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Attacks On Schools, Threat To Nigeria’s Future -UN

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The United Nations has said that the incessant attacks on schools by insurgents across the nation in recent times remains a threat to the nation’s future.
The United Nations in partnership with major stakeholders in the education sector and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), said the attacks on schools has affected hundreds of children in a number of states of the federation.
This was the fallout from the deliberations marking the 2021 International Day To Protect Education From Attack, held last Thursday.
Speaking at the Virtual Roundtable Discussion organised by the United Nations Children’s Education Fund(UNICEF) and the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIA), the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof Peter Okebukola described the situation as a disgrace to the nation’s education sector and stressed the need for the end of the trend to safeguard the nation’s future. 
Okebukola, who is also the Chairman of the event called for the mobilisation of both the government and its citizenry to rise to the occasion by harnessing every machinery to end the trend.
“We have to equip our military even as we cut supply and logistics to the insurgents attacking our schools. We must use education to prevent education from attack. We must take extreme countermeasures to mobilise everything that we have to take the battle to the end. Funding of our schools and support for traumatised schools are also key. We must train school personnel on intelligence gathering”, he said.
While noting that education was the antidote to poverty and ignorance as well as unlocking natural resources, the NUC boss harped on public awareness which he said would help to stem the tide of attacks on schools.
“My desire is that we raise public awareness. It is not that the public is not aware but we want to raise it from where it is today to a higher heights so that all stakeholders in education which includes everyone in Nigeria and across the globe to be more alert to the fact that education is the key to unlock natural resources.
It is also the antidote to poverty and ignorance. It is at the heart of the development of countries. So, we are not going to sit here today to bemoan our situation but we are going to raise awareness as we indicate roles the government and everyone of us will play”, Okebukola said.

By: Lady Godknows Ogbulu

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Education

Committee Embarks On Schools Assessment In Etche

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The representatives of Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State on “Educational Needs Assessment Committee, Rivers State”, Ministry of Education have embarked on assesement of government- owned schools across the local government.
The leader of the team, Mr Amadi ThankGod Iheayichukwu, who led other members of the group to assess the conditions of public schools in the local government area, said the exercise was in response to the state government’s desire to make every public school in the State functional and conducive for learning.
He stated that the assessment was to actually find out the conditions of schools as directed by the state government and report back to the state Ministry of Education .
According to him, the visit was in line with the state government’s special focus on healthcare, education and agriculture for the development of the State.
It is the responsibility of the State Committee to carefully assess all schools in Rivers State, to enable the Governor, through the Ministry of Education prepare a State-wide system to immediately enhance the teaching and learning business within the State.
Recall that the immediate past administration of the State paid little or no attention to public schools and even the educational sector in general.
The exercise continues and has till the end of this week to submit all reports.
Etche LGA has about 80 primary schools, 25 Junior Secondary Schools and 23 Senior Secondary Schools and about 93 per cent of all, are out of place or completely below standard.
“The educational sector in Rivers State, will soon wear a new look and standard, he said.”

By: Akujobi Amadi

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Education

UNIPORT SSANU, NASU Protest Non-Payment Of Withheld Salaries

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The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and its Non-Academic Staff Union(NASU) counterpart in the University of Port Harcourt, under the auspices of the Joint Action Committee(JAC), last Tuesday embarked on a peaceful protest around their campuses to protest against non-payment of four months owed salaries by the Federal Government as directed by their national secretariats.
Speaking to journalists shortly after the protest,the Chairman of SSANU, Comrade Bernard Ezechukwu, said they embarked on the protest to press on the Federal Government to pay their four months withheld salary arrears,fallout of their last national strike, saying the strike was in line with the directive of their national leadership.
According to him, the university system cannot work effectively without the contributions of all the unions on campus.
“We called out our people today on the plight of the workers, as regards our four months salary arrears owed to us by the previous adminstration.
“The university cannot function effectively without the contribution of all the unions on campus. “As non-teaching staff we do our best administratively, the teaching staff also do their beat to keep the system running, so why would the Federal Government trivialise our role or position?”, the SSANU Chairman asked.
He accused the people working with the President of refusing to pay the owed salaries even after the President had given order to that effect.
Ezechukwu said the protest was to notify the Federal Government of the proposed strike,which he said would be total.
Also speaking,the Chairman of NASU,UNIPORT Chapter, Comrade Osorochi Ogbegbe, said the protest was to drum support for the payment of their withheld four months salary arrears.
He queried why the non-academic staff should not be paid when their academic staff counterparts have since been paid.

By: Akujobi Amadi

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Education

RSG Distributes Science Equipment To Secondary Schools

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Rivers State Government has distributed  science equipment worth over  N180 million to all Senior Secondary Schools in the State.
The reception and distribution ceremony took place last Monday at the Senior Secondary Schools Board( RSSSSB) office, Emekuku Street, D/Line, in Port Harcourt.
The State Commissioner for Education, Dr. Ovy  Chinedu, who flagged off the event, said the science equipment were to improve learning, mostly on science subjects in schools.
According to him, the State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, is committed and determined to take education to the next level, adding that the Governor has passion for quality education.
“ I appreciate the Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, as he approved and released the money to make this happen.
“He has great passion to deliver quality education and take education to the next level in the State. It was sleepless nights for us to ensure that the equipment arrives so that students can use them for their exams and learn”, Dr. Chinedu said.
The Commissioner urged teachers to put more effort to deliver equality education, saying that they can request for whatever thing needed to improve the system in terms of education and Government will respond immediately, hence they want to give students the right  of training and learning.
Earlier in his address, the acting Chairman of the Board and Director of Administration, Ikechi Godpower, said, since the inception of this administration led by Governor Siminalayi Fubara, education in general, particularly teaching and learning is wearing a new look in the State.
He explained that despite the rough terrain the Governor found himself for the past one year of his administration, he has continuously proved to the world that education is the bedrock of growth in our society.
According to him, the last time the board experienced such was in 2019, during the tenure of late Dame Grace Okwulehie, adding that since then six acting Chairmen have headed the  board without this favour.
“ I thank the Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, for giving education priority, mostly the elevation of seven teachers to the position of permanent secretary, to makeup the counsel of Ahithophel to support the administration, This is the first time since the creation of Rivers State.
“Thank you,  Governor Fubara, for giving us a resourceful , diligent and dutiful commissioner of education, who shared the same character traits with you and has uncommon passion for education”, Godpower said.
Speaking on behalf of the principals, while receiving the equipment the Principal of Government Secondary School, Borikiri, Port Harcourt,  Mr. Nwala Henry Uzoma, pledged to use the materials.
He thanked the governor through the commissioner of education to have provided the science materials to aid learning, saying that this will certainly improve the knowledge of science students.

By: Tonye Orabere

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