Emir Sanusi calls for the inclusion of Arabic into mainstream education

The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, has called for Nigeria’s educational system to allow for the inclusion of Arabic education into the mainstream.

The emir said this on Monday while delivering the Thomas Hodgin Memorial Lecture at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.

The lecture, titled ‘Tradition, Modernization and Reform – The Institution of Emir as Change Agent’, focused on the reform agenda the monarch is pursuing in Kano, which he hopes will see the codification of family law, reforms in education and the use of Zakkah, the mandatory alms giving in Islam, to set up foundations to systemically deal with some of the problems that bedevil Northern Nigeria.

On education in particular, the emir said it didn’t make sense and was indeed counterproductive that millions of children and adults who can already read and write Arabic are classified as illiterate.

The refusal to recognise and value this learning, he said, is a costly by-product of British colonialism, which only recognised English-language literacy.

According to him, it feeds the structure of power and inequality that currently exists and leads to resentment because these millions, who in many nearby countries would be counted as literate, feel marginalised. The practical outcome of this is of course not only a population of millions that is limited from being useful and productive, but one which is susceptible to manipulation by extremists, he said.

He therefore called on reform of the system that would allow some sort of certification for this learning which then allows those with this education to join mainstream schools to learn. The other option he said would be to employ teachers who could teach various disciplines in Arabic and make them part of the mainstream.

When asked during the question and answer session why he was not making a case for learning in indigenous languages like Hausa, he said in an ideal situation, that would be his preference; but insisted provisions have to be made for the millions that are already literate in Arabic. Ignoring these people, he said, has serious social consequences some of which are already evident.

On family law, the emir cited the recent existence of child marriage in countries such as the U.S. to underline the need for broad social acceptance of change, which he is pursuing by fostering a process of debate between Islamic scholars, lawyers, NGOs and wider society.

Pointing to overcoming resistance to polio eradication as an example, he said that engaging communities directly and winning trust brings results. In the past, he suggested, loud campaigning and stigmatising of traditional values had proved counterproductive and held back progress.

Prominent personalities that attended the lecture included Professor Murray Last, the first person to obtain a PHD from a Nigerian University; a former head of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Attahiru Jega; and the President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Abubakar Mahmud.

Thomas Hodgin was an Oxford trained historian who engaged deeply with Nigeria and is believed to have done more than anyone to establish the serious study of African history in the United Kingdom. He was married to Nobel prize-winning chemist, Dorothy Hodgkin.

Free Basic Education An Enforceable Right; Court Declares.

A Federal High Court in Abuja has declared that every Nigerian child has the constitutional right to free and compulsory primary education, and free junior secondary education.

In a suit filed by a non-governmental organisation, Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), against the Federal Ministry of Education and the Attorney General of the Federation, Justice John Tsoho also declared that the Federal and State governments have constitutional duties to provide adequate funds for it.

In the suit, LEDAP asked the court to determine whether by the combined effect of Section 18 (3)(a) of the 1999 Constitution and Section 2 (1) of the Compulsory, Free Universal Basic Education Act, (UBE) 2004, the right to free and compulsory primary education and free junior secondary education for all qualified Nigerian citizens are enforceable rights in Nigeria.

Justice Tsoho, who relied on a 2002 decision of the Supreme Court, held that by enacting the UBE Act, the National Assembly has made the right to free and compulsory primary and free junior secondary education contained in Chapter 2 an enforceable or justiciable right.

Reacting to the judgment, the lead counsel to LEDAP, Mr Chino Obiagwu, said that the court on Wednesday gave life and hope to over 28 million Nigerian children who are currently out of primary and junior secondary school, or who are at risk of being withdrawn from school because of the inability of their parents or guardians to pay the tuition fees and school expenses, or who are withdrawn from school so that they can be given out in early marriage or be sent to the streets to hawk or beg for alms.

By this judgment, any child not enrolled in school or who is withdrawn from school can exercise his or her constitutional rights against the parent, guardian or government.

And failure by any government to fund free primary and junior secondary education will constitute a breach of the constitution.


Source: Channels TV

Why Nigeria’s education standard is poor – Senator Emmanuel Bwacha

The Senate Deputy Minority Leader, Emmanuel Bwacha has attributed the decline in the nation’s education standard to continuous emphasis on paper qualification rather than skills acquisition.

Senator Bwacha who disclosed this at a summit organized for secondary school teachers in Wukari Local Government Council of Taraba State said all hands must be on deck to address the declining trend.

With three universities in Taraba State coupled with others spread across the country, the lawmaker said the time has come to prepare qualified candidates for the institutions.

“We shall begin to look at areas of legislation; we shall check whether that certificate you are holding is truly yours; if not we shall ask you to give way for the qualified person who can defend his certificate.”

The convener of the summit, Emmanuel Attah said the summit was aimed at improving performance in post primary school external examinations including the West African Senior Certificate Examination (WASSC) and the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) among others.


Source: The Guardian

Education Sector: Cross River Lawmakers Urge For Capacity Building.

The Cross River House of Assembly has urged owners of schools in the state to invest in teachers for proper knowledge and growth in the education sector.

Chairman, Special Committee on Private Schools, Mr Hilary Bisong, gave the advice on in Calabar, the Cross River State Capital when he led his colleagues on an over-sight function to some private schools in the metropolis, calling for the cooperation of proprietors of private schools in the state to enhance the quality training.

Addressing newsmen after the inspection, the representative of Boki II state constituency in the House noted that, some private schools that employed unspecialised teachers in most fields were charging outrageous school fees even in the face of recession.

“We are not fully satisfied with the quality of teachers in private schools, especially in the area of specialization. But on the whole, most of the teachers have acquired basic tertiary education.

“This exercise is very important because we need to carry out an urgent legislative intervention, into the quality and standard of private schools in the state.

“This over-sight function will also help us to condemn the ownership structures of the schools and any other areas that will require government’s intervention to support the standard’’

Responding, the Managing Director of Access High School, Mrs Folasade Umoden, noted that the exercise would help to correct the imbalance in private schools.

She urged lawmakers to initiate bills that would enhance the smooth operation of private schools in the state.

“The government alone cannot effectively run the educational sector. We also need the government’s support in the areas of donation of books, laboratory equipment and others because we are also complementing government’s effort’’.

The committee is expected to also visit private schools in the northern and central parts of the state, and would summit its report at the end of the exercise to the House for further actions.

Some of the Schools visited were, Access High School, Aunty Sama Nursery and Primary School, Lourdes Academy, St. Anne’s High School among others.

Educate the girl child, stop building mosques – Sarkin Kano

The emir of Kano Mallam Muhammad Sanusi II has called out wealthy northerners to stop building mosques and to stop early marriage of the girl child and start educating female children, since majority of these girls can barely read and write.

He made the call on Thursday in his keynote address at the 3rd international conference on Islamic Banking and Finance, organised by the International Institute of Islamic Banking and Finance, Bayero University, Kano.

“I’m just tired of people coming to me to say I want to build a new mosque. You know, we keep building mosques and our daughters are illiterates.

“So, my appeal is that if you really want to help Kano, don’t come to me with a request to build a N300m mosque because I have enough mosques everywhere. And if I don’t have a mosque, I’ll build it myself. If you really want to help, go and educate a girl child in the village.”

According to him, over 50 per cent of girls between the age bracket of 18 and 20 were given out in marriage in this part of the country.

He added that the worrisome dimension of it was that 75 per cent of them could neither read nor write.

Calling for a review of laws to prevent early marriage and encourage girl-child education, he said,

“It is not a mere coincidence that this is where you have the highest levels of illiteracy, early marriage, divorce and the highest levels of domestic violence…

“People need to understand that the law has to change. If you look at the medical data on maternal health, girls who get pregnant below the age of 15 are five times as likely to die as girls who get pregnant at the age of 20. Those who get pregnant under 18 are twice as likely to die as those who get pregnant at the age of 20. So, it is important that we look at this issue of early marriage.” PUNCH reports.

30 inmates at Ilesa prisons prepare for university education

No fewer than 30 inmates of the Ilesa Prison in Osun State are rounding off their secondary school studies in readiness for tertiary education later in 2017.

Controller of Prisons, Osun State Command, Mr. Segun Oluwasemire, gave this hint on Tuesday at a ceremony to receive a refurbished and stocked library for the school funded by the Alms Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Osogbo branch.

He said that the command was being proactive in achieving total reformation, rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders in its custody by preparing them for a world of opportunities outside the prison walls.

“The 30 inmates are the pioneer students of our Ilesa Prison Secondary School. We hope that sooner than later, the National Open University will grant us a Special Study Centre in the state command for a seamless transition of the products of the secondary school to the university,” the Controller said.

He ascribed the success of the education initiative of the prison authorities in Osun State to the support from the Comptroller General of Prisons, Mr. Ja’afaru Ahmed, and the intervention by public-spirited individuals and organisations that have provided support to the inmates to advance their studies.

“I particularly want to recognise the support from the Alms Project Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Osogbo branch for the upgraded library and to Princess Hope Foundation which is responsible for the provision of additional teachers.” he said.

The CBN’s Alms Project Committee provided books, furniture and other educational materials for the school library.

Branch Controller, CBN, Osogbo branch, Alhaji Bashiru Ibrahim, in his remarks, lauded the prison authorities for their dedication and commitment in carrying out the prison’s reformation mandate. He described the committee’s gesture as service to humanity.

In his welcoming address, the officer-in-charge, Ilesa Prison, Mr Ope Fatinikun, a Deputy Controller of Prisons, thanked the Committee for its support. He said, “Education is critical to the success of the mandate of the prison service, and the place of library in providing sound education and creating an enabling environment for learning cannot be overemphasised.”

He expressed appreciation to the Committee and charged other corporate bodies in the public and private sectors to join in the task of reforming and reintegrating offenders.

The Senior Prefect of the school, Waliu Olasunkanmi, thanked the Committee members and the prison authorities for giving him and other inmates the opportunity of taking another shot at education and promised to make good use of the library for a new life away from crime and other societal ills.

The ceremony was attended by Chairman Alms Committee, CBN Osogbo branch, Mr Olukayode Oluwole, and co-ordinator, Princess Hope Foundation, Mr Olabode Opeseyitan.


Source: Today

The Leaders of Tomorrow and the Killers of Today – By Amao Isaac Oluwasogo

Things have never been the same from the very moment we were told we are the leaders of tomorrow. This is because every unfolding event, as well as the body language from those that hold on tightly to this saying, cannot be reconciled with the truism of the undeniable agonizingly tough reality that we sleep and wake up with. Our education has been reduced to the point that it is not even attractive to the illiterates again.


Every administration has only succeeded in drawing and drowning this sector into the Mediterranean Sea. We have not only lived in the deceitful kissing of these Judas Iscariots but have also realized that we are at the mercy of being crucified. This cannot be distant from the lack of a deep sense of leadership quality that every citizen of a country expects from their leaders. A trait found in men like Nelson Mandela whose watchword when it comes to education remains; “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”


Developed countries have something in common: They are perpetually in the business of investing heavily in their education sector. This is because they understood the resultant effect of quality education on their youths. These investments gave birth to men and women with revolutionary ideas.  And it is with these ideas that they rule the world. Ever progressing while we are here dreaming and wishing without an action that is commensurate to achieve the same feat. Funny enough, we are still busy beating around the minimum requirement given by the UNESCO that is expected to be earned marked for education in our yearly budget.


This is the problem of having leaders whose bellies are their gods. Men who lack visions and foresight for the hope of the future and whose mouths are bigger than their cerebral grandstanding. While the future of the nation is rotting away, possessing luxuries and gallivanting the four cardinal points of the earth is all that burns in their hearts. Why won’t our neighboring country, Ghana become a better place to school than ours?  Every year, the numbers of students leaving the shore of Nigeria for schooling is unarguably embarrassing. Yet in all of these, they call us the leaders of tomorrow and emphasize the beauty of education even when it is obvious that they are killing that same future on the altar of today.


This story is applicable to virtually some of the Nigeria institutions especially the government- owned institutions, starting from the primary school to the tertiary institutions. The more reason I insisted that our problem is basically fundamental and foundational. The system that should be the hope of reviving the spirit of creativity and innovations in students has suddenly become a butchering ground- dwindling the morale of the students. In the 21st century, we are still satisfied with blackboard, chalk, and duster. The system is so old that it tends to corrupt fresh brains. And when the environment is not conducive, nothing thrives. These bitter scenarios finally walked throughout universities and other tertiary institutions.


The testimony that you have come to school is that you used more than expected numbers of years in the university, not because you failed but because of what has turned to be an annual expected event– that is the incessant strikes. For a session to pass without strike makes it look as though the academic calendar of that session is not yet complete. Students can be out of school for months, it means nothing to the spiritual forces and power that be. As a result, the students have seen this abnormality as a norm to go on strike and if attempts are made to protest, it is done at the expense of their lives. It is either they are victimized by the school authorities or be faced with life gun as though they are Christmas chicken. University of Lagos (UNILAG) and Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) could be a recent example to relate with amidst the innumerable occurrences we have witnessed over the years.


The fate of the public institutions is at stake in this nation. If it is being treated with this level of absurdity and trepidation, expect private institutions to take over in years to come. This was not actually a surprise when the governor of my state compared LAUTECH with BABCOCK University. I was poised to ask if this was a nightmare or a product of accidental leadership.


How can you use a private university as a yardstick for the State University? This is a school in approximately seven months strike and everything seems as though nothing is happening. Their change mantra is nothing but a fluke from all indications. To say that students and lecturers should go and have a sanctuary of reasoning on how they will finance the school sounds sympathetic. But this is all we have come to live with, leaders of tomorrow in the hands of the killers of today


We are at a stage where things are no longer at ease. Those who burn themselves to light other people’s ways are being maltreated. No salary yet their task masters called leaders forced them to work by threatening them with sack letters. How many times have any governor or politicians ever protested of not being paid their salary? It is these same people who do not care that formulate our educational policy. What an irony of life!  You then began to ask, how many research work thrives in Nigeria? Are productive, innovative and creative are our tertiary institutions?


We can continue like this and remain the same or put up the necessary measures and join the league of developed Nations. Enough of politicking education in this country! It is high time we started to engage technocrats and scholars with capacities to help rebuild the falling wall. Making it a priority to fund the system by supporting research works will help us as a nation to be great.


Until then, we would only live in the fool’s paradise of having a fortified educational system. Of most importance is for every student to equally take their destinies in their hands. Whatever you can take out of the school system not minding its poor state, do in order to better yourself and your future as well as your society.


Follow the writer on Twitter: @isaacsogo

Mixed reactions trail 2017 education budget

Mixed reactions trail the 2017 education budget presented on Wednesday by President Muhammadu Buhari to the National Assembly.

Ike Onyechere, the Chairman Exam Ethics Marshal International (EEMI), an NGO, expressed dissatisfaction over the rating of education in the budget.

Mr. Onyechere said that education should be top priority of the budget, describing the place ascribed to the sector as unfair.

“The budgets is not fair to education at all; it shows that the role of education in terms of rejuvenating the economy has not been recognised and appreciated.

“Else, education should have topped the list. I expected that by now major efforts should be made in investing in the sector.

“When we talk about building infrastructure, there are no well-equipped laboratories in our schools to properly train our graduates, a massive Marshal intervention is absolutely needed in the sector.”

He added that most graduates were incompetent because they are products of the country’s collapsed education system.

He explained that if education was given its appropriate place in the nation’s development plan, the country’s technicians and engineers would be well trained and that there would be no need to employ foreign technicians.

“If our education is not right, our products will not be right because of the standard we put into it.

“Education should be placed at the same level with infrastructure because it is the products of our education that will build the needed infrastructure.”

Meanwhile, Hamzat Lawal, the Chief Executive Officer Connected Development, CODE, an NGO, extolled the increase in capital expenditure in education from N37 billion in 2016 to N50 billion in 2017.

Mr. Lawal, however, noted that increased expenditure does not directly lead to improved performance and service delivery.

According to him, there are several key reforms required in the education sector for such increased expenditure to work.

He noted that transparency and accountability in implementation was crucial.

Mr. Lawal said that citizens engagement, which, he said was currently lacking in the polity, was also important in implementation.

He said that CODE while recently tracking governmental spending of 2016 capital funds in education in rural communities, observed that most capital items were still at their contracting stage.

He, however, called for a strong regime to reconcile the 2016 spill over and 2017 budget implementation.

“We ask for transparency and accountability in the implementation of the 2017 education appropriation, also increased citizen engagement, so that rural community stakeholders can track the implementation on their own.

“As we get further understanding on the 2017 budget, we are deploying mechanisms to track portions of the education appropriation in poor communities,” Mr. Lawal said.

Also commenting, Shittu Obasa, a public servant and parent, expressed disappointment with the education budget.

Mr. Obasa said that reports of over 10 million out-of-school children in the country should be of concern to the government and as such ensure adequate funding of the sector.

“Education is the pivot of development and any attempt to make it look like a sector that should not be given due attention is rather unfortunate.

“Every segment of the society must be educated and have a right to education.

“We have over 10 million out-of-school children.

“With this kind of allocation given to education, it does not speak well of the government of the day in its commitment to advance the cause of human capital development,” Mr. Obasa said.

Why we stopped school feeding programme — El-Rufai

Malam Nasir el-Rufai is the governor of Kaduna State. In this interview with journalists in Kaduna, he speaks on his stewardship so far, especially the free feeding programme, the increase in revenue and budget implementation.




You submitted the 2017 appropriation bill to the State House of Assembly. Can you give a breakdown of the implementation of this year’s budget?


Our budget implementation has been satisfactory. I will not say it is very impressive by our standard. But if we compare it to what has been done before, this administration has done very well. As at October 2016, we had about 50 per cent budget implementation with the following breakdown: 85 per cent of personnel cost has been drawn; 77 per cent of overhead cost has been drawn; and 32 per cent of capital expenditure has been drawn. So, the overall in percentages, amounts to about 50 per cent implementation.


In specific terms, as at October this year, we have spent about N29 billion on capital projects compared to N27.5 billion in 2013 for the entire year; N17 billion in 2014 for the entire year; and N27.6 billion in 2015 for the entire year. So, we have already spent more in the first 10 months of this year than the previous three years, two and a half of which were under the PDP government.


The bulk of this spending was on emergency education intervention, water supply, road construction and health care. We are spending money in areas that we think add value to the society and create jobs. We have seen a drastic reduction in recurrent expenditure, though we have employed more than 5,000 people in the public service since we came in. As you recall, we employed 2,550 into Kaduna State Traffic Enforcement and Environmental Law Enforcement Agency (KASTELEA) and we also employed over 2,250 science teachers in our secondary schools. Yet, our personal expenditure has been going down. As at October this year, our recurrent expenditure clocked N43.4 billion.


In 2013, the PDP government spent N56 billion on recurrent expenditure. So, we are much lower. They spent N66.7 billion in 2014 and N64 billion in 2015. But so far, we have spent only N43.4 billion with only two months of the year to go.


Of course, you cannot spend money without income. You recall that for the first time in the history of the state, we hit monthly internally generated revenue of N1.6 billion in July this year and this has remained more or less around this level up till today. We are moving away from reliance on federation account, to more on self-sustenance based on what we have. By the end of the year, we hope to achieve 50 per cent capital budget implementation and 65 per cent total budget implementation.


Why did you stop free feeding in schools?


Part of the packages of the reforms that we introduced in education includes not only the free basic education for nine years, but the primary school feeding programme. It was costing us N1.1 billion a month and we believe in it. We felt that even if you make education free, if a child cannot get pocket money to eat while in school, the parents may decide it is better to withdraw him or her from school. But we didn’t want that. This is why we introduced this programme. For the 1.8 million children in schools in Kaduna, this is what we were spending.


We were encouraged to start the programme because the office of the Vice President, under the Social Investment Programme, promised to subsidise 60 per cent of the cost of the programme. So, we started spending our money in the expectation of being reimbursed. We have spent, nearly N8 billion on this programme this year and the office of the Vice President is supposed to pay us back in the region of N6 billion to N7 billion.


Since we made education free, the enrolment in class one was huge. We have not been paid this money. The amount we earmarked for the programme in the 2016 budget has been exhausted. So, we cannot continue with the programme. We are expecting the reimbursement from the office of the vice president. We have been assured over and over that we would be reimbursed. But we didn’t think that we had the resources to continue without that reimbursement. We had exhausted what we budgeted for it. We will do well in education generally. I cannot prove it because it takes time before any investment in education matures. But I can give you some statistics to show that we are doing well.

Finally, FG set to launch campaign to end child marriage.

The Federal Government in Abuja on Monday announced plans to launch a campaign to end child marriage and other related harmful traditional practices in the country.

The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Sen. Aisha Alhassan said this during a media briefing.

Alhassan said the move was borne out of the resolution by African leaders to end child marriage during the 25th African Union Ordinary Session of Heads of State in June 2015.

She said the leaders also resolved to take practical steps in addressing the issues of child marriage and other harmful traditional practices.

“One of first practical steps is a vigorous campaign to end child marriage which will be launched tomorrow Nov. 29 at the Sheraton Hotel.

“Global communities and Nigeria in particular are increasingly recognising child marriage as a serious challenge, both as a violation of human rights and a hinderance to key developmental outcomes,’’ she said.

Alhassan said African countries were faced with the challenges of child marriage which robbed girls or children of their education, health and future.

She said according to UNICEF findings, 15 million children are married off every year globally with devastating consequences on their general wellbeing.

“This is very disturbing as it is further revealed that 15 out of the 20 countries with the highest rates of child marriage in the world are in Africa.

“Fifteen African countries have so far launched the campaign to end child marriage.

“The countries are Ethiopia, Ghana, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Niger, the Islamic Republic of Gambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Eritrea, Zambia, Chad, Burkina Faso , Mali and Madagascar,” Alhassan said.

She said a National Technical Working Group set up to end child marriage in the country was inaugurated on July 23, 2015 by the ministry.

Alhassan urged the media, development partners and other stakeholders to redouble their efforts in ensuring girl’s rights to freedom from child marriage and other forms of violence against children.

She also urged all stakeholders in the campaign, to be more proactive and come up with concrete actions to end child marriage in the country.

EDUCATION: Placing a Price on Quality – By Agalamanyi Esomchi

The pronouncement of free and compulsory education in a state gladdens a lot of hearts; the parents whom have been relieved of the financial burdens, the child whom might have lost the hope of getting an education, the principal at the prospect of getting more students and the financial implications; more admission fees, uniform fees, computer levies et al.


Many would rejoice at this pronouncement and hail the Governor as the “People’s Governor” of cause, they would have legitimate reasons to rejoice, cause any way one looks at the scenario, it appears to be a win win for all parties. The Governor not truly bothered about quality but more concerned about political imaging, sells his image, the principal willing to admit over his carrying capacity to maximize profit, maybe he does this to be able to afford the private school his wards go to, who knows?


Personally I can’t decide which I find more alarming; the neglect of quality in search of quantity or the gradual degradation of public education system. Public educational system has become so eroded that one can only but weep, schools has gradually become a dumping ground for the wives of the affluent in the state, who then makes herself a white elephant appearing only on special occasions; school resumption, examinations, and any other day she feels bored.


Corp members are then used to impact the knowledge with little training and zero supervision to the kids. I’m not trying to castigate free education.


No, I can’t,  but few state governments really take the quality into consideration while making this pronouncement. Take the case of Kaduna where the Governor declared free education and free meals, while the students as at that time sit on the floor to learn, this is far from conducive or the case of Akwa Ibom where the average number of students in a class is 100, a class with a carrying capacity of less than 50, Principals admitting every term, without recourse to best practices


One must never look down on quality, you can’t pour water in a good wine to make it last longer, free education is a good and commendable practice, but the government of each state that intends to run this must take out time and really work out the cost!


Equip students today to be a solution rather than a problem, set up a plan that works, that way you would raise problem solvers which I believe is the main aim of the scheme.


– Piece Written By Agalamanyi Esomchi

UBEB recruits 5,000 teachers for five liberated Borno LGs.

The Universal Basic Education Board said it recruited about 5,000 teachers in Borno State to provide education to children in five local government areas liberated from Boko Haram insurgents.

Dalhatu Suleiman, the Deputy Director of Education, Crises Response Project of SUBEB, made this known during the launch of the 2016 state enrolment Drive Back to School in Maiduguri on Tuesday.

Suleiman said that teachers were deployed to provide basic education to 15,000 children across 301 learning centres in five local government areas of Maiduguri Metropolitan Council, Jere, Konduga and Benishaik, Dikwa.

Suleiman said that the programme was aimed at ensuring that all children, especially the girl-child, have access to free and compulsory basic quality education.

Suleiman said: “This programme was supported by the USAID Basic Education Programme in collaboration with the Universal Basic Education Board, with a view to providing greater access and ensuring quality education among Nigerians.

“Within a period of nine months, children who don’t know how to read and write were able to do so. They can now read and write.

“We have visiting lecturers from UNIMAID, state polytechnic and college of education, who are translating our curriculum from English language to Kanuri to enable the pupils to learn faster.

“Our approach to education in Borno is therefore known as providing education in emergency.”

Also speaking, the Executive Secretary of SUBEB in Borno State, Alhaji Shettima Kullima, said the campaign would go a long way in revolutionising the education sector in the state.

Kullima said that Governor Shettima had accorded topmost priority to education in spite of the strangulating insurgency.

Kullima said: “Contracts for the construction of nine model schools have been awarded; works are in a tremendous progress.

“The school feeding programmes would also commence very soon.

“Directives have been issued for the release of teachers’ pending promotion to enable to them perform their duties diligently.”

Five million girls out of school in Nigeria due to discrimination.

No fewer than five million girl child are out of school in Nigeria as a result of discriminations against girl children on a daily basis, the Country Manager of Girl Rising Nigeria, Maryam Tafida Bello, has said.

At the celebration of International Day of the Girl Child organized by Girl Rising Nigeria in partnership with Intel, Maryam said the event was an avenue for girls in Kano and beyond to realize that they could achieve their dreams.

“There are over five million girls out of school in Nigeria and most of these girls are in the northern part of the country. We cannot sit back and watch; we must do something. We must take the baton to lead the fight in ensuring that all girls, all children are educated. That is why we are here today”, Maryam stated.

She further encouraged people to bring meaningful change to Kano and the world by empowering girls through education.

This year’s theme of the International Day of the Girl Child is: “Girls’ Progress – Goals’ Progress: What Counts for Girls” which is focused at encouraging girls to see education as a ‘Must have’ with a goal to highlight the role of technology and the Internet as essential tools needed for leveraging all aspects of human endeavor in the current competitive dispensation.

Also speaking the Corporate Affairs Manager, Intel Corporation, Babatunde Akinola said Intel is making efforts in several ways to encourage women and young girls to be technologically motivated, especially through the Company’s ‘She Will Connect’ initiative.

He added: “Women do 60 per cent of world’s work, produce 50 per cent of food, and yet earn 10 per cent of income and own only one per cent asset”, Intel will continue to work with NGOs and other well-meaning organisations under the She Will Connect umbrella to enable, empower and connect girls and women to opportunities and consequently put an end to such gender gap”.

Speaking about the partnership with Girl Rising Nigeria, Akinola reiterated Intel’s commitment to the development of the girl child.

Senate orders refund of N264bn diverted from education fund.

The Senate Thursday ordered the refund of N263,931,254,708.51 billion allegedly diverted from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) by the Federal Government.

The decision follows a revelation of mismanagement of funds in the education sector between 2011 and 2015 when TETFUND allegedly lent to other government departments, contrary to the law establishing the agency.

The Chairman of the Committee on Education, Senator Barau Jibrin (APC, Kano North), while presenting the report of his panel on the floor of the upper chamber, said that contrary to the claim by the former executive secretary that the whole N273,931‚254‚708.51 billion was diverted to meet the expenditure as stated, it was later revealed to the committee by the recently appointed executive secretary that N10 billion out of the N273,931‚254‚708.51 billion was loaned to the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), and that the PTDF had recently refunded the money to TETFUND, leaving a balance of N263‚931,254‚708.51 billion to be refunded by the Federal Government.

Jibrin said that the provision in the TETFUND Act which allows only the president to be the approving authority for this very important agency that always has huge amount of money in its coffers without including the requirements of the National Assembly’s approval in line with the democratic dictate of checks and balances, was in clear violation of Section 82(4) of the Constitution of Nigeria which states that “no moneys shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund or any public fund of the Federation, except in the manner prescribed by the National Assembly.”

He noted that the fact that the executive secretary and other members of the board of trustees were all solely appointed by the president and not confirmed by the Senate made them not to have the strength to raise objection or stop the diversion of TETFUND money to other uses.

The committee recommended that in addition to the approval of the president, the approval of the National Assembly should be included in the process of allocation and disbursement of funds belonging to TETFUND.

He noted that the appointments of the executive secretary and chairman and members of the board of trustees of the agency should be made by the president and confirmed by the Senate.

The panel wants the TETFUND Act to be amended to include the two recommendations. It urged the Senate to ensure the refund of all monies borrowed from the Education Tax Account as there were numerous infrastructural projects to be executed in the nation’s tertiary institutions.

Education must top governments’ priority list – Oshiomhole

Governor Adams Oshiomhole says education must top the priority list of governments at all levels, if the country must make any headway. Speaking at the 20th convocation of the school, where seven finished in First Class Division for the 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 sessions, Oshiomhole urged management of universities to, on their parts, ensure that schools are not shut saying shutting down schools affect Nigerian students’ abilities to compete with their foreign counterparts that enjoy uninterrupted academic calendars.

“There are many universities that are on strike, and ASUU has cleverly reversed the conventional adage, or even law, which says, ‘no work, no pay’. Now, ASUU members find themselves saying to now say, ‘no pay, no work’.

“As we speak, I am sure there are a number of universities that are not working because the states have not paid them, and also I am aware of reported cases of some state governments saying straight away to the universities that they are not going to be able to pay more than a fraction of the subvention that they have been paying on account of the current economic challenges. For me, I am clear that if the Nigerian state defaults in every aspect of its obligation to the people, the Nigerian state, federal and state governments, must never default in its obligation to ensuring that teaching and learning never stop.

“The truth is, Nigeria must reorder its priorities. We must never allow our educational institutions to close down. Closing down by one minute will cost us more than one year of our GDP because every time we stop learning, as Obama would say, ‘when we go so low, they continue to go so high’. And yet, we are expected to compete on the level playing field.

“So, the next government must consolidate on what I am already doing and continue to do even more, including keeping promises that I made in good faith, but which I may not have been able to deliver timely, but those promises must be delivered, and these will be in my hand-over note.

“The future that I see, the growth and development of universities will not be based on the generosity of a state governor, because nobody knows when we are going to get out of where we are in.

“The challenges are mounting. The government needs to provide a variety of public services at a time of declining revenue. In the short run, there will be no quick fixes. So, the university must be creative.”

He said the university would grow not courtesy of miracles, but on the basis of determined efforts by management, staff and students to do things differently.

Earlier, Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Ignatius Onimawo, paid glowing tribute to Governor Adams Oshiomhole, for his invaluable contributions to the development of the university.

He said, “The massive interventions of the state government under the leadership of the Governor Oshiomhole, are eloquently manifested in the number of projects that were built from government’s intervention funds/grants. Undeniably, the governor has boldly etched his name in gold in Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma.”

He appealed to the governor-elect, Godwin Obaseki, to continue in that light so that the heights attained would be surpassed.

According to Oninawo, 8,692 diploma, and first-degree students graduated for the 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 academic sessions, while 492 postgraduates were conferred with their awards for the two academic sessions.

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.

Sokoto initiates bill for right to education, employs science teachers.

Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has initiated the Right to Education Bill 2016, in recognition, and protection of right to education for children between six and 18 years in the state.

This is the first time any state in Nigeria will seek to legally make education a fundamental human right of all children.

The bill is one of the major components of the policy on the state of emergency in education declared in the state in December 2015.

“Sokoto will be the first state in Nigeria to provide right to education, thereby bringing it in comformity with the status of fundamental objective and directive principle of state policy under Chapter Two of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999,” according to Justice Commissioner Suleiman Usman.

Usman, who spoke while fielding questions from reporters in Sokoto, stressed that this step, would consolidate the declaration of emergency in education by the administration in concrete terms.

He described the bill as one of the major achievements of the Tambuwal administration, adding that in view of the high premium the administration has given to rural transformation and delivery of social services to the people especially at the grassroots, the Social and Community Development Agency Bill 2016, has also been initiated by the Executive, and is before the state House of Assembly.

“This Bill seeks to create a Social and Community Development Agency ?for the execution of social and community development projects throughout Sokoto State,” he explained.

In a related development, Tambuwal has approved the recruitment of 96 new science and technology teachers 20 lawyers to serve as counsels in the state’s ministries of science and technology and justice respectively.

Sokoto State Set To Make Education A Fundamental Human Right

Reports reveal that Gov. Tambuwal of Sokoto state has initiated the Right to Education Bill 2016 in recognition and protection of right to education for children between 6 and 18 years in the state and this is the first time any state in Nigeria will seek to legally make education a fundamental human right of all children in Nigeria’s history

I have no regret investing in education – Aregbesola

Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State says he has no regrets in committing the largest part of the state’s resources to education development.

Aregbesola spoke when he unveiled a new block of 10 classroom in Attan-Ayegbaju town, Osun, on Wednesday

The classrooms were built by the Anglican Church in honour of Chief Bisi Akande, a former Governor of Osun State and former interim Chairman of the All Progressives Congress.

According to Aregbesola, by investing massively in education, his administration is preparing the state’s future leaders for a better tomorrow.

Aregbesola said: “Education by far has commanded our greatest engagement and resources and we owe no one any apology over this.

“As I often let people know, we are preparing for the next 25 years, what we want our children to become and where we want them to be in an increasingly digitised and fiercely competitive world.”

Aregbesola said that the dedication of the classrooms resonates with the vision of his administration’s education programmers.

In his speech, Akande, attributed decadence and immorality in Nigerian schools to the forceful take-over of the missionary schools by successive military governments.

Akande said the consequence of the military take-over of the schools across the country resulted in the displacement of people with moral integrity by fraudsters and and the vagabonds from political leadership space.

He said that the major reason why the military took over schools from missionaries was to lay the foundation for their own immorality and corruption.

According to him whether in Islamic schools or in any evangelical learning centres, all Missionary schools known to Nigerians are institutions for moral instructions.

The Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, said religion remains a veritable tool for the promotion of peaceful cohabitation and tolerance in the society.

Okoh, who decried religious crises in some parts of the country, expressed hope that with a Christian faith building a school in honour of a Muslim statesman, Nigeria would soon get out of religious vendetta.

He described Akande as a true Muslim whose ideology and faith have impacted greatly in the lives of fellow beings without discrimination.

Child marriage hinders girl child development – NGO

The Centre for Learning and Educational Development Advocacy Africa (CLEDA-Africa), an NGO, has said that child marriage is one of the major hindrances to girl child development in the country.

Mr Daniels Akpan, its Executive Director, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna on Tuesday that globally, one in seven adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 are currently married.

“This is even worst in developing countries where one in three girls are married off before they turn 18 and more than 20,000 girls under the age of 18 give birth daily.

“This increases the world population by seven million annually,’’ he said.

Akpan also said that out of the more than seven billion population of the world, 1.1 billion are girls with talents, creativity and full of abilities.

However, he pointed out that culture, religion, tradition, poverty and illiteracy, among other factors, had hindered and limited the full development of the girl child.

As the world celebrates this year’s International Day of the Girl Child, the director called on relevant stakeholders and the global community to strengthen and support girl child progress in Kaduna State and the nation.

According to him, girls are engine of national development and stress the need to promote girl child education in preparing them for a better future.

“This is the best way to stand up for girls’ progress everywhere,’’ Akpan said.

He disclosed that CLEDA Africa had in September trained 150 secondary school girls in Pampaida and Saulawa communities of Ikara Local Government Areas of Kaduna State on vocational skills.

He said that the gesture was to empower the girls financially as part of efforts to encourage them to remain in school.

Akpan called on the Federal and Kaduna State Governments to partner with CLEDA Africa to reach out to young girls and empower them with education and basic skills to live a productive life.

#IDG2016: AYAHAY Foundation Providing Education To Girls And Children Displaced By Boko Haram

In line with the theme of this year’s International day for Girl child, “Girls Progress = Goal Progress”,
at AYAHAY Foundation, educating the girl child has been our priority. To celebrate this day however, AYAHAY Foundation announce the establishment of education centers in Abuja and Adamawa, educating internally displaced persons, and the foundation hopes to establish 8 more centres in a bid to educate more girls especially from Northern Nigeria.
As the world marks the International day for the Girl Child, “we are proud to also state that empowering girls through our scholarship programs over the years has been rewarding, the girls opportuned to have been part of the scheme from Kebbi, Adamawa, Yobe, Sokoto and Borno have continued to perform creditably well” , says Mrs Maryam Augie Abdulmumin, founder of the foundation.

Mrs Augie-Abdulmumin also announce that AYAHAY Foundation, through its Empowerment through Education program, has constructed Early Childhood Education Centers (ECEC) in FCT Abuja and Malkohi, Adamawa State to educate vulnerable kids displaced by Boko Haram.

“For us it is about how much we can do for the 10 million plus out of school children in Northern Nigeria, add that number to those displaced, we had to get them in school even as they’re in the various IDP camps. We have a target of 500 women and 500 children before the end of year.” says Maryam Augie Jibrin, Executive Director of the Foundation.

Mrs Jibrin stated, “The Centres offer the space, materials, and activities organized to promote active exploration and learning for children between the ages of 3-6, and also psychosocial therapy for the kids.

The Education program is under the AYAHAY Foundation’s Gift Basket Initiative, which was started in 2014 with the sole purpose of providing relief materials to the men, women and children who have become internally displaced as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency in North-Eastern Nigeria.

Hajara Tafida-Isa, Program officer of the Foundation says “we know that providing relief materials is a short-term solution to a long term problem. This led to the birth of our Empowerment through Education Program.”

“Statistically, it can be seen that between 2014-2016, there was 89% increase in the number of IDPs, also 95% increase in the number of IDPs that were out of school. Similarly, 90% of schools were destroyed in the affected areas.” Ms Tafida – Isa Maintained.

“The Early Childhood Education Centers are 2 out of 10 centers that the Foundation plans to set up in IDP camps and host communities in Northern Nigeria.” Program officer of the Foundation added. “We have 92% of IDPs living in host communities, but only 8% in IDP camp.”

Ms. Hajara further explained with details that the Abuja Center is at the Durumi IDP Camp which has a population of two thousand, seven hundred and seventy-four (2774).

“There are currently 50 children at the Abuja center and we are targeting 500 children in all the 10 centers. The center in Adamawa State is located at Malkohi, a community with a population of about eight thousand (8000). The center will cater to the educational needs of the IDP and the host community.” She maintained.

To make it conducive, the centers are built using mud blocks, thatch and have bamboo in the walls for ventilation. The items according to the facility manager, Mr Onyedikachi Izuegbu. “Will help keep the class cool even in the hottest days. “Handmade light bulbs made of chlorine and water which reflect the rays of the sun into the classroom were inserted through the roof because of the lack of electricity.”

“We have also initiated a second branch of the program which is the Adult Learning Program” He added.
“To ensure that our pupils get the right amount of help with their schoolwork while at home, their mothers have also been enrolled into our adult literacy classes where they will learn literacy and numeracy. All our teachers and instructors are Internally Displaced Persons.” He concluded.

AYAHAY Foundation in its efforts as part of its nationwide education outreach program in the country set up a scholarship program for bright children from Northern Nigeria. There are currently 12 students in the program who attend well-recognised schools in Northern Nigeria such as El-Amin International School, Minna, Niger State.
AYAHAY Foundation was established after two of Ms Augie’s close friends, Fatima and Aisha Yahaya, died in a car accident (AYAHAY is Yahaya spelled backwards.) The foundation, which is now made up of Maryam and about 20 other young individuals in different fields, has since 2013 been helping women and children especially, by equipping them with relevant entrepreneurial skills and providing them with relief materials.

AYAHAY Foundation before now, provided relief materials for the three northeastern states, Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa, which have for a very long time been afflicted by attacks from terrorist group, Boko Haram.

Tinubu calls for return of history to school curriculum

All Progressives Congress, APC, National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has made a strong case for the return of History as a subject in the country’s school curriculum, saying any nation which forgets its past has lost a beacon to guide its actions.

Tinubu’s call came in a short remark after reviewing the book, entitled Muhammadu Buhari: The Challenges of Leadership in Nigeria, at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, yesterday.

He said the removal of History as a subject to be taught in Nigerian schools was disturbing, and lamented that the move would cut off younger generations of Nigerians from learning about the nation’s history and tradition as well as past mistakes.

He said: “If countries, including United States of America, teach their students about their histories, why not Nigeria, with its rich history and tradition? History helps a people to connect with the past and learn from past pitfalls.”

He described the book, written by Professor John N. Paden, which is an authorised biography of President Buhari, as an important one.

According to the APC leader, the book attempts a broad characterisation of the different stages of President Buhari’s life and professional career.

Tinubu said: “The book explores how his professional career, his personal life and prior experiences in government shaped and prepared him for the momentous assignment he now has.

“From the book’s pages, we see a man who has lived his life on assignments that always intersected with vital moments in the nation’s history. He was a man on assignment, when, in the military, he served bravely in a civil war to keep Nigeria united.

“He was on national assignment when he became military head of state in a well-intentioned effort to straighten things out, and set Nigeria on a better path.

“When he ventured into politics and competed for the Presidency, culminating in his 2015 election victory, he was still on assignment, showing that there was no other way for this nation to go but the way of democracy, no matter how difficult the path may be.”

Asiwaju Tinubu was one of the four reviewers of the book. Others were former US Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador John Campbell; defunct ANPP Chairman and Science and Technology Minister, Chief Ogbonanya Onu; and former External Affairs Minister, Professor Ibrahim Gambari.

Colleges of education should have highest cut-off points – Bankole

A former Speaker, House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, has said the nation’s colleges of education should have the highest cut-off points.

He said they should also attract the smartest applicants because they were crucial to development of the future of the country.

He said the current cut-off points of 130 for entry into the colleges of education did not augur well for the builders and moulders of future leaders.

Bankole said this last Thursday at the second distinguished guest lecture of the Year 2016 Registry Day of the Federal College of Education, Osiele, Abeokuta.

He explained that Nigeria was suffering from bad leadership because of bad teachers.

He said, “At present, to gain admission into universities and polytechnics, students must achieve pass marks at or above the cut-off points of 160-180.

“On the same scale of measurement, the cut-off point for admission to a college of education is 130. This means that the system is pre-disposed to select poorer academic performers to train as teachers for our children.”

“If we are selecting poorer academic performers to train and teach our students, how can we expect our students to be high achievers, if all through their formative academic years, they are separated from the brightest minds and not forced to push themselves past the standards and achievements of individuals who are unable to gain admission into university?

“This is no joking matter. Our colleges of education should have the highest cut-off points, attract the smartest students, because they matter too much for the future of this country.”

Rihanna Named Global Ambassador for Childhood Education

Rihanna is “Work”-ing on education.

The global superstar’s Clara Lionel Foundation has partnered up with Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen on a multi-year initiative to support education across the world.

Through this push, Rihanna hopes to advocate for more than a quarter of a billion children who are not currently in school as well as about 330 million students who aren’t learning in the schools they’re in.


As GPE’s new Global Ambassador, RiRi hopes to reach more than 60 developing countries, prioritizing those with the most need, including children in conflict and crisis areas.

“I feel strongly that all children everywhere should be afforded the opportunity of a quality education,” she said in a statement. “Therefore I’m proud to announce Clara Lionel Foundation’s partnership with education advocacy leaders like the Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen. Working together, I know we can amplify our efforts and ensure that millions of children gain access to education globally.”

Julia Gillard, GPE’s Chair and the former Prime Minister of Australia, says she’s excited about partnering with Robyn Fenty.

“We are thrilled that Rihanna is joining GPE as Global Ambassador to campaign for every child to be able to experience the power of a quality education,” she said. “We have a once in a generation opportunity to build the commitment of world leaders to education, and Rihanna’s voice and travels to countries where GPE is actively engaged, will be hugely influential in improving the lives of girls and boys everywhere.”

Rihanna’s been advocating for education throughout her career. Earlier this year, for instance, she announced her new scholarship program through the Clara Lionel Foundation, which was founded in 2012 as a tribute to her grandparents, Clara and Lionel Braithwaite.

FG Plans Uninterrupted Power for 40 Universities

The Federal Government is working on a plan for uninterrupted power supply for 40 federal universities within the next 18 months.

To this end, the ministers of education; and power, works and housing; Mallam Adamu Adamu and Babatunde Fashola (SAN) respectively, have begun to collaborate to meet the target.

It was revealed at a meeting held in Abuja yesterday by representatives of both ministers that the project would be implemented through the Energizing Education Programme Initiative (EEPI).

A statement from Deputy Director Press of the ministry of education, Ben Bem Goong, informed that the project will be executed through the utilization of off-grid Independent Power Projects (IPPs) and Public Private Partnership (PPP) structures.

At the meeting which was held with the Vice Chancellors and Directors of Physical Planning of all the 40 Federal Universities, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan, who represented the minister said that the project was initiated by the Ministry of Power, Works & Housing.

According to her, the project will as well, provide an avenue to train students especially those in the faculty of Engineering on how to utilize various energy sources in their respective departments.

“Since both Ministries are on the same page over this important project, we decided to call the Vice Chancellors together, share their vision, cooperation and pray for smooth sailing”, she said.

The Minister for Power, Works and Housing was represented by the Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Alhaji Mustapha Baba Shehuri.

He stated that the programme is aimed at providing reliable power supply which he said will promote economic growth and sustainable development in our Universities.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Power, Damilola Ogunbiyi, in her presentation, stated that the project will boost productivity, efficacy and professionalism in the concerened universities.

She noted that the off-grid power plants being planned for varsities are environmentally friendly with little or no carbon emission, in line with global climate change standard.

Kaduna School Enrolment Rises By 39% Since Start Of School Feeding Program

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna says that school enrolment figures in public primary and secondary schools have risen 38.9% from 1.1million to 1.8million since the commencement of the school feeding program in the state. The figures, according to the governor, is expected to rise to 2.2 million by September 2016 when the new school session begins.


The governor has restated the commitment of the Kaduna State Government to girls education and guaranteeing nine years of free education in the State. The Governor stated this when he attended the Influencers Screening of the documentary ‘He named me Malala’ which was jointly organized by YouthHubAfrica, the Centre for Girls Education and the Kaduna State Government and hosted at the Council Chambers of the Kaduna State Government House.


Speaking during the panel session at the Screening, the wife of the governor, Mrs. Hadiza el-Rufai expressed her commitment to continue to support efforts that guarantee access to education for young girls, as it is the surest way to lift them and their families out of poverty and ensure they live fulfilled lives. ‘During the course of my work with young girls, I have come to realize that they are very rich in ideas. Unfortunately, being ‘idea rich’ does not cut it anymore, it is integral to complement these ideas with opportunities’ and we who are influencers in society, owe it as a duty to create these opportunities’, she said.


Mr. Rotimi Olawale, Executive Director, Youthhubafrica who spoke at the event highlighted some of the challenges faced by young girls especially in Northern Nigeria in completing their secondary education. He also cited the high dropout rates among girls, saying it is high time to encourage girls to aspire to higher education levels.



Responding to questions on why the state Government hasn’t extended its free education program to cover 12 years of education until the end of secondary school, Governor el-Rufai attributed it to the paucity of funds. He promised to extend the free education to 12 years as soon as the state’s financial position improves.


The screening was also attended by the state’s commissioners for education, health, women affairs and youth as well as traditional leaders, community leaders, women leaders and representatives of non-profits working in the state.


The screening of ‘He named me Malala’ is part of a Youthhubafrica initiative, in collaboration with the Malala Fund and with support from Participant Media and to screen the documentary to school girls, community and traditional leaders; and policy makers in the country. The documentary chronicles the remarkable story of Malala Yusufzai who defied all odds, including a terrorist attack in pursuit of her dream for education. The project has so far screened the documentary to up to 10,000 persons in 30 cities across Nigeria as part of efforts to encourage girls education and build stakeholder support for girls education in Nigeria.



#ReOpenLautech: Nigerians Deserve A Top Notch Educational System – Isaac Amoo

Nigerian student deserves more and the educational system needs better handling than what we are presently seeing in LAUTECH. Is this the promised change or do we wait for another? These are the question plaguing our minds as we look at the unfolding scenarios in LAUTECH.


If this has to do with change mantra, I don’t know. But the height and depth of irresponsibility displayed by the two Governors (Osun and Oyo states) stink to the high heaven. They came in the garb of Awolowo but are bereft of Awo’s idea and the ideal of Education nor do they portray Awo’s integrity.


We have been sold a mouthed commitment to educational overhaul before the election but alas it becomes a forgone one immediately the politicians are sworn in. To every politician in Nigeria especially of the western extraction, reforming and transforming education top the list of their agenda only to see how it becomes a non-issue as they ascend the seat of power. Men whose actions are diametrically opposed to their words. Men with questionable integrity.


Today, we have been trapped in the convoluted web of men whose value for the future is infinitesimal. And whose pleasure is gallivanting and globetrotting without any discernible idea on education.


Our politicians lack the will and vision to accurately position the state beyond subsistence, even at the subsistence level they are a colossal failure as thirty out of the thirty-six cannot pay common salary.


The past months the school had been on lockdown, the concerned Governors have not moved a hoot. That speak of high-level responsibility. Every government should have a face value at least for the populace especially the future.


A country lost in the world of delusion- wanting to be great but contended with staying at a mediocre equilibrium without a proportional effort to achieve the greatness. A sorry state for the giant of Africa whose delight is in stupefying retrogression. The Governors especially should put their houses in order as regard education because if we continue in these one step forward and several backwards, we won’t amount to anything soon.


We have become the scum of the world because we lack this one virtue- Vision! Our leadership is not driven by men and women with crystal clear vision. We lack the power of focus and intensity that behoves quality leadership. And where there is no vision, there won’t be the passion for pursuing the necessary course. Misplaced priority is equally inevitable.


It is high time we woke up from the slumber. The fabrics of our educational sector are losing out in the seams. We are tottering towards educational extinction if we don’t rise up from our greed induced stupor.


So, I ask if Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and Senator Abiola Ajimobi have concerns for the school gate that has been shut for more than two months now? Could this be the other side of the change promised?


Could this be another style of leadership whose priority is not first about the education? Could this be that they don’t know the school activities have been handicapped for this number of months? Or can we conclude that they are living in another world different from ours?


Maybe they don’t know this is taking place under their watch?


If their pride is that the school is jointly owned by two States whose Governors are ‘change’ mantra fanatics, I think they have to borrow themselves some currencies of common sense.


What progress has this change brought to the school? Non-payment of both the teaching and non-teaching staff is the trademark that stands them out. Two men whose party’s song of change has only resulted to an exponential backwardness in a fast order. Your house is burning, but it does not move you an inch speak volume of the premium you place on the family.


The two Governors and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as the chancellor of the school should bring dynamism and progressiveness to the school but see where we are today? I do believe the good APC national leader in the person of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu will use his heavyweight to weigh in in the current impasse in the school.


Please, wake up and do something urgent to the sordid and helpless state of the institution that has been on a terminal break for more than two months. Redefine your vision along the path of education and save the future of this nation.


Writer: Isaac Sogo Amoo – @isaacsogo on Twitter

Scrapping Of Post-UTME: Varsities To Screen Candidates On Oral, Essay Before Admission

Former Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, NUC, Professor Peter Okebukola, has said that Nigerian universities deviated from the initial agreement NUC had with Vice-Chancellors in 2004 when it introduced  post-UTME to screen candidates on oral interview and written essay.

He also said out the present position as revealed to him by the Vice-Chancellors, after their meeting with Malam Adamu Adamu last Thursday, was that the Minister had directed that universities should no longer conduct the same type of test as JAMB, but should be  free to further subject candidates to screening to meet their local peculiarities.

Okebukola, who spoke exclusively with Vanguard, lamented that universities had since deviated from the initial agreement of post-UTME disclosed that the 2004 model had a screening component which was agreed with all vice-chancellors to be through oral interview and essay which JAMB assessment did not cover.

The former NUC Scribe expressed joy in the scrapping of post-UTME, adding that it now took the universities system back to the original model of post-UME which NUC initiated in 2004 while he  served as Executive Secretary. While expatiating on reasons for the introduction of  post-UTME in 2014, he explained that the NUC and the vice-chancellors  discovered that more than ever before, they needed to admit into the universities, secondary school leavers, from the large pool, including those who have at least two characteristics.

The first characteristic, he noted, was to ensure that admission seekers attained minimum cognitive competence in the relevant subjects in the discipline they wished to study; and second to test their  competence in written and oral English, critical thinking and ability to present ideas in logical sequence befitting of undergraduates in Africa’s most-expansive and well-regarded university system. ‘’JAMB’s UTME targets only the first characteristic; while the university-level screening should measure the second,’’ he said.

Credit: Vanguard

Dogara Decries Nigerians’ N1.5trn Spending On Overseas Education

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, said on Monday that an urgent solution must be found to the “over N1.5tn” spent by Nigerians in search of education overseas yearly.

The speaker admitted that this was an indication that the country’s education sector required immediate overhaul by the Federal Government, the National Assembly and other stakeholders.

Dogara spoke in Abuja at the opening of a public hearing on three bills and three motions by the House Committee on Tertiary Education.

One of the bills, which generated interest at the session, was a ‘Bill for an Act to Amend the TETFund ACT 2011’.

The Speaker was represented by the Chief Whip of the House, Mr. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, while the committee was chaired by Mr. Aminu Suleiman.

Dogara said, “The alarming report that Nigerians spend over N500m annually on their children studying in the United States of America and the United Kingdom calls for concern from every Nigerian.

“The House of Represen-tatives is equally worried that over N1.5tn, which is nearly half of the total Federal Government Appropriations in 2015, is spent on Nigerians studying abroad.

“There is no better time for all hands to work together to overhaul our education sector than now so that this sector can be turned into a source of foreign exchange as is the case with other countries.

“The House is determined to pursue this goal to fruition in fulfilment of its prescriptions in the Legislative Agenda to make concerted efforts in bringing about the desired change in the sector.”

At the hearing, the management of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund kicked against any plans to include federal colleges of education as beneficiaries of the fund.

The Acting Executive Secretary of TETFund, Mr. Aliyu Na’Iya, told lawmakers that including agricultural colleges as beneficiaries would defeat the aim of the fund.

He explained that TETFund was for universities, polytechnics and colleges of education, excluding agricultural colleges.

Na’Iya stated, “The existing Act should be allowed to exist as it is.

“If amended, it will result in eroding the intervention function and impact of the fund.”

But, many stakeholders, who thronged the venue of the hearing at the National Assembly, Abuja, disagreed with the TETFund boss.

The majority of them, who were provosts of colleges of agriculture from across the country, argued that non-funding of the colleges by TETFund had denied them of development.

According to the stakeholders, the name “monotechnic”, was coined for the colleges just to allow them to suffer neglect over the years.

They told the committee that the name was strange as it could not be found in any English Dictionary.

Meanwhile, academic researchers in Nigeria, under the aegis of Academic Staff Union of Research Institutes, on Monday, stormed the National Assembly protesting against their exclusion from the TETFund.

While demanding a review of the TETFund Act, they said the scope of distribution of funds should be extended to all research institutes in the country.

At about 9am, the protesters, numbering over 200 and led by the Secretary-General of ASURI, Dr. Theophilus Ndubuaku, besieged the National Assembly, chanting solidarity songs.

Some of the protesters displayed placards with various inscriptions.

According to the group, despite campaigns for diversification of the economy, government has not deemed it necessary to adequately fund the research institutes sector.

Credit: PUNCH.

Ebonyi Wins 2016 Democracy School Debate

It defeated Taraba and Police teams at the finals of the championship organised by the President’s School Debate Nigeria (PSDN) a non-governmental organisation from May 24 to May 28 in Abuja.


PSDN comprised private and public sector stakeholders. Dr Adaeze Nwauzor, Ebonyi Centenary Debate team leader, told NAN on Monday that Ebonyi would represent Nigeria in an international school debate competition in Indonesia. “By this feat, we have qualified to represent Nigeria in the forthcoming international school debate competition in Indonesia. “We were also presented with a trophy by Hajia Aisha Buhari, wife of the President, at a dinner party with the students. “My team won because of hard work coupled with their intelligence. We took time to select the best students in terms of debate for this competition. “We started by training the trainers – debate handlers – then we went round the 13 local government areas and selected the best speakers from each local government. “We went to three zones and selected the best speakers; then at the semi-grand finale, we selected the best speakers,’’ she said.


She commended, Gov. Dave Umahi of Ebonyi, and his wife for their support and commitment to human development. Nwauzor, who is the Senior Special Adviser to Umahi on Higher Education, said that the governor’s support and passion for educational development of the state contributed to the team’s victory. She also thanked the organisers, especially, Dare Olotu, PSDN’s National Coordinator and all the members of the committee, for a well organised debate.


NAN recalls that Olotu had at the opening ceremony, said that the essence of the competition was to bring Nigerian students to debate on motions affecting the country. He said that wining team would have automatic qualification to represent Nigeria in the forthcoming international schools debate in Indonesia. Olotu said the topics of debate were: “This House Believes that the Agricultural Sector has Better Prospects for Nigeria’s Economic Growth. “This House Believes that Posting of National Youth Corps Members should be Limited to their Geo-political Zones.’’ No fewer than 13 teams drawn from Taraba, Imo, Niger, Ebonyi, Anambra, Kaduna, Oyo, Sokoto, Benue and FCT, participated in the competition.

Credit: Vanguard

UN Announces Establishment Of Global Emergency Education Fund

The UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Mr Gordon Brown, on Monday, announced the establishment of
Global Emergency Education Fund for out-of-school children due to conflicts, diseases or natural disasters.

Brown, former UK Prime Minister, told reporters in New York via telephone link that the Fund would be officially unveiled during the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), scheduled to take place from May 23 to May 24 in Istanbul, Turkey.

He said “the Fund will assist Nigeria, where Boko Haram forced the closure of over 5,000 schools.

“It will also take care of funding for Nepal, where 900,000 children are out of school because of earthquake emergency and South Sudan.”

The fund, he added, would build on the recent Syrian initiative which promised one million Syrian refugees schooling in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.

The former British prime minister said that the Fund, to be known as “Education Cannot Wait”, was a historic, global first that would seek “substantial
sums” from government and businesses, to urgently provide for the over 30 million displaced girls and boys.

He added that “the Fund is the only chance to save a generation lost to wars, child marriage, forced labour and recruitment for violent extremism.

“I call upon Western leaders in particular, to set up the platform and act now.”

Brown said that the funding campaign, which would start on May 23, would raise 3.84 billion Dollars in the next five years.

“The Fund spent three years in the making and will fill the gap where education falls through the net, between humanitarian aid, which focuses in food and shelter and development aid, which is by definition focused on the long term.

“We will engage philanthropic companies in innovative solutions to deliver education, including bold experiments in online education to help refugees in camps and those holed up in huts and tents.

“Such bold initiative will offer millions of the world’s displaced children their first chance of schooling.”



Rivers To Provide Free Bus Service For Students

The Rivers Government announced on Monday that plans were underway to provide a free bus service for students in the state.


The Commissioner for transport, Mr Dagogo Fubara, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt.


He said the service would begin before July, noting that the gesture was to alleviate the suffering of students in their bid to go to school.
Fubara explained that buses would take off from Borikiri to Mile 3 and take back students after school.


He said the service was strictly for students, stressing that students must be in their school uniforms to enjoy the service.

The commissioner stressed the need for students to be orderly and disciplined while benefiting from the service.



Deji of Akure Calls For Establishment Of Federal Government College In Akure

The Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi, has called for the establishment of a Federal Government College for boys in Akure.

Aladelusi made the call at an emergency meeting of the Parents Teachers Association of Federal Government Girls College (FGGC) in Akure on Monday.

He commended the government for establishing FGGC in Akure, saying that the school had impacted positively on the community and the country at large.

Aladelusi stressed the importance of girl-child education, saying that educated women played important roles in the society.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was called to address the issue of two cooks of the college who were arrested on April 4 by the Police for allegedly using sanitary pads of students for ritual purposes.

The cooks were accused of going to dustbins in the school to pick used sanitary pads and some other personal items of girls in hostels.

The traditional said it was normal for parents to feel concerned whenever they heard such stories and appealed that the school should wait for the police concluded their investigation.

Mrs Ibifuro Harrison, the state Commissioner of Police, who was at the meeting, said the police had investigated the matter and found nothing incriminating against the cooks.

Harrison said that it was the timely intervention of the police that saved the issue from degenerating, adding that it would have created disaffection among the students, teachers and Akure community.

“My joy is that no harm has happened to anyone. We investigated the matter and we did not find any of the allegations to be true,” she said.

Harrison advised parents to teach their children proper ways of disposing their “personal things and instill discipline in them’’.

Chief Imam of Akure, Alhaji Yayi Akorede, advised parents to allow peace to reign and return their wards to the school.

Akorede said people should plan for the progress of the school, saying, “this school is for Akure community and it must go on”.

Mrs Florence Ejikeme, the Principal of the school, said investigations had been conducted at different levels and nothing incriminatory was found.

Ejikeme said that the Police, the PTA and the old girls association of the college investigated the matter and found that the story was not true.

“I took personal pains to investigate the matter, what l found out was the girls were just restless and finding a way of stirring up dust,” she said.
Ejikeme said the meeting had resolved the issue and measures to prevent future occurrence.

She advised the parents to get to the management of the college on any issue rather than spreading false information.

Akin Asimolowo, the PTA Chairman, said the meeting was just to put an end to the ill feelings parents might have on the issue.

Asimolowo advised parents to always consult the PTA and the school authorities on issues bothering them.



SUBEB Boss Charges Govt. On Making Primary Education Top Priority

Alhaji Fatai Kolawole, the Permanent Secretary (PS), Osun State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), has urged the three tiers of government to make primary education their top priorities.


Kolawole told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Osogbo on Tuesday that through this, they would be developing human capital.


He said that every government should recognise the need to develop its human capital through qualitative education, in which primary education is key.


The SUBEB boss said that the earlier a child was introduced to basic education, the better for him or her in life.


Kolawole said that the present government in Osun had planned to stamp out illiteracy completely from the state and “restore the dignity of common people.’’


He said that state government was also committed to the well-being of its teachers despite shortage of funds.


“The foundation for intellectual-driven society, where growth and development predicated on human capital, is found is in early education, mostly at the primary school level.


“Government at all levels must strive to prioritise primary education for the purpose of building enlightened societies.

“We are working assiduously in Osun to better the lives of our teachers despite the shortage in monthly allocations from the federation accounts.

“It is very important to develop our human capital and strengthen our economy through education,’’ Kolawole said.



Anger In Chibok Over Lack Of Education

There’s not much left of the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, northeast Nigeria, where Boko Haram kidnapped 276 teenagers in the dead of night nearly two years ago.

Even the word “girls” on the school sign outside has been painted over in black — hidden from the world, just like the 219 students who are still missing.

Up the dusty track and beyond the heavy wrought-iron gates, soldiers stand guard with assault rifles, although there are few buildings and no people to protect.

Only the peeling light-green walls of the school’s main school building remain. Metal beams that supported the roof lie rusting. Rough grass pokes through shattered concrete.

The government of Nigeria’s former president Goodluck Jonathan announced shortly before last year’s election that rebuilding work had begun at the school.

But apart from piles of breeze blocks, there’s no evidence of any construction. The sprawling site is silent apart from the sound of cicadas and gusts of hot wind through the desert scrub.

Ayuba Alamson Chibok steps through the rubble where the girls’ dormitories once stood, picking up a bed frame from the scorched earth — one of the few signs the site was once inhabited.

“If the government wanted to do something, let them call the contractor… to put somebody on the ground,” the town elder told AFP, his voice rising in anger.

“Education here in Chibok has really come to zero level. This is the only school we have in Chibok and it has been destroyed.”

Credit: Guardian

JAMB To Review Criteria For Selecting Examination Centres

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says it will review criteria for selecting centres for its Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).


Dr Fabian Benjamin, the board’s Head of Media and Information, disclosed this in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos.


Benjamin acknowledged that there were technical hitches in about 20 of the 520 centres registered to host the 2016 UTME on the Computer Based Test (CBT) platform nationwide.


“I want to say that we are making efforts to come up with new selection method and approval of the centres we shall be
using for the conduct of our examination henceforth.

“We shall be considering using more of public owned centres and a few oragnised privately owned centres.

“From statistics available to us, we have discovered that most of the issues we had with centres during the examination were associated with those with private concerns,’’ he said.


While expressing the board’s regret over the technical problem, Benjamin, however, said he was happy that the conduct of the examination was generally successful.

He noted that over 1.6 million candidates sat for the examination within and outside the country.


Benjamin re-iterated that the board had not cancelled the entire results of the 2016 examination as was being


According to him, the board is finalising modalities for the re-take of the examination by only those with genuine cases.



NECO Releases Nov/Dec 2015 Results

The National Examinations Council (NECO), has released the results of the November/December 2015 Senior School Certificate Examinations.


Prof. Abdulrashid Garba, NECO’s Registrar and Chief Executive, disclosed this on Wednesday in Minna while addressing newsmen.


He said that a total of 50,060 candidates registered, out of which 47,507 sat for English Language while 47,554 sat for Mathematics. Garba said that out of the number that sat for English,29,718 representing 62.55 per cent obtained credit pass while 32, 484 that sat for Mathematics representing 68.30% passed at credit level.


He said that of the 39,389 candidates that sat for Biology, 17,227 or 43.73 per cent obtained credit pass. For Chemistry, out of 22,284 candidates that sat for the examination, 11,951 representing 53.63 per cent made it at credit level. The registrar added that out of 22,201 candidates who sat for Physics, 818 or 3.68 per cent passed the subject at credit level, while in Geography, 19, 781 candidates sat for the examination, and 3,851 or 19.46 per cent passed at credit level.


Garba pointed out that performance of candidates in Government indicates that out of 23,497 candidates that wrote the subject, 10,226 or 43.52 per cent made it at credit level. He said that in Economics, 39,406 candidates sat for the examination and 23,991 or 60.88 per cent passed the subject at credit level.


“In view of the fact that the examination was for private candidates who were no longer in the school system and looking for one or two credits, the desperation to engage in malpractice was high. “This led to an increase in the percentage of candidates involved in malpractice, compared to the figure for 2014,” he said.


Garba said that the NECO was devising more ways to reduce malpractice in the examinations in order to counter the various illegal strategies adopted by candidates. He said that malpractice was on the increase, adding that a comparative study showed an increase between 2014 and 2015 in most subjects.


“A comparative analysis of malpractice cases by subject revealed that while 635 cases were recorded in English Language in 2014, 1,075 cases were recorded in 2015. “Also, in Mathematics, 634 cases of malpractice were recorded in 2014 while 1,799 cases were recorded in 2015.


“In Economics, 570 cases of malpractice were recorded in 2014, while 880 were recorded in 2015. In Government, 363 cases were recorded in 2014 while 564 were recorded in 2015,” he said. Garba advised candidates to access their results on NECO website www.mynecoexam.com, using their Examination Registration Number and scratch cards.




Olawale Rotimi: Education in Rural Nigeria; An Assessment

In the Nigeria’s National Policy on Education (FRN 1998), it is stated that the Federal Government has adopted education as an instrument for effecting National Development in all areas of the nation. However, this does not reflect the situation in rural Nigeria where there is overwhelming widespread of illiteracy. Education in rural Nigeria is characterized with very poor infrastructure, insufficient academic staff, insecurity, and non-payment of academic staff among others. It is common knowledge that majority of the population in developing countries like Nigeria live in rural areas. Nigeria is predominantly a rural society as the vast majority of her population live in rural area. Generally, rural areas in Nigeria are incessantly neglected by the government when it comes to development of any form, educational development inclusive.

Despite the fact that rural dwellers in Nigeria are usually not recognized on government development activities, the nation’s wealth is derived from rural areas across the country. Crude oil, limestone, coal among other resources possessed by the country are hugely deposited in rural areas. The under-development in Nigeria as a country has been linked to lack of development in the rural areas. A view states that no serious, active, conscious, sensitive, and organized government would want to neglect rural communities. Lack of development has a positive correlation with the neglect of rural areas. Rural neglects brings negative consequences such as exodus of rural dwellers to urban areas, with resulting problems of unemployment, crimes, prostitution, child labour, insecurity, money laundering, bribery, poverty, proliferation of shanty living areas, spread of diseases, and overstretching of the facilities and infrastructures in the urban areas.

Having travelled to and through rural areas in various geo-political zones of the country, the sight of education facilities in rural areas of Nigeria is disheartening, particularly in the 21st century. From broken classroom walls, to opened roofs, damaged chalk board, over population and lack of sufficient chairs and tables in classes, bushy environment that houses reptiles to mention a few, the educational plight in rural Nigeria calls for immediate “unpolitical” attention. Having visited some rural schools in South West, North Central and North West Nigeria, the current situation tends to endanger the nation’s future if not revived. In one of the North Central states (picture below), pupils have been learning under a shade for many years before the local government authority managed to erect a single building for all classes. This is one of others been faced by critical challenges.

In a rural school in North Central Nigeria where pupils study under a shade

Education is to a nation what the mind is to the body, just as a diseased mind is handicapped in the coordination and direction of the bodily activities. Therefore, the single most significant complex of social – control tools for national development is found in the educational system. Since majority of the population still live in rural areas, education which is believed to be the bedrock of any serious nation’s development should be experience serious development in rural areas, hence it is expected of Nigeria’s government and relevant stakeholders to take the issues of education in rural areas seriously. Challenges confronting rural education in Nigeria include:

Lack of Infrastructure: There is a huge infrastructural deficit in rural education development in Nigeria. Majority of the rural schools are poorly built and very old with damaged roofs and walls. Other educational facilities such as chairs and tables are usually not sufficient; libraries do not exist in many rural schools e.t.c.


Poor Legislative Oversight Duty: Legislative oversight duty is a serious way the legislature can check the executive by supervising projects awarded and asking important questions on budget and expenses on such project. However, the legislators have performed poorly in their oversight function. Thus, some of the approved rural schools are not well constructed or not constructed at all.

Insufficient Academic Staff: There has been an incessant shortage of academic staff in rural schools for many years in Nigeria. This explains why a teacher can be saddled to teach two or more subjects/courses, sometimes outside his/her discipline.

Poor Learning Facilities: Learning facilities in rural Nigeria are in very poor conditions, if at all they exist. Computer laboratories, internet and other things that will expose the children to global standard in their studies are absent.

Poverty: This is an underlining factor in Nigeria as a whole. People in rural areas live below a dollar daily. The poverty level is so high for them to afford schooling opportunities for their children.

Corruption: This problem has affected Nigeria negatively in all sectors. Embezzlement of educational funds, scholarship and grants has marred the effort to develop education in rural Nigeria.

Speaking to teachers and students in a rural secondary school

Critically assessing the first post-independence National Educational Nigerian Conference on Curriculum development organized in 1969 by the Nigerian Educational Council with the following resolutions:

– Provision and expansion of educational facilities to ensure education gets to the door step of every Nigerian child.
– Overhauling and reforming the content of general education to make it more responsive to the socio-economic needs of the country.
– Development and consolidating the nation’s higher education in response to the manpower needs of the country.
– Developing technological education in order to meet the growing needs of the nation.

All these resolutions failed because of the lack of commitment from the government. Education is fundamental to growth and development, and serves as critical indices to measure progress of development agenda. Therefore, deliberate effort should be made to develop the sector particularly in rural areas. This will include provision of educational infrastructures and facilities, sustainable curriculum and policies, employment of more academic staff, strengthening oversight function on educational facilities and scholarship for students. Education is the most powerful tool of reducing poverty, ensuring peace and stability and advancing a people through inventions, a nation cannot grow beyond her level of education, for Nigeria to grow, education must grow.

Olawale Rotimi

(BA, MA Ilorin, DELF Paris)

Olawale can be reached via olawalerotty@gmail.com or 08105508224

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

Nigeria’s Indigenous Languages Facing Extinction — Minister

Nigeria’s indigenous languages could go into extinction due to decline in their usage by the youths, Prof. Anthony Anwukah, the Minister of State for Education, has warned.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Education on Wednesday in Abuja said that Anwukah raised the concern on Tuesday on the occasion of the celebration of International Mother Language Day.

The statement, signed by Mr Agidike Onu on behalf of Dr Ihuoma Priscilla, the Director of Press, said Anwukah was represented by his Special Adviser, Prof. Godswill Obioma.

It stated that the Minister expressed concern at the sharp drop in the number of Nigerian youths who were able to read or write in their mother tongues.

“Our youths, especially those living in the urban centres, hardly communicate in their native language. I believe that the best way to give our children real knowledge of history, values and tradition is to ensure that they read and write in their local language.

“Language is the most potent instrument for preserving and developing people’s cultural heritage,’’ the minister said.

The statement quoted Anwuka as saying that the theme of the celebration, “Quality Education, Language(s) of Instruction and Learning Outcomes” was apt.

“It rightly coincides with the ministry’s effort to ensuring quality in the teaching of Nigerian languages at various levels of education.  Nigerian Languages that are taught in schools have become a veritable instrument for consolidating language skills and other life coping competences,’’ he said.

The statement quoted Mrs Magdalene Maidoh, Secretary-General, Nigerian National Commission for UNESCO, as saying that the Minister of Education was the president of the commission.

According to Maidoh, the President of the Nigerian National Commission for UNESCO has the mandate to coordinate all UNESCO activities in the education sector in Nigeria.

UNESCO proclaimed Feb. 21 of every year as the International Mother Language Day in commemoration of the massacre of Benghali speaking people of Indonesia for defending their mother tongue.



2030 Agenda: UNESCO Underlines Quality Education In Mother Languages

Mother languages are essential to providing quality education, which in turn supports the achievement of the new global development agenda, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova has said.

He said this is necessary as the UN marked the International Day established to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world.
International Mother Language Day was proclaimed by the UNESCO General Conference in November 1999, and has been observed every year since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.

“Mother languages in a multilingual approach are essential components of quality education, which is itself the foundation for empowering women and men and their societies.

There is need to recognise and nurture this power in order to leave no one behind and craft a more just and sustainable future for all.’’
The theme of the 2016 Mother Language Day is “Quality education, languages of instruction and learning outcomes’’.
“Goal 4 of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development focuses on quality education and lifelong learning for all, to enable every woman and man to acquire skills, knowledge, and values to become everything they wish and participate fully in their societies,’’ Bokova said.

She noted that this was especially important for girls and women, as well as minorities, indigenous peoples and rural populations.
Bokova said that UNESCO’s Education 2030 Framework for Action, a road-map to implement the 2030 Agenda, encourages full respect for the use of mother language in teaching and learning, and the promotion and preservation of linguistic diversity.
“Multilingualism is essential to drive these objectives forward, it is vital for success across the 2030 Agenda, regarding growth, employment and health, as well as sustainable consumption and production, and climate change.
“UNESCO brings the same focus to advancing linguistic diversity on the Internet, through support to relevant local content as well as media and information literacy,’’ she said.
Through the Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems (LINKS) programme, UNESCO is highlighting the importance of mother and local languages as channels for safeguarding and sharing indigenous cultures and knowledge, which are vast reservoirs of wisdom.




Finland To Train Nigerian Teachers

The Visiting Finland’s Deputy Minister of External Economic Relations to Nigeria, Mr Matti Anttonen, on Wednesday expressed his government’s readiness to train Nigerian teachers.


Anttonen told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the plan was part of his government’s effort at ensuring that Nigerian teachers were well-grounded in the teaching profession.


The deputy minister said that because it would not be possible to send all Nigerian teachers to Finland, a large number of them would be selected to visit Finland as trainers.


“We are looking at the possibility of bringing some teacher trainers from Nigeria to Finland. It is expected that those trained in Finland would come back and share their knowledge with tens of thousands of Nigerian teachers.


We know that Nigeria is a very huge country, and that every year about seven million children are being born and every year five million children start schooling.


This means that Nigeria needs additional tens of thousands of well-trained teachers to be able to give qualitative education to these children,’’ he said.


Anttonen, also Finland’s Under-Secretary of State, said that it would be more cost-efficient and result-oriented to plan toward sending teacher trainers from Nigeria to Finland.



According to him, the proposal is already being looked into by Finland’s government, private sector and universities.


The under-secretary of state said that his government and Finland’s private sector and universities would “carefully find the right partners’’ from both countries before embarking on the proposal.



He said that there was a lot for Nigerian teachers to gain from the planned exchange of teaching experience programme with them in Finland.




Lagos Introduces PIN For Students

The Lagos State Government has announced the introduction of Personal Identification Number (LASPIN) to capture the biometrics of students in all public primary and secondary schools.


This is contained in a statement made available to newsmen on Sunday in Lagos by the Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Education, Mr Jide Lawal. The statement quoted the Deputy Governor, Dr Idiat Adebule, as saying that LASPIN would be a unique identity for each student throughout his or her study in the state’s education system.


Adebule, who supervises the ministry, said the transfer process of students in the state would now be streamlined, using the LASPIN. According to her, LASPIN will control and discourage abuses and make the process of transfer from one school to another, more transparent.


The deputy governor was also quoted as expressing government’s determination to improve on the pass ratings for Lagos State students in external examinations from three per cent to 60 per cent by 2019.


She said that government was committed to the adoption of e-curriculum platform/solution to assist teachers in accessing the subject curriculum and syllabus directly from the National Education Research and Development Council (NERDC).


“The introduction and adoption of e-curriculum platform/solution will guarantee uniformity and ease the development of lesson plan and teacher’s guide from the ministry’s portal,’’ she said.


Adebule said that the intensive monitoring and supervision of teachings and learning activities in schools by the quality assurance office were aimed at meeting the set standards.


The deputy governor said the standards were set by both the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the National Examination Council (NECO).


“Government will undertake the systematic introduction and exposure of students to ICT- based teaching and learning tools (e.g. learning tablets) starting from the senior secondary level. This is in order to make our teachers and students compete globally and be compliant with modern trend,’’ she said in the statement.



SSANU Suspends Strike

The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) has suspended its one month old industrial action and directed its members to return to work on Monday.



The National President of the association, Mr Samson Ugwoke, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos of the developments on telephone on Friday.



Ugwoke told NAN that the resolution to suspend the strike was taken after the association met with officials of the Ministry of Labour and other concerned stakeholders on Feb. 2.


“We had a meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 2 with the Ministry of Labour and other concerned stakeholders.

“At that meeting, it was resolved that we suspend the action and call our members back to work.

“We want to give room for Labour and other people involved to sit over the matter.

“We shall be going back to work on Monday, based on the outcome of the meeting.

“That is why I am calling on our members to remain calm, go back to work as directed, while we leave the issue with the leadership of the association to handle the matter.

“As we speak, members are having congresses in their respective institutions to take stock of the strike while it lasted.

“They are also deliberating on the new development,” he said.


Ugwoke said that the association was equally expecting the National Universities Commission (NUC) to ask the Vice-Chancellors to stop further issuance of sack letters to workers of their staff schools and retrieve the ones already issued.


“I sincerely want to salute members for complying with the stay-at-home order.


“It created the necessary impact and made our position known and so far, I want to express deep satisfaction with the turnout of events,” he said.


NAN recalls that the association had, on Dec. 24, 2015, begun a total and indefinite strike over plans by government to retrench more than 2000 teachers of staff schools of public universities nationwide.


The association had described the planned retrenchment as an attempt to desecrate the sanctity of an agreement which the Federal Government signed with it in 2009.


It said the action by government, if carried out, would bring untold hardship to members of the association.




Lassa Fever: Nigerian Universities Deploy Cats To Exterminate Rats

Authorities of the various universities in the country have deployed various strategies, including the use of cats, in order to prevent an outbreak of Lassa fever on campuses, findings by our correspondents reveal.



From the University of Benin, Edo State; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State; University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State; Enugu State University of Science and Technology to the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the race for hunting of rats has taken a new dimension.

While some of the institutions employ the conventional approach such as cleanliness, sensitising students and members of staff to the danger of co-habiting with rats, and fumigation, others use the unorthodox mechanism like purchasing of cats to exterminate rats in their campuses.


Rats, especially the Natal multimammate mice (Mastomys natalensis), found in many sub-Saharan Africa, are believed to be the major carrier of Lassa fever or Lassa hemorrhagic fever. And statistics so far show that no fewer than 60 persons have lost their lives to the virus in Nigeria.


The authorities of UNIBEN are not giving anything to chance, especially with the reported death of a final-year engineering student. The student was said to be an occupant in Hall Three, one of the hostels on Ugbowo campus of the university.


But the UNIBEN management, through its Public Relations Officer, Mr. Michael Osasuyi, dismissed the speculation about the death of a student of the university.


According to him, there is no truth in the story that a final-year student died of the virus.


Osasuyi, who, however, said the university was carrying out proactive measures to forestall any outbreak in the institution, added that a committee had been set up to sensitise members of staff and students to the dangers of the virus.


He also hinted of plans to “de-rat the university” as part of efforts to check the prevalence of rodents in the community.


Osasuyi added, “The vice-chancellor has mandated the student union to organise sensitisation programmes. Before any outbreak, the university is even proactive. The population of student is much; so, we cannot take chances. It is no news that we have rats everywhere.”


However, it was also learnt that the various hostels had been fortified with cats allegedly provided by the university management to control the number of rats within the community.


The use of cats to prevent an outbreak of the virus is also practiced in ABU. It was gathered that the authorities, in declaring war on rats, provided cats on hostels, especially on Samaru and Kongo campuses.


The Director, Health Services of the ABU, Dr. Hauwa Nana-Madugu, who confirmed this, however, said the university was free of Lassa fever.


According to her, all the hostels – Amina, Suleiman, Akenzua, Danfo-dio, ICSA/Rammat – have been provided with cats to eliminate all rats.


Besides fumigating and clearing the surroundings, students and members of staff, she said, had been sensitised to the danger of the disease.


She added, “Apart from fumigating the environment, clearing of the bushes and rats’ (reservoir), the various hostels have been provided with cats to attack the rats. The university has no option but to safeguard the lives of the residents of the community.”


Credit : Punch

Teachers Must Have Basic Qualification In Education Henceforth – Minister

The Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwuka, says there is a large number of unqualified teachers at the nation’s basic education level.

Anwuka made the remark at the Annual Education Conference organised by the Education Data, Research and Evaluation in Nigeria Initiative (EDOREN), in Abuja on Monday.

The minister said inefficient application of evidence in policy and planning had hampered production of qualified teachers for that level of education.
“Effective planning and administration in the system has been made difficult because of poor data collection and analysis; hence large number of unqualified teachers in the system.

Over the years, what we have are pretenders to teaching who have taken advantage of lack of regulation in the system.

Henceforth, anybody that will be in the classroom must have a basic qualification in education’’, he said.

Anwuka said the ministry will use the outcome of the conference to improve the education sector.

Pai Obanya, Prof. Emeritus, Institute of Education, University of Ibadan, said data drought was a major challenge to the education sector.

According to him, data collection and analysis must be taken seriously to address lack of meaningful access to education.
He said data had three key elements namely: figures, facts and feelers, which must be factored in.

“You do not stop at figures alone, you must go for the facts; facts involve breaking down the figures.

Feelers appear when you begin to interrogate figures; for example, what type of homes do boys who drop out of school come from?

Let us go back and take care of data drought in the society for effective planning’’, he said.

Earlier, Prof. Oladele Akogun, ENDOREN’s Country Director, Nigeria, said the network was aimed at embedding research, evaluation and learning in education sector.

He said ENDOREN sought to enhance capacities to generate, use quality educational data, research and evaluation for policy and strategy making through support from the Department for International Development (DFID).

The 2015 conference was organised in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education, British Council and United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The theme is “Making Evidence Work for Basic Education Policy and Practice in Nigeria.’’





Alhassan Ismail Mustapha: Dialectics Of Education In Nigeria?

“Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” Malcolm X

Some time ago, while having tea with co workers, and discussing socio economic manifestations around the country; usually everyone proffered solution to the numerous problems ravaging our dear nation, with every one posing as some sort of development expert in one sector or the other; and we would all listen to brilliant ideas been exchanged. In one of such conversations; been that ministers were been screened your guess is as good as mine; we began discussing  the ministerial screening and somehow our conversation took an unusual turn we suddenly started discussing government priority in relation of course to the president’s assumption as the minister of petroleum.

Many of my co workers supported the move of the president, However few argued that his ‘’body language’’ gave preference to the sector over similar critical sectors. We suggested that areas like mining and steel, agriculture and education were more crucial than the oil sector and should be given adequate if not more attention; trust our colleagues to rubbish our suggestions stating vehemently that attention should be given primarily to the sector that milks the nation.

Alas they have never heard the Yoruba saying “Ogun agbotele ki I pa aro”. Which translates to  
A long foreseen war does not kill a cripple. In this vein another popular Yoruba saying comes to mind which says “Onimonii, etu-u jinfin olamola, etu-u jinfin; eran miiran o si nigbo ni?” Meaning today, the antelope falls into a ditch; tomorrow, the antelope falls into the ditch; is there no other animal in the forest?

The crisis Nigeria has in her educational sector is beyond compression; Africa largest economy has a large number of out-of-school children and young adults with limited literacy and numeracy skills who have little hope of ever joining the formal workforce

Just recently the United States embassy in Nigeria education fact sheet puts Non-school attendance been highest among states in the Northeast and Northwest zones, with 72% of primary age children never attended school in Borno state. This compares with less than 3% in most southern zones. The almajirai constitute the largest group of out-of school children in Nigeria. The Ministry of Education estimated that there were 9.5 million almajiri children in the northern part of the country in 2010.

The Education Fact Sheet in 2010 also shows that even when children enroll in schools, many do not complete the primary cycle.  According to current data, 30% of pupils drop out of primary school and only 54% transit to Junior Secondary Schools and for the very minute percentage that would make it to the final stage 80% of students failed the SSCE because they had no credit pass in English, Mathematics, and three other subjects.

According to a published report by premium times reporter Abdulrahman Abdulmalik in  June 11, 2013 with the headline ‘’ SHOCKING: Nigeria holds world record in number of children out of school” the report stated that  the UNESCO Education for All Global Monitoring Report (EAGMR) says Nigeria holds the world record of having the highest number of its young people out of school. One in five Nigerian children is out of school, giving it the largest population of out-of-school children in the world at 10.5 million in 2010, a figure that has risen almost three million since 1999.

These figures are scary and the comatose the sector faces is cause for serious alarm, the question to ask becomes what is the value of education in Nigeria?

The challenges in the Nigerian educational sector is multi faceted at the tertiary level alone, the number of students has grown from under 15,000 in 1970 to approximately 1.8 million today. As a result of the huge surge in demand, thousands of aspiring tertiary students are annually missing out from simply obtaining admissions to study in tertiary institutions, The figures of students applying into various institutions and the admitting capacity despite been stretched to its limits is not only alarming but gives serious cause for worry.

Nigeria’s institutions and lecture halls are severely overcrowded, student to teacher ratios have skyrocketed thereby meaning that these learning institutions are currently unstaffed.

According to a 2012 report from the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) Committee, established by the federal government to look into the problems of universities, just 43 percent of Nigeria’s 37,504 university lecturers have phds. The report also notes that Nigeria has one of the worst lecturers to student ratios in the world, with the National Open University, University of Abuja and Lagos State University having a ratios of 1:363; 1:122; 1:114 respectively.

Little wonder why it would take graduate students four and half years trying to obtain a masters degree that was supposed to take half of the time.  With all this problems how then can our universities be in top 1000 University ratings in either the shanghai ranking or center for world university rankings.

After Morocco, Nigeria sends the most students overseas of any country on the African continent, according to data from the UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS). The UIS pegged the total number of Nigerian students abroad in 2010 at 39,000, although anecdotal evidence from education watchers in Nigeria would suggest that the number is considerably higher, According to data from the UIS, the number of Nigerian students at overseas institutions of education grew 71 percent between 2007 and 2010. Thus risking brain drain a recently published Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) research suggests that the emigration of highly skilled workers may in fact prevent poor countries from actualizing long term development due to the mass exodus of required human resources

The United Arab Emirates, education spending makes up 22.5 percent of the country’s annual budget. Morocco spends 26.4 percent of its annual budget on education expenditures. The education of South Africa is 18.5 percent of its budget. On the average NIGERIA budgets less than 50% (i.e. 10%) of the recommended 20% of national budget to education, a cumulative of less than 2% of GDP budgeted since 1999 that the country returned to democracy.

Stakeholders in the nation’s education sector say government’s 15 percent hike in the 2014 budget proposal over that of 2013 shows promise and is capable of bringing some relief to the troubled sector, despite falling short of the UNESCO 26 percent recommendation for significant impact. But is funding really the problem? With the incessant problem of corruption; just recently beer parlor rumor had it that the Kaduna government discovered ghost public schools.  Although there is the money problem, it isn’t necessarily a money problem. Although Our government have a commitment to follow the Dakar framework that recommended at least 20% of national budget.

If indeed education is a tool for instilling moral values in the citizen then making political relevant free education and free meals promises at campaign rallies isn’t the answer.

With the crisis at hand we need proper funding of the sector we then need to assess the situation holistically and make provisions for expansion considering our population would also continue to expand, we would have to also find a mechanism to develop academics to also meet the  gap . Similarly we have to upgrade our curriculums and reviewing what is actually been taught in school.

Most important is a shift to special schools and/or programs; something entire different from the horrible technical schools around; unfortunately skills training are depicted as second-class education. What many don not know is to actualize true development we need Technical and Vocational Higher Education; our polytechnics, monotechnics, vocational institutions and colleges of education, school of midwifery and schools of hygiene and medical laboratory Technology must be given equal if not more attention and a mechanism should be created in upgrading their certification.

With this type of education within vocational schools our young people would be trained for a specific trade, directly developing their expertise in techniques related to technology,  and scientific technique to span all aspects of the trade.

Vocational education would prepare people our young trades, crafts and careers at various levels with a high professional practitioner position in careers such as engineeringaccountancynursingmedicinearchitecture, fashion e.t.c

This would enable us to have professionals who clearly understand the practical aspects as against all the theories students are required to memorize to pass examinations. 

Education is very important for sustaining and developing people. With education, people are able to endure, mature. Acquire experience, wisdom and the capability to fend for themselves as well as serve their communities and nation.

Education is said to be both an instrument of stability and of change: stability in the sense that good traditions are documented, taught, imbibed and practiced, and change because it equips people to meet new challenges.

So its importance is not negotiable nobody sums it better than Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum when he said “Developing individuals is the secret of developing societies, because when you train an individual, you are training a society. The important thing is that we should not despair, but rather start from some point in a well planned manner. This is not an impossible mission because we have already done it here and everybody else can do it.”

In all of this  wealthy Nigerians would rather send their kids overseas than help salvage the mess as  Tolu Ogunlesi puts it in his article A Spending Guide for Wealthy Nigerians; ’’It’s not that Nigerians are not technologically inventive, it’s that there’s no support system around that inventiveness, to hone it from crudeness into sophistication. This is where private individuals ought to come in, funding researchers and research institutes, sponsoring competitions (similar to what the NLNG is doing in Science), endowing University chairs, creating platforms that support mentoring and role-modeling. It’s fascinating that some of the most exciting stuff happening in space technology in America is being funded by private visionaries like Elon Musk, who have not yet figured out how they will make the money back, but realize that every society that takes progress seriously requires healthy doses of ambitious private interventions like theirs’’

Alhassan Ismail Mustapha is a trained archaeologist and a freelance writer.

@The_mustyhassan on twitter

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates 

Okebukola Calls For Urgent Action In Education Sector

Prof. Peter Okebukola, former Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), says there is an urgent need to address the poor educational foundation in the country.
Okebukola disclosed this during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos.
According to him, there is no way the country will attain its quest for accelerated development and national transformation if the numerous challenges at the basic education level are not addressed.
“The poor foundation in education in our country must be fixed and urgently so.
“Not only in education, but generally, because in any development which includes physical development, if the foundation is weak, then definitely the super structure will equally be weak.
“Basically, there must be some challenges, but It is shameful that we have these challenges at the basic, the tertiary and post tertiary levels.
“It is high time we seek a way out of these challenges if we must compete favourably with nations in other climes,’’ he said.
The former NUC secretary said the challenges were, to a large extent, due to the quality of teachers in the sector.
According to him, about 45 to 55 per cent of teachers in the sector are bad.
“Let me explain what I mean by that. What I am saying is that based on empirical data, over 60 per cent of these teachers have very shallow content knowledge.
“They have shallow content of their English, Mathematics, Biology and in fact, everything.
“They are so poorly prepared, and these teachers, from all our studies, are the variables that constitute the most to improving quality.
“I want to stress that if you settle the problem of teachers, then one third of the challenges are gone,’’ he said.
Okebukola said that revamping, re-working or reformatting teachers in the country was the way to go.
According to him, there is also the need to tackle the issue of poor infrastructure in the schools headlong, in order to make teaching and learning more meaningful.
He said that a lot of the primary and secondary schools, as well as universities in the country, were poorly resourced.
“When a Biology teacher is working in an environment where there is no Biology laboratory and the school so decadent, not teacher-friendly or anybody-friendly, then education is bound to suffer.
“So, the way to go is to ensure that things are fixed. We do not need to do everything in one day, but let it be seen that we are improving on our facilities,’’ the don said.
Okebukola said that governments at all levels must increase their level of participation in tackling the challenges facing the various stages of education in the country.
According to him, every arm of government should see it as its responsibility to improve the standard of education from the grassroots to the national level.
He also identified value system as another major challenge in the sector.
According to him, there is the need for the students, teachers and stakeholders to reflect on the value system, adding that reading culture for example, is fading away.
“Our students today do not believe in reading. There is no diligence; they cannot face their studies, but go after cult activities, examination malpractice and other social vices.
“We must begin to inculcate the right values in ourselves if indeed we need to excel,’’ he said.



Ensure We Have Stable Academic Calendar, Don Urges Adamu, Anwuka

Prof. Sat Obiyan, Head of Political Science Department, Obafemi Awolowo University, has urged the new ministers in the education ministry to deal with the issue of recurrent crises in the sector.

“It is important for the ministers to partner with the various stakeholders and unions in the sector so that we will have a stable academic calendar,’’ Obiyan said on Friday.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Wednesday named Mr Adamu Adamu as Minister of Education and Prof. Anthony Anwuka as Minister of State for Education.
Obiyan said that the ministers must deal with the issue of crisis in the sector so that peace can be maintained.
He also urged them to focus on how to reposition the sector to promote technological advancement and improve the integrity of the nation’s education system.

“Funding is another crucial aspect that the present government must tackle. I must give commendation to the immediate-past administration because the level of intervention in terms of funding, especially in the tertiary level, is commendable.

“If the present government cannot improve on the budgetary allocation, it must sustain the policies of the past administration,’’ he said.
On the choice of the ministers, Obiyan said the president had the prerogative to determine who he appointed, but experts in the field were always preferable.
“Overall, the basic thing will be the ability to deliver, and in the end, it is the president that will be accountable for his own tenure,” he said.
Obiyan, however, said it would have been better if portfolios had been attached to names of the ministers before their screening by the senate.
“At the level of screening, portfolios should be tied to nominees, because at that point, people will know if such person is knowledgeable for the position,’’ he said.
Another professor, Aloy Ejiogu, a former Dean, Postgraduate School, University of Lagos, said that the President meant well, but he (Ejiogu) believed the way the appointments in the education ministry were done could have been better.
“The president means very well, but meaning very well is different from doing very well; but if he is doing very well, we are yet to see.

“Education is a profession, and only people who know it, who have experienced it, who have gone through the nitty-gritty, who know the ups and downs, who can appreciate the strength and weaknesses of the system, can manage that ministry. Unfortunately, Adamu Adamu; nice man, brilliant man, I know him as a journalist in his write-ups, but not an educationist.
“What worsens it is the fact that there is a professor merged with him, a former vice-chancellor; a vice-chancellor who brought a state university to be number one in accreditation programme.
“A vice-chancellor who has been chairman of governing councils of universities and chairman of governing councils of polytechnics and colleges of education.
“To say he will be a minister of state under someone who should be seeking advice from him does not look proper,’’ he said.
The former dean said that he believed it would have been better if the portfolios had been in the reverse.
He, however, said that the president may have other criteria which were unknown.



Kwankwaso Advocates Education For Fulani To End Herdsmen, Farmer Clashes

Former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, has advocated a quick return of boarding facilities to public schools in the country as well as compulsory education for the Fulani.

He said this will go a long way in putting a stop to the frequent clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers.

He also said the time has come to tell those making succession threats to shut up.

Kwankwaso made the call in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, at the weekend as a special guest of honour at the Silver Jubilee Celebration of the set of 1965-71 of Government College, Ibadan, where Vitafoam Nigeria Plc. formally donated two sets of pre-fabricated staff quarters to the institution.

Credit: NationalMirror

Aisha Buhari Urges Students To Use Education For National Development

The Wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, on Monday in Abuja called on Nigerian students to use education as a tool for national development.

Aisha, who was represented by the Wife of the Senate President, Mrs Toyin Saraki, said this when the Chairman, Advisory Board, President’s School Debate Nigeria (PSDN), paid her courtesy visit at the Presidential Villa.

“I am exceedingly proud of the young citizens that have taken education as a way forward for the national development,’’ Aisha said.

She said the students, through education, were empowered and had enabled them to represent Nigeria in Singapore for a debate.

“You have done so well and made Nigeria proud. I am proud of you and hope that other young Nigerians will look at your achievement and emulate,’’ she said.

She urged other students in the country to emulate the example, to make the country a great nation.

The president’s wife commended the organizers and students for doing well at the Singapore debate competition, adding that “we hope to celebrate your progress, productivity and success in the next years.

Read More: dailyindependentnig

No Nigerian Can Say He/She Has No Access To Higher Education With NOUN – Obasanjo

A former president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo today said no Nigerian has an excuse of saying  he/she has no access to higher education especially now that NOUN has come to stay. He explained that the institution since its take-off in 2005 while he was still the president had been a viable alternative to conventional institutions, especially for adults desirous of university education and admission seekers.

He disclosed this at his Hilltop residence in Abeokuta while paying host to the executive of the NOUN alumni association led by its president, Mr. Phil Colman, and the vice-president, South-West, Mr. Ayeni Olutope.

He said, “Nobody in Nigeria will say he/she does not have access to higher education with NOUN, except he/she does not want. I saw some students complaining about law accreditation in NOUN, but I hope the Law programme has come to stay.”

The former President bagged a degree in Theology from the institution.

Odeyemi Afis Olawale: EDUCATION Must Survive

The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) may have retreated it position over the earlier introduced policy on admission which resulted into demonstrations from various quarter of the nation’s institutions. The policy generated uproar among stakeholders, prospective undergraduates and their parents, leading to several unpleasant reactions including protest and litigations. Odeyemi Afis Olawale examined the outcome of the event.

All roads lead to the University of Lagos (UNILAG), penultimate week as aggrieved parents and their children/wards seeking admission into the institution stormed the campus. The protesting parents accompanied by their prospective undergraduates lay siege at the UNILAG campus in disapproval of the school decision to bar the students from taking the post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), slated for 12 and 13th of August. The demonstration earmarked the parent’s dissatisfaction over the new JAMB policy which was bent on redirecting applicants from their school of most preferred choice.

In what had started as mere speculation making rounds in the early parts of Tuesday, spread swiftly like wild fire to other institutions in the country, as social media platforms were awash with various unverified stories which emanated from the exercise. At the UNILAG campus, the purported rumor turned true to the obvious eyes of applicants who having visited the school website to complete the screening test registration, were bolted from the blue. The anxious applicants met a bigger shock at the school website as they were promptly redirected to verify their good standings by providing individual JAMB application details for verification before proceeding with the final registration. Reports however revealed that most of the candidates were not shortlisted by jamb. The unusual development infuriated the helpless students and their aggrieved parents which subsequently led to the protest the day after.

Parents bemoaned such policy lacked fair judgment and infringes on their right to life, freedom of choice and individualism. “This is absolutely unacceptable, and a total breach of our right to choice. It is offensive to our sensibility and insensitive to the plight of the innocent students whose right to formal education is being denied and their hope and aspirations dashed away”, insisted, one of the parents.

The first sign that there was trouble in the air showed up in the early hours of Wednesday as protesters staged a large mass demonstration at the university, wielding placards together to vent their spleen on the institution. They blocked and barricaded the university gate and other adjoining roads leading to the campus, which brought academic activities to standstill. They chanted solidarity songs, and thereafter demanded the removal of Jamb Chief Registrar, Prof.

Jibu Ojerinde, as they accused him of working hand-in-glove with private institutions to launch what they termed ‘unfair policy’.

UNILAG was the front burner of protest among the list of 5 affected Nigeria institutions with highest number of applications. You will recall; Unilag recorded 62,125 applications as compared to University of Nigeria, Nsukka which attracted 66,788 applicants. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka had 70,609 applications, leaving University of Benin, with 71,496 applications. It will key to note that the University of Ilorin had once again topped in the list of most preferred Nigeria universities with highest number of seekers totaling 107,488 applications.

When CAMPUS BEATS visited the institution, reports garnered shows that the sudden outburst at the UNILAG campus although peaceful, was partly because it coincided with the institution’s call for application for its 2015/2016 academic session post-UTME test.

Statistics revealed that out of the 32,000 candidates qualified for the screening test based on the 200 cut-off score adopted by the University of Lagos for all post-jamb applicants, only 9,000 candidates were short-listed and therefore eligible to participate in the test. Others were then asked to await jamb directives for transfer to other institutions. In reaction parents who had accompanied their children to the campus for the exercise expressed disappointment, they berated JAMB over their children’s exclusion from the list of shortlisted candidates.

Mosses Okafor, an engineer and parent, in a chat with campus correspondent, has said his brother who made UNILAG his first choice scored 255 in the JAMB-UTME examination but was met by shock and dissatisfaction at the reason both JAMB and the institution gave for the sudden change in the usual procedure. He said the policy is unpopular to the general public and lacked fairness to the plight of the masses. “At least we should have been notified well ahead of time instead of this sudden imposition,” he insisted.

Reports has it that JAMB during its 6th combined policy meeting of stakeholders of institutions which was attended by vice chancellors of universities, rectors of polytechnics and provosts of colleges of education had adopted 180 and 150 as the national benchmark for admission into universities, polytechnics and other non degree awarding institutions. JAMB thereby cautioned all tertiary institutions against flouting such decision, saying with effect from the current academic session, the board would sanction defaulters who defy the regulation.

Meanwhile, schools like UNILAG and four other universities had other ideas, they had refused to stick to the agreed upon benchmark and went ahead to impose their own cut-off marks. In addition, candidates who had scored below their own benchmark were barred from registering for the post-UTME test.

John Kikelomo another candidate who applied to UNILAG shared her opinion to CAMPUS BEATS, she was of the opinion that, JAMB should have sensitized the general public on its decision early enough instead of introducing a last minute policy even after it had earlier announced to the public that the cut-off mark for admissions into universities is 180 and 150 to non-degree awarding institutions. Other agitating parents saw a different ball to the game. They saw the whole exercise from a far broader perspective; a new form of political strategy heading towards personal gain.

A trader at the university who claimed to have two of her daughters applying to the institution believes JAMB registrar and his associates arrived at the decision without clear thoughts and consideration for public interest. She noted that: “It is only in Nigeria decisions paramount to general public interest is taking with impunity, with no due consultation to the people but with less concern to the plight of the masses. But on this one, we shall not agree until our interest is met”, she added.

CAMPUS BEATS can authoritatively reveal that stakeholders, including academics in the nation’s education sector sulk at the policy. Some nevertheless, believed the new policy has its positive and negative sides.

Also granted interview to CAMPUS BEATS correspondent, a source at the university, a senior lecturer of the department of International Law and Jurisprudence, UNILAG disclosed such policy on the part of JAMB could have been replaced with a more ideal one. The source revealed that JAMB also compounded issues by advising that candidates with lower cut-off marks apply for the placement in universities with insufficient applicants. “It is a shame that education standards are now so low as to compel JAMB to contemplate this unprecedented scheme. It is much more disgraceful that Nigerians are even debating this low standardization. I believe that if the national benchmark of 180 as claimed by JAMB was with the intention to create admission opportunities for candidates that are educationally disadvantaged or fill slots in less preferred universities, then it is high time it changed tack, enthrone meritocracy and ensured only the best students enters the nation’s universities.” This, he said should be the best approach at a time the rest of the world attaches much importance to quality education. The source added that: “The best response to such development is not to allow the system to be marooned in mediocrity but that a higher standard for Nigerians to strive to attain is, what is required.”

Speaking on the benefit of such policy, JAMB Registrar, Professor Dibu Ojerinde, had insisted the policy portends two benefits. First, It will be beneficial to “needy Universities” that is, universities with lower number of candidates than their capacities, as it will ensure more candidates to be admitted. On the other hand, candidates will have better chances for admission in the universities they are re-assigned to, contrary to the usual situation whereby

candidates would await admission in the universities of their first choices until the admission exercise closes and they forfeit admission in that session.

Also resulting from the imbroglio, some affected candidates had dragged JAMB and UNILAG to the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos over the new policy. The court, same day granted the application for judicial review of the decision to bar them from taking the UNILAG entrance examination. The applicants alleged that Ojerinde issued a directive stopping them from participating in the forthcoming post-UTME examinations, while also accusing Ojerinde of sending their names to other institutions they did not choose.

However, relief finally came the way of the students, resulting from many reactions and agitations from stakeholders which culminated into resting and outlawing the policy. The Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASSU), University of Ibadan chapter, Prof. Segun Ajiola alleged that investors in private universities were using JAMB to lure students to, and promote their schools. He claimed JAMB lost completely it relevance the moment universities began to decide the students they could admit through the post-UTME tests. Ajibola Insisted JAMB lacked the constitutional authority to decide which school a candidate would go, he maintained that it was sad that JAMB has suddenly become promoter of private universities by imposing unpopular policy on the preferences and choice of Nigerian youths. “JAMB lacks the power to change the rules of admission in the middle of the process after deceiving candidates to pick universities, polytechnics and colleges of education as options when it sold out forms to them. JAMB’s concept of ‘needy’ institutions needs deconstruction here. Needy universities are basically private universities in Nigeria that charge exorbitant fees with less than required manpower.”

What turned an abrupt and complete reversal of position, JAMB spokesperson Dr. Benjamin announced its decision to allow the candidates partake in the post-UTME test in their first choice institutions. In addition, he disclosed candidates can also do the post-UTME exercise in the institutions, particularly, universities which they have been posted to by JAMB. We hope this will help the candidates in their endeavor. Insisting that, the board by its decision was showing that it has the interest of Nigerians at heart.

Although, the JAMB policy may have been faced out, it will suffice to say that the uproar generated by the now outlawed policy shows that if the Nigeria education system must attain world standard, there must be a clear-cut and uniform standard adopted for the whole nation. Generally, educational standards are universal. Hence, if the Nigerian education sector must follow in the part of other developed nations of the world, then she must adhere strictly to these universal standards of schooling instead of standards being bent to suit students who are not eligible for university education. Such students should be encouraged to opt for polytechnics or colleges of education. The implication is that, if candidates who cannot score

above 180 got into the universities, these tertiary institutions would also lower their standards for them to cope with, thereby making the journey to the republic of mediocrity permanent. It is therefore pertinent if each state of the federation will invest massively in education, get qualified teachers to prepare their indigenes for national examinations like that of JAMB and pay for it citizens development. It is incumbent on government and it agencies at all levels to ensure that the level of education in the country is improved. Since future development of every nation is tied to its youths, government at all spheres must adopt the right investment strategy in education.


Dencia Reveals She Never Graduated from College on Instagram

Beauty super star Dencia may have a certain level of success but in a society that preaches school and education as a base for becoming what you want in life, Dencia has definitely proved them not totally correct in her quest and achievements she is sitting on top today.

 According to her, this happened because she didn’t need graduation ‘cos at the end of the day, unless you are studying medicine, law or a licensed profession, your degree is almost worthless (as was in her case).

She shared her true story on instagram and i must say this should definitely inspire someone out there today.

Sokoto Government To Make Education Compulsory And Punish Parents Who Don’t Comply

The Sokoto State government is now seeking to make education compulsory and punish parents who refuse to comply with the law.

The decision was made known by the state governor, Aminu Tambuwal, who has right now forwarded a bill in that regard to the Sokoto State House of Assembly.

According to the governor, the new rule is aimed at boosting school enrollment and providing quality education to every child as required by local and international laws. As part of measures to enhance implementation of the new policy, the Sokoto government says it will build and equip 240 primary and tertiary healthcare centres in the three senatorial zones of the state.

Mr. Tambuwal while addressing religious, traditional and political leaders from 11 local government areas of the state who paid him a sallah visit in Sokoto on Moday, said the policy is necessary in view of the high percentage of parents who deliberately frustrate government efforts to educate children.

He said the state government has already made adequate arrangement to cater for the educational needs of its citizens, adding that anyone caught flouting the new regulation will not be spared. The governor also noted that the founders of Sokoto Caliphate made their marks in the areas of education and scholarships, as such, there’s no excuse if their successors failed to provide at least basic education to the future generation.

According to him, if the state gets its education priorities right, many ills of the society will be taken care of. While appealing to his visitors to support the new initiative, Mr. Tambuwal said vocational training centres and employment opportunities will be created to cater for the youth and other vulnerable members of the society.

Teaching History in Schools as Part of our National Development – @Lanre_Olagunju

Evil, they say, prevails when good men fail to act; but there seem to be a kind of evil that doesn’t readily come to mind when we flaunt this saying. It is the evil caused by good men who lack basic knowledge about the past. From the way Nigeria falls repeatedly into cycle of errors, it is obvious that Nigerians collectively are yet to learn anything substantial from history. If we have, we haven’t acted upon the lessons that history provides.

The entire nation seems to be united at this point for true change, but this change certainly is a long term one that’d require a clean understanding of our history. So we know where we are as a nation, where we are heading, what to do, and how to do it better.

It is difficult to understand how as a nation we think we can come close to sustainable change without the knowledge of history – forgetting that time past is part of time present, and time present is part of time future. If we must discover sustainable ideas and solutions to our national issues, educated Nigerians who analyse discuss and proffer solutions need to engage more with the past.

Sadly, our educational system has been seriously lagging behind in this regard. If this generation is ever going to break out of this cycle of failure, ethnicity, scarcity mentality and mediocrity, we must first understand the forces that birthed these problems. Else, the change clamoured for would remain a wild goose chase.

The time to revisit this long abandoned human-centered recipe which is fundamentally needed for growth and development is now. That Nigeria has undyingly remained a giant by mere name-calling is a sign that we lack a perfect sense of our potentials as a nation, which perhaps might be reawakened by a sense of national consciousness. It would always remain a daunting task to attempt searching for what is not known. Young Nigerians with the zeal to sincerely see the nation experience true transformation are daily increasing in number; in fact many are on the path to re-writing the nation’s history. But I am afraid we will suffer from collective amnesia as we blindly grope into the future without a guide post of precedence to shape our different course in the respective area of influence we have chosen. How well can one re-write history that is not known?

The social media which has successfully played a key role in social-economic awareness among many Nigerians will not essentially cover up for the lack of history or the knowledge that it provides. No it won’t! As a matter of fact it will only amplify it, given that social media is a platform which amplifies knowledge or ignorance.

Studying Nigerian history in schools as a compulsory and fundamental academic requirement and discipline is very vital for the country’s development at this crucial point – if the country is serious about genuine development. At all levels, our schools seriously need to re-introduce the Nigerian History into curriculums. History is consciously used to inspire nation building in many developed nations, and this places a huge gap between the advanced nations and under-developed ones.

It’s a common slogan that the Nigerian educational system doesn’t breed young people for national transformation. Well, the problem might not be with the school. The real problem might be that, many people in the schools – both the students and teachers – are not aware of the country’s real problems. Hence, the whole essence of the school falls as a waste in the long run.

Motivational speakers and revolutionaries inspiring change amongst the upwardly mobile Nigerians need to know that mere motivation focused on awakening the can-do spirit is not enough. Young Nigerians need knowledge of the past. The past is not a dead past, basically because that past is still living and taunting us as a nation, sadly that past is still in our present.

When we pay more attention to our history, maybe we would clearly see that Nigeria in the real sense of it is yet to be a nation even after 100 years of amalgamation. Maybe with full knowledge of hindsight, we would now realize that we can’t keep seeing this country from the prism of tribalism and religion just as every generation including the present one has mostly done. Perhaps with knowledge, we would clean our hot tears carefully and then move beyond the lamentation that Nigeria was founded based on a business and selfish interest of the British, until we move beyond that, setting out to calve out a dream we can call the Nigerian dream might remain difficult.

Lanre Olagunju is an hydrologist turned freelance journalist and blogger, he is an alumnus of the American College of Journalism. He is @Lanre_Olagunju on Twitter.

Education, The Nigerian Child, And Why You Must Take Part By Johannes Tobi Wojuola

If there is one attitude that is ubiquitous with the average Nigerian folk, it is the swift ability to throw a complaint and tag-a-blame once a problem arises. Over-beaten but I ask again, how many times have complaints or blame-game-trading fetched results? Not once that I know of.

Acts of terrorism, crime – petty and gross – hate, immorality, and corruption are all functions of ignorance of one truth or another. It is either the terrorist is oblivious of the value of human life, or is unaware of the truth of whose converse he kills for; the criminal may be the victim of poverty, but no man who ‘knows’ is poor, or he may be doing that out of a kleptomania – that is however not my point here; hate itself is borne out of ignorance of the potential of love and the self-destructive nature of hate to its carrier; immorality would always be argued for by ignoramuses, sadly it has never stood the test of the societal bar of sanity, leaving its peddlers to blame circumstances beyond their control till they repent after they become re-oriented of the comeliness of morality; corruption, our most dreaded monster enemy thrives because the ‘devil’ seems to shut the mind of its perpetrators to the doom they eventually bring to themselves and their kin. The average Nigerian complains of either all, two or more of these vile acts at least five times a day. That has not helped to solve the matter. And in truth, the sins have only conquered more territory among our people. Sad.
One fact was clear all through the above paragraph, and that is ignorance is the arch sponsor of this madness. The Bible aptly captures this when it says in Hosea chapter 4 verse 6; “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (ASV). There are two options; either we stand and ‘unlook’ and eventually become contaminated by these viruses that flow from the pit of deception and sweet nescience or we stand up and fight them with education. Knowledge or its dearth, is the major ingredient that distinguishes a civilized society from a town of savages. The western society today, whose ideals the world’s blocs ersatz in one way or the other is founded on superior education – one that is far apart from any political manipulation. They are very aware that to be at the pinnacle of the world’s domination, ignorance in any form must not be allowed any manure to foster.
Education is the key to save a society from the vile savagery that the potent of human foibles desire to express. Education is the root for any kind of development. It is the bedrock for the cure of illusions and the foundation for forming rational thoughts. It is a tool for the empowerment of the mind that eventually spurs the cultivation of positive and society changing development. But education, like every other social innovation, is a two way street. And the way that is unfettered, open and seeks truth leads to the good. Whereas, that which offers part knowledge, unbalanced ideologies, deceit and unfounded theories leads to the obvious bad – and for me, that is nothing more than ignorance clothed in the false toga of education. The former is what I advocate for; the latter, is what I am against – totally! As the foundation of every building is the determinant of how far it will tower, or if it will be brought to grains when shaken, likewise, education must be imbibed from an early age in our young ones to foster a generation whose root ideals are soaked in rational, positive, avant-gardist, eclectic and commonsensible revolutionary thoughts. This is the sure tool for a twirl in the direction of our nation’s values. Values form the basis of good principles. And only when these good values are permeated into the minds of toddlers would we then have a bottom-up revolution of positive change in our society.
About 40 million Nigerian children are in school. Nigeria has a 67% literacy rate. These figures are positive but more must be topped to it in the coming years. The numbers which subtract from the entire potential population of children that should be in school exist because poverty and lack of opportunity wages a war against them. This war can only be fought with our resources. The government has its role to play, whether or not it is doing so, and remarkably so, should not be our concern at this point. Rather, what must bother us is the part that each and every one of us must play – outside the usual complaining. Many middle and upper class Nigerians are unaware that N5,000 to N10,000 can send a child to a public school for a full year. Yes. I have had the opportunity to interact with a Secondary School principal of a Public Secondary School in Gwagwalada, Abuja, and the tuition fee for a child in his school is N1,500 a term – inclusive of PTA fees. Surprisingly very cheap you may say. Yet, it is more astonishing that a chunk number of students in these public schools cannot pay this meager fee – thus denying them the opportunity of an even less than average education. The beauty of hope that beams here is that almost everyone can play a part to fight the perils of ignorance; supporting NGOs who make efforts at giving scholarships to indigent children, joining a book club, donating books – old and new – to public schools, paying the school fees of indigent children, encouraging young people who are out of school to go back to school and even going the extra mile to enroll a child in school if your means allow you to, taking a free tutorial class in a public school, sharing knowledge, positive messages, and relevant content on social media are a few ways you can take up ‘arms’ in this battle.
There is no greater truth than the younger generation are the leaders of tomorrow – in thought and in acts. The seeds we sow in them today would determine whether the polity will withstand the madness of ignorance that may rear its head tomorrow. I am grateful – always – to my dear mother who sweated her youth to give me and my siblings a worthy education. I am a reflection of that today, likewise my siblings. The ripple effect of that stellar education I once received is what breeds this advocacy today. And for every child who fortune smiles at that receives a sound education, another ripple effect begins. In no time, praiseworthy values, principles and thoughts would be entrenched in our society.
I conclude on this: Education is a right, just like any entitled right that man has. We must do all that is within our strengths to see to it that every child is not deprived of this right. And more so, after we have fought the good fight and when every whelp is certain of receiving education, we may then begin the war that QUALITY EDUCATION must NOT be a privilege.

Johannes Tobi Wojuola is a Capitalfield Human Rights Ambassador. He can be reached on www.google.com/+johanneswojuola .

Views expressed are solely that of author and soes not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

Revive Teaching In Varsities, NAAT Tells Buhari

The National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) has charged the president-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, to place high premium on the revival of collapsed teaching equipment in tertiary institutions, stressing that Nigeria cannot achieve greatness without investing hugely on technology.

In a statement signed by its national president, Sani Suleiman in Abuja, the union said no nation can achieve technological greatness without standardised teaching equipment and conducive learning environment.

It said: “NAAT takes cognisance of the ‘change’ mantra of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the political party on which you (Buhari) contested the election and would like to inform you that one major area that yearns for positive change is the education sector – particularly the university system. There is so much decay in the university system calling for attention to reverse the trend for the better.

“As a result of the importance of technological education in the development of any nation, we sincerely urge you to pay attention to the following aspects among others, as you take the governance of the Nigerian state from May 29, 2015: Providing laboratories, workshops and studios with modern state-of-the-art equipment and training and re-training of technologists to effectively handle modern equipment and keep pace with new technologies in performing their responsibility of practical teaching and demonstration.”

NAAT also commended President Goodluck Jonathan for conceding defeat even before the announcement of the final results. It stated that history would be kind to the President for ensuring peace and put Nigeria above his interest and the interest of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party.

The union added: “NAAT, like many well-meaning Nigerians and stakeholders in the Nigerian project, was very impressed with the generally peaceful, free and fair nature of the elections.

Aso Rock Gives Us 12 Reasons Why Jonathan Deserves Reelection

The Presidency has given 12 reasons why Nigerians must re-elect President Goodluck Jonathan for another term of four years during the March 28 presidential election.

This was contained in a piece, titled, “Twelve reasons to support Jonathan,” published in the current edition of the in-house magazine of the State House, Abuja, called Villascope.

It listed some of the reasons to include the present administration strides in road construction, railway rehabilitation, remodeling of airports, transformed agriculture sector and increased access to education.

Others are increased access to housing, improved power supply, improved water supply, better health facilities, reformed security infrastructures, economic transformation and increased Nigerians’ participation in downstream oil sector.

The Presidency said Jonathan met 4,500km of motorable roads but constructed/rehabilitated 25,000km of roads.

This, it said, had drastically reduced travel time nationwide.

It added that about five million Nigerians now travel by train after the present administration rehabilitated the nation’s railway.

On education, it said, “Jonathan built 125 Almajiri schools, 14 universities and special schools for girls in 27 states.

“He gave 101 scholarships to first-class graduates to pursue postgraduate courses in the best 25 universities in the world.

“He sponsored 7,000 lecturers of federal and state universities and polytechnics for postgraduate studies to improve quality teaching.”

The Presidency further said that 61,000 housing units had been built in the six geo-political zones of the country.

Source – Punch Ng

El Rufai Shares Interesting Ideas For Education In Kaduna

The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai, has promised to ensure that political appointees and top civil servants enrol their children in public schools if elected governor.

El-Rufai was a guest of Freedom Radio’s Hausa phone-in programme “Barka da War haka.” He spoke about the need to revamp public schools in Kaduna state, insisting that for him the most critical step to achieving that is for “leaders like us to enrol our children into public schools.’’

He cited the fact that he attended Local Education Authority Primary School Kawo, Kaduna, in the 60s along with children of elites like the late the then Minister of Education of Northern Region, Isa Kaita.

‘’So, if children of elites are in public schools, they will be forced to do all that is necessary to improve them, out of enlightened self-interest,” he said.

He said that even though he would not be able to force anyone to do it, he hopes to lead by example by putting his children in public schools.

Something else which he said about education was a plan to put teachers on a special salary scale which will be higher than that of other civil servants because he thinks this is the first step towards improving the education sector.

‘’The second step towards improving education in Kaduna state will be the upgrading of infrastructure and generally providing a conducive atmosphere for learning,’’ he added.

He promised free education up to primary and junior secondary schools, but said he could not guarantee free education for senior secondary schools as he intended to put them in boarding houses and was unsure about whether the state can afford it, given the “profligacy” of the current administration.

He said the purpose of putting the students in boarding school is to allow them learn together instead of being distracted by video games and television at home.

Contributing to Nigeria’s Education

This is a project intended to augment the number of teachers in public secondary schools. Abuja will be the start point.

The project is a Holy Hill Education Support idea.

Naija Teenz will be spearheading critical aspects of the project along with our partners.

Click below to view:


#OsunEdu: Making Sense of Aregbesola’s Edu-Revolution in the State of Osun – Ogunyemi Bukola

OgbeniI have met Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola only a few times, the last time at the launch of my father’s book in April 2013. In his speech that day, Ogbeni reiterated his administration’s plans to revolutionize education in the State of Osun, and has since rolled out several reforms in the education sector in the state, some of which have generated serious controversies. This explains, in part, my decision to attend the State of Osun Education Policy Summit organized by the Osun Movement for Peace, a group of non-partisan academics and professionals, not just as a new media observer but as an Osun indigene.

According to the chairman of the event, our job was to critically examine the educational policies introduced by the Aregbesola administration and make recommendations. The summit featured presentations by Dr. Isiaka Owoade, Professor Ayo Olukotun, Chief Layi Oyeditan and the State Deputy Governor, Otunba Titilayo Laoye-Tomori, who doubles as the Commissioner for Education. They took turns to explain the various policies of government in the education sector and relay the success stories.

Perhaps the most controversial and widely misunderstood educational policy of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is the schools reclassification policy leading to a new school system in the state. The new system is a departure from the 6-3-3-4 and 9-3-4 systems to the 4-5-3-4 system which has led to the restructuring of primary and secondary schools into Elementary, Middle and High schools.

The Elementary Schools will cater for pupils between the ages of 6 and 9, grouped into Grades 1 to 4 as against the old designation, Primary 1 – 4. Each elementary school is designed to accommodate 900 pupils and daily academic activities run from 8am to 2pm. As at December 2013, 13 of the elementary schools have been completed and commissioned.

The Middle Schools will cater for pupils and students between the ages of 10 and 14, grouped into Grades 5 to 9 as against the old designation Primary 5 and 6, and JSS 1 – 3. Each middle school is designed to accommodate between 900 and 1200 pupils/students and academic activities run from 8am to 3pm daily, while the High Schools are for students within the age bracket of 15 – 17 years, grouped into Grades 10 to 12 as against SSS 1 – 3. Each high school is designed to accommodate 3000 students and daily academic activities from 8am to 5pm.

The implications of this new school system include the phasing out of single sex schools, the merger of schools within the same geographical location irrespective of their religious or community ownership backgrounds, and demolition of old school structures after students have been relocated to new premises. The Osun State government is poised to commit about N30 billion to the building of 100 elementary, 50 middle, and 20 high schools across the state. This will cater in total for about 210,000 pupils/students.

The reclassification of schools naturally gave birth to unified school uniform project. The idea is that all elementary schools should have a common uniform, and same applies to the middle and high schools. Toward this end, government established a garment factory in Osogbo for the supply of complete sets of uniforms for all categories of students. The factory has since produced 750,000 sets of uniform which were distributed free to pupils and students across the state, at a cost of N900 million – about N1200 per set.

A less controversial but less publicized policy of the Aregbesola administration is the Osun Elementary School Feeding and Health Programme, referred to as O’MEALS. The vision of the programme is to have a state of well-nourished and healthy children who are happy and eager to not only attend but complete their basic education. Some of the objectives include the alleviation of hunger and malnutrition among school children, job creation, increasing local food production, and the development of small and medium scale enterprises for poverty reduction.

The idea is for all elementary school pupils (Primary 1 – 4) to eat lunch in school. This scheme covers a total of 252,000 pupils, costing the government about N14.8 million per day – about N58 per child per day. Government appointed 3007 food vendors, assigned them to the various schools in the state to supply a certain number of pupils the menu for each day with the one for Thursdays, as an example, being rice with egusi garnished with vegetable, chicken and banana.

This scheme feeds the pupils with 35 herds of cattle, 8,400 crates of eggs and 15,000 whole chickens on a weekly basis and all these are sourced locally. O’Meals has led to the establishment of the Osun Fisheries Outgrowers Production Scheme which now supplies about 400 metric tonnes of fish weekly. It has also led to the Cocoyam Rebirth Programme in which 1000 cocoyam farmers have been trained and assisted in the cultivation of pink cocoyam.

Enrolment in elementary schools has increased by about 40% since the introduction of this scheme, and Osun State now has, according to NBS, the highest rate of primary school enrolment in Nigeria. Apart from the increased enrolment rates, absenteeism has also reduced in elementary schools in Osun State, pupils have shown incredible improvements in their academic performances and most importantly, about 5000 people are indirectly employed and empowered economically.

Perhaps, what the Aregbesola administration considers its greatest educational reform programme in the state is the Opon Imo project. According to him, the need to develop an efficient knowledge based economy and make students ICT compliant, both for learning and self-development inspired the design and distribution of computer tablets, branded Opon Imo, to high school students in the state. The tablets are preloaded with lesson notes on the 17 subjects offered by students in WAEC and NECO exams. Opon Imo also contains lesson notes on extra-curricular subjects such as Civic and Sexuality Education, over 40,000 past questions, 63 e-textbooks and 51 audio tutorials.

According to Otunba Tomori, 28,000 high school students have received the tablet out of a total number of 32,000. The contract for the supply of 150,000 tablets was awarded to a Chinese firm at N1.2 billion and is to be executed in two phases – 50,000 tablets will be imported from China while the remaining 100,000 is to be manufactured in the state. She stated that the initiative has saved the state N8.4 billion as about N9.6 billion would have been spent on the supply of the books and instructional materials on the Opon Imo.

Other achievements in education mentioned at the summit include the upward review in bursaries, from N2000 for students of Colleges of Education and Polytechnics and N3000 for university students to N10, 000. Law and Medical students now receive N20, 000, 100% more than the previous figure. Also, the special grant given to Osun State indigenes at the Law school has increased from N10, 000 to N100, 000. N2.5 billion spent on the provision of 150,000 befitting furniture for 300,000 students, and another N543 million spent on provision of instructional materials. Others include N155 million spent on the sponsorship of 98 medical students to Ukraine and the reintroduction of extracurricular activities like debates, calisthenics and interschool sports competitions.

So why has so much backlash accompanied the introduction of what seems to be commendable policies and reforms? Rauf Aregbesola strikes me an impatient reformer, barely seeing through one reform policy before introducing another. I understand his zeal to turn around the fortunes of the state in the sector under consideration, but introducing so many reforms at once is bound to boomerang, both in execution/implementation and acceptance by the public.

The execution of the Opon Imo idea for example leaves much to be desired. The distribution has been haphazard, because on one hand, students and teachers are settling into the new grade system, and on the other hand, schools are being merged and hundreds of students relocated to new premises. I am yet to understand the logic behind making all the schools in the state wear a common uniform. And I have it on good record that the sets of uniforms supplied by the garment factory are of low quality and barely survived a month of use before tearing. I believe schools should have different uniforms for identity and branding.

Also, claims teachers’ monthly salaries are promptly paid by the 25th of every month are false. Salaries are paid as late as the first week of the next month. Also, Otunba Tomori stated that N14.41 billion has so far been spent on building 39 model schools, which translates into almost N370 million per school. I have seen some of the schools, and the structures there don’t justify that amount.

In conclusion, Ogbeni needs to be a bit less radical and more strategic about execution of what are certainly mostly commendable educational reforms, and commit to consultations with stakeholders and the public before going ahead with policies that are likely to be misunderstood and resisted.

Ogunyemi Bukola (@zebbook) writes from Lagos, Nigeria.

Education Sector : The Way Forward #opesays


                                      THE BUDGET

President Goodluck Jonathan in October presented a N4.9trn budget proposal to the National Assembly for the 2013 fiscal year. Education, Defence and Police were allocated the highest share of N1.095trn. A breakdown of the N1.095trn shows the Education sector getting N426.53bn. Rejoice not, for this is not good news. At N426.53bn, the allocation for education is only about 8.7 % of the entire budget, less than the 13.6% allocated to security. In the 2012 fiscal year N400.15 billion was allocated for education, a meagre 8.43 % of the entire budget. This is the real news: Out of this, N345.091bn (82%) was allotted to recurrent expenditure, N317.896bn was proposed for personnel cost, N27.192bn was for overheads, while a meagre N55.056bn (18%) was for capital expenditure and Federal allocation. What this means is that only a meagre N55.056bn will actually be put to work to improve the sector and this is only if that money comes out ‘unscathed’ from the traps embezzlement and corruption that pervades the system. Another pertinent question to ask is if the amount will be released fully and the implementation carried out without a hitch.

A look at the World Bank report below, of the annual budgetary allocation to education by some countries is saddening. Nigeria ranks last at 8.4% and Ghana ranks highest at 31.0%. This is from a country that prides herself on being the Giant of Africa. Several smaller African countries are allocating more to their educational sectors, than Nigeria, the second largest and the most populated country in Africa. A minimum budgetary allocation of 26% was recommended by UNESCO and Nigeria lags behind, averaging a meagre 9%. This shows how seriously the government takes education.



Grants and foreign aids have not also alleviated the plethora of issues battling the education sector. The Nigerian government has not put in place appropriate policy measures that would monitor the maximum and effective utilization of foreign aids. The United States has supplied Nigeria with foreign aid for years, with little to show for the effort. Foreign aid mostly goes into the hands of corrupt bureaucrats who just end up siphoning the money away into their own pockets.


This neglect has led to several problems in our education sector:


  1. Basic infrastructures and resources – dilapidated school buildings and grossly inadequate facilities, resulting in poor learning environment; ii). poor quality and insufficient number of teaching staff at all levels; iii) inconsistent and ill-conceived policies and slothfulness in following through approved education policies

  2. Insufficient funding and a penchant for misusing approved funding.

  3. Poor remuneration for teachers, which triggers a lackadaisical attitude to work.

  4. High dropout rate. Data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) in 2010 shows that 31.2 million students dropped out of school and may never return.

  5. The rate of creation of new universities without adequate provision and long term planning. At the last count, we had 117 universities, fifteen of them created in 2011.

  6. The end result is poor quality of teaching, and research, producing half-baked graduates with worthless certificates. The ease of production of graduates with PhD degrees, a requirement for teaching in Nigeria universities is another worrisome trend.

  7. Nigerian schools tend to emphasize the learning of theories to the detriment of technical knowledge, vocational know-how and entrepreneurial skills.

  8. No new materials, content and methods of teaching. The same research and syllabi from years back are what we are still using till date. The world is moving ahead with mobile and e-learning methods that make learning flexible, fun and time and cost-effective. A course I’m taking in Stanford University’s Venture Lab Initiative, Designing New Learning Environments, made we weep for our educational system. It showed that we need a paradigm shift and serious reforms in the system.

  9. Our public school system, which used to serve as the great leveler, now reeks of failure. It is no longer uncommon to see pupils taking lessons under trees in several states.
  10. Does Nigeria possess the necessary elements to develop a national innovation system? The facts are not encouraging. In fact, there are no incentives in place to innovate. According to Task Force, Nigeria’s number of scientific publications for 1995 was 711 – significantly less than its output of 1,062 scientific publications in 1981. In contrast, scientific publications were 3,413 for South Africa, 14,883 for India, and 5,440 for Brazil.
  11. Our educational system is still rooted in the ideals of the Industrial Age, while the world has long moved forward to the Technological Age. We cannot continue to equip our future leaders for global domination with rotten tools from the past.


    Human capital theory emphasizes education as enhancing the productive capacities of individuals. Education remains the bedrock for the development of any nation. In fact, education is the driving force behind the socioeconomic advancement of nations. When people are taught right, they think right, act right and they can bring about change. We need to raise global products locally that can compete with their counterparts all over the world.

    • We would need time to look at how the budget to the sector should be allocated, where it should be channeled, the implementation, and how it should be managed. The allocation will help to improve education in all areas in terms of infrastructure and welfare of teachers and workers in the sector.

    • A policy review and new initiatives are needed towards repositioning the sector for optimal performance.

    • Speedy implementation of education sector reforms

    • Bureaucracy, due to over centralization may be stifling the development of the education sector. This is why the participation of individuals and communities is required.

    • Annual training and retraining of teachers to meet the challenges of teaching in 21stcentury schools.

    • The curriculum at most of the institutions are not robust and dynamic enough to meet the changing needs of our world. The curriculum calls for drastic review so that it can be more suited to the realities of today’s world. Introduction of vocational, enterprise and technical training will improve the overall quality of education.


    How can we as citizens actively engage in the system and contribute our own quota?

    • We can form budget coalitions to strategize, discuss ideas, demand accountability and engage with the National Assembly.

    • We can volunteer to contribute skills and transfer our wealth of knowledge to students. We can do this by volunteering our services for seminars and workshops.

    Opemipo Adebanjo

           @opesays on Twitter

#opesays is a column published every Friday on this website