Primary School Kids donate N2.5 million sanitary kits to soldiers fighting Boko Haram

Pupils of Children International School, Lekki in Lagos State, at an emotional event on Monday in Maiduguri, Borno State, donated sanitary kits worth about N2.5 million to soldiers fighting Boko Haram insurgents in North-east Nigeria.

The pupils raised the money for the items by forfeiting their lunch in appreciation of the troops’ sacrifices for the country.

The contribution was coordinated by a Lagos based non-governmental organisation known as Volt Club, which conveyed the items to Maiduguri on behalf of the pupils.

Leader of the delegation and Volt Club’s Head of Assesment, Bhila Khipani, said the donations were made by the pupils, following the club’s advocacy campaign calling young Nigerians to show supports for troops in the battle field.

“Volt Club is a voluntary organisation within Lagos with interest in charity, especially on issues concerning children and their educational needs,” said Khipani.

“This is just a token of appreciation from school children all the way from Lekki Phase 1 Lagos. It is a kind gesture coming from school children in times of celebrations like this.

“But the key message in this gesture is in urging all Nigerians to take this torch onward and do something to make a soldier smile.

“It may not be in this form; other Nigerians can do even more. Let everyone go out and think of what they can do to make a soldier happy by telling them they are all appreciated for the sacrifices they are making for the country,” he said.

Receiving the gift items on behalf of the soldiers, the Acting General Officer Commanding 7 Division Nigeria Army, Victor Ezugwu, said the gesture by the children brought him to experience his most emotional moment as an officer.

“On behalf of soldiers of the 7 Division Nigeria army, I want to thank you for this show of solidarity, brotherhood and camaraderie for our soldiers out there fighting Boko Haram,” Mr. Ezugwu, a brigadier-general, said.

“We have fought Boko Haram from the land areas and territories they had hitherto command as their caliphate; we have taken the battle right to them in Sambisa forest where we are now and we are trying to clear them out once and for all so that our peace can be total and whole.

“This is a very emotional moment for all of us that have been fighting Boko Haram; and of course the most emotional moment of my stay as a GOC.

“Children of ages 3, 4 and 5 years being able to remember that there are soldiers and commanding officers in the North-east fighting Boko Haram and laying down their lives, is quite commendable. Of course family members have lost their loved ones all because we want to keep peace in our father land”.

He said he was touched emotionally because the children’s kind donation came at a time some other Nigerians were allegedly trying to tarnish the image of the Nigerian Army.

“Some people are trying to paint us black and trying not to see anything good in our efforts to safeguards our nation. But we take it that God almighty will bless these children because they are very patriotic in their attitudes and behaviour. God will bless them and bless their parents”.

Officials of the Volt Club said they had presented 1000 sachet packs containing a unit of tissue paper, tooth paste, hand towel, shaving sticks, toothbrush, bars of soap, sanitary pads, chewing gum and recharge cards ranging from N1000, N500 and N200.

Each of the packs was worth N2500.

FG re-introduces teaching of History in primary, secondary school.

The federal government has finally re-introduced History as one of the subjects in the nation’s primary and secondary schools’ curriculum, explaining that its introduction as an independent subject and not a mere theme was necessitated by the clamour and concerns by several groups, including the Presidency, National Assembly and other critical stakeholders in the education sector.

The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, had urged delegates to the recent National Council of Education, NCE, to consider the disarticulation of social studies in the current curriculum and re-introduction of History as a subject, adding that leaders in the education sector committed “a mistake” by removing History.

Speaking on Thursday at the flag-off ceremony for the Disarticulation of History from Social Studies Curriculum in Abuja, Adamu stated that the learning of History will enable children in the earliest stage become well enlightened citizens of the society who respect diversity and strive for attainment of the unity of Nigeria as one indivisible entity.

He called on experts involved in the disarticulation exercise to develop curricular objectives and contents that will lead to positive learning outcomes.

“I, therefore, urged all stakeholders, state governments, honorable commissioners of education, schools, teachers, and parents to embrace and key into this development and ensure a proper implementation of the history curriculum when it is finally developed,” he said.

The minister further assured that the federal government was poised to introduce positive changes in education in a way that will enhance the socio-economic development of Nigeria.

His words, “The Federal Ministry of Education recently developed its plan: on Education for Change: A Ministerial Strategic Plan (2016-2019), which contains several initiatives and activities to be executed, including the disarticulation of social studies and reintroduction of the teaching of history in primary and junior secondary schools.”

Adamu disclosed that the plan document was approved by the National Council of Education, NCE, at its 61st Ministerial session of 27th – 30th September, 2016.

“Following this, the National Education Research and Development Council (NERDC), the agency that has the mandate to develop curriculum especially at this level, was directed to start the process of disarticulating history from social studies,” he said, assuring that the different stages for the execution of the project would be pursued vigorously and efficiently to its logical conclusion.

Pay us our salaries, Bayelsa teachers tells Governor Dickson

Primary and secondary school teachers in Bayelsa State, Wednesday, deplored eight months of unpaid salaries and marginalisation in the state appealing to the state Governor, Mr. Seriake Dickson, to pay the arrears.

Marking Teachers Day in low key at their secretariat in Yenagoa, the teachers, under the auspices of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) said Bayelsa’s educational sector was replete with crises.

The state Chairman, NUT, Mr. Kalama John-Tonpre, reeled out the problems facing teachers in the state as non-payment of salaries for about eight months; non-implementation of teachers promotion over the years and non-payment of annual increments.

Others, according to him, are abdication of primary schools’ responsibilities by the state government and illegal dismissal of teachers employed in 2008 and 2009.

John-Tonpre among others, further decried shortage of teachers without recruitment in the school system and non-provision of instructional materials.

He said: “Some protracted but unattended issues in the sector are over-populated classrooms, poor standard of education resulting from poor funding, inconsistency and non-implementation of education policies.

“Also, there is frequent disruption of the school system, moral decadence of the youth and eventually the underdevelopment of the state.”

The NUT boss, however, acknowledged some efforts of Governor Seriake Dickson in educational development such as the construction off senatorial model schools, establishment of Teachers Training Institute (TTI) and repositioning the Isaac Adaka Boro College of Education.

He regretted that teachers were suffering from marginalisation in the state and the country.

“The current problems of the society characterised by disease, poverty, unemployment, kidnapping, militancy, injustice, lawlessness, greed for political powers and lack of conscience for humanity are all traced to the agonies of teachers”, he said.

John-Tonpre appealed to the state government to as a matter of urgency satisfy the genuine demands of the teachers in the interest of advancing education for the benefit of the underprivileged in the state.

He said: “Currently, so many teachers have retired and about a good number of teachers were dismissed from the school system with no recruitment of new ones to replace them.

“Consequently, some primary schools in Bayelsa State have no single teachers to teach the children – our future leaders. The issue deserves urgent attention as it portends danger at the foundation level of the education system.”

He urged the state government to reinstate the dismissed teachers and recruit more teachers to fill the vacancies created in various schools across the state.

He said: “Currently, so many teachers had retired and about a good number of teachers were dismissed from the school system with no recruitment of new ones to replace them. Consequently some primary schools in Bayelsa State have n single teacher to teach the children, our future leaders.

“The issue deserves urgent attention as it portends danger at the foundation level of the education system. The NUT, therefore, calls on the state government to urgently reinstate the dismissed teachers and recruit more teachers to fill the vacancies created”.

John-Tonpre also appealed to Governor Seriake Dickson to take up the responsibility of paying primary school teachers’ salaries because the councils alone could no longer bear such responsibility.

Speaking at the event, the National President, NUT, Mr. Michael Olukoya, in his address read by the state Secretary, NUT, Mr. Jonhson Hector, called on the Federal Government and the relevant authorities to consider raising retirement age of teachers from 60 to 65 years.

Olukoya further appealed to the Federal Government to ensure that only professionally trained and qualified persons were engaged in the proposed recruitment of 500,000 teachers to promote professionalism and effective service delivery.

Unpaid Salaries: Cross River State Teachers Shun Resumption

Primary school teachers in Cross River State on Wednesday shunned resumption over unpaid four months salaries owed them by the government.

Punch NG report that Pupils in the primary and secondary schools across the state were supposed to resume for the 2016/2017 session on Wednesday, after the long summer holidays.

But while teachers in the secondary schools resumed for duties, their colleagues in primary schools shunned work, due to the inability of the state government to pay their four months salaries before the holiday elapsed.

Our correspondent, who visited few primary schools in Calabar South and Calabar Municipal local government areas observed that pupils were turned back home.

“This strike was necessitated by the fact that the government cannot expect us to work for free when we have responsibilities to take care of. All of these mean that the primary school system in the state will suffer and this should ordinarily not be the case,” a teacher in one of the primary schools, who claimed anonymity said.

The Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Mr. Eyo-Nsa Itam, confirmed that all primary school teachers across the state were asked to stay off duty to press for the payment.

When contacted, the state Commissioner for Education, Mr. Goddy Etta, said the teachers would resume on Monday as efforts were ongoing to pay the salaries.