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Post COVID-19: Hope rises for universities as minister assures of resumption

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Post COVID-19: Hope rises for universities as minister assures of resumption soon

The long drawn forced holiday for students of higher learning which has made them idle and bored for want of what to do on account of COVID-19 pandemic may soon come to an end.
This is just as the Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, on Monday, assured Nigerian students that tertiary institutions across the country will reopen very soon.
The Students had resorted to compelling the authorities to reopen schools having been locked ip for months through protests.
Although the minister did not give a specific date for the re-opening, he urged the students to stop protesting.
He noted thst the ministry is working to articulate the situation report from the National Universities Commission, NUC, and other regulatory bodies of various tertiary institutions and present to the Presidential Task Force, PTF on COVID-19 for evaluation.

Nwajiuba, who disclosed this while responding to questions at the Presdential Task Force briefing in Abuja, added that the ministry has received calls from private universities and public universities for reopening of tertiary institutions in the country.

“There have been a lot of improvement, however, the guidance we have given and for which we are receiving feedback from many institutions are the moment includes a germut of items that you need to prepare and we don’t want them to just be fasads, we want content around them and we are going to go back to see if people have complied with those requirement.

“This morning, myself and minister of education, Mallam Adamu Adamu,the executive secretary of NUC and permanent secretary all met and we have been at it since morning. We have reviewed responses from about 78 universities already and most of them are private universities who are already insisting that they are ready to go. We also have 50 responses from state owned universities and we are working to upscale that and make sure that everybody is ready to go.”

He added “When all of these is taking in context, we will have them back at PTF so that all the various players in the PTF family will then review it so that we can give a go ahead so that schools can reopen.

“We are positive that that time is around the corner, but we don’t want to bandy around dates, we just want to remain positive and the sooner we can get that, the better.

“I urge our students who have actually exercised a lot of patience and bear with us a little bit more. The rioting needs to stop. There is nothing to riot about. We are in full negotiation with ASUU.”



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Education

Reps seeks postponement of school resumption

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Reps seeks postponement of school resumption

By Doris Ferdinand

The Committee on Basic Education and Services, House of Representatives, on Saturday called on the Federal Government to suspend the intended school resumption by three months.

The committee, in a press release signed by it’s chairman, Professor Julius O. Ihonvbere said that the need for the postponement is to enable local and state government put things in place adequately.

The committee expressed concern on the increase rate of infected persons, decrying the rush in school resumption where proper arrangements to safeguard the children have not been made.

The committee further argued that our educational institutions are not ready to resume as many of them are yet to implement five per cent covid-19 protocols established by the Federal Ministry of Education.

The committee further challenged the Federal Ministry of Education to first, independently monitor the extent of basic compliance with established protocols in all our schools.

“We are particularly concerned that when the infection rates hovered around 500 and under, schools were closed but now that it hovers well above 1000 infections daily, schools are being reopened. Why are we rushing to reopen schools without adequate verifiable and sustainable arrangements to protect and secure our children?

“Aside Lagos and a couple of other states, Governments are unable to enforce Covid-19 protocols. People no longer wear facemasks or use sanitizers. Public enlightenment campaigns have more or less stopped. Merely saying they would adhere to the protocols is no guarantee. In the rural areas, the sitution is worse.

“Our position is that in spite of the very comprehensive protocols established by the Federal Ministry of Education, not up to 10 per cent of our educational institutions have implemented five per cent of the protocols. In most of our primary and secondary schools nationwide, adequate furniture, water and other sanitation and hygiene facilities do not exit. Many poor parents would require support with facemasks and sanitizers for their children. We have not heard of how this would be addressed.

“We doubt that teachers, instructors and school managers have been adequately trained and prepared to handle Covid-19 safety protocols. We also know that adequate funds have not been provided to schools to cope with demands that accompany the new normal.

“We would like to challenge the Federal Ministry of Education to first, independently monitor the extent of basic compliance with established protocols in all our schools and not just take words of state and local authorities as given. The lives of our children are worth much more than the interests and comfort of any politician or bureaucrat. It is only after a minimum 75% nationwide compliance that we can seriously talk about reopening schools.

“Given that in primary and secondary schools in particular, there are no facilities for effectice social distancing in the classrooms, part of the compliance requirements must be the introduction of morning and afternoon batches into the schools when they reopen to reduce overcrowding.

“Special cleaning crews with sufficient sanitizers must be deployed to the classrooms before and after each stream. Hand washing before entering the classroom and use of sanitizer once seated must be made mandatory.

“The school feeding programme should be suspended and converted to sealable snacks to be distributed once classes are over.

“As a government that has committed to protecting the interests of the Nigerian people, it would be wrong to allow unprepared state governments, of which many did not take the pandemic too seriously anyway, to hoodwink or pressure it into this reopening game.

“The Committee believes that if these and other critical steps are not taken, there should be a postponement by three months to enable the local and state governments put things in place adequately. A word, they say, is enough for the wise.”

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Education Learning Centre: State of Qatar Donates $50,000, Partners Refugee Commission

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Education Learning Centre: State of Qatar Donates $50,000, Partners Refugee Commission

The State of Qatar through the Ambassador of the State of Qatar in Nigeria, AbdulAziz Mubarak AlMuhannadi has donated the sum of $50, 000 for the construction of an education learning Centre at Wassa IDPs Camp in Abuja.

The donation was made when the Honourable Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), Senator Basheer Garba Mohammed (Lado) paid a visit to the Qatar Embassy in Abuja, Tuesday.

According to the Ambassador, the State of Qatar will continue to support the Refugee Commission in all of its endevours towards giving succour to the displaced persons as well as making them self-reliant and bringing back their lives of dignity.

“We will partner with the Commission be it in areas of resettling displaced persons, education learning centres, making them self-reliant or giving them back their lives of dignity”, AlMuhannadi added.

On his part, the Honourable Federal Commissioner, Senator Basheer Garba Mohammed said, it is an honour to receive the gracious and generous donation of $50,000 for the education learning centre.

He pledged that the Commission will ensure the transparent expenditure of these funds to set up a learning centre at Wassa IDPs Camp in the FCT.

“The learning centre will provide a comprehensive learning programme including numeracy, literacy as well as vocational and life skills training to displaced children, adolescents and young people. The centre will also be used to provide an integrated health education and psychosocial support service”.

He further thanked the State of Qatar and the Embassy for their continuous interest and support in the work that the Commission does and for the pledge by Qatar to support the construction of housing units across the four states of Katsina, Zamfara, Borno and Cross River under the Commission’s Resettlement Cities Project.

It would be recalled that, the Commission got the allocation of 50 hectares of land in these states for the project intended for the construction of 600 housing units of two-bedrooms in each city, primary health care and education centres, security outposts, worship houses, skill acquisition centres, markets and adjoining farmlands for use by the recipients.

“The Embassy and People of Qatar espouse the Islamic principles of charity – reflected in their immeasurable humanitarian support to the poor, down trodden and most vulnerable in Nigeria and around the world”.

“I hope that this is the beginning of a most fruitful and beneficial partnership between the Embassy and People of Qatar and the National commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons”, he concluded.

Also at the visit wasu the deputy director, IDPs of the Commission, Hajiya Fatima Mamman Daura.

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Commencement date for sales of application documents for 2020 UTME not yet determined, says JAMB

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Commencement date for sales of application documents for 2020 UTME not yet determined, says JAMB


Date for the commencement of sales of the application form for 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) is yet to be determined, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), has indicated.
The board’s Head, Media and Information, Dr Fabian Benjamin made the disclosure against the background of reports that the board had already commenced the sales of forms for 2021 application.
H said that the board had since distanced itself from such report.
According to him, the report is totally false, misleading and malicious.

”The board’s attention has been drawn to some fictitious advertisement for the sales of the 2021 UTME/Direct Entry (DE) application documents purportedly coming from the board.

”This is totally false, and an attempt to mislead the public as the board has not rolled out its 2021 application documents.


”We have clearly defined channels of communication and as soon as we commence the process, the public will be duly informed via the necessary media platforms.

”The board, therefore, want to urge members of the general public not to be hoodwinked into falling prey to the antics of these persons, who derive pleasure in causing confusion.

”We all know the global disruptions caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19), to education and other sectors of the economy, hence the delay in the commencement of the process as was obtained in previous years,” he said.

Benjamin, however, urged members of the public to always cross-check with the board through its online platforms for authentic information.























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