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COVID-19: Senator Eyakenyi warns of imminent collapse in education if pupils continue to stay at home

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COVID-19: Senator Eyakenyi warns of imminent collapse in education if pupils continue to stay at home

The Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic and Secondary Education Senator Akon Eyakenyi has warned of imminent total collapse of the education system if the country does not devise a strategy for schools to resume.

Presiding over a stakeholders meeting organised by the senate panel, she said third term is almost running out, and the long vacation is at the corner, “by September the school session is supposed to resume, if the children lose a session, how do we make up.”

She said the country can not just stay aloof and do nothing because of COVID-19 and let the children remain at home without going to school as that would be a recipe for the education system to totally collapse.
According to her, there must be a modality just as churches and mosques can go back with guidelines of distance spacing what stops the school from doing so?
“A classroom that can take 40 students for example why don’t we cut it in to half for 20 students to have spacing, they can go in two sets, what it takes is determination and commitment.
“Like we agreed we cannot send all the children back to school at the same time, there is a strategy that the ministry and stakeholders are trying to put up to ensure they are taken care of when they go back to school.”
On the almajiri system, he queried the parents that would go ahead to born children they cannot Carter for.
“Like you heard the Almajiri issue is a socio-Religious problem that needs to be tackled by the stakeholders themselves, because I cannot see why someone will bring forth children he is not able to take care of.
She said parents should do good projection according to their income to give birth to the children they can care for.
“You should have 2 or 3 that your income should be able to handle, but you want to have 10 or 20 and have more than you can care for and the next thing is to send them to start begging.
On the part of the State Government she challenged them to be ashamed of sending such children in trucks from one State to the other.
” Where are sending them, who are those in those states you are sending them to go and beg? you should be in a position to take care of your own children.”

“The State Government should be able to control the children, get them enrolled in school.
She cautioned the parents to at least give their wards a meal, breakfast and allow them to go to school.
“Maybe in the school there is provision for food the child will eat and learn and then go back to school and when they come out they will be better citizens when they graduate either from primary school or secondary school.
“Unlike allowing them go round begging and they are not the ones making use of this money as they beg, gather the money and make returns, that is slavery. It is another form of slavery in Nigeria so it should be stopped.
“The way forward is the State Government to be involved, the stakeholders to be involved and the parents and the children themselves have to be debriefed of that mentality that they have to beg to survive.
She said the almajerai must be debriefed to make good use of the life that God gave to them.

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Education

Dream for Kabba varsity inches close to reality, as bill scales second reading

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Dream for Kabba varsity inches close to reality, as bill scales second reading

Hope rises for the establishment of full fledged Federal University of Agric Kabba as bill seeking to give it legal backing scaled second reading on the floor of the senate during plenary on Wednesday. 
The piece of legislation sponsored by Senator Smart Adeyemi (APC – Kogi West), among others seeks to develop and enable the institution to offer academic and professional programs; and train agriculturists with capabilities of exploiting existing Agro infrastructure and improve on it to develop new ones. 

The bill after scaling second reading was referred to the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND, chaired by Senator Ahmad Baba-Kaita (APC – Katsina North). 

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Education

Kogi Poly inaugurates 7 committees for hostels renovation

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Kogi Poly inaugurates 7 committees for hostels renovation

By Friday Idachaba

Rector of Kogi State Polytechnic, Dr Salisu Usman Ogbo has inaugurated seven committees to handle renovation of students’ hostels to address the acute shortage of campus accommodation in the institution.

Inaugurating the committees on Tuesday in Lokoja, the Rector said the management had embarked on the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the dilapidated hostel blocks as part of efforts to reposition the instruction for academic and all-round excellence..

He said the renovation of the hostels was sequel to approval by the state government for the Polytechnic to access a credit facility of about N268 million from Zenith Bank PLC.

Ogbo said that as one of the pioneer students of the institution, on assumption of of duty as Rector on 7th April, this year, he set up a committee on 13th of April with recommendation for it to adopt Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.

In line with the directive, he said that the committee approached Zenith Bank to access a N350 million facility for the renovation projects and sought approval of the State Government.

The Governor subsequently approved the sum of N268 million and urged that direct labour model be deployed rather than contract award.

The Rector pointed out that the governor’s approval would put an end to the suffering, humiliation, harrassment, robbery and incessant attacks on off-campus students by landlords, hoodlums and cultists.

Ogbo held that the Polytechnic had highly committed and competent experts to handle the renovation projects to turn the sorry story of students’ accommodation in the institution to a thing of the past.

The Rector said that execution of the projects would run simultaneously and assured of the completion of the hostel projects within one month.

The work of the committees, according to him, Includes: structural and engineering works, roofings, fencing, construction of drainages and painting amongst others.

He pointed that the student body was represented on each of the seven committees saying, “Our students must be involved in this project to see what is happening.”

On the recent discovery of Exam Magic Centres and arrest of some students, the Rector said “The Police are handling the case. A young man admitted that they had been printing our answer booklets and receipts.

“I apologize to members of staff who were wrongly accused but this notwithstanding, one or two persons found to have been involved will surely face our laws.

“Instead of punishing an innocent person unjustly, I will allow a criminal to go free. I urge lecturers and staff who fraternize with bad students to refrain to avoid being drawn into the mud with them”, he advised.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the committees inaugurated include: Male Hostel 1-2 blocks; Mary Ajayi Hostel 1-4; London Hostel 3 – 4; London Hostel 1 – 2; Afakariya 1, 2 & 3 Hostel; Wada Hostel 1 and 2 and the Central Monitoring Committee headed by the Rector himself. (NAN)

FDJ/

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Hope for Universities reopening rises as ASUU/FG align towards agreement 

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Hope for Universities reopening rises as ASUU/FG align towards agreement

The impasse between the academic staff Union of Universities and the Federal Government may be gradually coming to fruitful end as Friday meeting offered some hope for reopening of the Ivory towers soon.

This was as Government has agreed to make some concessions to university lecturers (ASUU).
The Government offered N65 billion to Nigerian universities to address some of the lecturers’ demands.
The government also agreed to pay the lecturers their outstanding salaries using an older payment platform, GIFMIS, different from the controversial IPPIS.
The N65 billion is meant to address the issue of earned allowances and ”revitalisation of universities”.
The minister of labour, Chris Ngige, who gave a breakdown of the N65 billion after a meeting between both parties,
said the Accountant General of the Federation has offered to release N40 billion “or in the alternative, N35 billion to be shared by all the registered trade unions in the universities after providing necessary evidence of having earned the allowance.”
“The FG reiterated that her offer of N40 billion or N35 billion, whichever is accepted by ASUU, was for all the universities’ unions.
ASUU had proposed that N40 billion be paid immediately for all unions,” he said.

According to the minister, both parties held fruitful discussions and “government moved from their initial N20 billion for revitalization fund and 30 billion is now for earned allowances in the university system.”
“We have moved and brought on the table N15 extra billion and by that, a proposal in one basket for N25 billion Revitalization and N40 billion Earned Allowances for all the unions in the universities,” he said.
“While the second basket offer is the issue of revitalization getting N30 billion and Earned Allowances getting N35 billion. So the offer has been made, it is in this document and ASUU is supposed to come back to the government with acceptance on either or one of the offers,” he said.
He said the government has shifted its position as demanded by ASUU on the funds for the revitalization of public universities and the earned academic allowances; as well as on the payment of outstanding salary arrears.

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