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NGOs float ambitious Urban Schools’ Tree Planting Program in Nigeria

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T.R.E.E. Initiative, a Nigerian NGO and a US based not for profit, C.A.K.E. African Village in a collaboration to practically demonstrate the United Nations SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals on Wednesday 7th July, 2021 floated an ambitious Urban Schools’ Tree Planting Program at a public school, Methodist High School in Ibadan the Oyo State capital.
 
Urban Schools Tree Planting Program seeks to inculcate tree planting (afforestation) and environmental conservation in school children as well as create awareness on the importance of tree planting and the advocacy against deforestation in Africa, especially Nigeria.
 
Speaking at the event which also featured the symbolic planting of trees by Students of the school, the Executive Director of T.R.E.E. Initiative, ‘Sola Kolawole stated that the idea of engaging students in Urban Schools was mentioned in a conversation with a friend, ‘Lande Sanusi of the US based C.A.K.E. African Village about a year ago during the COVID-19 lockdown.

“She asked that we collaborate and execute this as Climate Action across selected schools in major Nigerian cities. Today, her dream is a reality with the take-off of this project her in Ibadan, Oyo State.
 
“As we move further, several schools will be engaged under the Urban Schools Tree Planting Program to motivate students to plant and nurture trees within their school premises and at home. This program is structured and the school management is involved.
 
“There is also an incentive dimension to this because we don’t want to plant these trees but we want them to nurtured by these students for a few years. Students who participate in this project will get a certificate and also a medals if the trees survive.
 
“This Urban Schools Tree Planting Program amplifiers the basics of SDGs 13: #ClimateAction and SDGs 15: #LifeonLand.”
 
In her remarks, the Principal of Methodist High School, Ibadan, Mrs. Olayinka Sanwo could not hold back her joy at the success of the event and the nomination of her school as the first beneficiary of the C.A.K.E. African Village and T.R.E.E. Initiative Urban Schools Tree Planting Program.
She thanked the facilitator, Mr. Edris Olawoyin and the T.R.E.E. Initiative team for starting with her school. She assured the team that she will supervise the projects throughout her sojourn at the school as Principal. The School’s Agricultural Science teacher, Mr. Olutumi Oyeleke was also elated. He thanked the team and assured them the trees will be well nurtured. Methodist High School, Ibadan was founded on February 13th, 1961 as a Boys only school and it currently has a student population of 350+.
 
T.R.E.E. Initiative (The Rural Environmental Empowerment Initiative) is a Nigerian registered not-for-profit volunteer based NGO is focused on climate change mitigation via afforestation (tree planting), food security and sustainable rural livelihood. The NGO is at the forefront of the clamour for the declaration of a National Tree Planting Day as Climate Action since 2017. Other projects by T.R.E.E. Initiative include: One Student One Tree Project (OSOTP); National Shea Tree Restoration Advocacy Program (NASTREP); Community Based Mangrove Restoration Project (COBMAREP) and Sustainable Apiculture Program (SAP).
 
C.A.K.E. African Village (Culture of Africa for Kids Everywhere Inc.) is a American not for profit that has proudly preserved and presented African culture experiences within the diaspora and throughout the United States.
Through exhibitions, educational programs, school assemblies, workshops and festivals, C.A.K.E. African Village have been able to foster cultural enlightenment, awareness and inclusion among both children and adults.
They also serve to help Americans seeking to reconnect with their African ancestors heritage. Working with experts in the field of exhibit creation and educators from Indiana University’s NALRC, C.A.K.E. African Village ensures that every presentation, every instruction, every workshop, and every assembly is marked by authenticity and cultural excellence.
 

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Education

Gbajabiamila’s aides enrol 100 pupils into schools in Daura Emirate

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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.

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UNESCO makes case for bridging of gender gap in STEM

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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.  

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Out-of-school-children: Nasarawa, UNICEF partner media

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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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