The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has raised a fresh concern over the learning crisis Nigeria is currently grappling with, urging stakeholders, particularly the government at all levels to, as a matter of priority, take stronger actions and commitments towards addressing the challenge.
The global agency noted that the crisis, particularly at the basic education level is stalling meaningful development in the country and globally by extension.
The Education Specialist, UNICEF Nigeria, Yetunde Oluwatosin, raised the concern at a two-day media dialogue organised by UNICEF Nigeria in collaboration with the National Orientation Agency, Lagos State, and the Edo State Universal Basic Education Board, recently.
The workshop with newsmen from print, broadcast and online media from the South-West region as participants, has “Turning the Tide on Nigeria’s Learning Crisis” as its theme.
Making a presentation and quoting from the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), Oluwatosin disclosed that 73 per cent of Nigeria’s children, aged 10 years below, with the majority in the North and from the poorest families and in rural communities, were struggling to read or comprehend simple text, while an alarming nine out of every 10 children (90%) in sub-Saharan Africa generally were also confronting with learning difficulty.
She also noted that while only one out of 14 children between ages seven and 14 years could demonstrate fundamental skills, only 25 per cent have numeracy skills capable of solving simple mathematical problems.
Oluwatosin equally pointed out that although up to 73 per cent of Nigeria’s youths were literate, only seven per cent possessed the necessary ICT skills required for the digital economy while just eight per cent of children from the poorest families attend school compared to 78 per cent of their peers from the richest homes.
She said all these conditions, among others, are widening the inequality gaps between the children from the poorest homes and those from the richest families and also between those living in urban and rural communities.
She therefore recommended that the trend would need to be reversed otherwise it would be difficult to lift many children and young adults in the country out of extreme poverty and also out of criminal activities.
She, however, attributed the crises to a number of factors including limited infrastructure, inadequate funding, gender parity, shortage of qualified teachers, poor delivery system, and insufficient learning data and materials, among others.
She emphasised UNICEF’s efforts in filling the gap in a way it can including provision of learning materials for over 1.8 million children between 2018 and 2022 and further plans to reach another 4.8 million children primarily in the North, by 2027.
Education, Bedrock Of Any Nation – Anyanwu
Chairman of Etche Local Government Council of Rivers State, Hon Obinna Anyanwu, has stated that education remains the bed-rock of any nation.
Anyanwu stated this shortly after his brother delivered the 50th Inaugural Lecture of the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education (IAUE) titled,: “Managing The Silent Killer In Nigerian Universities,” last Thursday, at the school’s main campus in Port Harcourt.
The chairman added that the incisive lecture presentation was a clear evidence that Etche people are brilliant as well as love education. ‘This is why Etche people today are proud of Prof Gift Uchenna Nwiyi. It is not easy to have a Professor in a university such as this and I am very proud of my brother. He has shown capacity. He has shown that his wealth of wisdom is impacted to the people, so I am very honoured. As you can see, I stayed from the beginning to the end; that shows our commitment to education; shows that education is the bedrock of any nation,” he said.
Anyanwu stated further that the topic, ‘Managing The Silent Killer In Nigerian Universities’ was necessary, describing it as apt and timely, stressing that many people were going through lots of stress without knowing.
He charged all participants especially other Professors to put all that they have been taught into practice, stressing that excessive and chronic stress kills faster than one would least expect.
Speaking while delivering the inaugural lecture, the inaugural lecturer, Prof Gift Uchenna Nwiyi stated that academic administrators are more prone to face pressure arising from job demands of dual functions, teaching as well as administration, making them to experience high level of stress.
Nwiyi recommended that Vice Chancellors in universities should not allow one lecturer to handle dual functions, adding that they should always go for regular exercise as well medical check-up for a healthy living.
He stressed that the role of academic administrators in Nigerian universities is enormous and needs very conscious and active minded individuals, who will perform these roles with minimal stress for effective service delivery.
On his part, the Vice Chancellor, Ignatius Ajuru University of Education (IAUE), Prof Onuchuku Okechuku, charged the participants to avoid too much stress, noting tha it is better to work and be able to enjoy what you laboured for than to work and die by not managing the silent killer called stress.
By: Susan Serekara-Nwikhana
Mrs Wike Lauds School For Upholding Academic Excellence
Justice Suzzette Eberechi Wike has commended Archdeacon Crowther Memorial Girls Shool (ACMGS), Elelenwo Old Girl’s Association ( OGA) for supporting their Alma Mata to upholding academic excellence in the school over the years as it marks her 80th anniversary of the school existence.
Justice Wike who is a serving judge at state judiciary and wife of the immediate past governor of the State stated this in her key note address at the 80th years anniversary celebration of the establishment of the school held at the school premises in Elelenwo Port Harcourt Rivers State,over the weekend.
She described the school as one of the best girls secondary school in Nigeria, noting that the school has improved from what it was used to be know in the past as a lot of developments have taken place.
The former first lady said as a former student in the college and coming back here now ,”I can see that a lot has taken place that from the past experience of the old student of the school that there were no electricity and water in the school premises .we used go to the village to fetch water but all those experiences have gone
The children here now are lucky because they have a better condition.”
“ Before I came to the event center today I went straight to the bath room and I was wondering how clean the place look like from what it used to be and much has be upgraded.
A lot of beautiful things have happened in the school so the children are even lucky than we were, meaning that there are going to be more better than days ahead “ she stated.
Justice expressed happiness for being a product of the school, adding that they are going to celebrate many more products of the school as time goes on .
By: Akujobi Amadi
Don Charts Path To Economic Growth
Nigeria, particularly Rivers State, has all the local content to develop, empower and transform the country into enviable heights.
Twelve trillion naira Ethanol imported yearly to Nigeria can end unemployment, youth restiveness in Nigeria.
These were the words of a Professor, who recommended some measures to encourage the use of local content in order to increase Nigerian’s economic growth.
Speaking during the Rivers State University’s (RSU) 93rd Inaugural Lecture with the Topic, Unit Operations Application in the Development Of Local Content: A Key To Nigeria Economic Growth, held last Wednesday, at the university’s main campus in Port Harcourt, Professor of Unit Operations in Chemical Engineering, Falilat Taiwo Ademiluyi, explained that there should be a deviation from crude oil to Cassava production.
Ademiluyi called Ogoni, Etche, Ikwerre and other local government areas on increased cassava production to reduce the high cost of fuel that Nigeria is facing presently.
She added that Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava and all result should invest heavily on cassava.
She described cassava as gold that can transform the country into enviable heights if ethanol can be produced from cassava, which in turn is capable of tackling whatever crude oil is used for.
Cassava can be processed through fermentation, grind and dried it can be stored for five years, noting that for it to be used for ethanol that will reduce the high cost of fuel Nigerians are currently facing it needs to be properly dried.
‘Enough ethanol blended with crude oil can reduce the price of petrol. From the pure water sachets and plastics we can produce aviation fuel.
“Looking at the title of the inaugural lecture, Nigeria mainly industrial supplies such as 27 percent of total in 2014, capital goods 23 percent, food and beverage 17 percent, fuel and lubricants 14 pecent, transport equipment and parts 12 percent and consumer goods seven percent, comparing that 43 percent of total imports come from Asia, 34 percent from Europe, 15 percent from America and seven percent from Africa (Trading Economics 2022).
Our top five items exported by Nigeria are Mineral fuels including crude Oil 90.7 percent, Fertilizers three percent,among others. Removal of the first item leaves Nigeria with only 9.3 percent on export, so how will any economy of a nation grow on 9.3 percent export without effective applications of unit operations to convert our local materials to the form we can export them?
Professor Ademiluyi made a 10-point recommendations that would position Nigerian Economic growth on a high scale. Some of these recommendations are as follows: that cassava processing factories should be established in all the local government areas of the state to enable farmers process them fast into dry flours or starches before sales.
By: Susan Serekara-Nwikhana
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