To help battle the spread of COVID-19, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board JAMB has donated two ventilators to the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada and Bwari General Hospital.
In view of the need to curb the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as well as safeguard the health of teachers and students in Lagos State, the Director-General, Lagos State Office of Education Quality Assurance (OEQA), Mrs. Abiola Seriki-Ayeni has reiterated the need for both Public and Private Schools in the State to adhere strictly to the directives of the Lagos State Government towards closing down schools from Monday, 23rd March, 2020.
In a statement released by the Office of the Director-General, OEQA, evaluators have been strictly mandated to monitor compliance with the directives of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
According to Mrs. Seriki-Ayeni, schools intending to hold special sessions or write examinations before the said date should desist from doing so, stressing that this would be contrary to the directives of the State Government that all social gatherings or any gathering with more than 50 people remain banned.
She averred that, in line with the recent developments on COVID-19, all Principals and School owners are advised to note that failure to adhere to these directives may endanger the lives of students and teachers and violate the Lagos State Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy.
According to her, “Parents are advised to ensure that their children stay at home. No child should be sent to any tutorial centre or camp as this poses the same danger to their health and the larger community”.
“All students must be informed on the basic precautionary methods and hygienic practices which include giving social distance, avoiding large gatherings and close contact with sick persons, regular handwashing with soap and the use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers”, she added.
The Director-General maintained that strict compliance with these directives is mandatory, as failure to adhere will attract sanctions that may include the closure of the school indefinitely.
Following the outbreak of Coronavirus, the National Youth Service Corps Scheme as a proactive measure embarked on far reaching actions in order to guard against the contraction of the deadly virus by Corps Members.
Accordingly, the Scheme has been in constant touch with Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, as well as the Federal Ministry of Health which have been playing very supportive roles by lending technical support to the Scheme.
It is gratifying to note that infrared thermometers, as well as hand sanitisers, wash hand basins and soaps have been provided in all the 37 NYSC Secretariats and at strategic locations at Orientation camps of the Scheme nationwide.
Similarly, sensitisation leaflets on Lassa fever and Coronavirus have been shared to all the 2020 Batch ‘A’ Corps Members currently undergoing Orientation course, so as to arm them with the requisite information on the viruses and how to prevent infection.
Additionally, the Camp communities and other serving Corps Members are regularly sensitised on the best approach to adopt in order to prevent contraction of the viruses.
The Management of the Scheme wishes to assure the parents and guardians of the Corps Members that there is no cause for alarm as the Scheme remains alive to its core responsibility of catering to the welfare of Corps Members.
The Nigerian government has reached an interim agreement with striking university lecturers to integrate the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) into the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
The IPPIS is the government’s accountability software that has been made compulsory for all public institutions, mainly for personnel payroll.
As was published in Premium Times, ASUU is opposed to the use of IPPIS for lecturers saying it does not consider some of the peculiar operations of universities. The lecturers’ union then developed its own UTAS which it wants the government to adopt for universities.
The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, announced the agreement after a four-hour meeting between both parties.
Mr Ngige said the two parties will reconvene on Monday after the ASUU delegation deliberates with its National Executive Council (NEC).
However, both parties did not reveal the conditions to the media.
ASUU on Monday asked its members in federal universities across the country to begin two weeks warning strike in response to the government’s decision to stop the February salaries of lecturers who have not registered on the IPPIS platform.
Thursday’s meeting was the first by both parties since the strike commenced.
Children from linguistic minorities should be taught in their own mother tongue, said the UN independent expert on minority issues, presenting his latest report on Wednesday to the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
According to Fernand de Varennes, this is not only necessary for inclusive, quality education but also to respect the human rights of all children.
The Special Rapporteur said that: “Education in a minority’s mother tongue, combined with quality teaching of the official language, is more cost-effective in the long term; reduces dropout rates; leads to noticeably better academic results, particularly for girls; improves levels of literacy and fluency in both the mother tongue and the official or majority language; and leads to greater family and community involvement.”
Learning in one’s first language can help mitigate the risk of “ending up later in life with the lowest paying jobs and highest unemployment rates”, he said. The language of education can also have an impact on the self-esteem and development of minority students, according to the report.
The independent expert, a Canadian legal specialist in the rights of minorities, recommended that quality public education in the mother tongue should “be extended to as late a stage in education as possible, up to and including public university education where practicable, and at the very least be taught as a subject”.
Human rights obligations
There are some 6,000 recognized languages, including sign languages, to which these recommendations could be applied. According to the report, these are central to the identity of linguistic minorities – both individuals and communities.
When minority language issues go unaddressed, this can lead to “toxic environments of exclusion and claims of discrimination in education,” that fuel conflict, according to the report.
In terms of international law, the failure to use minority languages where reasonable could be construed as “discriminatory”, and contrary to “human rights obligations such as the right to education”, the expert said.
In addition, the expert argued, the use of minority languages would support the social inclusion of persons with disabilities, indigenous people and ethnic minorities, thereby making an important contribution to the world’s development agenda, which calls for ensuring “inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” (Sustainable Development Goal 4).
Mr. de Varennes also called for the drafting of practical guidelines to provide concrete guidance on the implementation of the human rights of minorities and the use of their languages in the field of education.
Recognition of sign language
The Special Rapporteur emphasised that “sign languages are fully fledged languages, and their users can therefore be considered as members of linguistic minorities where they represent less than half of the entire population of a State”, referencing his own definition.
Users of sign languages can experience the same disadvantages or exclusion as other minorities if their languages are not used as languages for instruction. In this case, “the obstacles to effective, quality education can be said to be even more pronounced,” he said.
The educational needs of deaf people, and the recognition of sign languages (as well as their inclusion as a medium of instruction at all educational levels), will therefore be a special area of focus for the Special Rapporteur on Minorities.
Special Procedures mandate-holders are independent human rights experts appointed by the Human Rights Council to address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. They are not UN staff and are independent from any government or organization. They serve in their individual capacity and do not receive a salary.
The Lagos State Government has expressed its readiness to conduct the Y2020 Book Review Exercise.
In an official statement by the Honourable Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, the exercise which comes up every three years, is to ensure Publishers and Authors align their textbooks and publications with the National Curriculum and Unified Schemes of Work for Primary and Secondary Schools.
Furthermore, she said the exercise would afford Publishers and Authors to provide rich contents that would facilitate qualitative teaching and learning processes which would engineer the inculcation of 21st-Century skills in the learners.
Adefisayo maintained that the Major Book Review provides Government with the opportunity to assess/censor books that would be circulated in Schools across the State, thereby eliminating those that are substandard in content and unsuitable for students’ consumption.
“The Review, which usually has over 50,000 Books submitted, culminates in the production of approved Booklists from which Schools in the State draw their respective Booklists for their individual schools”, she submitted.
Speaking on the process of registration, the Permanent Secretary revealed that registration had commenced since February 12th, 2020 and that interested Publishers/Authors are expected to register via the link https://forms.gle/
The Commissioner also disclosed that the Review is to be carried out by experienced teachers from Public and Private Schools after they must have been orientated according to the procedures, guidelines, and compliance with the National Curriculum.
She also affirmed that selected Books after review will form the approved Booklist for Y2020-2023, adding that the Books will be showcased at a designated venue where Parents, Teachers and Proprietors/Proprietresses will interact with Publishers/Authors directly and select their choices.
The University of Lagos, Akoka has offered employment to no fewer than 100 graduates of the university, who made first class in various fields of studies in the university.
The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, made the disclosure at a pre convocation news conference on Monday in Lagos.
He said the employment gesture was aimed at retaining some of the best brains to take the university to its desired goal.
“We have, however, suspended this initiative for a while, in order to carry out a review of the entire thing.
“We started it sometime ago and no fewer than 100 of our first class graduates were given employment here in the university.
“But after a while, some of them had to travel out. Some resigned while others are still on ground. That is what gave us the room to do a review and as soon as we are through with the review, we will take the next step.”
The vice-chancellor announced that the university had secured N250 million funding from the Bank of Industry to support entrepreneurship drive in the institution.
According to him, the university has also attracted about N7 billion for research from local and international agencies.
“We have received provisional approval to host the World Bank Centre of Excellence on Sustainable Procurement, Environmental and Social Standards Enhancement, which is an 11-million dollar project for the South West geo-political zone.
“More faculties are now interested in research as we have created the environment for them to thrive,” he stated.
Giving a breakdown of the graduating students, the vice-chancellor stated that a total of 13,489 of them would receive degrees, diplomas and certificates at the convocation ceremonies, commencing on March 9.
He said that 281 of the students bagged first class degrees while 13,489 others would receive degrees, diplomas and certificates in various fields.
Ogundipe said that Dr Stella Adedevoh, who lost her life on Aug. 19, 2014, while preventing the spread of Ebola virus in the country and a former Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Oye Ibidapo-Obe were among prominent Nigerians that would be honoured at the convocation event.
He said that the convocation lecture would be delivered by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami on “The Role of Disruptive Technologies in Sustainable Economic Transformation.
The National Youth Service Corps has warned Prospective Corps Members with fake credentials to stay off its Orientation Camps across the country as the Scheme gets set for the 2020 Batch ‘A’ Orientation Course.
It added that anyone caught, especially graduates from the universities in West African sub-region with the intent to undermine the integrity of its mobilisation process with fake certificates would be arrested and prosecuted.
The Director-General, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim, according to press release signed by Adenike Adeyemi, Director, Press and Public Relations, gave this warning in his office in Abuja.
He said that the NYSC Scheme had put necessary mechanism in place to curb the enrolment of fake graduates for the Orientation course, and would continue working diligently in that direction.
The DG noted that the Scheme had made tremendous achievements in the fight against unqualified graduates who try to infiltrate the Scheme.
Ibrahim added that during the 2019 Batch ‘C’ online registration, over twenty thousand foreign – trained Nigerians uploaded their results online, however, during the physical verification exercise, just 3,420 showed up, having been forewarned that anyone caught with fake certificate would be prosecuted..
He added that the Scheme recently had a meeting with the Registrars and Student Affairs Officers of some African Universities and read the riot act to them, including the Vice-Chancellors, Rectors and Provosts of Corps Producing Institutions in the country on the need to sanitise the mobilisation process.
“The NYSC alone cannot do it, we need other stakeholders to assist us and we have started the process and l am sure things are getting better”.
“I want to appeal to our youths to do the right thing and not to cut corners in whatever they do in life, because there is always reward for hard work”, he added.
The NYSC boss appealed to members of the public not to fall prey to the antics of online scammers that promise preferential deployment, internal posting, relocation and other services for a fee.
He urged them to always visit the Scheme’s website and NYSC State Secretariats nationwide to make enquires on issues concerning the Scheme instead of falling victim to the fraudsters.
Speaking further, the DG added that no Corps Member would be deployed to any State where there is security breach, while equally advising Corps Members not to endanger themselves through risky adventures and unauthorised journeys. He charged them to be security conscious at all times. He also admonished them to board vehicles from only authorised motor parks and not by the roadside. He counselled that they should resist the temptation of free rides, especially from strangers.
General Ibrahim hinted that plans were underway to turn the Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) centre in Gombe into a training institute where youths in the North-Eastern part of the country would be trained on skill acquisition which would inturn reduce the level of unemployment among the youths in the country.
The Director-General appealed to Corps Members to avoid the wrong use of the Social Media and any action that may haunt them in future, but embrace the Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development programme of the Scheme which has been designed to empower them.
The DG commended the Federal Government on the recent increase of Corps Members’ allowance which was captured in the 2020 budget of the Scheme, payable with effect from January this year, which therefore precludes the payment of arrears.
“Corps Members are not Civil Servants, they are on national service and the commencement date for the payment of the increment of their allowance is January 2020 which the Federal Government has started”, he concluded.
The Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) says it will include Gender Based Violence (GBV) and sexual reproductive health rights in its Family Life and HIV/AIDS Education (FLHE) curriculum.
Its Executive Secretary, Prof. Ismail Junaidu, disclosed this during a planning and writing workshop for the review of FLHE curriculum in Mararaba Nasarawa State.
The theme of the workshop is “Concept Planning and Writing Workshop for the Review of Family Life & HIV/AIDS Education Curriculum in Nigeria.’’
Junaidu, represented by the Director, Special Programmes of NERDC, Dr David Omole, said that the move was in collaboration with the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and other key stakeholders.
He said that the existing FLHE curriculum for basic education was developed in 2003, hence the need to include current trends in line with global practices that would capture prevailing issues affecting the society.
He added that “going by the current trend in Nigeria, there are many emerging issues that need to be addressed in the FLHE curriculum. There is also the need to adjust some existing contents and concepts to reflect the present situation in our society.
“The family life and HIV/AIDS Education is very central and invaluable in sharpening and helping to checkmate the scourge of HIV/AIDS, violence against women and girls, rape and child-marriage and other socio-cultural practices that affect the wellbeing of women and girls.”
He, therefore, urged the participants to evolve modalities for the review of the curriculum, select topics and contents that would be used for the exercise, and write the curriculum based on the selected topics.
“Your presence is to make constructive contributions that will improve and enrich the curriculum so that our children will be conscious of their sexuality, HIV/AIDS and sexual reproductive health rights through the instrumentality of the revised curriculum,” he stressed.
The Spotlight Project Manager in UNESCO, Dr Steven Onyekwelu, said that the workshop was a platform to review the national basic and secondary education curriculum to include prevailing issues affecting the society.
Onyekwelu said that the review would include issues relating to ending violence against women and girls, sexual and reproductive health rights and harmful practices.
He added that “it is an activity sponsored by UNESCO under the Spotlight Initiative Project.
“UNESCO engaged NERDC that has the mandate to review the curriculum and integrate the variables that I mentioned: that is the essence of this workshop.
“The review will continue till May and after the first draft is produced, then NERDC will lead to make a presentation of the reviewed curriculum before the Joint Consultative Committee on Education.’’
“It will now be taken to the National Council on Education, where the final decision and approval will be given. ‘’
On her part, the National Programme Officer for Education, UNESCO, Ms Ngozi Amanze, said the review of the FLHE was necessary as it was obsolete and did not capture global trends affecting the society.
Amanze said “FLHE is all about educating adolescents and young people, so we are reviewing those things that are missing as you know the world keeps evolving and there are many things that are not in the curriculum.
“We do not have female genital mutilation, which is part of gender based violence, we do not have school-related gender based violence, all these things, child marriage these are things that we have to integrate in the curriculum.’’
She explained further that after the curriculum review, teachers would also be trained to end all forms of violence and harmful practices affecting the health status of the nation.
“FLHE is not something that you implement only at the school level, it involves everybody, the community leaders, religious and traditional leaders and parents.
“It addresses some socio-cultural negativity, harmful practices and build skills, competence to empower them in making informed decisions and consequences of their action,” she said.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that participants at the workshop include representatives of Federal Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, NACA, NERDC and other stakeholders. (NAN)
The Minister for Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, has called for the support of the Girl-Child education to enhance a sustainable society free of criminality.
According to PRNigeria, Tallen made this call at an Annual Conference in Abuja, themed ’21st century Nigerian Girl Child, societal norms and traditional parenting’ organised by the Association of Nigerian Female Students (ANFS)in collaboration with West Africa Network for Peacekeeping (WANEP) stating that this in the long run will create a family of relevance with profound advantage to the society.
Represented by the Special Assistant Technical, Ms. Princess Jummai Idonije, the Minister reiterated the need for parents and authorities to ensure an enabling environment for the Girl Child to thrive in education and other relevant sections.
She said: “There is a need for us to make continuous effort to balance the percentage of girls in school to reach her maximum capability.
“All hands must be on deck to support the Girl-Child to create a home of properly nurtured children as educating a woman is educating a nation ,without the girl Child there can be no continuity of society there must be an attitudinal change.”
Speaking, Chief Executive Officer Youth Star Initiative, Mr. Kingsley Bangwell, disclosed that “the Girl-Child need to be properly represented, they should strive to add value to the environment and society.
According to him “the girl Child should be enabled to grow into a 21st century woman who is out to solve problem and move from just being a woman.”
Earlier, the President of ANFS, Ms. Sarki Sylvia Yemi, in her welcome address reiterated the need change the narrative concerning the girl Child and the future of women in Nigeria as for a long time our country and indeed Africa has tenaciously held unto oppressive practices making the girl Child feel that her highest aspiration should be to house wife.
“There is need to open up opportunities to the girl Child to forge a future different from what ancient tradition determined. I stressed that the path forged by our ancient tradition is not bad but needs to be updated to the 21st century standard to equip Girl Child with the necessary impetus to confront current challenges in the global arena.
Stating also the necessity of upgrading the traditional parenting as to the method of raising the boy Child to respect and value their female siblings, school mates and women in general.
“The male child must be raised to that every man no matter how highly placed is born an raised by a woman and through the influence of a mother figure as such they must grow to accord women the requisite respect needed to build corporative efforts aimed at rebuilding our society which is already been ravaged by drug abuse and other vices.
“There is need to raise our voices to be heard from the home to the school to the market places, a need to raise our girl Child using an upgraded traditional parenting style which must be felt from every seat of power.”