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USAID Distributes 5.2m Storybooks To 157,000 Pupils

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The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has supported the distribution of supplementary Hausa reading materials – Ina Son Karatu! (I Want to Read! in Hausa) – to 157,000 primary grade learners in Adamawa and Gombe states. 

The USAID Strengthening Education in Northeast Nigeria (SENSE) activity, implemented by the American University of Nigeria (AUN), developed the packages for the two states, which contain more than 5.2million copies of educational reading material produced with USAID’s evidence-based early grade reading methodology using global best practices.   

Speaking at the event, the USAID Mission Director, Anne Patterson said, “Through years of conflict, education in the northeast has been decimated. 

“Working with AUN, we are helping to rebuild the system by providing materials that employ evidence-based methods to start thousands of children off on a lifetime of reading.” 

At ceremonies in Gombe on May 26 and Yola on May 19, each learner received a take-home booklet that contains up to 30 different stories and books at varying levels designed to help them advance their reading competence over a whole academic year. 

SENSE has encouraged parents to ask their children to read the stories to them after school to further improve their reading proficiency. 

Over three years, SENSE will reach more than 200,000 learners, and train and provide teaching materials to 5,000 teachers to improve reading in the Hausa language. 

SENSE helps enable the education systems in Gombe and Adamawa to deliver accessible high-quality education that responds to the needs of all children. 

The SENSE approach to encouraging reading is supported by research on effective methods of teaching reading in the early grades. 

A USAID-supported study by the American Institutes for Research identifies that the availability of plentiful reading materials in different forms relevant to the reader’s background, language, and interests for independent reading results in significantly higher results.   

The SENSE activity has also trained and supplied teachers and learners with Mu Karanta!

Hausa teaching and learning materials developed under its sister USAID Northern Education (NEI) Plus activity, and the Reading and Numeracy Activity funded by UNICEF.  

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Education

Aviation Varsity Begins Academic Activities, Sept

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With just seven days to the end of the present regime, the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Aviation, for the second time announced that academic activities of the proposed African Aviation and Aerospace University will commence in September 2023.
This is as the Federal Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nile University of Nigeria for the commencement of the 2023/2024 academic activities of the institution.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, disclosed this while signing the MoU with Nile University, on behalf of the Federal Government.
Sirika had last year announced that the African Aviation and Aerospace University will commence registration for the 2022/2023 academic session on September 26 to November 18, 2022.
Signing the MoU last Wednesday in Abuja, the minister said the university will help address the research and development gaps in the aviation sector, adding that it will begin academic activities offering BSc courses in Aviation Business and Meteorology.
Sirika also mentioned that the university has hired its management staff and created an academic brief while noting that there are plans to privatise the university in the future for greater effectiveness.
He said, “The university ought to have happened a long time ago because it is part of our roadmap in 2016 that was approved by the president and this is just to go straight into research and development in civil aviation and aerospace and of course environmental sciences.
“This university has received attention all over the world. The first of its kind in Africa and by the grace of God, it would be one of the top universities in the world. I’m also very sure that we may even go into aviation medicine in the near future.
“It is dedicated to those core mandates of aerospace aviation and environmental sciences. It is intended to attend to the huge demands we have in this sub-region of ours and indeed continentally especially as Africa is looking to unite, integrate and become one entity in all fields and human endeavours.
He added, “I’m happy to say that the academic brief has been developed, the management staff have been employed and of course, it will be governed by the Federal Government but will be owned and operated by the private sector through PPP arrangement.”
“I’m sure in the long run, it will end up being truly private sector but the government needs to ground it fully to ensure that the take-off does not suffer any hitch.
“The university will run both physical and online courses. These days, universities are turning virtual and we will begin with the Bsc Aviation Business and Bsc Meteorology and of course, continue to grow.
Also, not too far from now, we will be getting approval from NUC to commence Master of Science in Aviation Management.

“Nile will provide support for the undergraduate programme for the first two years and it is expected that more research and collaboration will be established between the AAAN and NUN.”

He further stated that many countries, universities, and organisations around the world including the International Civil Aviation Organisation have indicated interest to partner with the aviation university and offer some support.

Meanwhile, the Vice Chancellor of Nile University of Nigeria, Prof. Dilli Dogo, promised to tender full support to the aviation university with all it requires for a smooth take-off.

Dogo went on to commend the minister for the initiative saying that the minister and his team were determined to see that the university would take off as soon as possible.

“The initial plan was that it will take off in the 2022/2023 academic session but because of bureaucracies of government processes, it was not possible to complete the due process required for us to actualisé what we started.

“The initial understanding which is subsisting is the fact that 100 and 200 and part of 300 level academic activities take place here and the rest will take place in NiMet and part of it will take place in the school of Aviation Kaduna, Zaria.

“To us, we are privileged and indeed pleased to be part of this momentous occasion and we look forward to actively participating in the delivery of this brand new university that seeks to positively impact Nigerians and indeed the African continent.”

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Club Honours Commissioner With Book Presentation

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The Elite club of Nigeria (an Omuanwa-based community development Association) has honoured the Rivers State Commissioner for Education, Prof Prince Chinedu Mmom through the public presentation of a book titled “The Chronicle”, Reflections on the Life and Ideas of Prof. Prince Chinedu Mmom to honour him.
Speaking at the public presentation of the book at Community Secondary School Omuanwa in Ikwerre Local Government Area the chairman of the occasion who doubled as the Community Development Committee chairman (CDC) Mr. Chinnah Ugo Kingsley said  Prof Mmom, as an academic personality has left his footprints on the sands of time and that the book serve as an honour to him and everything he stands for.
In his keynote address, the president of the Elite Club of Nigeria, Rev Fr. John Iheanacho represented by Kelachi Anokwuru described Prof. Mmom  as a worthy son of the community, who has contributed enormously to the advancement of the academic world through his scholarly research,  teaching and community service with particular attention to geography and environmental management.
Anokwuru who described  Prof. Mmom as a living  legend said the book which contains a compilation of the life, ideas, moral values, academic attainments, among others descriptions so as to encourage other well meaning sons and daughters of the community to position themselves on the pathway of success in order to achieve uncommon feat in their chosen careers.
Responding, the Commissioner for Education, Prof Prince Chinedu Mmom said for a book to be written and launched in his honour was something he could not have imagined would ever happens to him looking at where he was coming from.
In his words, “Standing here today to address you gives me a nostalgia. for a book to be written and launched in my honour gives me mix feelings, but I return all the glory to God. What am enjoying today is the mercies of God. I’m not the first  to become a professor and as well Honourable Commissioner for Education, but it  pleases God to make me whom I am at a time like this.
Mmom charged that there is no short cut to academics, adding that if you must make it to the top, you must avoid distractions, saying: “As an accomplished academia, he has paid his dues as a  distinguished Professor, remarking that he is blessed being the son of Omuanwa community and the community is also blessed to have a son like him.
“As the first Professor of my community and being honoured with a book that talks about me in such a captivating title means a lot to me as it was written by elites from my community  and I truly appreciate and thank you all for recognising my efforts and giving me and other distinguished members of the community awards of merit and hardwork.”

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Commissioner Tasks Youths On Hard Work

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An Academic Professor, Prince Chinedu Mmom, has charged young academics in his community to study hard as well as remain focused and committed in order for them to achieve their set goals and objectives in life.
Mmom, who is the Rivers State Commissioner for Education, stated this at the weekend during the public presentation and book launch in honour of him, by members of Elite Club of Nigeria, held at Community Secondary School, Omuanwa, in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Mmom, expressed surprise over the book launch titled; The Chronicle, Reflections on the Life and Ideas of professor Prince Chinedu Mmom, and stated that the book will encourage younger scholars in the community to think towards building knowledge in community development in the area.
“I have always said that there is no short cut to success. What has taking me today to where I am is as a result of hard work. I got committed and focused and never allowed distractions. I targeted I have minimum five publications within last promotion to the next, so I never missed any promotion and these are things that enabled me achieve the level of academic that I did.
“So I encourage young academia behind me to stay focus and committed, work very hard, set the targets and am sure when the time comes you will be able to achieve even more than I have achieved,” Mmom added.
Professor Mmom, however, expressed happiness over the book and commended members of Elite Club of Nigeria for giving him such a huge honour in the community.
Earlier, the president of the Association, Elite Club of Nigeria, Reverend Father John Iheanacho, represented by the vice president, Kelachi Anokwuru, described professor Chinedu Mmom as an Erudite professor, who has contributed enormously to the general body of knowledge and community development.
“Prof Mmom has contributed enormously to the body of knowledge through his scholarship research and community service with particular attention to geography and environmental management.”

By: Susan Serekara-Nwikhana

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