FG To Set New Policy Direction In Universities

Nigeria Needs More Private Universities - NUC Exec SecretaryThe Federal Government says that the incessant face-off between the governing councils of universities and the institutions’ authorities over the running of the day-to-day activities in the universities will no longer be tolerated.

The warning was handed down by the Minister of State for Education, Professor Anthony Anwuka, during the 31st convocation ceremony of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Rivers State.

The Minister who represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the occasion also stated some new policy direction in the university system across the country.

“We must stop housing those who are adventurers, who have no business being in the universities to be in the university. In that wise, it’s being proposed and it will fly that at the end of this academic year, any student that fails to get up to 0.5 GPA should seize being a student of the university.

“The universities will continue from now on to house people who are serious with what they have come here to do. If you score less than 0.5 in your GPA, you are out and out for good.

“Secondly, Mr Vice Chancellor, starting from this year, JAMB has been advised to stop sending students to our professional universities with unrelated disciplines.

“If you are a University of Agriculture, your business should be agriculture; not in medicine, not in law, not in accountancy. Science and technology must remain University of Science and Technology.

“If states wish to have conventional universities, then they must speak to the Federal Government and such schools will be given to such states,” Professor Anwuka said.

A Dangerous Trend

The Vice Chancellor of UNIPORT, Professor Ndowa Lale, on his part, lamented the rate at which student unionism degenerates into what he described as a dangerous trend for the university authorities.

Professor Lale called on the Federal Government to regulate the operational structure of Students’ Union Government, adding that they pose threat to the statutory administration of the universities.

“Union leaders ascribe to themselves funny sounding titles as executive president and commander-in-chief of Aluta forces, secretary general and head of service, chief judge, senate president, honourable speaker of parliament, special advisers, woman leader, chief whip, stakeholders and so on.

“All these high sounding offices operate under the auspices of a Students’ Union Government which now operates at parallel point with the appointed authority of the institution,” he claimed.

The convocation ceremony was witnessed by dignitaries such as the Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Ipalebo Banigo, who represented Governor Nyesom Wike; Vice Chancellors from other universities and top government officials among other guests.

 

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.

FEC Approves Eight Universities, Port Harcourt Airport Renovation

FEC, Federal Executive Council, Universities, AirportThe Federal Executive Council has approved the establishment of eight new universities in Nigeria.

The Minister of State for Education, Professor Anthony Anwuka, disclosed this to State House correspondents shortly after the council meeting.

The meeting took place on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Professor Anwuka enumerated the universities to include:

  •  Anchor University, Ayobo, Lagos owned by the Deeper Christian Life Ministry.
  •  Arthur Jarvis University, Akpabuyo, Cross River to run by the Clitter House Nigeria Limited.
  •  Clifford University, Owerrinta, Abia to also be run by the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
  •  Coal City University, Enugu owned by the African Thinkers Community of Inquiry College of Education, Enugu.
  •  Crown-Hill University, Eiyenkorin, Kwara to be run by the Modern Morgy and Sons Limited.
  •  Dominican University, Ibadan owned by the Order of Preachers, Nigerian Dominican Community.
  •  Kola Daisi University, Ibadan owned by Kola Daisi Foundation.
  • Legacy University, Okija to be run by the Good Idea Education Foundation.

In a related development, the Council also approved the completion of the renovation work at the Port Harcourt International Airport in Rivers State, south-south Nigeria.

The Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, stressed the importance of the airport to national economy.

He added that the meeting resolved that the airport cannot be allowed to remain in its poor condition.

Nigeria Commits To Reducing Number Of Out-Of-School Children

Nigeria On Out Of School ChildrenThe Federal Government says Nigeria is committed to reducing the number of out of school children by the year 2030.

The declaration follows prediction by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) that Nigeria may not achieve the Sustainable Development Goal for education by 2030.

This was revealed in a report launched on Monday in Abuja by the Minister of Education, Mr Adamu Adamu, at a gathering of experts, government officials and other key players in the education sector.

The Global Education Monitoring Report for 2016, prepared by UNESCO, stated that Nigeria might not achieve universal primary education until 2070.

The report examined how countries would achieve the target and also checked the present status of countries on education globally and where they would be by 2030.

The Director at UNESCO’s Abuja Regional Office, Benoit Sossou, called for increased access to quality basic education as a way of addressing the problem.

Mr Adamu, however, reaffirmed that the Federal Government was committed to ensuring Nigeria meets the 2030 target by reducing the number of out of school children.

On his part, the Minister of State for Education, Professor Anthony Anwukiah, also insisted that the 2030 education agenda is achievable with the concerted efforts of all Nigerians.

The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) had in August expressed worry over the number of out of school children in Nigeria.

The Executive Secretary of UBEC, Dr. Hamid Bobboyi, raised the concern at a meeting with Heads of State Universal Basic Commissions across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

He said that increasing the number of children in schools was a priority for the Federal Government, stressing that there was no justification for any child not to be enrolled into the basic education scheme.

FG Vows To Eliminate Quackery In Teaching Profession   

Teaching ProfessionThe federal government has reaffirmed its commitment to eliminate quackery in the teaching profession as steps are being taken to ensure that only qualified teachers are allowed to teach in the nation’s education sector.

The Minister of State for Education, Professor Anthony Anwukah, said this in Abuja shortly after monitoring the entrance examination into unity colleges, organized by the National Examination Council (NECO).

He said that the days of the teaching profession being an all comers’ affair is now over.

The Registrar of the National Examination Council, Mr Abdullahi Garba, who also monitored the conduct of the examination in Abuja announced plans by the council to embrace Computer Based Testing (CBT) starting with Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations (SSCE).

NLNG Constructs Engineering Laboratories In ABU

NLNGThe Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas limited (NLNG) has constructed multi-million Naira engineering laboratories at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

At the commissioning of the multi-user laboratories, the Managing Director (MD) of NLNG, Mr Babs Omotowa, said the project, which cost 340 million Naira, was part of the company’s contribution to complement the various efforts of the government in stimulating the growth of research and science education in Nigeria.

Mr Omotowa also explained that the laboratory, which was equipped with the state of the art facility, would provide the staff and students of the university easy access to world class facilities that would, among other benefits, enhance their academic performance and improve their skills.

The building has six different laboratories – Materials Characterisation Laboratory, Soil Testing Laboratory, Materials Testing Laboratory, Mechatronics Laboratory, ICT Laboratory and Environmental Laboratory.

The project, which is part of NLNG’s University Support Programme, is driven by the company’s desire to develop engineering education in Nigeria.

The MD also disclosed that the company would spend 340 million Naira on the construction of modern engineering laboratories, equipped with cutting-edge technology, in five other universities.

University of Ibadan, University of Ilorin, University of Port-Harcourt, University of Maiduguri and University of Nigeria, Nsukka are the benefiting universities.

He explained that the universities were selected based on rankings by the National Universities Commission (NUC) and their long standing contributions to the development of local capacity in Nigeria.

The Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Professor Ibrahim Garba, told the gathering that the commissioning of the multi-user laboratories was the first of its kind, since the inception of the institution.

He noted that the facility would avail students and lecturers of the institution the opportunity to conduct their research in the field of engineering technology.

He also called on other corporate organisations to emulate NLNG.

The Minister of State for Education, Professor Anthony Anwuka, while commending the management of NLNG for the laudable initiative, that the administration of President Buhari was committed to giving the education sector face-lift.

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.

Shekarau Urges Buhari To Sustain Jonathan’s Education Transformation Agenda

EducationNigeria’s incoming government have been urged to consolidate on the transformation agenda of the current administration  in the education sector, without considering the political differences.

The Minister of Education, Mr Ibrahim Shekarau, made the statement during his maiden visit to the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede In Owerri the Imo State capital, South-east Nigeria.

Mr Shekarau told reporters that if given more and adequate funding, polytechnics were capable of helping Nigeria attain a high technological development base, as most developed countries in the world.

He also advised the incoming General Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to sustain the two cardinal factors of the present government in education which include; increasing access to education and improving the quality of education.

In his earliest visit to the school, Mr Shekarau met with the Rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, Mrs Celina Njoku and had brief interaction with the management and staff of the institution.

After the meeting, Mr Shekarau, accompanied by the Minister of State for Education, Professor Viola Onwuliri and the Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education, Dr Masaudu Kazaure, proceeded to commission some of projects built by the Federal Government through the TETFUND special intervention and some other projects initiated by the school’s management.

Complementing his statements, Professor Onwuliri noted that the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration had achieved a lot in the education sector, stressing that adequate funding would make Nigeria’s educational system more enviable.

However, Mrs Njoku commended the Minister for the visit and lodged  a complaint over the one billion Naira High Impact Funding for polytechnics in Nigeria which her school did not benefit from

Some of the project commissioned include the new School of Business Management complex, 500 capacity engineering lecture theater, chemical engineering department, the E-library, classroom complex and the fabrication and production workshop.

PDP Condemns Attack On Widows In Imo

Lagos PDPThe People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Nigeria has called on the Inspector General of Police to investigate the alleged attacks and brutalisation of widows in Imo State, by officials of the Imo State Government.

The Director of Media and Publicity of the People’s Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organisation, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode criticised the alleged attack while addressing a news conference in Abuja.

Femi noted that the women were on a peaceful protest to pray for the womenfolk in the state against sudden widowhood.

He, therefore, called on the Inspector General of Police, to arrest and prosecute all persons involved in the attacks and brutalisation of the widows.

The PDP request is coming after a clash between some purported members of the PDP and All Progressives Congress, when some widows were on a protest to the Imo State Government House, to condemn the alleged and unwarranted media attacks by the State government on the person of their matron, Professor Viola Onwuliri, the Minister of State for Education.

Eyewitness said that the clash occurred early in the morning, when some aggrieved widows, all dressed in black attires from different Local Government Areas of the state, alleged to be supporters of PDP stalwart and the Minister of State for Education, Professor Viola Onwuliri, marched towards the government house with coffin.

Meanwhile, the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha while calling for peace, condemned the act by Professor Onwuliri, for instigating such action against the State Government.

He called on President Goodluck Jonathan to call his ministers and PDP leaders in the state to order, so as to prevent any further chaos and political violence in the state.

However, Mr Fani-Kayode has called on the Imo State Government to apologise to the women, stressing that the Peoples Democratic Party would resist anti-women sentiments and all forms of brutality against women.

University Of Jos Resumes Academic Activities

Jos
University of Jos School Gate

The University of Jos, Plateau State, North-central region of Nigeria, has resumed its academic activities with the commencement of the second semester examinations.

Academic activities were disrupted by students’ demonstration late in 2014 and this resulted in the closure of the institution.

They had protested over increment in developmental charges. The protests became violent leading to destruction of lecture halls, administrative offices as well as hostel facilities.

The Students’ Union Government was also suspended.

Respite, however, came for the University of Jos students after two months of staying at home.

According to the resumption guidelines released by the School Registrar, Jili Dandam, all returning students must pay the sum of 6,000 naira each, as surcharges to cover cost of damages.

The students would as well sign an undertaking under oath, to be of good behaviour during their remaining period in the school.

The intervention of the leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and other concerned citizens resulted in the re-opening of the school as well as lifting of the suspension on the Students’ Union Government.

Imo Politics: Prof. Onwuliri Denies Sponsoring Widows’ Protest

Prof. Viola Onwuliri
Prof. Viola Onwuliri

The Minister of State for Education, Prof. Viola Onwuliri has debunked allegations by the Imo State government that she sponsored and mobilised widows from within and outside state to protest at the government house against Governor Rochas Okorocha.

Prof. Onwuliri on arrival from Abuja, said in an interview at the Sam Mbakwe airport in Owerri, the Imo State capital, that the widows were only on a peaceful protest to exercise their rights and air their grievances as citizens who do not like the manner in which the government handles issues affecting them.

She said the action by the State government was totally unacceptable, describing it as an attempt to intimidate poor widows who were neither members of PDP or APC, adding that the State government should desist from peddling unfounded rumours and stop pointing accusing fingers.

It could be recalled that last week, the state was thrown into pandemonium following a clash between some purported members of the PDP and APC when some widows were on a protest to the Imo State government house, to condemn the alleged and unwarranted media attacks by the State government on the person of their matron, Prof. Viola Onwuliri, the Minister of State for Education.

Eyewitness said that the clash occurred early in the morning, when some aggrieved widows, all dressed in black attires from different Local Government Areas of the state, alleged to be supporters of PDP stalwart and the Minister of State for Education, Professor Viola Onwuliri, marched towards the government house with coffin.

However supporters of Governor Rochas Okorocha, who were not pleased with the whole scenario attempted to prevent the widows’ entrance into the government house, which eventually led into a free for all.

However, while speaking to Channels Television, the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations in Imo State, Mohammad Kura, expressed disappointment over the incident which he said is capable of destabilizing the existing peace in the state.

He said hence, any protest or rally by any political party or group should get the permission of the police. he warned all politicians to play by the rules in this delicate period.

Malala Questions Nigerian Government’s Education Strategy

Malala-WikeOfficials of the Malala Foundation have decried Nigeria’s ranking as one of the countries with the worst figure of out-of-school children in the world.

The officials expressed their views during the visit of Pakistan girls’ education activist, Malala Yousafsai, to the Minister of Education in Abuja.

Members of the foundation, officials from the United Nations and the Department for State Services were on a fact-finding mission to the Ministry of Education as part of activities to mark the Malala Day in Abuja.

The team questioned the Federal Government’s strategies on education and sought to know why it was yet to achieve significant success in tackling the challenge of access to education and enrolment of the 10.5 million out-of-school children in the country.

The Minister of State was swift to reel out the various projects by the Federal Government to support the states to enrol the millions of out-of-school children across the country but the team appeared unimpressed.

The Minister of State for Education, Mr Nyesom Wike, then explained that the Federal Government was not to blame for the challenge but the states. He revealed that 139 billion naira had already been given to states to improve support.

He, however, promised that the Government would ensure an additional enrolment of at least 2 million children by 2015.

The Malala Foundation officials advised the Federal Government to co-operate better with the states to alleviate the crisis.

The group’s visit to Nigeria takes place almost three months after the abduction of the Chibok girls on April 14.

The renewed pledge by the Government to up the enrolment figures is one Nigerians hope would reduce the education crisis in the country.