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Bar New Varsities From Accessing TETFund Grants – ASUU

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has urged the Federal Government to bar state governments proposing to establish new universities from accessing Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETfund) for a minimum of 10 years.
The union added that owners of proposed universities- whether federal or state- should provide verifiable growth plan for providing not less than 75 percent of their pensionable staff complement plus provision of requisite infrastructural facilities.
ASUU hinges its demand on the precarious state of state-owned universsities in Nigeria.
National President of ASUU, Prof Victor Osodeke, addressed reporters in Ilorin, Kwara State capital, at the end of the union’s national executive council meeting.
Prof Osodeke expressed dismay on the declining fortunes of state-owned universsities and their neglect by state governors, “whose responsibility it is to fund, staff, equip and make the universsities nationally and globally competitive.
“Unless urgent and necessary steps are taken, our state-owned universsities may soon collapse beyond redemption.”
Continuing, Prof Osodeke said, “politicians in the Fourth Republic have turned establishment of state universities into projects for appeasing electorate in their senatorial and state constituencies. While neglecting the existing state universities, some overzealous state governors have increased the rally to two or three.
“The more bizarre cases were governors  who brazenly pronounced the creation of three or four state universities in one fell swoop. Nigerians should be worried that state universities, which should serve as an elixir to provision of university education, has turned an albatross for the Nigerian university system.
“Beside non-funding of capital projects, most state governors have also failed in the primary responsibility of regular payment of staff in their universities. Our recent analysis has shown that only five of the state-owned universsities have their monthly subventions corresponding with their monthly wage bills. 17 state universities receive monthly subventions far below the monthly wage bills, thereby forcing these institutions to augment salaries from so-called internally generated revenue (IGR).”

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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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