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COVID-19: Education minister raises alarm over Oyo’s insistence on reopening of schools

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COVID-19: Education minister raises alarm over Oyo’s insistence on reopening of schools


The Federal ministry of Education has raised alarm over the decision of the Oyo State Government to reopen its primary and secondary schools amidst current rising cases of coronavirus infection in the country.
The  Minister of State for Education, Mr. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, expressed the concern while briefing members of the Senate Committee on Basic and Secondary Education on his ministry’s plans for pupils who have been forced to stay at home on account of the COVID – 19 pandemic. 
“Why is the government of Oyo State which is currently battling with an increase cases of new infections, be eager to throw open the gates of its schools when its neighbouring states, are employing caution.”The Minister was reacting to a question from the representative of Oyo South, Lekan Balogun,  who wanted to know the views of the Federal Government on the decision of his state government to reopen the schools. 
He said, “ Why is Oyo State talking of reopening schools when it has just started recording an increase cases of Coronavirus infection. Just beside Oyo is Ogun State which was part of the three state under the FG’s lockdown since April is not talking about schools reopening. 

“That’s part of the country’s problem, education is on the concurrent list,  so every state takes decisions that pleases it on it. Also everybody is a big man. When you call them on phone, they will not answer you.
“As we speak,  Kogi and Cross River states are not on the same page with the National Centre for  Disease Control on the issue of testing while all their neighbouring states are conducting tests.”

The Minister said  the ministry had presented a proposal to the National Assembly on the way forward concerning schools reopening for the federal lawmakers to criticise and make their input 

“In science, we talk about facts. Everything we know about this disease, is imported. In fact, nobody has seen this disease in Nigeria. “Anybody who says he has seen it is a joker. As a nation today, we have done 112, 000 tests for a country of 200 million people in a four month period.”

Children are asymptomatic carriers. Nobody can prove whether they can infect each others. Not even the health experts. Everything we know about it is what we read. There is nothing we discovered on our own.He indicated that the document they provided suggested how Nigeria can its education sector forward during the pandemic period. “We don’t want to make it known at this period so that some people will not take our proposal for guidelines for schools reopening.”
“This is because people publish fake guidelines every day which I always come on air to debunk. What we have now is a proposal. “Even if the Senate has not called us, we would have come to you to discuss with you because we have already discussed with the House of Representatives. He said the documents were being presented to the senate committee so that they can criticise and make inputs as major stakeholders.

The  Vice Chairman of the panel, Senator Akon Eyakenyi, who presided over the meeting,  expressed the fears that the academic calendar could be distorted in public schools where no visible arrangement was being made to teach the children at home unlike their private schools counterparts. 
She said public schools students were made to rely on educational programmes on radio and television stations whereas they tune to stations showing cartoons whenever there was no adult to guide them.
She said children in public schools don’t have access to online classes like their counterparts in the private schools.  She noted that the arrangement regarding radio and television stations was not working. 

She said, “Even when the students in the cities have access to education programmes on radio and televisions, what of those in the villages? What do we do so that we don’t shut them out? 

“If government can give guidelines for the reopening of churches and mosques,  stakeholders in the education sector could also hold a meeting with the government to agree on guidelines for schools reopening. 

“All we need to do is to come up with measures that would ensure the safety of both the students and their teachers. We can design a plan that would make sure that not all the students resume at the same time. We could probably start with the exit classes.
“We could have the numbers of students that would go to school in both the morning and afternoon sessions.  We have to be innovative in our approach to save our educational sector in this country because nobody knows how long that the disease would be with us.”

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ASUU dares Buhari, insists on UTAS not IPPS

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ASUU dares Buhari, insists on UTAS not IPPS


***Tackles presidency on lipservice to Local Content


of Universities (ASUU) yesterday insisted it will not be cowed by President Muhammadu Buhari’s threats on Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System(IPPIS) as they insisted on on their home grown templateUniversity Transparency and Accountability solution (UTAS)
President Muhammadu Buhari had, during budget presentation last Thursday, said only Federal staff that have been captured on the IPPIS platform will receive salaries. It would also be recalled that ASUU had presented UTAS to the Government five years ago for which it agreed to partner by bringing on board three persons only to backpeddal at the last minute.However, President of ASSU, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi while speaking to newsmen said they are not going back on their stand about UTAS which he said the Senate President has appreciated.”We have never shifted from that position, We believe that they are going to create the platform for presenting UTAS to other stakeholdersOn whether they will go back to classroom why the negotiation continues he asked rhetorically what they are taking back to the classroom?According to him, “UTAS is home grown while IPPIS is foreign, we are talking about local content. “We have shown that we are inventors, we are.creators of software and we are also capable of doing what our colleagues are doing in other parts of the world so Nigerian scholars are not inferior why should we be patronising foreigners for what we can do in Nigeria?”

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Kogi to overhaul, reposition education sector with relevant laws – Commissioner

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Kogi to overhaul, reposition education sector with relevant laws – Commissioner


By Friday Idachaba

Kogi State Commissioner for Education, Mr Wemi Jones has said that the state Education sector would soon be overhauled and repositioned for better service delivery with the Education sector law in place.

Jones disclosed this during the celebration of the “2020 World Teachers’ Day” organised by the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS) Nigeria on Monday in Lokoja.

He said that for the education sector to witness the required turnaround, a functional law must be in place to provide legal backing for the reforms to take shape, resuscitate and revitalise the sector.

The Commissioner said the State Education bill was recently passed by the state House of Assembly adding that what remained now was for the governor to append his signature and make it a law.

He said that in a society where there was no law there won’t be offence, adding, “We are starting the Education reform in Kogi State by getting our laws together.

“We are in the process of embarking on monumental and fundamental reforms in Kogi State” he said, adding that the administration of Gov. Yahaya Bello would turn the challenges in the education sector into opportunities.

Jones said, “No nation can grow beyond the quality of its teachers. Kogi has quality teachers and we are not going to allow those qualities to rust. We are aware of the negative consequences on education if the teacher is not well motivated”, he said.

Ranti Ojo, State chairman of the Union speaking earlier, decried the acute shortage of teachers in Secondary schools in the state and appealed to the State Government to quickly avert possible collapse of the system.

He described the teacher situation in the secondary schools as abysmal adding that the situation had attained a pandemic status as a result of the fallouts of the screening exercise in which many were compulsorily retired.

The union leader drew the attention of the state government to the deplorable condition of most of schools in the state saying that over 90 per cent of secondary schools in the state suffered infrastructures dilapidation, lack of laboratories while the libraries existed without books.

“We are renewing our call on government to, as a matter of urgency declare a state of emergency in secondary education in the state to steer it away from the precipice where it is now heading”, he said.

Meanwhile the Gov. Yahaya Bello has congratulated teachers in the state on the occasion of this year’s World Teachers’ Day, restating his administration’s unflinching commitment to their improved welfare and well-being.

Bello who disclosed this in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Onogwu Mohammed commended teachers for the critical role they play in moulding and building the society through their quality teachings.

According to him, teachers remain the father of all other professions as nobody could attain any height in his or her professional calling without first of all being taught by a teacher.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the highlight of the occasion was the presentation of a paper on “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” by a Leadership expert, Joshua Olorunfemi. (NAN)

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See why Gov Bello says he is committed to improving schools infrastructure in Kogi

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See why Gov Bello says he is committed to improving schools infrastructure in Kogi

That teaching profession remains the father of all other professions is not contestable as nobody could attain any height in his or her professional calling without first of all being taught by a teacher.
This was how Governor Yahaya Bello rates teachers when he restated his administration’s unflinching commitment to their improved welfare and well-being.
The occasion was the 2020 World’s Teachers Day when Bello congratulated teachers in the state.
This was contained in Statement issued on Monday by his Chief Press Secretary, Onogwu Mohammed.
In the State Governor Bello extolled teachers for the critical role they play in moulding and building the society through their quality teachings.
He said,
“Unarguably, teachers are the fathers of all professions! For anyone to be able to read and write, he or she must have been taught by a teacher or many teachers.

“The teaching profession is what gives birth to other professions and professionals.

“No one becomes a lawyer, doctor, engineer, nurse, pilot, architect, builder, journalist, pharmacist etc without a teacher.

“It therefore means that teachers occupy prominent position in the society and as a government, we ever remain committed to improving on the welfare and well-being of this category of workers to enable them give their best.

“Besides our commitment to improving the welfare of teachers, we are also committed to giving face lifts to our educational infrastructures across the state to engender conducive teaching and learning atmosphere for our teeming teachers and students.

“Once again, I congratulate all our teachers for their dedication and commitment to duties”, he said.

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