Obi Donates 2.65 Billion Naira For Microsoft Academy

Anambra state governor, Mr. Peter Obi, has donated the sum of 2.65 billion Naira (about 16.7 million dollars) for the establishment of an ICT based learning programme.

All public and mission schools in the state will benefit from the programme.

He has also commenced the distribution of laptops, printers and generators to all the public and mission secondary schools in the state valued at one billion Naira (about 6.2 million dollars) .

The distribution was flagged off with the formal launch of Secondary Schools Microsoft Connectivity and Education Programme at the Women Development Centre, Awka with a cheque presentation for 2.65 billion Naira for the project.

“The first batch of 520 power generators would be distributed to schools to ensure steady power supply,”  Obi said while speaking at the event, .

About 25,000 laptops, 1,400 colour printers and other internet connectivity facilities were distributed in a bid to ensure the success of the Microsoft Information Technology Academy in the schools.

The laptops are programmed with the national curriculum in all subjects.

The state commissioner for education, Mrs. Uju Okeke, commended the governor for investing substantial funds and resources to improve the standard of education in schools and reiterated the benefits of the project to students.

Representatives of the communication technology partners, Microsoft Africa (Marc Israel) and HP Nigeria (Ime Umoh), spoke on the impact of the project which would bridge the gap in education, especially in the 21st century. They noted that Anambra was setting the pace for others.

The governor said that the establishment of the Microsoft Academy would help produce better generation of well-informed future leaders.



Edo Varsity Gets N500 Million Facility Grant

Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has approved the sum of N500 million for Ambrose Alli University to upgrade its facilities.

Speaking at the inauguration of eight member Governing Council of the university chaired by Professor Greg Akenzua, Governor Oshiomhole said the money will be paid in installments, beginning from this month and spread over a couple of months.

Governor Oshiomhole who acknowledged that the institution has several challenges said the Governing Council will decide how best to put the money to use, but that he expects value for every kobo spent.

The Governor said he has total confidence in the new AAU Governing Council as it is made up of seasoned academics, administrators, and people who have demonstrated passion for quality education.

Responding, Chairman of the Council, Prof Greg Akenzua, on behalf of others, pledged that the Council would do its best to reposition the University and justify the confidence reposed in them by the Governor.

Other members of the council are Professor Thomas Audu, Professor Tom Imobighe, Dr Andrew Isegwe, Dr Andrew Okwilagbe, Dame Esohe Jacobs, Prince Tony Omoaghe and Dr Godswill Ogboghodo.


NECO Introduces Customised Answer Scripts To Curb Malpractices

The Registrar of the National Examinations Council (NECO), Promise Okplala on Tuesday said the Council has introduced the use of customised answer scripts for its examination.

Mr Okpala told reporters in Abuja that the customised answer scripts would tackle the challenge of hoarding of remnants of answer scripts by invigilators.

He said such “left over scripts’’ are then sold by the supervisors to fraudsters who engaged in various forms of examination malpractice.

“The Nigeria of those days is not possible in 2012. They have so many ways of cheating and we, on our part are always coming out with ways to counter them.

“These customised scripts appear alike, but every paper has a unique secret code. So if you use the answer script for English Language, for instance, to answer Biology, we will fish you out,” he said.

He added that the secret code was only known to three people and would only be revealed to the invigilator an hour before the examination.

“So we want to let the public know, especially those that are engaged in examination malpractice, do not bother to write outside the hall because your script will be fished out.”

He said part of the measures put in place to secure examination papers were cancellation of “sleeping places’’ , where papers are kept in overnight custody at police stations, banks and even palaces of chiefs in the community.

He said that papers were now kept in a single location, and that is NECO’s state offices, where security had also been tightened.

Mr Okpala said the papers were then transported as early as 5 a.m. on the day of the examination to the examination centres by the many vehicles that were stationed there.

“That is why we have shifted our examination time to 10 a.m. because by then we estimate that the papers would have reached all the centres within the state.

“That has led to an increase in the cost of our logistics, because during full operations, we use as many as 400 vehicles and drivers would be paid allowances,” he said.

He said the foregoing, as well as printing examination questions in batches, had also helped to minimise leakage.

“Most importantly, we do not joke with our staff welfare to prevent inducement by dubious people who offer them `kola’.”

The Registrar said the reason why students engage in examination malpractices is because they are “are not well prepared and so do not have confidence in themselves.”

“Let us go back to the roots and make sure we prepare candidates who will be eager to go into examination halls, because nobody seeks for support in a game one can win clean,’’ he advised.