their children, while at home. Leave English Language for their school teachers and speak your languages to them while they are home because this practice forms a strong family bond which finally transcends to national unity.”
She described Translation as the cross cultural, cross national and inter-disciplinary linguistic tool per excellence, saying that it can be used as a potent tool  for language engineering to better express thoughts, desires and linguistic goals of speakers of various languages, adding that through translation, members of different races, and tongues can unite to formulate policies and strategies aimed at the communal good.

By: Susan Serekara-Nwikhana

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Education

School Advises On Children’s Intellectual Dev

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The Director, Spring Lake School, Mrs Judith Usiakpor, has said the cognitive and psychological development of learners should be considered in teaching.
A statement signed by the school during its graduation ceremony said that the school ensured the provision of teaching and learning aids that would aid the development of learners’ cognitive and psychological tendencies.
It read, ‘‘Spring Lake School, a faith-based institution with a niche to providing exceptional day care services and after-school programmes for children between one to five years of age, recently graduated their first intake in grand style at their Oniru- Lekki auditorium.
‘The Director, Mrs. Judith Usiakpor, while speaking at the fifth year graduation of the school, reiterated the school’s commitment towards contributing selflessly in the role of moulding children cognitively and psychologically as well.
‘‘She also expressed her gratitude to all the pioneer parents who have come this far with them.”
A  lawyer and parent, Mrs Zulei Momodu, appreciated the Spring Lake School for the exemplary turnaround job they did for the kids.

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