Free Basic Education An Enforceable Right; Court Declares

Court Declares Free Basic Education An Enforceable RightA Federal High Court in Abuja has declared that every Nigerian child has the constitutional right to free and compulsory primary education, and free junior secondary education.

In a suit filed by a non-governmental organisation, Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), against the Federal Ministry of Education and the Attorney General of the Federation, Justice John Tsoho also declared that the Federal and State governments have constitutional duties to provide adequate funds for it.

In the suit, LEDAP asked the court to determine whether by the combined effect of Section 18 (3)(a) of the 1999 Constitution and Section 2 (1) of the Compulsory, Free Universal Basic Education Act, (UBE) 2004, the right to free and compulsory primary education and free junior secondary education for all qualified Nigerian citizens are enforceable rights in Nigeria.

Justice Tsoho, who relied on a 2002 decision of the Supreme Court, held that by enacting the UBE Act, the National Assembly has made the right to free and compulsory primary and free junior secondary education contained in Chapter 2 an enforceable or justiciable right.

Reacting to the judgment, the lead counsel to LEDAP, Mr Chino Obiagwu, said that the court on Wednesday gave life and hope to over 28 million Nigerian children who are currently out of primary and junior secondary school, or who are at risk of being withdrawn from school because of the inability of their parents or guardians to pay the tuition fees and school expenses, or who are withdrawn from school so that they can be given out in early marriage or be sent to the streets to hawk or beg for alms.

By this judgment, any child not enrolled in school or who is withdrawn from school can exercise his or her constitutional rights against the parent, guardian or government.

And failure by any government to fund free primary and junior secondary education will constitute a breach of the constitution.

Google, Oyo Govt. To Train 30,000 Students On ICT

Google, Oyo Govt. To Train 30,000 Students On ICTThe Oyo State Government, has collaborated with Google to train 30,000 secondary school students on digital media across the 33 Local Government Areas and the 35 Local Development Council Areas (LCDAs) of the state.

The Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Toye Arulogun, said on Wednesday, that the initiative was in line with the OYSG Digital Advocacy Drive.

Consequently, he reiterated the vision of Governor Abiola Ajimobi to make Information and Communication Technology (ICT) the bedrock of learning.

He stated that the pilot sessions of the programme commenced on Thursday, February 16, 2017 at St. Patrick Grammar School, Basorun, Immanuel College, UI and Loyola College, Ibadan.

He also added that another round of sessions would hold on Thursday March 2, 2017 at Ibadan Grammar School, Molete, Ibadan, Oba Abass Alesiloye Secondary School, Eleyele and Lagelu Grammar School, Agugu, Ibadan.

Arulogun further stated that subsequent training of secondary school students will continue across eight zones of the state which include: Ibadan City, Oyo, Ogbomoso, Irepo, Saki, Kajola and Ibarapa after assessment and evaluation of the pilot sessions.

Meanwhile, the Special Adviser to Governor Ajimobi on ICT, Mr Niyi Ajao, in his remarks at the pilot session explained that the governor considered ICT as a prerequisite skill for students in an increasingly competitive digital economy.

He also noted that the office of the Special Adviser (ICT) and the Ministry of Education have identified centers for the training of the 30,000 secondary school students.

In a related development, Mr Arulogun said that digital technology has a lot of potentials and that the future of the country is bright with the increasing trend of internet connectivity.

The commissioner, while speaking at the launch of a free wireless service by Flobyt Nigeria in Lagos recently, had urged the founders of the initiative not to relent in their efforts to democratise internet usage in the country.

ASUU, FG Are Beginning To Agree – Senate Committee

ASUU, JAMB Act, amendmentThe Senate says some agreement have been reached between the Nigerian government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU on some of their issues except one which borders on the earned allowances of lecturers.

This was made known by the Senate committee set up by the Senate President Bukola Saraki to address the industrial crisis embarked on by ASUU.

The Chairman Senate Committee on Tertiary Education, Senator Jibrin Barau, spoke after a meeting that commenced about 12 noon and ended around 8PM.

He said that the academic union were going to make consultations with their members on the way forward and that the upper house was hopeful that they would return with good news.

ASUU embarked on the strike to protest the failure of the Federal Government to implement terms of the 2009 and 2013 agreements.

The ASUU Chairman for the University of Lagos, (UNILAG), Mr Adelaja Odukoya, explained the reasons for their decision to Channels Television.

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.

In a meeting of the Senate President with ASUU officials in Abuja, the Chairman of ASUU, University Of Uyo Chapter, Dr Aniekan Brown, told Channels Television that she was glad that the industrial action had enjoyed 100% compliance in line with the directive.

She also said that the strike was “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.”

President Muhammadu Buhari recently appealed to union of Nigerian university lecturers to give government more time to sort out the shortfalls in salary payment and other related issues affecting the education sector.

President Buhari made the plea at an event at the University of Ibadan.

Govt. Is Ready To Revamp Education Sector, Buhari Begs ASUU

Govt. Is Ready To Revamp Education Sector, Buhari Begs ASUUPresident Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to give government more time to sort out the shortfalls in salary payment and other related issues affecting the education sector.

President Buhari made the plea as the visitor at the grand finale of the 68th Founders’ Day and convocation ceremony of the University of Ibadan which took place at the International Conference Center, Ibadan.

Represented by the Director, Tertiary Education at the Federal Ministry of Education, Mrs. Fatimah Ahmad, President Buhari decried the standard of education which has left a vast majority of the people poorly educated.

Describing the trend as unhealthy and saddening, the President reiterated his administration’s commitment to revamping the sector.

Mrs Ahmad added that government was in dialogue with the affected unions and would continue to explore means of amicable resolutions.

A total of 442 graduates bagged doctorate degrees in various fields while three eminent Nigerians including business mogul, Aliko Dangote; writer and poet, Prof. Niyi Osundare and Ibadan businessman, Bode Amao were conferred with honorary degrees of the prestigious institution.

Ortom Begins Renovation Of Government Schools In Benue

benue, renovation, government schools, The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has directed the Ministry of Education to begin renovation of the 64 government-owned secondary schools i n the state.

He gave the directive during the inspection of dilapidated facilities at the Government Girls Secondary School, (GGSS) Makurdi, whose fence collapsed recently.

The Principal of the GGSS who took the Governor in company of his deputy, Mr Benson Abounu, around the school premises, pointed out that the school lacks access to potable water, laboratories, and a secured perimetre fence.

As a result of the lack of water, students have had to make do with the locally dug wells for drinking and other domestic activities.

The principal also told the Governor that the school lacks mathematics teachers, stating that the only math teacher at the school was recently employed by the Parents Teachers Association.

The school’s Head Girl, Onoja Angella, told Channels Television that learning in such an environment has been very challenging for her as well as other students.

The state-wide renovation, according to the Governor, will begin with the Government Girls Secondary School, (GGSS), Makurdi.

Besides the new directive by the Governor, construction work has also started in over 700 primary schools across the state to help lift the standard of education in the state.

FG Unveils 2016-2019 Strategic Plan For Education

Nigeria, Education, Adamu Adamu,The Federal Government has released a new road map to guide the Ministry of Education to address the myriads of challenges confronting Nigeria’s education sector.

The strategic plan comes as part of efforts to reposition Nigeria’s education sector to play a central role in the Federal Government’s philosophy of change.

The Minister of Education, Mr Adamu Adamu, unveiled a draft of the 2016-2019 Ministerial Strategic Plan on Monday in Abuja, the Federal Capital territory.

Mr Adamu reaffirmed government’s commitment to strengthening institutional structures and creating innovative strategies aimed at revamping the education sector.

He asked Nigerians to team up with the Federal Government to salvage the sector and return it to the path of excellence.

The 2006 to 2015 Education Master Plan launched under the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo was meant to fashion out new policies that would enable the sector emerge from its declining status, especially on issues pertaining to Nigeria’s ‘Education For All’ policy and infrastructural decay occasioned by institutional and legislative constraints.

The expiration of the policy in 2015 gave the need for a new strategic plan.

On his part, the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru, attributed the fallen standard of education to the failure of past governments to regulate the teaching profession.

The Director, Department of Educational Planning, Research and Development, Magdalene Anene-Maidoh, also highlighted the focus of the strategic plan.

She expressed hope that the new plan, when adopted and implemented by the experts, would arm Nigerian youths with the skills they require to face the challenges of the 21st century.

JAMB Registrar Warns Staff Against Indiscipline

JAMB, NUCThe newly appointed Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Professor Ishaq Oloyede, has warned all staff of the board that he will not tolerate any act of indiscipline.

Professor Oloyede sounded the warning on Monday after taking over from the immediate past JAMB Registrar, Professor Dibu Ojerinde, in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

He also held his first meeting with the board’s management staff and state coordinators, where he read the riot act to the officials and noted that indiscipline was a serious form of corruption.

Professor Ojerinde on his part appealed to the staff to cooperate with the new JAMB Registrar to sustain the legacies of the board.

Professor Oloyede’s appointment was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari in a statement signed by the Deputy Director in charge of press at the Ministry of Education, Mr Bem Goong.

Alongside his appointment, the President also approved the appointment of 20 other chief executives of parastatals and agencies under the Federal Ministry of Education.

JAMB, NUC, Others Get New Chief Executives

JAMB, NUCPresident Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of 21 chief executives of parastatals and agencies under the Federal Ministry of Education.

In a statement signed by the Deputy Director in charge of press at the Ministry of Education, Mr Bem Goong, the President appointed Professor Abubakar Rasheed as the new Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC).

Dr Hameed Bobboyi is the new Executive Secretary of the Universal Basic Education Board, Dr Abdullahi Baffa is the Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Tax Fund (Tetfund) and Professor Ishaq Oloyode is the new Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).

Their appointments take immediate effect.

Army/Shiites Clash : El-Rufai Sets Up 9-Man Committee To Examine Report

Nasir-El-RufaiGovernor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has set up a nine -man committee to produce a white paper on the report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the December 12, 2015 clash between the Nigerian Army and members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria.

In a statement released by his spokesman, Samuel Aruwan, the Governor said that the committee is mandated to examine the report of the commission, and also make any other recommendation that would assist government in addressing issues raised in the report for implementation.

The Committee, which is headed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Adamu Mansur, also has the Permanent Secretaries of the Ministries of Environment and Natural Resources, Works, Housing and Transport, Local Government, Cabinet Affairs and Special Services as members.

It has two weeks to submit its report.

The Commission had submitted its final report to Mr El-Rufai last week.

The report was submitted to the Governor at Government House, Kaduna by the Chairman of the Commission, Justice Mohammed Garba.

Mr Garba said that the panel received over 3,000 memoranda from different groups and individuals both within and outside the state.

Kaduna State Government Introduces Free Education For Almajiri

almajiriThe Kaduna State Government has introduced measures aimed at addressing the increasing number of Almajiri children in the state.

One of such measures is the introduction of tuition free education at the primary and secondary school level and free meals for pupils and students during school hours. This is aimed at making education attractive for children and parents.

The idea behind the Almajiri system of education is to expose children between the ages of 4 and 7 to learn the Holy Quran, assisted by the Mallams.

Report says some of the children move from street to street, house to house in clusters and with bowls in hands singing and begging for arms instead of searching for knowledge.

According to a 2009 statistics from the Ministry of Education, an estimated 10 million Almajiri children are found in northern Nigeria,  and the figure keeps increasing by the day. The system has been blamed for a rise in the number of beggars and miscreants in most  urban cities in the north.

Speaking to Channels Television, some of the children explained that they had lived at the Islamic school for more than four years, and their teacher, also known as Mallam, send them out to beg everyday.

Some Muslims criticised the system alleging that some of the Islamic teachers have deviated from the original concept of the system, and are rather using the children for money making.

They attribute the situation to poverty and urged parents to be mindful of the number of children they give birth to. They also called for government’s intervention.

Governor Oshiomhole Swears-In New Commissioners

oshiomholeThe Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has reiterated the desire for his administration to finish strong, hence the need to engage fresh brains to steer the affairs of the State.

Governor Oshiomhole shared this view during the swearing-in ceremony of two new Commissioners into his cabinet at the Exco Chambers, Government House in Benin City, the Edo State capital.

The new members of cabinet are Tom Uloko, for Ministry of Local Government and Chieftancy Affairs and Gideon Obhakhan, for the Ministry of Education.

Governor Oshiomhole, earlier in the week, suspended four local government chairmen.

The allegations against them include non-payment of staff salaries without satisfactory explanations, inability to account for Internally Generated Revenue, diversion of funds, failure to follow due process in the award of contracts as well as illegal employment of senior officers without going through Local Government Service Commission, which is a violation of laid-down provisions.

Yobe State Governor Cuts Down Ministries From 22 to 15

yobe state-on-new-ministriesThe Yobe State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam has approved the restructuring of ministries in the state from 22 to 15.

A statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Baba Mallam Wali and made available to newsmen in Damaturu, the state capital, listed the ministries scrapped to include; Ministry of Animal and Fisheries Development, Ministry of Higher Education, Ministry of Integrated Rural Development, Ministry of Transport and Energy, Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Sports.

The statement listed the new ministries to include; Ministry of Works and Transport, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Youth, Ministry of Sports and Ministry of Community Development.

The new ministries also include Ministry of Land and Housing, Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health and Justice, Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Ministry of Information and Culture, Ministry of Religious Affairs, Ministry of Women Affairs, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Industry and Tourism and Ministry of Water Resources.

The statement said, “The restructuring is aimed at making the ministries more effective in the discharge of their functions and avoidance of unnecessary overlaps and bureaucracy for effective service delivery as well as cutting the cost of governance.”

The statement urged units removed from the defunct ministries to ensure smooth transition to their new mother ministries.