School Reopening: Katsina Trains Principals, Teachers On COVID-19 Protocols

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 of a notice ‘No Facemask, No Entry’ at the entrance of a classroom.

 

The Katsina State Government on Friday trained over 400 headmasters, headmistresses, and principals of various public and private primary and secondary schools.

The officials were selected across the 34 Local Government Areas of the state to be trained on COVID-19 protocols, in preparation for school reopening.

The State Commissioner of Information Culture and Home Affairs, Abdulkarim Sirika disclosed this to Channels Television on Friday.

Sirika who is also the Chairman of the Publicity and Risk Management Committee on COVID-19 in the state said the essence of the training is to sensitise and prepare the stakeholders, so that when schools reopen they will pass across the information received and ensure students observe the NCDC protocols.

He said the training which was held in two different locations has 200 participants. “One is taking place at the Katsina Local Government Service Commission and the other one at the Umaru Musa’Yaradu’a University, Katsina. So they are scattered”.

He revealed that after the workshop, there is going to be a step-down training where those that are trained will extend the same training to their respective local communities.

In Katsina state, where cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in all the LGAs of the state, over 20,000 samples have so far been tested with 864 positive cases recorded and 24 deaths.

In the past weeks, the state has witnessed a decline in the number of positive cases of the virus where the health team manages the few positive cases recorded so far on a home care basis.

Katsina State Government had earlier on Tuesday, September 29 directed all public and private primary and secondary schools in the state to reopen from October 5, 2020.

Upon resumption, all schools are expected to operate on shift basis except when students are few. Students must always be encouraged to wear facemasks, maintain social distancing, and other safety protocols.

 

Delta Govt Demotes 41 Teachers For Examination Malpractice

A file photo of Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa. Photo: [email protected]

 

The Delta State government has sanctioned 41 teachers for examination malpractice during the 2019 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

A statement issued on Monday by the Delta Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Patrick Ukah confirmed the development.

According to the Commissioner, the decisions followed the recommendation of the Examination Ethics Disciplinary Committee of the state.

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“They are to suffer deferment of promotion by one year and banned from the supervision of any school examination for a period of three years.

“I have directed the Post Primary Education Board to implement the deferment of promotions by one year for the 41 affected teachers.

“While others are being sanctioned, P.O. Okolo, is to be given a letter of commendation for a job well done during the examination.

“The principals and examination officers of 13 public secondary schools and one private secondary school indicted for examination malpractice are to be issued with letters of warning by PPEB to desist from acts of negligence,” the statement partly read.

The state government also approved the reopening of a secondary school which was closed down last year for examination malpractice.

However, a warning letter was issued before giving the school a second chance to abide by laid down examination ethics.

Sanwo-Olu Pledges 20 Cars To Outstanding Teachers In Lagos

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu attends the Eko Educators Webinar Performance Series 3.3 hosted by the Lagos State Teaching Service Commission. Sept 8.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu attends the Eko Educators Webinar Performance Series 3.3 hosted by the Lagos State Teaching Service Commission. Sept 8.

 

Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has reiterated his administration’s commitment to reward excellence service delivery in the Lagos State Post Primary teaching service, pledging 20 cars to deserving teachers across the six Education Districts in the State.

The Governor made this pledge during the Virtual training of teachers tagged Eko Educators Webinar Performance Series 3.3, noting that teachers are key change agents who will be remembered for shaping the future generation of leaders.

He went further to advise teachers to embrace technology in improving the quality of teaching which ultimately makes them great teachers, indeed.

“This is the era of technology and it is working well for us. Technology has become a very strong tool that we cannot do away within our everyday lives. With technology, we can think locally and act globally”, he said.

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He added that great teachers are always remembered for the lives they shape, deriving satisfaction in their students becoming role models to be proud of.

Also, the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, emphasized that most critical to the success of any school system is the quality of teaching and learning which is exhibited in the quality of teachers with a multiplier effect on our children.

Mrs. Adefisayo appreciated Lagos State teachers for their continual self-development in addition to the government efforts in their development.
She commended TESCOM board for the idea of Virtual training, which she said was doing well for the progress of the Education Sector and Lagos State at large.

She noted that as the pandemic was winding up, teachers are expected as locus paretic to put in their best in bringing up the children who might have gone through different degree of trauma during the pandemic.

The Chairman, Teaching Service Commission, Mrs. Elizabeth Olabisi Ariyo, while welcoming Governor Babajide Sanwo -Olu during the Webinar series, said that the Webinar was a conscious effort of the Commission in improving teaching styles, optimize the teaching profession, turn around the life of our children, and ultimately, impact on our future.

She noted that the Webinar has initiated Post Primary School Teachers in Lagos State to be prepared and proactive in teaching and learning to meet the challenges of the ‘new normal’.

“The platform portends to address teachers’ wellness and wellbeing, update them with trending facts to update their teaching skill, and has had notable distinguished personalities of interest in the public service and society at large to discuss issues”.

She appreciated the magnanimity of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for approval of the Teachers’ Exit Replacement Programme with over 1,000 new appointees, the Retrospective Course approval for over 700 Teachers which had lingered since 2013, Digital training of all Post-Primary Schools Teachers on Microsoft Teams platform, varying Digital Virtual training exposing our Teachers to be digital complaint, various Capacity enhancement of Teachers in Lagos State and a host of others which has upscaled and enhanced proper integration of TESCOM in the “new normal”.

While appreciating the Governor for his visionary leadership and role model, the Chairman urged Teachers and other participants to be attentive and ensure active participation in the course of the session.

The Permanent Secretary, TESCOM, Mrs. Toyin Awoseyi, while applauding the presence of Mr. Governor on the Webinar, affirmed that this was an attestation to the priority placed on Teachers and the Education Sector and opined that to whom much is given, much is expected.

The facilitator, Mr. Fela Durotoye, CEO, Gemstone Group, delved extensively on the topic “The Making of a Great Teacher in the Centre of Excellence”, emphasizing the importance of striving to become ‘’great teachers’’.

“As important as teachers are, teachers cannot be remembered, but great teachers cannot be forgotten”, he added.

Ogun Teachers To Resume August 3

Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, briefing journalists about the recent development of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state where 28 persons have been identified and quarantined.

 

The Ogun State Government has ordered all secondary school teachers to return to their duty posts on August 3.

In a statement issued on Friday by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Primary and Secondary Education, Ronke Soyombo, the teachers are expected to resume with their principals on Monday in preparation for students’ resumption on Tuesday, August 4.

According to the statement, the resumption would enable teachers to assist in the distribution of materials provided by the state government for the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations scheduled to commence on August 17.

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The governor’s aide also appealed to all stakeholders to cooperate with the state government towards ensuring a safe return to schools.

This comes two days after the Federal Government released a comprehensive schedule for various national examinations for exit classes including Junior Secondary School (JSS) 3 and Senior Secondary School (SSS) 3.

The examinations are to hold from August 17 to November 18.

These include the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) for SSS3 students conducted by the National Examination Council (NECO) which will start on October 5 and end on November 18.

Speaking on Wednesday after a series of meetings with chief executives of examination bodies in the country, the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajuiba, said the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) will begin on August 17.

 

South East Governors Ask Teachers To Undergo Compulsory COVID-19 Tests

A file photo of Chairman of the Southeast Governors’ forum and Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi

 

The governors of the southeast have asked teachers in the country to undergo compulsory COVID-19 test.

The Chairman of the Southeast Governors’ forum and Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, disclosed this at the Government House in Abakaliki, the state capital while briefing newsmen of the outcome of the virtual meeting of the forum on Sunday.

Umahi said the forum also reviewing the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region, adding that school infrastructures will be reviewed to support the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) protocols pending when the Federal government decides on when it is safe to reopen schools.

While urging the Igbo people to continue to comply with the COVID-19 protocols, the governor said eastern states will commence COVID-19 testing on every household, targeting people of 65 years and above.

To Reopen Or Not

The South-East Governors’ decision comes as the debate on whether to reopen schools amid the coronavirus pandemic continues.

On July 13, the federal government released guidelines for the safe reopening of school.

“Now is the time to plan and address the eventual safe reopening of schools and learning facilities,” Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, said.

“As a responsible government, it is also our duty to provide comprehensive guidelines for a safe and hitch-free reopening of schools and learning facilities. We do so knowing that the health, safety, and security of learners, teachers, education personnel, and families are priorities.”

Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, gives an update in Abuja on Monday, June 22, 2020.

 

However, schools have remained closed across the country as the pandemic rages on.

The federal government has relaxed restrictions to allow final year secondary school students prepare and sit for WAEC examinations, but many have voiced concerns on the health implications of such a move.

“For the avoidance of doubts, schools have not resumed,” Chairman of the Presidential Task Force for COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, said on July 2. “Only critical examination classes will be allowed to resume for those who need revision before examinations.

“As we have informed you, the Federal Ministry of Education will consult further with stakeholders before issuing guidelines that will lead to full resumption.

“We appeal to Nigerians to continue to show understanding and to ensure that their wards take full advantage of electronic platforms provided for learning.”

On Sunday, Nigeria reported 555 new cases of COVID-19, pushing the country’s total caseload past the 40,000-mark, according to the NCDC.

 

Mali Teachers Strike Over COVID-19 Concerns As Schools Reopen

Malian pupils wear face masks in the classroom of a school as the government decided to resume lessons after two months of closure due to the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus, in Bamako on June 2, 2020. MICHELE CATTANI / AFP
Malian pupils wear face masks in the classroom of a school as the government decided to resume lessons after two months of closure due to the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus, in Bamako on June 2, 2020. MICHELE CATTANI / AFP

 

Teachers in the West African state of Mali went on strike Tuesday, the first day schools reopened after being closed for two months, over fears of inadequate protection against coronavirus.

Details of the number of students affected were unavailable, but seven teachers’ unions are striking, officials said, in a move that will hit public primary and secondary schools, as well as teacher-training colleges.

The government shut schools to curb coronavirus in late March. These reopened on Tuesday, but only for final year students who are facing exams.

Sambou Diadie Fofana, the general secretary of Mali’s National Union of Secondary School Teachers, told AFP that the strike was triggered by a “lack of measures (taken) in schools to protect everyone”.

Authorities have recorded 1,351 coronavirus cases in the country to date, with 78 fatalities.

Mali’s education ministry did not immediately respond about the number of students and teachers who returned to school on Tuesday.

In a meeting with education organisations on Monday, Mali’s Education Minister Mahamadou Famanta promised that facemasks and hand-washing kits would be available in schools, local media reported.

Moussa Diallo, 41, a unionised public-school teacher in the capital Bamako, said that soap and water had been made available in “several places” in his school.

Malian teachers also walked out of classrooms in January — before coronavirus hit — over a pay dispute.

Authorities had promised salary hikes in October 2016, which never transpired.

FG To Engage More Qualified Teachers To Increase Teacher-To-Pupil Ratio

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the Federal Government is ready to engage more qualified teachers to increase the teacher-to-pupil ratio in the country.

The President said this on Tuesday in Abuja when he received the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT).

He acknowledged that Nigeria has a deficit of teachers, which his administration is addressing through the N-Power Teach Volunteers scheme under National Social Investment Programme (NSIP).

‘‘We have created a dedicated platform under the National Social Investment Programme called N-Power Teach, which engages qualified graduates to man the gaps of basic education delivery in Nigeria,” he said.

“These N-Power Teach Volunteers are deployed as teacher assistants in primary schools across Nigeria to support existing teachers.

“The aim of this, and many other Government programmes, is to increase the teacher-student ratio at the primary school level thereby enhancing the quality of students moving to secondary schools.

“I want to take this opportunity to ask all members of Nigeria Union of Teachers to support these programmes and encourage as many qualified and willing graduates to enrol in the teaching profession,”.

Speaking further, the president described teaching as one of the noblest of professions.

“It shapes the character, calibre and future of individuals and nations. You and I were all taught by teachers who moulded our persons and influenced our future. No price is too high for good rewards,” he said.

The President also used the occasion to pay tribute to teachers, noting that they have been at the forefront of cultivating young minds to be innovative and inventive.

“Today, we live in a dynamic world where science and technology drives innovations that virtually touch every aspect of our lives.

“The foundations of today’s changes can be attributed to teachers who, decades ago, in one way or another, shaped the minds of young men and women who eventually grew to become global innovators and inventors from whose works we are benefiting today.

“Nigerians, both at home and abroad, are part of this global breed of impactful change agents.

“Almost everyday, Nigerians are inventing new products or improving existing ones. It is, therefore, our collective duty to continue to encourage and cultivate these minds, by increasing resources available for research and development and improving work environment,” he said.

In his remarks, the NUT President, Mohammed Idris, commended the Buhari administration’s over what he described as the numerous groundbreaking strides in the education sector.

He said teachers in the nation’s primary and post-primary schools identify with the giant strides of the Buhari administration, including;

Gigantic gains in the anti-corruption crusade, technical defeat of Boko Haram terrorists in the North East, restoration of teaching and learning in the schools of the North-East geo-political zone that were affected by insurgency, securing the release of Dapchi schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram insurgents.”

The union leader also praised the Buhari government for sustaining the National School Feeding Programme, establishing the National Secondary Schools Commission to regulate secondary education and the proposed establishment of six federal colleges of education across the geo-political zones of the country.

Presenting some pressing challenges of the teachers to the President, the NUT leader appealed for presidential assent to the Bill on Teachers Retirement Age, and the Teachers Special Salary Structure (TSSS), among others.

According to Idris, the Teachers Retirement Age, when signed into law, will improve teacher-to-pupil ratio in the country, improve teacher’s retention rate in public primary and secondary schools and “revolutionise and strengthen the profession for the wellbeing of the nation’s schools.”

Fayemi Stuns Teachers, Announces Payment Of N30,000 Minimum Wage From October

Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, addressing teachers at the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium, Ado Ekiti on October 5, 2019.

 

 

Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has announced the commencement of the implementation of the new minimum wage of N30,000 in the state from October.

He made the announcement on Saturday at an event to commemorate the World Teachers’ Day in Ado, the state capital.

“The government has concluded plans to ensure we commence the payment of minimum wage of N30,000 with effect from this month (October),” the governor said.

The governor’s declaration took the teachers by surprise, a development that sparked loud celebration at the Ekiti State Stadium (Oluyemi Kayode Stadium, Ado Ekiti).

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He premised the announcement on the need for an improved living standard for workers which would by extension motivate them to drive critical sectors with utmost zeal.

Governor Fayemi, who is also the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, presented cheques of N500,000 each to the best teachers in the primary and secondary school categories, among other prizes and promises to the teachers.

The beneficiaries are Mr Henry Asubiojo of Amoye Grammar School; Mr Tajudeen Olaoye of Anglican Primary School, Esun Ekiti and Mrs Mojisola Ehinafe of Technical School, Ado Ekiti.

Gunmen Abduct Six Female Students, Two Teachers In Kaduna

Chief Imam’s Son, Two Others Kidnapped In Ogun Community

 

Gunmen suspected to be kidnappers have abducted six students and two teachers from a private secondary school in Kaduna State.

The Public Relations Officer of the State Police Command, Mr Yakubu Sabo, confirmed the abduction to Channels Television on Thursday.

According to him, the incident took place at Kakau Daji, a village located behind the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemicals Company (KRPC) in Chikun Local Government Area of the state.

Sabo said the gunmen invaded the school through a porous fence in the early hours of Thursday morning, went straight to the female hostel and abducted the students.

He added that the two teachers residing inside the school were also kidnapped by the bandits and their whereabouts yet unknown.

The Command’s spokesman explained that a combined team of Police Mobile Force and Anti-Kidnapping Squad have launched a manhunt of the kidnappers with a view to rescuing the victims and apprehending the culprits.

He also advised proprietors of private schools to beef up their premises with adequate security personnel in order not to expose their students to any form of attack.

Ambode Approves Recruitment Of Additional 1,200 Teachers

Ambode Approves Recruitment Of Additional 1,200 Teachers
Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode (file)

 

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, has approved the recruitment of additional 1,200 teachers for the Junior and Senior Secondary schools in the state.

The Deputy Director of Public Affairs at the State Ministry of Education, Adesegun Ogundeji, revealed this in a statement on Friday.

Governor Ambode had hinted at the recruitment when he addressed residents and stakeholders at the last quarterly town hall meeting held recently at the Ibeju Lekki area of the state.

He promised that his administration would employ more teachers in public schools to meet up with the manpower required to cover all public schools across the state.

Confirming the development in the state, Deputy Governor of the state, Mrs Idiat Adebule, said the 1,200 teachers was an addition to the 1000 teachers which the governor had approved for recruitment into primary schools in the state.

Adebule, who oversees the affairs of the State Ministry of Education, disclosed that guidelines for the application would be released soon in accordance with the Civil Service Rules.

She was hopeful that the development would further aid teaching and learning in the public schools, stressing that it was attracting more enrollment in the last three years.

The deputy governor attributed the progress to the government efforts towards improving infrastructure and welfare of teaching and non-teaching staff in its service.

She noted that the improved facilities and staff motivation were evident in the high-performance rate of the students of the state in local and international competitions.

Teachers Jailed For Cheating In Senegal

Senegal on the map                                                                                                      Credit: Google Map

 

A Dakar court jailed a group of teachers for up to five years for cheating in high school exams, a lawyer for the defendants said on Thursday.

Forty-two people — including a headmaster, teachers and students — were accused of charges including “criminal conspiracy, fraud and fraudulently obtaining undue material benefits” after baccalaureate papers were leaked in July 2017.

The scandal resulted in the cancellation of French and history-geography tests after topics were circulated on social media, including WhatsApp.

A headmaster at a provincial high school was sentenced to five years in prison and fined 500,000 francs (760 euros) after the trial on May 24.

A teacher in Dakar was given two years, a fine of 18 million francs (more than 27,000 euros) in addition to a confiscation of property, according to the lawyer.

Other sentences handed down to pupils and teachers ranged from two months suspended to one year.

One student was released, while others walked free after spending several months in detention.

The education sector in Senegal has been hit by several crises in recent years, including repeated strikes by staff and students.

The recurring disruptions have led to a drop in the quality of education, according to specialists, forcing many parents to opt for private schooling.

AFP

Kaduna NUT Commends Govt Over Education Reforms

Propaganda Won’t Derail Education Reform In Kaduna – El-Rufai
File photo

 

The Kaduna State chapter of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) has commended the state government for what they describe as its giant strides towards revamping the education sector and making learning more conducive in the state.

In a letter signed by its Assistant Secretary General, Adamu Ango on Friday, the NUT praised Governor Nasir El Rufai for the distribution of instructional materials to all primary and secondary schools in Kaduna state, ranging from textbooks, whiteboards, teachers manual, chalk and other library materials.

In addition, the union commended the government for providing motorcycles for monitoring and supervision of schools in all 23 local governments in the state.

According to the NUT, El Rufai also deserves praises for the construction and renovation of public primary and secondary schools throughout the state, as well as the provision of continuous teachers’ education programmes, training and workshops for its members.

The state NUT had held several protests last year and also embarked on an industrial action over series of reforms that the government was embarking upon in the education sector.

One of the major moves by the government was the sack of over 21,000 teachers who failed a competency test in June 2017.

While the teachers and the members of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), had protested against the move, the governor insisted then that no amount of protests will make the government change its position.

According to him, education is one of the foundational components of building a modern society so quality education for every child in the state was not an issue to be compromised.

He said: “This is a problem that we confronted within months of coming into office and we took extraordinary measures to steady the situation.

“We knew there would be a resistance but for us, education is one of the foundational components of building a modern society and we are not going to compromise on the quality of education and the quality of education relies on the quality of the teacher more than any other tool or infrastructure.”