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.

University Don Calls For Overhaul Of Nigeria’s Education Curriculum

Unity SchoolsA Professor of Social Studies and Citizenship Education, Prof. Abiodun Ogunyemi of the Department of Social Studies and Citizenship Education has challenged government and policy makers in education sector on the need for a total overhaul of the nation’s education curriculum

Speaking during a lecture in Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, Prof Ogunyemi said overhauling Nigeria education must be done to give social and citizenship education greater priority so as to curb extinction of moral values in the country.

The lecture entitled “Search for good citizens and curriculum as compass’’ seeks to entrench the culture of good value system in the education sector.

He challenged those saddled with the responsibility of revising the social studies and citizenship education curricular to make Africa their main policy thrust and suggested that the national policy on education should drop the label ‘General Studies’ for ‘Citizenship Education’ to underscore the importance of Citizenship Development in Tertiary Education.

NTI to Graduate 56,235 Trained Teachers

teachers_NTIThe National Teachers Institute (NTI) says a total of 56,235 trained teachers will be graduating from the institute before the end of the year.

This is according to its Director-General, Dr. Aminu Ladan Sharehu who spoke with reporters to unveil activities marking the institution’s Convocation and Bi-annual Teachers’ Summit.

He said the 56, 235 students of National Teachers Certificate (NCE), Advanced Diploma in Education and Post-Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE), were expected to graduate.

Out of the number, 37, 235 enrolled for PGDE, 18,831 with NCE and 146 for Advanced Diploma in Education.

On the poor performance of teachers across the country, the NTI Director General absolved teachers who graduated from the institution of any blame, stating that state governments should be held responsible for not embracing a Federal Government institution such as NTI to train and re-train their teachers.

He noted that most state governments who are rejecting NTI products are only playing politics because they have established their state colleges of education and prefer to employ their products rather than that of the NTI.

Mass Failure In WAEC Can Be Addressed Through e-Curriculum- NERDC

waecThe Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) said mass failure by students during the West African Examination Council (WAEC) can be addressed through the use of an e-curriculum. 

The Executive Secretary of the Council, Prof. Godswill Obioma, told journalists in Abuja that the new e-curriculum portal for senior secondary schools would improve the quality of the curriculum and assist students to have a more inclusive and independent learning.

According to the NERDC boss, students can now access the curriculum with only N200 per annum while every school can subscribe with N50,000 per annum.

He, however, emphasized that the e-curriculum is not a newly drafted one but only intended to make curriculum delivery more qualitative to address the decline in performance at examinations.

He attributed the mass failure in the last Senior School Certificate Examinations to inadequate learning and teaching, noting however that the e-curriculum would enable students to learn at home through the internet.

Obioma said, “the objective of this public Private Partnership arrangements is to, among others, harness the potentials of the private sector in tackling the challenges of access, education standards and quality, curriculum and teacher development, funding, relevance of current issues in education to Nigerian culture as well as re-orientation for positive national values.”

“The e-curriculum portal would contribute in no small measure towards ensuing that teachers, learners and other relevant stakeholders have easy access to this very important teaching and leaning resource,” he said.

The e-curriculum which would be launched on Tuesday in Abuja by the Minister of Education, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, was done in collaboration with Sidmach Technologies Nigeria Ltd, and it is expected to ensure the digitalization of school curriculum to e-curriculum portal.

College Of Education Lecturers Suspend Strike For 3 Months

COEASU suspend strikeLecturers under the auspices of the Colleges Of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) have suspended their strike for three months.

The President of the union, Mr Emmanuel Asagha, told journalists in Abuja after a meeting with the Minister of Education, Ibrahim Shekarau, that the decision to suspend the strike was to give the new minister time to look into their demands.

”The strike will be suspended for a period of three months as it is being emphasized that the issues will be resolved in the shortest possible time and we cannot just call off the strike”, Mr Asagba said.

”We believe a period of three months is reasonable enough for the Government to prove their mettle in addressing the key issues; hence students will resume on Monday”, he concluded.

The Minister of Education and former Governor of Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau, assured the union that Government would take practical steps to address their needs.

”We have assured them that we will facilitate and fast track all the process of reaching out to all other agencies involved in resolving the issues” Shekarau said.

The lecturers, who have being on strike, joined their polytechnic counterparts in suspending their strike for three months and seven days to ensure that the Government do the needful in addressing their demands.

It’s Beyond NECO/ JAMB, Panelists Wants Government To Focus On Quality Of Education

Former child star, Tosin Jegede and the Principal of Nigerian Premier College, Daniel Taiwo have urged the Federal Government to focus on improving the standard of education in the country rather scrapping institution as cost saving measures.

Speaking as guests on Rubbin’ Mind, a programme on Channels Television, the panelists both agreed that the current education system is not producing the right results and needs overhauling.

Candidates’ Performance Improve as WAEC Releases Nov/Dec 2012 Result

There has been a 1.90 percent improvement in candidates performance in the November/December West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) compared to last year’s result.

The West African Examination Council (WAEC) made this known in Lagos on Friday when it announced the release of the results of the 2012 edition of the examination.

The new head of national office of the council in Nigeria, Charles Eguridu, told newsmen that 150,615 candidates representing 37.97 percent of candidates who sat for the examination obtained credits in 5 subjects including English language and Mathematics which makes them eligible for admission into a university.

He said candidates can check their results using their scratch cards on the council’s website as from Saturday 22 of December.

FG Blames Problem Of Mass Failure On Quality Of Teachers

The Federal Government has blamed the problem of mass failure in examinations to poor system of teaching delivery and facilities in many schools across the country.

The Minister of Education, Ruqayyatu Rufai disclosed this in Abuja while announcing that 39 percent of students who sat for the 2012 WAEC examinations obtained credits and above as against 30.9percent last year.

This insignificant hike in percentage according to the Minister is an indicator that the sector is making steady progress and may record major changes by the year 2015.

“Most teachers do not have the required capacity and those that have the capacity may not have undergone any refresher training for quite some time so there is a lot that need to be done,” she said.

Also speaking about the quality of teachers, the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria University Commission (NUC), Julius Okogie said those who teach are those who have searched for other kinds of work without success.

“Those who teach now are those who have no other jobs to do. Some don’t even go to school until the pay day. Except an inspector comes, you wouldn’t find any teacher teaching,” Mr Okogie.

At a national conference on examinations attended by various educational bodies and commissioners nationwide, participants criticized the state governments and poor teacher education for the fallen standards of the nation’s education sector.

Scholarship to Harvard is open to all Nigerians – 7up Director

The Executive Director, Human Resources of the 7up Bottling Company, Femi Mokikan on Saturday said that the company’s annual scholarship, which sponsors a qualified student to the Harvard Business School in the United States of America, is open to all Nigerian students.

Mr Mokikan, who along with the recipients of the 7up scholarship award for 2011 and 2012, was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise programme, said though previous winners of the award have been Nigerian students who had studied abroad, the award is open to local students too.

In the video below, the 7up Director explains why the company preferred the Harvard Business School for its scholarship programme and how the beneficiary of the scheme is selected.

NUC says Lead University; others lost their licences due to poor governance

The Nigeria University Commission (NUC) on Wednesday said that the reasons why it withdrew the operational licences of six private Universities was because the schools had poor governance.

Speaking as a guest in Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, the Director of Open and Distance Education at the Nigeria University Commission (NUC), Sulaiman Rahman-Yusuf said the commission had sent several warnings to these schools before it decided to withdraw their licences.

JAMB seeks EFCC’s help to curb exam malpractice

The Registrar and Chief Executive of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, (JAMB), Dibu Ojerinde, on Wednesday, requested for assistance from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in fighting malpractices plaguing the conduct of public examination in Nigeria.

Ibrahim Lamorde, Executive Chairman, EFCC presenting a souvenir of the EFCC to the Registrar/CEO, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Dibu Oyerinde.

The Registrar made this request in Abuja during a visit to the EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde in his office.

Mr Ojerinde said that the most challenging issue confronting JAMB was the issue of examination malpractices.

He said that though the mandate of JAMB was to conduct credible and valid examinations free of malpractices, the rising spate of sharp practices among students sitting for its examinations has become a cause for concern.

The JAMB boss disclosed that, in the last Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, two individuals who designed bathroom sleepers that accommodated handsets to receive answers from outside were arrested. The sleepers, he said, were designed specially to cheat during the examinations.

“There is this particular case of a woman in Ikirun, Osun State . During the examination, a search was conducted on her and the scanner gave indication that there were foreign metal object in her body. All entreaties to her to bring out what was on her failed until a woman supervisor had to take her to a closet and undress her only to discover that a handset was prepared just like a pad in her private part. It was that bad. If we had not used the scanner, we couldn’t have detected it. Even at that, I am sure there were people that still went away with it,” Mr Ojerinde said.

In justifying the collaboration and assistance he sought from EFCC, the Registrar said that, “We realized that we in JAMB don’t have this special Eagle Eye to detect some of these things. We have come to solicit for your assistance on how we can work together to exterminate this problem.”

Mr Ojerinde also spoke of plan to introduce e-testing to replace the manual examination conducted by the Board. The idea, he said, will be introduced gradually as candidates will be allowed the option of paper/pencil examinations or e-testing.

“In that way, children will write their examination electronically and at the end, the candidate will submit and the scores will appear immediately and the candidate will go home with his/her scores; but the national standardization will still take place”, he proposed.

EFCC promises to help

The EFCC Chairman assured JAMB Board of EFCC’s collaboration. He said the Commission will always be available to handle any issue referred to it, promising that, “we would always intervene not only during examinations, we would also like to beam searchlight on personnel of JAMB to know how the questions get to the candidates”, he said.

Mr Lamorde also suggested that efforts should be made to de-emphasize paper qualification in Nigeria.
“Even in the western world, there are people who have done wonderfully well without having a University or a Polytechnic degree. These people have contributed meaningfully to the society,” he said.

Funding is not the problem of Education – Tertiary Education Trust Fund

The Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund, Mahmood Yakubu on Wednesday said that funding is not the main cause of failure of the Nigeria’s education sector.

The Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund, Mahmood Yakubu says funding is not the main cause of failure of the Nigeria’s education sector.

Mr Yakubu disclosed this while giving an update on the state of tertiary education in Nigeria in a stakeholder meeting held in Abuja.

He said the absence of prioritized strategic plan and vision for available education funds is the reason why many tertiary institutions have been on a decline despite sufficient funding.

Mr Yakubu said under Federal Government’s special high impact project since 2009, N3 billion is given to selected universities and 1 billion to polytechnics and colleges of education annually but many institutions fail to prioritize projects and invest progressively.

“The major problem is not funding,” he said.

He said that “funding is a facilitator and you can facilitate the wrong priorities. You can collect money and fence the campus and your lecture halls are empty and you have no good laboratories and the NUC will not accredit you.”

Statistics show that Nigeria does not feature in the top 500 universities around the world though recently eight Nigerian universities were listed among the top 50 in Africa standing at number 17.

Tertiary education in Nigeria has been on a downward trend over the years despite incessant call for transformation in the education sector. But giving an update on on-going projects in that sector, Mr Yakubu said misuse of available funds and resources is the major problem.

About N395 million has been awarded to universities over the last three years for developmental projects while N240 million have been expended on staff training for each tertiary institution in the same period based on equality. The Executive Secretary said these efforts only yield as much benefit as each university management would permit.

“Two years after we have given the University, polytechnics and colleges monies for staff training, many of them do not access. I had to go to Calabar to speak to the National executive council of ASUU and gave them the documents. They had to mobilise their branches, today all the universities have accessed,” Mr Yakubu said.

“Must we wait for pressure before we do what is right,” he asked.

Other projects which the tertiary education trust fund is currently tackling include setting up academic publishing houses in seven Universities across the geo-political zones to encourage undergraduate works, funding of academic research and encouraging Universities to delve into core areas of specialization.

These are few ways which the fund hopes to improve the transformation of the sector despite the many challenges.