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Inclusive Education:  IEA Moves To Secure Partnership With RSUEB

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In pursuant of the global goal of ensuring that no one is left behind especially children living with disabilities, the Inclusive Education Alliance (IEA) has
sought Rivers State Universal Education Board’s (RSUEB) to partnership in driving inclusive education implementation process in the state.
The leader of the team, Ngozichukwuka Obiyo, made the request when the  group paid  a  courtesy visit to the Executive Chairman of RSUEB, Dr Fyneface Akah in his office.
She informed that Inclusive Education Alliance (IEA) was a collaborative network of stakeholders formed by Lifeline Organization for Children Empowerment (LOCE) under the EU-ACT Grant.
She told the board that it was impossible for the IEA to operate without the board hinting that the alliance was made up of 5 Line Ministries, Civil Society Bodies, Human Right Organizations, Legal Bodies, Special Educators and Parents.
The Executive Director of LOCE who  requested for partnership with the board and asked the board to authorise IEA to sensitise inclusive schools communities as well as schools receiving the intervention funds to ensure that the children left behind are enrolled in the schools as their families may not know about the existence of such facilities.
She also sought the board’s permission to map up children with disabilities and their needs in the state as there are no reliable data with respect to the population of these children.
On his part, the chairman of Civil Society Network in Rivers State,Mr Enefa Georgewill stressed the importance of the board’s support in enhancing the quality of the work to be done by the IEA emphasising that the implementation of Inclusive Education rested with the board.
He  urged the board to beyond funding Basic Education consciously enforce Inclusive Education stressing that the partnership would  beef up   Inclusiveness Education implementation in the state.
He also mentioned that  IEA was working on the framework that will enforce the policy direction within the state as regards persons with disability rights and stressed the need to ensure that children living with disabilities are not left behind.
Also speaking, a visually impaired counselling psychologist, Mr Udeme maintained that every member of the society requires quality education  regretting that the facilities within the state do not encourage Inclusive Education.
He said partnering with the board would help strengthen the system as  Government action was very relevant for the enforcement of this concept to ensure that even visually impaired learners like him were not left behind.
”We all live in the same system and community that accesses the same facilities and therefore education should not be segregated”, he stated.
In his response,the Executive  Chairman of  Rivers State Universal Education Board (RSUEB), Dr Fyneface  Akah  expressed readiness  to work with Inclusive Education Alliance (IEA) and commended the group’s resolve to  stand with the Government on the  issue of Inclusive Education.
He noted that IEA would not only create awareness but  ensure that inclusive education becomes a reality in the public schools and gave  the team authority to access  the inclusive schools domiciled in the three senatorial districts in the state so as to verify their status and  report back to the board.

By: Susan Serekara-Nwikhana

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Education

Akwa Ibom Approves N10,000 Bursary For Public Tertiary Students

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As part of alleviating the suffering of students, Governor Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom State has approved the payment of N10,000 to each indigene who is studying in a public institution.
The payment which will be paid through an innovative bursary payment portal has already commenced with some students applauding the transparent nature of the process.
According to Dr Frank Ekpenyong, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on ICT and Digital Services, the initiative reflects Governor Eno’s commitment to sound education and his quest to uplift the state’s academic community.
Ekpenyong, who led the team that developed the portal in collaboration with the Ministry of Education said the portal will serve as an exclusive gateway for bursary applications and payment.
“This user-friendly portal ensures swift payment processing upon validation, granting immediate disbursement upon meeting the necessary criteria. Students are required to submit specific documents including a valid ID card, admission letter, certificate of origin, last school payment receipt, and a current passport photograph for seamless validation and payment processing.
“The digital platform stands as the sole authorized channel for bursary applications. Students are urged to exercise caution and avoid any pseudo or secondary websites to prevent misinformation or misrepresentation,” emphasised Ekpenyong.
He stated that payments will be directly credited to the provided bank accounts upon successful registration. Furthermore, measures have been implemented to deter fraudulent activities, ensuring fair and equitable distribution among eligible candidates.
To aid students in the registration process, he stated that various support channels such as dedicated control room, call centre, live chat and email assistance have been established. Additionally, extensive outreach programmes will be conducted to facilitate application processes and assist students in need.
Addressing concerns during a Q&A session, Ekpenyong reinforced the importance of adherence to the portal’s guidelines and revealed that some students have applauded the seamless registration process.
“Each Akwa Ibom student in a public tertiary institution is entitled to this support.The people-centric Governor has made adequate funding available for all beneficiaries. You need not belong to any group or political party. We’ve instituted measures to verify and validate applications to prevent exploitation and secure the benefits for genuine students.”

While encouraging students to commence their registration immediately via the portal for prompt processing and payment, he noted that the bursary scheme marks the beginning of a transformative initiative aimed at supporting education and empowering the future leaders of Akwa Ibom State.

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Pro-Chancellor Urges TETfund To Support Private Varsities

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Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin, Alhaja Sekinat Yusuf, has called on the Tertiary Eductaion Trust Fund (TETfund) to support the institution and other private universities in Nigeria.
Making the appeal on Saturday in Ilorin at the 13th Convocation of the institution, Yusuf said private universities are in dire need of assistance.
She noted that government alone cannot shoulder the heavy load of funding tertiary education at all levels, despite the substantial intervention assistance by the TETFund.
“The Committees of Pro-Chancellors as well as that of Vice-chancellors of Private Universities have over the years made representations to the Federal Government on the dire need for support.
“It is my humble plea that the President would consider this request for TETFund support of Nigerian private universities and this could be achieved by amending the enabling Law which established the body,” she said.
In the same vein, the Chancellor, Alhaji Sayyu Dantata, said the university was working vigorously putting in place modalities to satisfy the criteria for the establishment of Engineering and Medical programmes.
“However, infrastructural deficiency due to paucity of fund is our major challenge.
“The university is therefore in dire need of assistance to make teaching, learning and research conducive to our students across our three campuses at Adeta, Atere and Igbaja.
“In particular, we need sponsors to establish these important faculties and we urge friends of the university, wells wishers, parents and the Alumni to key into the development agenda of the university,” Dantata urged.
Earlier, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Noah Yusuf, urged the graduands to be  good ambassadors and not disappoint their Alma mater.
“We have a total of 1,584 graduates, comprising 1,207 Undergraduates, 343 Postgraduates and 31 Diploma Certificate holders.
“Out of the Undergraduates, 26 had First Class, 472 – Second Class Upper, 600 – Second Class Lower and 109 -Third Class.
“For the Post Graduate graduands, 27 were Ph.D while 213 were Masters graduands.
“We are also glad to have eminent Nigerians among the graduands, including the Inspector General of Police, IG-P Kayode Egbetokun; and Chief of Staff to former President Muhammadu Buhari, Amb. Ibrahim Gambari, among others,” he said.
The vice chancellor disclosed that as part of efforts to contribute to food security in Nigeria, the university launched the Green Campus Initiative on August 23, which involved planting of 50,000 tree seedlings at the Faculty of Agriculture, Igbaja campus.

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Corruption, Bane Of Nigerian Education – Methodist Old Students

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The National President, Methodist High School Old Boys Association, (MHSIOBA), Dr Lekan Abioye, says the bane of Nigerian education is corruption.
Abioye stated at the opening of the 2023 maiden Mega Reunion of the association in Ibadan on Friday that the poor state of education sector in the country was fuelled by corruption.
The Tide’s source reports that the event has the theme: “Education, Innovation and Possibilities for a Better Nation”.
According to him, the present state of education in Nigeria is truly in a very big distress occasioned by corruption.
Abioye cited poor attitude to work, mismanagement of resources and laziness as factors aiding corruption in the education sector.
He stressed the need for leadership at all levels to show right examples and adhere to standards to bring sanity into the education system.
“When you are not doing you what you are supposed to do that is corruption. When you are to be at work for eight hours and you only spent five hours and you left that is corruption.
“One of the things that can curb corruption in Nigeria is right leadership,” Abioye said.
Citing his experience as the leader of the MHSIOBA, he stated that none of his executive members or those working in close connection with him was corrupted because of the leadership style he adopted.
Abioye said people should lead by example as the problem in the Nigerian education sector was corruption emanating from the leadership.
“If the leadership gets it right everything else will fall in line.
“Nigerians are the kind that when you set out the rules and you bring out two to three scapegoats everyone will comply,” he said.
He emphasised transparency, integrity and openness, adding that the ripple effects of corruption have been poverty and younger generations that were after getting rich quickly.

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