Failure To Equip The Youth Will Destroy Nigeria In Future, Awosika Warns

 

Nigerian business magnate, Mr Ibukun Awosika, has called for a review of Nigeria’s educational system, saying that future of the nation depends largely on the quality of education given to its youths.

According to her, a failure on the part of the government to equip the youths now, projects such a country as unserious and will consequently destroy the nation in future.

“Any nation that does not seriously commit in processes, now and for the future, to ensure that at every stage of its nationhood, there will be the right kind of people that will be able to take hold of that country, is not a serious country in any form.

She said this on Thursday while delivering a keynote speech in Lagos at an event marking the 55th birthday celebration of the former governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola.

Awosika who spoke on the theme: The Youth In Nigeria, Mapping The Future, however, stated that the quality of the nation generally begins with the quality of values of each individual home.

“The quality of our household is the quality of the nation that we end up with.

“Of every black man on the face of the earth, one is a Nigerian. We’re 25% of the population and at the end of the day, if you have 42% as young people, without a plan mapped out for their future, we have a crisis,” she stressed.

“If we leave literally half of our population without equipping or empowering them in an objective, sustainable manner, those who are in power, in wealth, in whatever opportunity we think we have now, there are seasons for everything.

“When the season changes and we’re no longer able (no matter how much you have), if we do not build the right generation to run the next season, they will destroy the country”.

Using herself as an example, she said herself as well as many other Nigerians who have been recognised in one way or the other across the world, are proud products of the nation’s education system.

She, therefore, stressed that it is possible to groom great Nigerians that will take over the state of affairs in the near future.

However, Awosika believes that it is only possible if the government and stakeholders review key areas of the nation’s infrastructure such as the education and health sectors, among others.

“What are those things that we must do to make sure that the future works for all of us.

“We need to create the right environment and it starts from our educational system.

“We need to harmornise our educational system with what the real sector requires.

“We need to look at the trends of now and the trends of the future and see what knowledge will be relevant in the marketplace of today.

“What knowledge are the employers of labour searching for?

“And we must ask ourselves, the schools that run right now, the quality of teachers that we have, the education that we are offering, does it meet that need or are we just churning people out of institutions with certificates but that employers of labour find unemployable because they lack the necessary skills?

“We have many gaps within our ecosystem and there are many areas where we need real specific talents.

“We have the human beings, we have the school walls but we need to review the knowledge that we are imparting between what we are teaching them and what we actually require,” she said.

Unemployment: Aregbesola Wants Graduates To Embrace Agriculture

AgricultureThe Governor of Osun State, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, wants university graduates in Nigeria to shift attention from white collar jobs and embrace agriculture.

He believes agriculture is a good means of stemming the tide of unemployment.

The Governor stated that the present economic situation had shown Nigerians the need to encourage farming as the only alternative to crude oil.

Aregbesola made the demand while addressing a gathering at the 6th convocation ceremony of Fountain University in Osogbo, the capital of Osun State.

He noted that there was no aspect of life that could do without agriculture, saying Nigerian graduates must henceforth stop searching for formal jobs that seem to be no longer in existence.

Food Production Capacity

The Governor stressed the need for productivity, resilience and hard-work among Nigerians, pointing out that the present nation’s economy demands one to be self-employed.

Argebesola Stresses Need To Educate Nigerians On Recession
Governor of Osun State, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, believes increase in agricultural produce will reflate Nigeria’s economy

According to him, there is no other alternative to sustain Nigeria’s economy than to build the required interest in agriculture and brace up with anything that could promote food production capacity.

Mr Aregbesola held that Nigerians must, as a matter of urgency, invest in things that would prevent famine in the next five years if truly the nation was ready to overcome her present economic challenges.

Lamenting the dwindling revenues from the crude oil sales, Governor Aregbesola said “unless Nigeria sees the need to promote agriculture, efforts to bring back the dwindling economy may be gloomy”.

“There is need for us, especially our young graduates, to lead the nation in promoting agriculture as the only realistic surviving alternative to economy.

“We must embrace farming because it is only agriculture that has direct links to all aspects of life.

“Nigeria has grown to the stage her food production capacity must be urgently expanded to meet the general needs of the citizenry and as well enhance exportation.

“The time to enhance productivity has come. We must all embrace productivity. We must produce whatever we desire to consume,” he stressed.

Congratulating the graduating students, Aregbesola charged them to adapt to the virtues they acquired in the institution.

He advised them to get prepared for the challenges ahead and life after university which he described as “challenging”.

“You must all be prepared. The challenges ahead, especially at this period of over saturated tendencies of labour market, you need grim determination to succeed. You must be rational and critical in the application of the knowledge you have acquired”.

He further appealed to those who are using the precious and reputable name of Islam to perpetrate violence, saying “violence is directly antithetical to Islam”.

“All hands must be on deck to end terrorism in the country as the act is tantamount to the tenets of Islam.”

Earlier in his lecture, Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, charged both private and public organisations in Nigeria on the need to invest more in education.

He said the country had gone to a stage where education should be seen by all as a bedrock for national development and called for the need to encourage participation in both basic and higher education.

Professor Rasheed, who is the Executive Secretary, National University Commission, said all hands must be on deck to promote tertiary education.

He implored stakeholders in the private and public institutions in the country to, as a matter of necessity, rescue the nation from her present educational backwardness by establishing more universities in the nooks and crannies‎.

Prior to the discovery of crude oil, agriculture use to be Nigeria’s economy mainstay, a position the Nigerian government is pushing to return the nation to by pushing for more youth involvement in agriculture.

 

FG Commits To Improving Education System For Nigeria’s Development

universityThe Nigerian government has assured citizens of its unwavering commitment to ensuring that education gets necessary attention to ensure it aids human civilization and development.

The Minister of State for Education, Professor Anthony Anwuka, gave the government’s position at the 26th Convocation Ceremony of the Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education in Owerri, the capital of Imo state.

Professor Anwuka said the administration of Muhammadu Buhari would revolutionise the education sector, emphasising that the government is looking up to professional institutions like colleges of education to actualise the vision.

“The government will continue to support worthy programmes, improve infrastructure, perfect value adding policies and encourage continual staff development.

“Let me assure you that the Federal Government remains unwavering in its unalloyed commitment to ensuring that education occupies the pride of place as a vital sector of human civilization.

“And to this end I wish to acknowledge the invaluable contribution of colleges of education to our national goals and aspirations,” he stressed.

On The Path Of Success

The minister also disclosed that the Federal Government was looking to raise the profile of teachers and placing high value on the teaching profession.

He said it would be achieved by strengthening the relevant agencies to ensure delivery on this mandate as well as providing the platform for exchange of good practices to enhance the contribution towards national development.

“I therefore congratulate all of you for your success in your various programmes and urge you to translate this success positively on younger generations. The professional teacher certificate and diplomas are key to teacher development at this stage in our national life and the need for quality education is even more urgent,” the minister told the graduating students.

On her part, the Provost of the institution, Mrs Blessing Ijioma, commended the Federal Government for their contributions to the development and growth of the renowned academic institution.

“The Federal Government’s TETFUND project and Ecological fund have no doubt paved way for giant strides in infrastructure and facility development in the Centre.

“I believe the Alvan students of today are better off than their recent predecessors. The facility they study in are one of the best in the country. They have quality and highly motivated lecturers and the environment is progressively conducive for learning. This assertion is evident in the high number of students who now apply for a place in our college,” she told the gathering.

While advising the graduating students, she said “I call on today’s graduands to move into the world with confidence and boldness. The education you received here is guaranteed to make you deploy your mind and God given talents positively. This will launch you on the path of success. Also remember to keep your eyes open for opportunities in small and medium enterprises sector, agriculture and information technology for these are areas of great opportunities for the future in Nigeria, beyond the sky is your limit”.

Alvan Ikoku College of Education celebrated her 26th Convocation Ceremony for the three cohorts, 2014, 2015 and 2016 graduands of Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) and Professional Diploma in Education (PDE) and the conferment of fellowship.

The College, which believes in the reward for academic and excellent hard work, recognised and awarded Mrs Iheonu Nneka the best graduating student, for Professional Diplomatic in Education in the 2014/2015 set while Miss Egesi Amarachi got the award for the best graduating student of Nigeria Certification of Education.

Yahaya Bello Decries Poor State Of Schools In Lokoja

Yahaya Bello Decries Poor State Of Schools In LokojaKogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has condemned the poor state of schools in Lokoja, the state capital.

He also threatened to sack any commissioner who is not in tune with his administration’s new agenda to move the state to the next level.

He made the statement during his unscheduled visit to Government Day Secondary School, Adankolo in Lokoja, for an on the spot assessment.

An executive council meeting had initially been scheduled for that day, until the governor came in later and asked the commissioners to accompany him somewhere for a visit.

Everyone remained oblivious of the governor’s plan or where he was going until they arrived at the secondary school.

Students cheered him in excitement, while the sudden visit came as a shock to the management who never expected him.

Governor Bello, however went straight to the principal’s office to check some files and also find out those yet to receive salaries.

The principal wasted no time in telling him some of the problems the school was encountering at the moment.

“It is only this Government Day Secondary School in Owe Lokoja, that has no fence. – We have tried, the parents have tried also, we have started one close to the exam hall but we are yet to complete it because of our inability to raise fund.

“We seek for your assistance your excellency; in the areas we have mentioned so far, particularly the staff payment,” the principal said.

 

The situation did not go down well with the governor, who challenged the Commissioner for Education, Mr Sunday Tolorunleke, and asked if he had ever visited the school since he resumed office.

“Honourable commissioner, how many times have you visited this school? – have you ever visited this school since you became a commissioner? How many months have you spent in your office now? You’ve spent nine months – have you visit this school once, do you have any reports on the schools visited?

primary school ogun“As a commissioner you have not been in this school since you assumed office, this is just 200 meters to the government house, yet the school is not feeling the impact of government.

“If the schools in town are not feeling the impact of government what about those outside the state capital,” he questioned.

The governor also visited the accountant‘s office to know how money was being managed.

He promised to audit the account of the school and every other school owned by government in the state, while also expressing dissatisfaction towards any commissioner who was not abreast of the challenges confronting their various ministries and agencies.

Some of the teachers reacted to the visit which according to them, was the first of its kind, since the school was established in 1983.

One of the teachers, James shelika, lamenting, said, “the last time I received salary was December last year.

‘As I speak, from January to date, we have not been paid, but since the governor has promised us we believe him and pray that God should help him throughout his tenure.

Another teacher, Ogu Patrick, Eexplained that “between January and now, I have not been paid but that has not deterred me from doing my work, because of the passion I have for education and for teaching”.

The governor further stated that the infrastructure on ground was nothing to write home about.

He however assured the management that he would do everything humanly possible to fix them before the mid-term.

“When we came on board, education was my number one priority. This is why I paid an unscheduled visit to this school.

“We are taking schools at random with the aim of proffering lasting solutions to the problems confronting secondary education in the state.

The governor then went round the classrooms and admonished the pupils to face there studies in order to pass their examinations in flying colors.

In an interview with pressmen, Governor Bello asked all commissioners to be on their toes if they don’t want to be sacked from their office.

“All my commissioners are supposed to be in the EXCO right now, but I decided that I will begin to visit not only their offices, but also the agencies and departments under them to know the situation of things directly.

“The structures I met on ground in this particular school is nothing to write home about. There has been successive government but they neglected the education sector.

“I don’t know how the students will learn, the condition of learning is so poor. All my commissioners are going to be in trouble – whoever is not sitting on top of his job.

“We are going to take decisive steps to make sure we address that, because it is uncalled for. You are a commissioner and you have not visited schools to see things for yourself, what report are you bringing for me, what are you putting in the budget.

Expressing total dissatisfaction, he said: “honestly speaking, I am not happy with the commissioner for education.

The governor then emphasized his decision to visit more schools for on the spot assessment, as the situation came to him as an eye opener.

UNIUYO ASUU Commences Week-Long Industrial Action

ASUU, JAMB Act, amendmentMembers of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Uyo chapter, on Wednesday commenced a seven-day industrial action, in line with the directive of the national secretariat of the union.

A Channels Television correspondent who monitored the exercise in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, reported that the warning strike paralysed academic activities at the town campus of the University of Uyo.

Students were seen in groups obviously discussing the development, while those who came for early morning lectures were disappointed, as there was no lecture in sight.

OOU_Students-ProtestSome of the students who spoke to Channels Television, confirmed the industrial action and appealed to the federal government to find a lasting solution to the problem in the interest of their future.

One of the students, expressing sadness over the situation, said: “as we speak, I am supposed to have a lecture but right now, nothing is happening in school – No lectures, we are not happy about it because it will affect the number of years we spend here.

“We are calling on the federal government to do something urgent to solve the problem for the sake of our future.

Another student lamenting, said “I have no choice but to go back home because nothing is going on here. I am not happy about it. I pray for a quick resolution of the problem so we can face our studies.

Chairman of ASUU, University Of Uyo Chapter, Dr Aniekan Brown, who personally monitored the exercise to ensure compliance also spoke to Channels Television.

Seemingly unperturbed, she said, “I am glad to announce that the strike has enjoyed 100% compliance in line with the directive of the national secretariat of the union.

“The one week warning strike is informed by the inability of the federal government to honor the agreement reached with ASUU on a number of issues, which you already know.

“The most important, being that the public universities are still underfunded.”

While she stressed that all public universities in the country are expected to take part in the exercise, she added that “some of our colleagues are still receiving factional salaries and so on”.

ASUU, recessionAlso in other states such as Lagos, the ASUU Chairman for the University of Lagos, (UNILAG), Mr Adelaja Odukoya, explained the reasons for their decision.

He said the federal government had failed to deliver on its 2009 Agreement and 2013 MoU.

According to him, the government is owing over 800 billion Naira, funds which he said were meant to upgrade the university system, in attempts to make them globally competitive.

Mr Odukoya stated that several attempts to dialogue with the government as well as key ministries involved in the disbursement of the agreed funds, had fallen on deaf ears, which eventually led up to the union’s decision to go on strike.

He expressed this also on Wednessday, while speaking on Channels Television’s Breakfast show, Sunrise Daily.

Opposition Party Says ‘Mass Failure Of Students In Osun Is Deliberate’

Osun-students-garments-hijab-classroom2An opposition party in Osun State, Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN), has condemned the latest mass failure of Secondary School Students (SS2) who were to move to final year (SS3), claiming it was a deliberate act by the State government.

The Secretary of the Osun State chapter of the party, Kola Ibrahim, who spoke to Channels Television on Friday, said information‎ available to the group showed that out of over 28,000 Secondary School-2 students who partook in the mock examination to move to SS3, only about 7,000 students passed.

Deliberate And Ill-motivated

He decried the pass rate of about 25 per cent, saying that the party considers the mass failure as deliberate and ill-motivated on the part of the Governor Rauf Aregbesola government, which through its education ministry conducted the examination for all students.

“It is clear that the aim of this general examination ‎is to reduce the number of students that will partake in the external final examination, especially West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), as a way of covering up the government’s inadequacies in the education sector.

“Osun State has come in a distant position in pass rates for external examinations. For instance, in 2015, the state came 29th in WAEC ranking of pass rates across states, with just 8,000 students out of over 48,000 obtaining five credits in vital subjects.

“This terrible situation is a reflection of the mismanagement of the education sector by the Aregbesola administration. In the first seven months of 2015, teachers in public schools alongside other public workers, were not paid any salary, leading to a four-month strike.

“Since August 2015, the state government has been paying half salary to workers including teachers, albeit irregularly.

“This has no doubt affected the morale and capacity of teachers, which is having negative effects on the standard of education in Osun State,” he insisted.

The SPN secretary further gave his opinion on recently commissioned mega schools.

He says “people in Osun need to reject an attempt by the government to hand over the newly built mega-schools, on which billions of Naira have been committed, to private managers”.

Mr Ibrahim believes this act is tantamount to using public funds to enrich private business people, a situation he pointed out would also lead to putting the cost of education out of the reach of the poor and working class people in the state.

“The private managers will introduce huge fees in the schools built with the public funds,” he stressed.

Mr Ibrahim then called on union leaders‎, especially those in the education sector, students, parents and communities to resist what he called ‘anti-poor policies of the Aregbesola-led government’ which he alleged had worsened the condition of the education sector in Osun State.

On its part, the government, through the Executive Chairman, Education Quality Assurance and Morality Enforcement Agency, Dr. Ayodele Owoade, said that the mock examination for the SS2 students was organised to test the students’ preparedness for examinations ahead.

Osun State had recorded a 46.30 per cent in the last 2016 West Africa Examination Council Examinations, a result the state government said was a confirmation of its huge investment in the education sector.

The government said that for a state that once fell to a woeful six per cent performance prior to the Rauf Aregbesola’s administration to move up to 46.3 per cent aptly illustrated the fact that the government’s various interventions in education were paying off.

A statement by the Bureau of Communication and Strategy in the Office of the Governor says the government is not yet satisfied or resting on its oars until the state emerges the best state in the country in external examinations.

The statement, signed by the Bureau’s Director, Semiu Okanlawon, noted that the 2016 WAEC results indicate that the 2016 performance rating remained the highest and the best in 13 years.

ASUP Zone D Explains Why Members Will Down Tools

ASUP, Strike, PolytechnicsThe Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) Zone D chapter has threatened to embark on an indefinite strike on Sunday August 21.

This was contained in a communique released at the end a meeting held on August 16 in Owerri the capital of Imo State in southeast Nigeria.

As contained in the statement, the Zone D of ASUP, which consists of all the polytechnics in the south-east and South-south states of the federation, said it had become necessary to embark on the strike following the non-implementation of the needs assessment report in 2014.

Shortfalls In Allocations

“There have been shortfalls in personnel allocations to polytechnics as well as unpaid allowances in federal polytechnics since January 2016. Since the turn of the year, members’ salaries have been inconsistent without any plausible reason.

“To make matters worse, allowances negotiated with government and being earned since 2011 have not been paid.

“This is a wilful violation of our agreement with the government in 2010,” the statement further read.

ASUP further said that one of the reasons for the strike was the “non-release of arrears of promotion in many public polytechnics with some dating back to 2012 as well as non-implementation of the migration salary scale in many polytechnics”.

It also noted that the neglect faced by the polytechnic sector was a shameful one, as it had been a long and difficult one punctuated by long unproductive discussions with stakeholders, intermittent strike but with hardly any results.

ASUP further called on well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on the government at both the federal and state levels to comprehensively address these challenges in due course.

NTI Seeks Government’s Partnership On Teachers Training

NTIThe National Teachers’ Institute (NTI) has identified inadequate financial support by states and local governments towards the continuous professional training of their teachers, as being responsible for the poor performance of teachers in public schools across Nigeria.     

The Director-General of the institute, Dr. Aminu Sharehu, expressed sadness over poor remuneration being received by Nigerian teachers, which he noted is totally unacceptable if Nigeria must make progress in the education sector.

Dr Sharehu made this disclosure during the 4th combined convocation ceremony of the institute.

He said the welfare of teachers in Nigeria, especially when compared to other professionals like nurses, doctors and lawyers, was discouraging and should be improved in order to get the best from them.

On his part, the Governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai, affirmed his administration’s commitment and willingness to partner with the institute, to organise a continuous professional development programme for teachers in the state.

The governor, who was represented by a Senior Director in the state Ministry of Education, said his administration has recruited a total of 2,500 additional teachers at all levels of education, in order to breach the gap created by shortage of teachers, especially in science subjects in public primary and secondary schools.

Also, a former Minister of Education, Professor Rukayyatu Rufai, noted that many people run away from the teaching profession because of the poor incentives attached to it. She appealed to the government at all levels to accord education a top priority.

Some of the graduating students expressed excitement of having successfully completed their academic programme from the institute and the beginning of their journey into the teaching profession.

FG To Weed Out Unqualified Teachers

special education programmeThe Federal Government says it plans to weed out all unqualified teachers in Nigeria’s primary and secondary schools to reform the education sector.

According to the government, the decision was part of efforts to re-position basic education in Nigeria.

The Minister of State for Education, Professor Anthony Anwuka, told a news conference in Abuja on Sunday, that the Federal Government would no longer allow a situation where the teaching profession would be treated as an all-comers affair.

He reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to qualitative education, saying the developmental strides of any nation is dependent on the quality of education given to pupils at the primary and secondary school levels.

Ondo Govt. Commissions New Mega Primary School In Owo

mimiko-ondoOndo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, has said that that access to quality education is the best way to tackle the growing inequality in the Nigerian society.

Governor Mimiko gave this hint while addressing a gathering at the official commissioning of the Saint Francis Caring Heart Mega Primary School in Owo, the headquarters of Owo Local Government Area of the State.

According to the Governor, the pupils enrolled in the school cut across all social strata in the society, adding that the facilities could compete with some of the best in the world.

He disclosed that government would soon start constructing the sub-urban models of the primary schools, in order to extend the opportunity to rural dwellers.

Also, an Elder Statesman and politician, Senator Femi Okunrounmu, commended the state government for the huge investment in education.

He also urged the teachers and pupils to maintain the standard of the infrastructure put in place.

Ondo State Commissioner for Education, Jide Adejuyigbe, also said that the mega schools were introduced to create a conducive environment for learning and acquiring skills for the pupils.

According to him, 36 of such mega primary schools had been put in place across the state, while 51 would have been completed before the end of 2015.

We Will Not Introduce Computer Based Test – WAEC

Charles-Eguridu
Mr Charles Eguridu said WAEC will not introduce Computer Based Test for its examinations

The West Africa Examination Council (WEAC) says it will not introduce the Computer Based Test in its examinations.

Addressing reporters on Friday in Abuja, an official of the council, Mr Charles Eguridu, said the Computer Based Test could not be used to determine the knowledge of students in certain subjects, as the councils exams are based on theory not objectives.

“I am yet to see any educational expert who will tell you that you can measure the psychomotor domain using CBT [Computer Based Test].

“Any test that will use computer to evaluate who will be a good carpenter or evaluate who will be a good plumber cannot be valid.

“The exterminations we conduct in WAEC take into cognisance these three domains. The cognitive domain that measure your ability to recall, apply and other areas of knowledge you have acquired” he said, listing some aspects of what the examination body considers in its examination process.

Mr Eguridu explained that WAEC also used continuous assessments, which the teachers obtain by observing what the candidates do in the classroom to score students.

“It will be intellectually dishonest of me or anybody for that matter, no matter how highly placed, to announce to the Nigerian public that he or she is going to go full CBP in conducting a certificate examination in Nigeria. I beg to differ,” he stressed.

According to Mr Eguridu, the council has, however, introduced some technological gadgets to tackle the incessant issue of malpractices recorded in their examinations.

He warned that the results of students who are found to be involved in any malpractice will withheld.

Buhari Decries Non-Payment Of Teachers By States

G-7President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday decried inability of some Nigerian states to pay teachers for many months.

Speaking after receiving a briefing from the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, President Buhari urged the three tiers of government to be more mindful of their responsibility to pay teachers their salaries on time.

Noting that the non-payment of teachers had resulted in long-running strikes by teachers in some states, President Buhari declared that the worst harm State governments could cause their citizens was to deny them good education.

“It then means that their citizens will be denied a chance to compete with others at the centre. Socially, it is very, very bad, if not irresponsible,” the President said.

The Permanent Secretary, Dr. MacJohn Nwaobiala, briefed the President on the current activities of the Federal Ministry of Education and its many problems and challenges.

He also said that inadequate funding and insecurity in some parts of the country were hampering activities in schools.