School Resumption: Bear With Us A Little More, Education Minister Tells Students

File photo: Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba gives an update on the COVID-19 situation in the country on April 21, 2020.

 

The Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba wants students to exercise more patience as Nigeria mulls the reopening of schools after months of forced closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Nwajiuba who praised the students for their patience since schools were shut down in the country,  gave an assurance that the Federal Ministry of Education is working with stakeholders for the safe reopening of the education centres.

“I urge our students who have actually exercised a lot of patience along with their parents … I urge you to bear with us a little bit more. The rioting needs to stop; there is nothing to riot about,” the minister stated during Monday’s briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.

 

File photo: Students under the aegis of National Association of Nigerian Students during a protest to demand the reopening of Tertiary Institutions by the Nigerian Government amid the coronavirus lockdown in Abuja on Wednesday 19th August 2020. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

 

READ ALSO: One Reported Killed As Gunmen Abduct JSS3 Students In Kaduna

Nwajiuba disclosed that there have been moves to safely reopen schools, noting that the guidelines for such have been given to higher institutions, with a number of them already expressing their commitment to adhere to the protocols.

He expressed confidence that relevant authorities would soon give a nod to the resumption of classes.

“We don’t want to bandy around dates,” he said, “We remain positive.”

According to the Minister, the Federal Government is also in negotiation with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), reiterating that every player in the education sector is engaged on the reopening of schools.

“The PTF profiles for us a national response and everyone can tee off from there,” he added.

Wearing face-masks, final year students of Government Secondary School, Zone 3, Abuja, sit in a classroom as they write their West African Examinations Council exams, following the ease of COVID-19 lockdown order on Monday August 17, 2020. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television.
File photo: Wearing face-masks, final year students of Government Secondary School, Zone 3, Abuja, sit in a classroom as they write their West African Examinations Council exams, following the ease of COVID-19 lockdown order on Monday, August 17, 2020. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television.

 

As part of measures to contain the spread of the pandemic in the country, the Federal Ministry of Education on March 19, 2020, ordered the immediate closure of tertiary institutions, secondary as well as primary schools nationwide.

104 Unity Schools Ready To Reopen For Exit Classes – FG

A file photo of the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, at a press briefing in Abuja on July 6, 2020.

 

All the 104 Unity Colleges across the country are ready to open their gates to students in exit classes, the Federal Government has said.

The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, said this in a statement on Monday by the Director of Press and Public Relations at the ministry, Ben Goong.

Ahead of the reopening scheduled to begin on Tuesday, the minister announced the preparedness of the unity colleges at a meeting with Commissioners of Education of the 36 states of the Federation via the Zoom platform.

He commended the principals of the schools for the comprehensive preparation put in place for the reopening of the schools.

According to the statement, the commissioners across states reported varying degrees of preparation and readiness for reopening of schools between August 4 and 10 for virtually all schools within their jurisdictions.

“From today (Monday), the Honourable Minister of State for Education, Permanent Secretary, and Directors will embark on an assessment tour of all Unity Colleges to ascertain and confirm the reports they have received from the Principals of Unity Colleges,” it said.

READ ALSO: FG Announces Dates For NECO, NABTEB, Common Entrance Exams

covid-19 update
A map showing Nigeria’s COVID-19 cases as of August 2nd, 2020. Channels TV/Benjamin Oluwatoyin.

 

The statement added, “Federal Education Quality Assurance Directors deployed to the States have been directed to monitor compliance in their respective states.

“Honourable Commissioners from the States were enjoined to embark on assessment tours in their jurisdictions to ascertain the level of preparations for reopening.”

While most schools would reopen on Tuesday, Nwajiuba noted that others would continue to fine-tune their preparations in the coming days for reopening.

He asked all school authorities to communicate their specific reopening dates to their parents and students in order to avoid chaos in the system.

The minister also advised that all returning students should undergo temperature checks among other protocols before being admitted into their schools.

He met with the commissioners a week after he announced the dates of the examinations for students in various graduating classes in the country.

They include the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations (SSCE) organised by the National Examination Council (NECO) for students in SSS 3, and the National Business and Technical Examination Board (NABTEB) examinations.

Others are the Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) for JSS 3 students and the National Common Entrance Examination (NCEE) for intending primary school applicants into Unity Colleges.

US Won’t Take New Foreign Students For Online-Only Courses

US President Donald Trump waves upon arrival to Morristown Municipal Airport, New Jersey on July 24, 2020. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP)

 

 

The United States announced Friday it will not take in any new foreign students seeking online-only study, after rescinding a hotly contested order to expel those already here and preparing for that because of the pandemic.

The policy change was announced in a statement by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

President Donald Trump has made a tough line on immigration a cornerstone of his message and has suspended several kinds of visas for foreigners during the coronavirus crisis.

The original policy change of revoking the visas of foreign students whose classes will move online in the autumn was taken to court by top universities including Harvard and MIT, teachers unions and at least 18 states.

And on July 14 the administration reversed course and rescinded the decision.

That measure had been seen as a move by Trump to put pressure on educational institutions that are adopting a cautious approach to reopening amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Trump is eager for schools at all levels to reopen with in-person classes as a sign of a return to normality as he fights an uphill battle for re-election in November.

He is pushing for this even though the virus is out of control in some states, with the US death toll a world-high of more than 144,000.

His administration is leaving it largely up to states themselves to figure out how to open schools safely.

There were more than one million international students in the US for the 2018-19 academic year, according to the Institute of International Education.

Many schools depend heavily on the tuition paid by those students.

Most US colleges and universities have not yet announced their plans for the fall semester but Harvard has said all its classes for the 2020-21 academic year will be conducted online, “with rare exceptions.”

 

 

-AFP

Ivy League Universities Halt Sports Over Coronavirus Concern

Ivy League colleges have decided to halt all sports until at least January 2021 over fears of the coronavirus (AFP Photo/Adam Glanzman)
Ivy League colleges have decided to halt all sports until at least January 2021 over fears of the coronavirus (AFP Photo/Adam Glanzman)

 

 

The Ivy League group of elite US universities on Wednesday halted all sports until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic, in a move that could have wide implications for the lucrative world of college sports.

A statement from the Ivy League’s Council of Presidents said no sport at all would be played during the autumn semester, which runs from September until December.

“With the information available to us today regarding the continued spread of the virus, we simply do not believe we can create and maintain an environment for intercollegiate athletic competition that meets our requirements for safety and acceptable levels of risk,” the Ivy League’s council said in a statement.

A decision on whether sports could return in the New Year would be taken at a later date.

The ruling means the eight Ivy League colleges will play no gridiron football this year.

Although Ivy League gridiron teams are not the strongest in the United States, Wednesday’s decision could influence other institutions currently grappling with the issue of how to organise sport safely in the era of COVID-19.

Ivy League executive director Robin Harris told ESPN campus policies designed to mitigate the threat of coronavirus, with many requiring students to study remotely, made sport a non-starter.

“The campus policies make it impractical for competition to occur, at least through the end of the fall semester,” Harris said.

“Eight campuses have announced their policies for the fall over the past two weeks. When we realized and the presidents realized based on these campus policies that we couldn’t have competition we wanted to make sure the student-athletes were aware of the outcome.

“It’s certainly the right decision for the Ivy League, but it’s difficult.”

The Ivy League said practice and other athletic training would be permitted, starting with limited individual and small group workouts.

 

 

AFP

Shun Malpractice, WAEC Warns Students Ahead Of Exams

WAEC Officials at a press briefing In Lagos on July 7, 2020.

 

The West African Examinations Council (WAEC), has warned students, as well as schools, to shun all forms of exam malpractice ahead of the commencement of the examinations.

At a briefing on Tuesday in Yaba, Lagos State, the Head of the Nigeria National Office of WAEC, Mr Patrick E. Areghan, said regardless of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic on the country, the standards set by exam body remain intact.

He, therefore, warned that lack of preparedness should not be an excuse to engage in malpractices.

“Gentlemen of the media, these are no normal times. This examination is going to be conducted under a very unfriendly atmosphere and conditions. I will like to use this opportunity to advise all schools and candidates to make the best use of the situation in order to turn adversity into success,” Areghan said.

“I must not fail to warn all schools and candidates to shun any form of examination malpractice. Lack of preparedness is not an excuse to cheat. For the benefit of doubt, standards already set remain sacrosanct. Do not delude yourself by thinking that they will be lowered due to the prevailing circumstances. Therefore, as usual, you get what you deserve.

“It will be a double tragedy for any candidate to write the examination under very difficult circumstances and not to have any result”.

Speaking further, Areghan also warned Schools and candidates to resist the temptation to patronise dubious websites that would claim to have examination questions at their disposal. “We cannot claim not to know that they are right now strategizing on their evil machinations,” he said.

Read Also: WAEC Examinations To Commence On August 4 – Education Minister

Months after schools have been shut as a result of the COVID-19, the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, announced on Monday that the WAEC exams will commence from August 4 to September 5.

While students in other non-exam classes remain at home, the Minister noted that ahead of August 4, provisions for preparatory/revision classes are being made for those who are interested in writing the exams.

The head of the Nigeria National Office of the WAEC, Areghan, also affirmed this position.

According to him, the body has taken due cognizance of the various measures/protocols rolled out by the Federal and State governments of Nigeria, aimed at checking the spread of the pandemic.

“We have encapsulated all these measures in a pamphlet which will be circulated to all stakeholders for their necessary guidance. For the sake of emphasis, schools must provide wash-hand buckets with running water, soaps, hand sanitizers and thermometer hand-gun to check the temperature of all concerned,” he said, adding that wearing of facemasks by all stakeholders and ensuring proper social distancing will be enforced.

Consequently, more classrooms will be used and many more supervisors and invigilators will be required to conduct the examination, a situation which also raises concerns about adequate monetary compensation, as well as the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to staff, Supervisors and other examination officials.

Areghan, therefore, appealed to governments at various levels, Multi-National companies, corporate organizations and philanthropic individuals, to offer their assistance, to avoid the spread of the disease.

Read the full details of the address below.

ADDRESS BY MR. PATRICK E. AREGHAN, FCGP HEAD OF THE NIGERIA NATIONAL OFFICE OF THE WEST AFRICAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL (WAEC), AT A PRESS BRIEFING ON THE CONDUCT OF THE WASSCE FOR SCHOOL CANDIDATES, 2020 HELD ON TUESDAY, JULY 7, 2020 AT THE WAEC NATIONAL OFFICE, YABA, LAGOS

Gentlemen of the media, on behalf of the Registrar to Council, the Management and Staff of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), Nigeria, I am delighted to welcome you to this press briefing, my first with you since assuming office as the Head of the Nigeria National Office of WAEC. We have invited you here today to acquaint you with our preparations and readiness for the conduct of the much-awaited WASSCE for School Candidates, 2020.

As you are aware, the examination was earlier scheduled to take place between the 6th of April and 5th of June, 2020, but had to be postponed due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The examination will now hold between 3rd August and 5th September 2020, covering a space of five (5) weeks. There is a novel development in this arrangement in the sense that the examination would be held from Monday through Saturday, in order to be able to achieve the five-week span.

A total of One Million Five Hundred and Forty-Nine Thousand Four Hundred and Sixty Three (1,549,463) candidates have registered for the diet from 19,129 schools out of which 786,421 are males and 763,042 are females.

The choice of the period (August 3rd to September 5th, 2020) for the conduct of the examination was not arbitrarily set. WAEC consulted extensively with the governments of all the five-member countries before arriving at the period and duration of the examination.

In deference to the Federal Government of Nigeria, the five-week arrangement was arrived at in order to make room for the other Examining Bodies to equally conduct their examinations in good time. The shortening of the period is also of advantage in terms of reducing the period of mass social interaction with its attendant consequences.

During the waiting period, we continued to fine-tune and perfect all arrangements for the smooth and successful conduct of the examination and I am happy to inform you that we are set to conduct the examination in Nigeria.

In conducting the examination, we have taken due cognizance of the various measures/protocols rolled out by the Federal and State governments of Nigeria, aimed at checking the spread of the pandemic. We have encapsulated all these measures in a pamphlet which will be circulated to all stakeholders for their necessary guidance.

For the sake of emphasis, schools must provide wash-hand buckets with running water, soaps, hand sanitizers and thermometer hand-gun to check the temperature of all concerned. All examination functionaries, including the Council’s staff on distribution; Supervisors; Invigilators, Inspectors; candidates and school officials will be required to wear face masks, wash and sanitize their hands daily and throughout the duration of the examination.

Let me assure you and the general public that we shall adhere strictly to social/physical distancing in the examination halls by making sure that candidates sit two (2) metres apart.

This means that many more classrooms will be used and many more supervisors and invigilators will be required to conduct the examination. This has certainly raised the supervision fee to be paid to supervisors as well as the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to staff, Supervisors and other examination officials.

No doubt, all these measures have financial implications which were not contemplated at the time of drawing up the budget for the conduct of the examination. The big question looming now is how can this extra fund be raised?

On this note, therefore, we are appealing to the governments at various levels to come to our aid. We equally call on Multi-National companies, corporate organizations and philanthropic individuals to donate these PPE to us. It is essential that all examination functionaries are well kitted to avoid the spread of the disease. May I also use this medium to escalate our challenge to the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 and to humbly request for any possible assistance.

WAEC has Zonal and Branch Offices all over the Federation. The various state governments can donate the required PPE to the WAEC offices in their states.
Gentlemen of the media, these are no normal times. This examination is going to be conducted under a very unfriendly atmosphere and conditions. I will like to use this opportunity to advise all schools and candidates to make the best use of the situation in order to turn adversity into success.

I must not fail to warn all schools and candidates to shun any form of examination malpractice. Lack of preparedness is not an excuse to cheat. For the benefit of doubt, standards already set remain sacrosanct. Do not delude yourself by thinking that they will be lowered due to the prevailing circumstances. Therefore, as usual, you get what you deserve.

It will be a double tragedy for any candidate to write the examination under very difficult circumstances and not to have any result.

Schools and candidates must resist the temptation of patronizing dubious websites that claim or would claim to have examination questions at their disposal. We cannot claim not to know that they are right now strategizing on their evil machinations.

They are fake and conscienceless destiny destroyers. Self-reliance is the sure key to success.

The Final International Timetable has been sent to all the WAEC Zonal and Branch Offices for onward dispatch to schools and Federal and State Ministries of Education.

Finally, Gentlemen of the media, I want to thank you once again for honouring our invitation to this Press Briefing.
God bless you.

WAEC Examinations To Commence On August 4 – Education Minister

The Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, speaks at the PTF briefing in Abuja on July 6, 2020.

 

The West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) has been scheduled to commence in August.

The Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, announced this on Monday at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja.

He said, “From the 4th of August to the 5th of September, please take note. Last week the Chairman of the PTF announced that school facilities will be available for those who want to go into revision classes.

“The idea here is that we have a whole month from now till then, those who can and those who are willing; the states who are willing should make their schools available for their children to revise.

“We have done the most we can with our representatives at WAEC and we have, this afternoon, confirmed that the dates allotted for the exams will be from the 4th of August through to the 5th of September,” the minister added.

According to him, the ministry will publish the local timings for the examinations after a meeting with authorities of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), among other stakeholders.

Nwajiuba disclosed that as soon as WAEC examinations were concluded, the government would take up the National Examination Council (NECO) and the National Business and Technical Examinations Board (NABTEB) examinations.

WASSCE is a standardised test conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) for senior secondary school students in the graduating class.

COVID-19: FG Making Plans For Students To Write Exams, Says Education Minister

 

The Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, has said that contrary to reports that the Federal Government is making plans to reopen schools, it is only making plans for students in exit classes to write exams.

Nwajiuba said this on Wednesday, during an interview on Channels TV’s Politics Today.

According to him, despite the shutting of schools as a result of the COVID-19, exams are critical for the academic progress of students.

He, therefore, stated that the ministry presented its concerns to the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and plans are only being made for those who choose to write these exams.

“We presented to the PTF and by extension, the Federal Government, the plans by examination bodies to hold their exams. The exams are critical for how children progress.

“We examined it and we felt that it is important to allow those examinations to take place but ahead of them taking place, it is important that those children who have not had the opportunity to revise their syllabus, should have an opportunity to go through that and have a revision class before the exams.

“Most people who can afford it are already saying they want to be at home and go to the exams from home, that is terrific.

“But we understand the limitations of the average Nigerian because not everybody can afford laptops and devices and so if there are people who do have this access and feel confident that their children are ready for the exams, well, we are not compelling anybody to go to any school.

“What we have done is make the facilities in our schools available,” he said.

“You all know that education is on the concurrent legislative list and we’ve asked that state government’s that own these schools, to provide places to wash hands, check the temperature of the children constantly, have sanitisers in place. Private schools should be able to provide that.

“It’s really not a compulsion, we are just making facilities available for those who want to take the exams”.

Read Also: ‘We Are Not Taking That Risk Yet’, PTF Reacts To Reports Of Schools Reopening Amid COVID-19

In May, the minister had said that the Federal Government was not ready to take the risk of reopening schools.

“Until we are sure that these children can go to school, return safely and not bring home with them, this COVID material, and infect people who are more susceptible to the disease than they are, then we are running a huge risk and god forbid that in our hurry, something happens to our children, I’m not sure how anybody will be able to retrieve what would have been lost.

“So we are not taking that risk yet. We are going to prepare as much as possible, within the guidance that they (health authorities) offer us, working in conjunction with the World Health Organisation before we reopen schools”.

‘We Are Not Taking That Risk Yet’, PTF Reacts To Reports Of Schools Reopening Amid COVID-19

The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has reacted to reports that schools across the country are going to reopen on June 8, 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Briefing journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, The Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba who is a member of the PTF, noted that the reports are false as the Federal Government is yet to decide on when schools would reopen.

“The material that the Chairman of the PTF spoke about, which is an announcement purportedly from him that we are reopening all schools on the 8th, did not emanate from us. It is not true,” the minister said.

“Until we are sure that these children can go to school, return safely and not bring home with them, this COVID material, and infect people who are more susceptible to the disease than they are, then we are running a huge risk and god forbid that in our hurry, something happens to our children, I’m not sure how anybody will be able to retrieve what would have been lost.

“So we are not taking that risk yet. We are going to prepare as much as possible, within the guidance that they (health authorities) offer us, working in conjunction with the World Health Organisation before we reopen schools”.

Nwajiuba, however, explained that while it is still currently not safe to reopen schools, plans are being made to see how the system can keep running despite the pandemic.


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He said a publication would be released shortly as to what the re-opening of schools should look like, post-COVID.

“We are not talking about coping with COVID – there’s a difference. We’ve come to understand that COVID may not necessarily go away so we expect that we will adapt such that in the presence of COVID, we can still do what we need to do,” the minister said.

“For a country that has over 115,000 primary schools, you will understand that 35,000 of these who are private must agree to set up the same standard in order to allow children to go in.

“If you go to our Nigerian Universities, many of the things we need for social distancing may not be available so you may need to rethink it.

“For instance, which courses should be in school at which periods, we can have semesters within semesters for different department and faculties.

“It is the same we are planning for secondary school reopening. We want to bring in our JSS and SSS children first, they conclude their exams and vacate the place, then others can return.

“We will do the same thing with primary schools, where we will now limit the number of children per class.

“What this may mean is that we may have classes in the mornings and classes in the afternoons so whichever is convenient for you. I am not sure if there will be classes at night, but we can do with mornings and afternoons at the moment,”.

Speaking further, Nwajiuba explained that the government also intends for schools to utilize all their infrastructure.

“Some people will be in the field learning, some would be in classes. Some will be at different facilities all within the school,” he said.

The Federal Ministry of Education had on March 19, ordered the immediate closure of tertiary institutions, secondary and primary schools nationwide, following the outbreak of the coronavirus in the country and as part of measures to contain its spread.

Since then, many schools have taken to virtual means to ensure that classes continue and students remain in touch with their curriculum, especially since a lockdown was imposed on several states across the country forcing many families to remain indoors.

COVID-19: FG Considers Sectionalising Classes Ahead Of Reopening Of Schools

 

The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has said that the Federal Government is considering sectionalising classes for primary, secondary, and tertiary institutions in the country ahead of the reopening of schools amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, stated this on Wednesday during a briefing by the Task Force in Abuja.

He also debunked reports that schools are set to reopen on June 8.

According to him, they are all false.

“Until we are sure that these children can go to school, return safely and not bring home with them, this COVID material, and infect people who are more susceptible to the disease than they are, then we are running a huge risk and god forbid that in our hurry, something happens to our children, I’m not sure how anybody will be able to retrieve what would have been lost.

“So we are not taking that risk yet. We are going to prepare as much as possible, within the guidance that they (health authorities) offer us, working in conjunction with the World Health Organisation before we reopen schools,” the minister said.

[Read Also] May 27: We Must Continue To Offer Our Children The Best, Atiku Urges Nigerians

Nwajiuba, however, explained that while it is still currently not safe to reopen schools, plans are being made to see how the system can keep running despite the pandemic.

He said a publication would be released shortly as to what the re-opening of schools should look like, post-COVID.

“We are not talking about coping with COVID – there’s a difference. We’ve come to understand that COVID may not necessarily go away so we expect that we will adapt such that in the presence of COVID, we can still do what we need to do,” the minister said.

“For a country that has over 115,000 primary schools, you will understand that 35,000 of these who are private must agree to set up the same standard in order to allow children to go in.

“If you go to our Nigerian Universities, many of the things we need for social distancing may not be available so you may need to rethink it.

“For instance, which courses should be in school at which periods, we can have semesters within semesters for different department and faculties.

“It is the same we are planning for secondary school reopening. We want to bring in our JSS and SSS children first, they conclude their exams and vacate the place, then others can return.

“We will do the same thing with primary schools, where we will now limit the number of children per class.

“What this may mean is that we may have classes in the mornings and classes in the afternoons so whichever is convenient for you. I am not sure if there will be classes at night, but we can do with mornings and afternoons at the moment,”.

Speaking further, Nwajiuba explained that the government also intends for schools to utilize all their infrastructure.

“Some people will be in the field learning, some would be in classes. Some will be at different facilities all within the school,” he said.

Lagos Approves E-Lecture Portals For State-Owned Tertiary Institutions

A file photo of Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu. Photo: [email protected]

 

The Lagos State government has approved special e-portals that will allow the state tertiary institutions to commence online lectures as part of measures to reduce the impact of Coronavirus on education.

The seven schools that are expected to benefit from the initiative are: Lagos State University (LASU), Lagos State Polytechnic, Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Michael Otedola College of Primary Education, Lagos State University College of Medicine (LASUCOM), Lagos College of Health Technology and Lagos State College of Nursing and Midwifery.

Governor Sanwo-Olu approved the virtual classes to ensure physical distancing among students and their lecturers.

Read Also: Nigeria’s COVID-19 Cases Exceed 1,000 As NCDC Confirms 114 More Infections

According to the government, the move will also help in the maintenance of the state’s tertiary academic calendar despite lockdown occasioned by the pandemic.

All students were, therefore, advised to maximise the unique opportunity to keep themselves engaged while the pandemic lasts.

NECO Result: 52 Percent Fail To Get Credit In English, Mathematics

The National Examination Council is one of the main secondary school examination bodies in the country.
The National Examination Council is one of the main secondary school examination bodies in the country.

 

The National Examinations Council (NECO) has released its November/December Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) with 33,576 candidates, representing 48.68 percent, scoring credits in both English and Mathematics for 2019.

NECO’s acting Registrar, Abubakar Mohammed Gana, made this known in a press statement released on Thursday.

According to the acting Registrar, 70,140 candidates registered for the examination.

He further stated that 50,057 candidates, representing 72.57 percent of the total, got five credits and above irrespective of English and Mathematics.

Gana, in the statement, explained there was an increase in 2019 compared to 2018 with 12,084 to 17,004 this year of candidates involved in various forms of malpractices due to the council comprehensive monitoring by the senior staff that also resulted in a decline in the number of candidates who got five credits and above.

According to him, “the number of candidates that sat for English language is 65,207 out of which 41,214 representing 63% got either Distinction or Credit.

“66,398 candidates sat for Mathematics, out of which 54, 565 representing 82.18% got either Distinction or credit.”

According to the acting Registrar, 62.48 percent of students scored five credits and above, including English and Mathematics in 2018, but only 48.68 percent could manage the same feat in 2019, representing a decrease of 13.8 percent.

The acting Registrar advised candidates to log on to www.neco.gov.ng to access their results.

Italian Education Minister Quits Over Insufficient Funding

Image used to illustrate story: Students wait in the corridor to enter their classroom in the Lucien Colon school, in Lapalisse, central France on December 2, 2019. Thierry Zoccolan / AFP

 

Italian Education Minister Lorenzo Fioramonti of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement said Thursday he had resigned because his ministry is underfunded.

Fioramonti wrote on Facebook that he informed Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte of his decision on Tuesday, saying he had taken up the portfolio to “reverse… the trend that has for decades put Italian schools, higher education and research in conditions of great suffering.”

He said the government had failed “to ensure a financial waterline… especially in such a crucial area as universities and research.”

The resignation deals a new  blow to the coalition government formed by Fioramonti’s M5S party and the centre-left Democratic Party just four months ago.

Dissensions have already arisen in several areas including migration.

M5S leader Luigi Di Maio, who is foreign minister, has come under harsh criticism within the party, with several lawmakers leaving to join the far-right, anti-immigrant League party led by Matteo Salvini.

Media reports say Fioramonti plans to form an independent group in parliament to support Conte that may be the embryo of a new political party.

 

AFP