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Jonathan Scores Diri High On Educational Policies, Dev

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan has restated the importance of Education and technology in nation building and advancement.
Jonathan, who gave the keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the maiden edition of the Bayelsa State education summit in Yenagoa,the state capital on Monday also relived his educational policies as former governor of the state and former president of Nigeria, restating his commitment towards the development and advancement of the state and Nigeria through education.
The summit has as its theme, “Optimizing the delivery, performance and outcomes in the Education sector of Bayelsa state.”
The ex-president who also undersored the importance of a second language for self and national advancement, noted that it was time Nigeria made compulsory the learning of a second international language in schools in order to make communications easier and faster,saying Nigeria shares borders with mostly non-English speaking nations.
He commended the state government for its development- propelling educational policies, just as he described the governor Diri’s prosperity administration as one in the right direction.
He acknowledged the contributions of governor Diri during his time as state governor between 2005 and 2006, adding that Diri who served as Youths/Sports Commissioner worked assiduously in making the state better, reiterating that under his administration, the state executive council worked out similar modalities for repositioning education, but praise Governor Diri and his cabinet for achieving greater milestones in the educational advancement of the state.
“Between 2005 and 2006 when I was governor of Bayelsa state in which Governor Diri served as Commissioner for Youths/Sports, there was a shell scholarship scheme where we found out that no Bayelsan citizen was shortlisted as having qualified after taking the examination for the scholarship.
“And so I called for Diri and the then education Commissioner,Mr James Tobias and worked out modalities to make sure that henceforth Bayelsa’s would sit for examinations and never fail. I called for Diri and Tobias because I believe that this issue of scholarship affects more of the youths.
“From that day on we decided to set up two special schools for the very bests of the best students in our state,but before the commencement of these schools we also sent about 150 best pupils selected from all parts of state for admission into the best secondary schools in the country and luckily after their graduation from these schools, I was by God’s Grace and your grace as Nigerians Vice president, so the Presidential Amnesty programme sent them abroad to further their education in some of the best schools in the world to study on scholarship”, Jonathan said.
“When I was president I also thought there would be problem in Nigeria if the Almajiris weren’t sent to school to acquire Western Education in addition to the Islamic Education they’ve already acquired and so after my one of my aide from Anambra state went round the North on consultations with traditional rulers and Islamic clerics and we came up with the idea of building the Almajiri schools to deliberately solve the Almajiri problem.
“I also think that there’s nothing bad if as Bayelsans, as a people we pick one of our dialects and make it a central language which all of us can understand and speak. We can have that and still maintain our various dialects, because that would unite us better”, he added.
Also speaking as special guest of honour, Governor Diri said his educational policies were a direct fall out of his quest to better the lots of the educational advancement of state,noting that his administration would be working out a 15 years Educational plan for the state,subject to review in intervals.
Diri described education as the ‘bedrock of development’, adding that any government which does not take the education of its citizens seriously, is doomed.
The Bayelsa chief executive lauded the state Education Commissioner and the Ministry officials for putting the programme,promising that all decisions taken and solutions profered towards solving the setbacks in the state’s Educational problems at the end of the summit would be implemented to the latter.
“As a government,we inherited 13 special schools established by our predecessor’ administration where students are in boarding houses and fed by the state government,and because we’re Education friendly even upon paucity of funds,we’ve decided to continue with these schools. All the students there are fed, uniforms given to them by the government and free books too given to them by the Bayelsa state government”, he said.
Meanwhile,earlier in his opening address,the state Commissioner of Education Dr. Gentle Emelah commended the state governor for his timely interventions towards the advancement of Education in the state.
He thanked delegates and participants in the ongoing summit, promising to work with all relevant stakeholders in the sector to within the limits of his ministry ensure that the state is rated high amongst the educational friendly states in the course of formulating policies and taking decisions as it affects the sector.
The Tide reports that the Bayelsa state maiden education summit which began on Monday,7th, February is expected to end Thursday 10th February,2022 and is held as part of the activities commemorating the second year in office of the governor Diri’s administration.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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Niger Delta

Delta, FG Partner On Mass Campaign Against Malaria

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Delta State Government, in partnership with the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) has earmarked no less than 3.7 million Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs) for distribution to tackle malaria in the State.
Permanent Secretary, Delta State Primary Health Care Development Agency (DSPHCDA), Dr Jude Winful-Orieke, said this in his welcome address during the orientation programme for media workers in Asaba.
The partnership, with funding from the Global Fund Malaria Project, is a mass campaign that will provide treated nets to every household in the state through a door-to-door approach.
Winful-Orieke said the objective of the ITN mass campaign was to ensure that for every two persons in the state, there was one bed net to sleep in.
“We have earmarked over 3.7million ITNs to be distributed to the people through a door-to- door approach to all the populace of the State,” he said.
The Permanent Secretary said the ITNs Mass Campaign was led by the DSPHCDA, through the State Malaria Elimination Programme with technical support from the Management Sciences for Health as implementing partners.
He appealed to the media to propagate the campaign through proper and effective information dissemination, to enable the programme achieve its objectives.
Describing the media as a veritable platform for mass mobilisation, he urged the practitioners to join in the campaign for a malaria-free society.
NMEP representative, Miss Perpetual Ezediunor, on her part, said the ITNs campaign was one of the major strategies used in delivering nets to the entire populace.
She also urged the media to help educate the people on proper use of the nets to ensure that the fight against malaria succeeded.
Ezediunor said previous experiences of the mass campaign had revealed that a lot of people, especially in the rural areas, used the nets for fishing and farming.
“As media practitioners, we want you to help us create awareness and educate our people to use the nets for the purpose it is meant for”, she urged.
In her remarks, the State Programme Manager, Dr Julie Aniah, said the media orientation would provide an opportunity for journalists to gain insights into ITNs mass campaign.
Aniah urged the media to key into the campaign and use its platform to help achieve the objectives of the national programme on malaria eradication.
It is our belief that if the people use the nets for the purpose of sleeping, we will have a heathier Delta State that is free from malaria,” Aniah said.
The Tide’s source reports that journalists and information officers across the State attended the event.

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Niger Delta

NAOWA President To Sponsor 30 Youths On Skills Acquisition In Edo

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President of the Nigerian Army Officers Wives Association (NAOWA), Mrs. Salamatu Yahaya, has pledged to sponsor 30 youths for skills acquisition at the NAOWA skills acquisition centre in Benin.
Yahaya made the pledge midweek at the inauguration of the NAOWA skills acquisition centre at the Nigerian Army Cantonment, Ekehuan, Benin.
She also promised to purchase 50 admission forms for youths, including women, willing to take part in trainings to be carried out in the centre.
“I’m impressed by the skills acquisition centre and the quality of work done here by the zonal coordinator, NAOWA, 4 Brigade Chapter.
“It means she has keyed into my vision of sustaining legacies and upholding the tenets of unity and service.
“What she has done today is that she has added value to what was already existing.
There was actually a skill acquisition centre here before, but the focus was just tailoring and barbing saloon.
“So, value has been added to what is already on ground with an Information Technology Centre (ICT), tailoring and textile management centre and Catering and Hotel management centre.
“This is what is meant by sustaining legacies. You key into what your predecessor has done and improve on what they have left behind.
“Because of this, I will be sponsoring by paying the registration and course fees for 10 youths that will be willing to take course in ICT, 10 youths too for catering and hotel management and 10 others for tailoring and Textile management”, she said.
She stated that her vision on sustaining the legacies and upholding the tenets of unity and service placed premium on sustainable development and welfare of NAOWA.
The NAOWA President said the newly constructed skill acquisition centre would add value to the lives of the women and youths within the barracks.
“I believe the centre will enable our target audience, that is the youth and women, to learn skills and therefore make them become productive and functional citizens,” she said.
Earlier, the Zonal Coordinator, NAOWA 4 Brigade Chapter, Mrs. Saadatu Abdullahi, said her choice for ICT, Tailoring and Textile Management as well as Catering and Hotel Management was borne out of genuine desire to assist the youth.
She said these were areas where the trainees could easily make their money, thereby providing opportunity for them to support their spouses and the home.
She also said she decided to impact on NAOWA members in the State and add value to them through skills because the NAOWA President had emphasised on charity as an act of humanity.
The NAOWA President also used the opportunity of the visit to Edo to present relief materials to 50 widows of army personnel.
The widows were presented with foodstuffs, textile materials and some cash.

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Niger Delta

Cholera Kills Seven Children In C’River

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Director General, Cross River Primary Healthcare Care Agency, Dr Janet Ekpenyong, has confirmed the death of seven children from cholera in the State.
Ekpenyong, who confirmed the deaths in an interview with The Tide’s source in Calabar, said the agency recorded more than 600 suspected cases in the state between March and April.
“Over 600 suspected cases were detected and we had a Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) conducted on them. We also did a microscopic test and culture to have a true confirmation of the cases.
“We confirmed that most of the cases were not cholera related, though we had three active cases of the disease in Ogoja Local Government Area (LGA).
“Whenever we go for medical outreach and detect suspected cases of cholera with symptoms such as diarrhoea, we take samples immediately.
“Thereafter, the rapid diagnostic test is carried out and treatment initiated immediately.
“Over the past two months, we have actually had seven deaths occurring as a result of cholera,” she said.
Ekpenyong said treatment was initiated after samples were collected for microscopic test, but that sadly, some of the children died before the results were out.
According to the DG, the children are the most vulnerable to diarrhoea, because they play mostly with dirt and still use their hands to eat without washing them.
On sensitisation, Ekpenyong told the source that her goal was working with the National Orientation Agency and other partners to sensitise mothers on the importance of maintaining hygienic habits and drinking clean water.
She noted that most of the cases were as a result of drinking unclean water that had been contaminated by faeces from open defacation, especially in rural areas without toilets.
She said that since most rural dwellers depended on water from the streams, it was important for people from such communities to boil such water before drinking.
The DG also told the source that the agency was partnering with relevant agencies for the sinking of boreholes in some communities, with a view to providing portable drinking water for them.

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