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Stakeholders Charge Varsities, Others On Institutional Memories

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Dean, School of Transport and Logistics at the Lagos State University (LASU),Ojo, Prof. Samuel Odewumi, has urged tertiary institutions to retain their good institutional memories.
He said such would enhance progressive and cumulative development of higher institutions in the country.
Odewumi,  a Professor of Transport and Environment,  said this  at a virtual  book presentation to celebrate Prof. Peter Okebukola ‘s  70th birthday on Saturday in Lagos.
The title of the book is: “Prof. Peter Okebukola at 70: Media Dialogue on Pivotal Issues in Higher Education Development in Nigeria”.
The Tide gathered that Okebukola  who clocked 70 on February.17 is  a distinguished Professor of Science and Computer Education.
He was also a former Executive Secretary,National Universities Commission(NUC) and  the Director of the World Bank-funded Africa Centre of Excellence for Innovative and Transformative STEM Education at LASU.
The book contains 795 pages and were put together by some editors and contributors in higher education such as: Prof.Sola Akinrinade, Provost ,Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria and  Prof. Samuel Odewumi,the Dean, School of Transport and Logistics, Lagos State University.
Other contributors include, Prof. Anthony Kola-Olusanya,Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic, Research, Innovation and Partnerships (ARIP), Osun State University; Sir John Daniel, the former Assistant Director-General of UNESCO and  Prof. Olarenwaju  Fagbohun,  the immediate past Vice Chancellor,LASU.
Odewunmi  said that retaining institutional memory is very important rather than the  usual disjointed and sporadic approach to the management of public sector agencies.
”The phenomenon of succeeding chief executives abandoning projects and initiatives of their  predecessors is unfortunately  and also  it is an alarming feature of many higher educational institutions in the country.
”Addressing this issue through the lenses of  the Okebukola initiatives at the NUC is, especially,  critical given the dire straits in which we are as a country.
“ This is also with regards to resources that should not be frittered away through constant restarting of programmes at the inception of every new administration,” Odewumi said.
He added that Okebukola had at least 61 university system-wide initiatives and 33 NUC-internal initiatives during his five-year tenure as  the Executive Secretary of the NUC between 2001 and 2006.
“These are major landmark initiatives not perfunctory; they are impactful actions in the day to day leadership of the institution.
“This is, no doubt, revolutionary by any standard. It is a reflection of the prodigious capacity to think and execute. Okebukola is simply phenomenal.
”Okebukola did not win his laurels in propagation of knowledge and pillar of e-learning for nothing, he really earned it,” Odewumi said.
Also, Prof. Is’haq Oloyede, the Chief Executive, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board(JAMB),  said that tertiary education in Nigeria had over the years been a centre of cacophony with reference to policy formulation and implementation.
Oloyede said that such cacophonies border on the scope, landscape, mandates and regulatory agencies of tertiary education in Nigeria.
“They also include the unnecessary furore on the UTME cut-off marks and qualifications for admissions into tertiary institutions as well as the dynamics of rewards for achievements and others.
“It is emphasised that the whole tertiary education subsector requires a holistic overhaul in terms of nomenclature, organisation and functionality.
”I recommend a structural reorganisation of the current Ministry of Education as well as some agencies within its supervision as a way of revamping higher education in Nigeria,” he said.
The celebrator, Prof. Peter Okebukola, in his remarks said that all the essays in the   book were put together for yesterday, today and the  future of higher education in Nigeria.
Okebukola said that the book contained major key points needed to tackle  challenges facing higher education.
He said, “There is a global burden of quality assurance in the  different sectors not only  in education and Nigeria education system does not present a worst cast scenario.
”I urge governments and stakeholders in the  educational  sector to reduce or wrestle down corruption in the  system so that more money will be injected into the universities,” he said.
It was also gathered that  a former President, Chief   Olusegun Obasanjo, wrote the foreword to the book and Prof.Idowu Olayinka, the immediate past Vice-Chancellor,University of Ibadan, reviewed the book

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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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