By Friday Idachaba
Rector of Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja, Dr Salisu Ogbo Usman, has explained that his administration banned the sale of handouts to students by their lecturers to guide against exploitation and threats of failure.
The Rector made this known when the National leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), paid him a courtesy visit in Lokoja.
He said direct sale of text books authored by lecturers to students was also prohibited to prevent victimisation and freedom by students to read diverse books of their choice.
He said only recently, a lecturer was suspended for forcing his hand-outs on students.
“We always encourage our students to read their books, that is why we insisted that lecturers who have books should take them to our school bookshops and not make it compulsory for students,” he said.
Against this backdrop, he said the institution had embarked on academic and infrastructural renaissance, which according to him, was already paying off, to the the admiration of all well-meaning people.
He said examination malpractices, cultism, social vices, forgery of results to gain admission in the Polytechnic, was also now a thing of the past, adding that management was very decisive on the matter.
Ogbo noted that a number of students had either been expelled or rusticated for poor academic performance, in the ongoing efforts to sanitise the system and ensure academic excellence.
He said the current management of the Institution had embarked on academic and infrastructural revolution aimed at restoring excellence.
Ogbo also said management had embarked on projects aimed at restoring and enhancing the dignity of students, as part of efforts towards producing graduates that can stand tall in terms of character and learning, for the advancement of the society.
He said management was striving towards building an institution that is accessible for all, irrespective of class or position in the society.
Usman described the NANS leadership visit as historic, in view of the fact that exactly this day, last year, Gov. Yahaya Bello was at the institution to commission some projects.
He commented the governor for giving him the opportunity to serve, and stressed that he was a detribalised leader who would change the fortunes of Nigeria, if given the opportunity to lead the country.
Speaking earlier, President of NANS, Sunday Asefon, described as epochal, the rapid transformation being witnessed in Kogi State Polytechnic.
Asefon who lauded the infrastructure and academic revolution in the institution, on behalf of over 41.1million Nigerian students at home and in Diaspora, passed a vote of confidence on Dr Salisu Ogbo Usman.
He said the visit to the polytechnic was to enable on-the-spot assessment of the news about the positive turn-around taking place under the Ogbo Usman-led administration, adding that he was not disappointed.
Asefon commended the fiscal and administrative discipline deployed by the Rector, in running the institution as well as the uninterrupted academic calendar which had restored the confidence of the general public in the credibility of the school.
The NANS President said the Rector, in less than two years, had changed the narrative of learning and social infrastructure of the school with unprecedented transformation.
He therefore commended Gov. Yahaya Bello for the choice of Ogbo, saying the feat achieved by the Rector could only be attributed to the governor’s knack for excellence and putting round pegs in round holes.
“Today, things have changed. For you to change the institution from glorified Secondary School to a 21st Century Polytechnic is very commendable,” he said.
Gbajabiamila’s aides enrol 100 pupils into schools in Daura Emirate
The aides to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, have enrolled 100 pupils into various primary schools in the Daura Emirate of Katsina State.
The Speaker’s aides, under the umbrella of Gbaja Professionals Volunteer Network, carried out the gesture as part of efforts in imbibing their principal’s virtue of giving back to the society.
The network, formed in September 2019, had organized similar interventions in Surulere, Lagos State, where thousands of students benefitted and did the same recently in commemoration of the Speaker’s 59th birthday where 38 out-of-school children among people with disabilities were enrolled into school at Karmajiji area of Abuja, among other outreach programmes.
Speaking at the occasion, which took place in Daura, the Chief of Staff to the Speaker, Alhaji Sanusi Garba Rikiji, said the enrollment was in line with Gbajabiamila’s vision of empowering the people in the area of education.
He said: “This is timely at this critical time of our nationhood where the challenge of insecurity is sending children out of school. The Speaker is a strong believer in one Nigeria. The Speaker is a highly patriotic man. The Gbaja Professionals have touched Nigerians at different locations.
“Today’s event is one of the laudable projects of the group, and it will not be the last in Daura as we shall continue. I urge the pupils to pay attention to their studies. Their parents should also pay attention,” he said, adding that a mechanism has been put in place to monitor their studies for possible rewards.
In a remark, the Katsina State Commissioner of Women Affairs, Hajiya Rabiat Muhammad Daura, who represented the State Governor, Rt. Hon. Aminu Bello Masari, said Government alone could not take care of all the needs of the people as she called on other Nigerians to follow the steps of the Speaker.
She said a gesture such as the enrollment of 100 pupils into schools is a welcome development as she urged both the parents and the pupils to justify the selection by the Speaker’s aides.
Member representing Daura/Mai-Adua/Sandamu Federal Constituency, Rep. Fatuhu Mohammed, who was represented by one of his aides, Alhaji Aliyu Haruna, thanked the Speaker for the love he has been showing the people of Daura.
He noted with delight how the Speaker visited Daura last year to commission some projects attracted by the lawmaker, expressing appreciation to the Speaker for creating the enabling environment for his aides to organize such a laudable programme in Daura Emirate.
On his part, the National Coordinator of Gbaja Professionals, Alhaji Lukman Lawal, who is the Special Assistant on Budget and Finance to the Speaker, emphasized the importance of education in the lives of children, whom he described as leaders of tomorrow.
He said the Speaker attaches high premium to education, as such, his aides have keyed into his vision and decided to organize the programme in Daura Emirate to ensure that out-of-school children have adequate access to education.
In a goodwill message, the Emir of Daura, Alhaji (Dr) Umar Farouk Umar, expressed appreciation to the Speaker for the gesture, which he said would go a long way in addressing the issue of out-of-school children in the emirate.
Represented by the Sardaunan Daura, Alhaji Awwal Farouk Umar, the Emir described the Speaker as ‘Bajabaja’ (a Hausa word for giving or having something in excess), adding that Gbajabiamila has proved himself to be a nationalist and patriot.
“We thank the Speaker for this gesture. All our representatives have been doing their best for our people. We thank you for this, Mr Speaker. We won’t hesitate to ask for more so that more of our children will be in school. We need more of your assistance in the area of education.”
There were goodwill messages from different personalities at the event including the director of finance and administration in Daura Local Government, Alhaji Lawal Samaila Doro, who said the people of Daura would never forget the gesture.
The highlight of the event was the presentation of school bags, books and other writing materials to the pupils, all of whom were adorned with their new school uniforms, sandals and white socks to match.
The delegation later paid homage to the Emir of Daura, Alhaji (Dr) Farouk Umar Farouk at his palace. The emir thanked and blessed the Speaker for the gesture, saying he would personally tell President Muhammadu Buhari about it.
UNESCO makes case for bridging of gender gap in STEM
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has nade strong case for bridging the gender gap in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
The Director UNESCO regional office Dakar and OIC UNESCO regional office Abuja, Dr. Dimitri Sanga stated this when he paid a courtesy visit on the minister of Sciebce, Technology and Innovation Ogbonaya Onuh in his office on Thursday
Sanga said his visit was to work closely and look for ways to collaborate with the Nigerian government.
He added that the issue of gender-gap should be looked into, as girls and women should be encouraged through government policy to embrace Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
The Minister in his speech said that indigenous plants and herbs can be used to find cure to epilepsy and different forms of cancer, for the benefit of Nigerians and other countries.
Onu said that the Federal Government is working hard to reduce the gender gap in the development of STI in Nigeria, adding that policies are being put on ground to encourage girls and women participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Onu added that the Ministry is working to reverse the degradation of the biosphere through policies like Methanol Fuel Technology, as it will help to manage the effects of gas flaring and environmental degradation.
He informed the UNESCO delegation, that the research Institutes under the supervision of the Ministry are ran and built on world class standards.
The Minister further commended the cordial relationship between Nigeria and UNESCO, describing it as firm, fruitful and long-standing, adding that the existing relationship should be strengthened.
The Minister described Nigeria as Africa’s power house and there should be a need for Nigerian research institutes to be UNESCO category one centres.
Out-of-school-children: Nasarawa, UNICEF partner media
From Abel Daniel, Lafia
TheNasarawa State Government in collaboration with the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) have expressed readiness to partner with the media to reduce out of school children and community learning approach in the state.
Officials of the State Government and UNICEF made the disclosure on Thursday in Lafia at a media dialogue with practitioners and Chief Executives.
Speaking at the media dialogue, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology in the state Mohammed Bala, said the government with UNICEF would partner the media to achieve the objectives of the campaign.
He explained that the campaign was in line with the priority of the Governor Abdullahi Sule-led administration to improve school enrolment of children expecially in rural communities.
Also Musa Dan’Azumi, Chairman, Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) represented by Dr. Ibrahim Eshin, Director of Academic Services in the board maintained that the partnership with the media will create stronger awareness.
In his goodwill message, Zachary Adam, Chief UNICEF Kaduna Field Office said they are currently partnering with governments of four states in the North-Central towards ensuring zero out of school related cases.
He said UNICEF is partnering with Kaduna, Niger, Kwara and Nasarawa States Governments on the back-to-school and safe school campaigns.
On his part, Mr Francis Elisha, Education Officer, UNICEF Kaduna Office said the collaboration was aimed at building collective responsibility and support on back-to-school campaigns and school safety in the state.
He added that under the back-to-school and safe school campaigns, UNICEF is currently working in two Local Government Areas (LGAs) with plans to extend it to other 11 LGAs in the state.
“We are currently working with traditional and religious leaders as well as other stakeholders in Lafia and Nasarawa LGA to ensure that all children are back to school irrespective of their social status,” the SUBEB Chairman added.
He listed other objective of the dialogue to include, sharing of global partnership back to school strategy to the public, agreement on possible collaborations, support roles and responsibilities of the media.
Mr. Francis appealed to media practitioners and executives to support the campaign through reportage and programmes with a view to improving the enrolment and sustenance of out-of-school children
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