Lecturer Urges VCs To Intervene In JAMB Cut-Off Mark Controversy

Dr Ozohu Sulaiman

Associate Professor, University of Abuja, Dr Ozohu Sulaiman has called on Vice Chancellors and major stakeholders of tertiary education in Nigeria to make public their position on the new JAMB-cut off which has attracted criticism.

Sulaiman, who was a guest on Channels Television Programme, Hard Copy, said,”My position is ambivalent. I’m not excited by the pronouncement of JAMB, neither impressed by the criticisms that have trailed it”, he said, adding, “Where are the Vice chancellors? Where are the other stakeholders? Why are they not talking to Nigerians about their level of involvement in this decision this controversy?”

Also on the programme, the Head of Department, Mass Communications, Baze University, Dr Abiodun Adeniyi, said the cut-off mark is not a controversy but a conversation that would growth in Nigerian Education sector.

“I don’t see it much as a controversy but as a conversation on how to remedy the problem we are having in our educational sector. I think that at the end of the day, there will be a resolution of all the altercation and Nigeria’s education process will definitely be better.

“For a society to grow, the private initiative cannot be undermined. I think there should be more deregulation in the education sector so that private participation can be better encouraged. This will solve many of the problems that we are having.”

Dr Abiodun Adeniyi

Sulaiman speaking on the standards of private universities as regards the cut-off mark being lowered said, ASUU should maintain the standard across board, whether private or public university. He noted that the relationship between both the private and public education sector is mutually exclusive as most lectures in private universities are from the public universities.

“Before deregulation of the higher institution sector, the public universities have managed to establish a standard. Whether the standard is acceptable or not is debatable. But at least, there has been a standard before the coming in of the private universities.

“That is why, when the private universities came on board, they relied heavily on the support of lecturers from the public universities to take off. And of course, it is not as if they maintained standard in their parent university only to provide support to private universities to lower standards. That is not the case. So, when ASUU is insisting on maintaining standards, the standard should be across board.”

Adeniyi, stressing the power of the private sector said, “some of the best universities in the world are actually private. But, they did not grow in one day, it took time for them to gestate and get to level in which we celebrate them now.

Imo Govt. Spends 40bn Naira On Free Tertiary Education

Imo Govt. Spends 40bn Naira On Free Tertiary EducationThe Imo State government says it has spent over 40 billion naira on its free tertiary education policy since inception four years ago.

The State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, made the disclosure at the Heroes Square in Owerri, the Imo State capital in southeast Nigeria.

He was speaking during the ongoing revalidation and verification exercise organised for Imo indigenes who are beneficiaries of the free education programme in all state-owned tertiary institutions in the state.

Addressing the students, Governor Okorocha who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr Uche Nwosu, noted that the state government has decided to concentrate on Imo indigenes and drop non-indigenes from the programme.

He explained that the state government has spent about 40 billion naira to sustain the policy, adding that it would have to drop non-indigenes from the scheme as Imo indigenes in other state-owned schools across Nigeria do not enjoy such benefit.

The governor, however, assured the students of the government’s commitment to sustaining the programme beyond the life of the present administration.

Drop Non-indigenes

“Nothing less than 40 billion has been spent in the last five years to sustain this free education policy.

“But as you know, our Imo sons and daughters in other schools outside Imo State are not benefiting any similar scheme in their various schools and we can’t keep shouldering their expenses.

“Like the saying: charity begins at home; we need to take care of our own first before others. So we have decided to drop non-indigenes from the exercise,” he said.

Governor Okorocha explained further that the essence of the ongoing revalidation and verification of students was to generate the accurate data of students and to also ascertain that students enjoying the programme were majorly of Imo extraction.

“The idea of this exercise is to capture (those) who are exactly Imo State citizens and to build a data base of who they are, and to inculcate in them the fact that government is training them for free, despite the very lean resources that is available to the government.

“From the form, they have to go back to their villages and get endorsement from their traditional ruler and also get endorsement from the secretary of the CGC (that is President-general).

“By that, we will know that they are from so so and so local government (and) let me tell you that some of them don’t even know their local government.

“The free education has come to stay,” he noted.

Dreams Of Better Educational Standard

In an interview with Channels Television, some of the students said that the free education programme has actually helped them achieve their dreams of a better and higher educational standard without payment.

A student said “because of the free education, I could achieve a lot in the medical school.

“I have not paid a dime since I got admission into the university (and) my siblings are here.

“If not for the free education, I don’t think there is a way we can do it but I just thank the government for giving us the free education”.

At the inception of the Governor Okorocha led administration in 2011, education was declared free at primary and post-primary levels in all public schools in Imo State.

The government subsequently extended the gesture to all the state-owned tertiary institutions on February 14, 2012, including the Imo State School of Nursing and Health Technology.

As an extension of the free education programme in November 2012, the government slashed the tuition fee of non-indigenes schooling in the state-owned tertiary institutions by 50%.

However, the revalidation and verification exercise is supposed to last for two weeks of which students are meant to take their forms to their traditional rulers and government liaison officers in their communities for identification and return the form to the state government within the specified period.

 

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.

Nigeria Restores History Into Education Curricula

Nigeria, Education, School, HistoryThe Nigerian Government has reintroduced history as a core subject in the primary and secondary schools’ curricula.

The Federal Government also restored history as a stand-alone course at the tertiary level.

The reintroduction comes after the subject was earlier merged with social studies, following complains that pupils and students no longer like to study the course.

The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, who disagreed with the rational, made the announcement on Thursday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Mr Adamu stated that no nation would progress without recourse to its past.

He added that given the critical nature of Nigeria’s history and the effect it could have on the nation at present and in the future, it has become imperative to reintroduce history as a core subject.

The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Education, Folashade Yemi-Esan, on her part, corroborated the minister’s remarks.

She expressed hope that the restoration would help the young citizens learn and appreciate the diversity of Nigeria as a country.

Yemi-Esan added that it would also serve as a medium to reduce the incidences of religious and ethnic intolerance.

Reps Call On FG To Review Downgrading Of Varsities

Reps Call On FG To Review Downgrading Of VarsitiesThe House of Representatives has asked the Federal Government to review the downgrading of four Federal Universities to Colleges of Education.

The House mandated its Committee on Tertiary Education and Services to interface with the Federal Ministry of Education on the matter and report back to the House within two weeks.

In a motion sponsored by Honourable Ezenwa Onyewuchi and 32 others, the House noted that the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan had upgraded some colleges of education to universities.

The House, however, said that the recent government directive reversing the upgrade of the four institutions, would worsen the already poor standard of education.

Kwara Government To Retrain Master Artisans

The Kwara state government has approved 23 trades under its standard vocational skill acquisition programme designed to promote youth employment and entrepreneurship in the state. 

Speaking during an official flag-off and interactive session with 60 accredited master trainers, the state governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, informed that the exercise marked another major drive to reform skill acquisition and equip youths with necessary tools for entrepreneurship.

He added that the resolve of the government to identify and engage master trainers was borne out of a desire to benchmark skill acquisition centres against global standards, expose master trainers to the latest technologies in their respective trades, promote uniformity in the standard of practice, and in the process, reduce youth employment.

The governor emphasised that with the streamlining of skill acquisition in the state, artisans would be able to charge uniform fees for their services while consumers will be assured of quality service.

Governor Ahmed assured the participants that once they join cooperative societies they would benefit from his administration’s “revolving micro-credit scheme for micro, small and medium scale enterprises under which over 30,000 small business have benefited”.

The governor charged the skill acquisition committee to design fool-proof arrangements for monitoring of the scheme in order to achieve desired objectives.

Also speaking, the special assistant to the governor on tertiary education, Samuel Ajayi announced that the selection of the master trainers was done through a rigorous process.