Jamb releases the "Not Too Bad" 2017 UTME results

2020 UTME: Anambra tops list of best candidates

Jamb releases the "Not Too Bad" 2017 UTME results

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has unveiled 13 candidates with the best results in the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).

According to PUNCH, the list examined the states of origin of the candidates, not where they sat for the exam.

The data released by the exam body revealed that the 13 candidates are from Anambra, Edo, Delta, Ekiti, Ondo, Akwa Ibom, Kwara, Oyo, and Ogun states.

Maduafokwa Egoagwuagwu Agnes, a candidate from Anambra, secured the highest UTME score in Nigeria with 365. He was followed closely by Nwobi Okwuchukwu David, also from Anambra, with 363.

The third spot was jointly occupied by Ojuba Mezisashe Shalom and Elikwu Victor Chukwuemeka – from Edo and Delta states respectively — with a score of 359.

On the fifth and sixth spots were Adebola Oluwatobi Paul and Gboyega Oluwatobiloba Enoch — both from Ekiti — who had 358 and 356 respectively.

The seventh spot was also jointly held by Ojo Samuel Oluwatobi from Ondo and Utulu Jebose George from Delta with a score of 355.

Osom Akan Awesome from Akwa Ibom occupied the ninth position with a score of 353 while four candidates held the 10th spot with a score of 352.

An analysis of the list showed that all the top performing candidates at this year’s UTME applied to study engineering-related courses including mechanical and civil engineering.

When the choice of institutions of the candidates was considered, it was found that five of them applied to attend the University of Lagos.

Two each applied to study at Covenant University, Obafemi Awolowo University and University of Ilorin.

The southeast region topped the list of 195 candidates indicted for exam malpractice in the country during the 2020 UTME.

This year’s UTME took place between March 14 and March 21.

JAMB had on Tuesday announced 160 as the cut-off mark for admission into public varsities with that of polytechnics and colleges of education pegged at 120 and 100 respectively.

Below is the list of 13 candidates with the highest score at the 2020 UTME:

1. Maduafokwa Egoagwuagwu Agnes -365

2. Nwobi Okwuchukwu David – 363

3. Ojuba Mezisashe Shalom – 359

3. Elikwu, Victor Chukwuemeka – 359

5. Adebola Oluwatobi Paul – 358

6. Gboyega Oluwatobiloba Enoch – 356

7. Ojo Samuel Oluwatobi – 355

7. Utulu, Jebose George – 355

9. Osom Akan Awesome – 353

10. Akakabota Fejiro Simeon – 352

10. Ogundele Favour Jesupemi – 352

10. Alatise Monsurah Bisola. – 352

10. Adelaja Oluwasemilore Daniel – 352

Final year and university students resumed classes on 1 June. AFP

Magufuli orders all Tanzania schools to reopen

Final year and university students resumed classes on 1 June. AFP
Final year and university students resumed classes on 1 June. AFP

Tanzania’s President John Magufuli has ordered schools at all levels to reopen on 29 June.

He has also ordered a return to normalcy of all social and economic activities that had been stopped by coronavirus restrictions.

Mr Magufuli issued the directives while proroguing parliament on Tuesday ahead of October general elections.

He repeated his claim that the country was spared from the pandemic by God, words that had elicited mixed reactions recently.

On Monday, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said the country only had 66 cases of the virus in 10 out of 26 regions.

Final year and university students had resumed classes on 1 June but learners in other levels had remained at home.

Predators targeting Kenyan children studying online

Kenya’s police has warned of a rise in cases of online sex predators who are targeting children who are studying online after schools were closed because of coronavirus outbreak.

The directorate of criminal investigations said the predators were luring children by complimenting them through inbox messages, before asking them for nude photos.

The agency said it was investigating several cases and asked parents to share information if a perpetrator contacts their children.

It also urged them to track the online activities of their children and always know their whereabouts as some perpetrators were organising for physical meetings.

Students with access to internet in the country have been attending online classes after schools were closed down in March to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Lessons from Sierra Leone’s Ebola pandemic on the impact of school closures on girls

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By Imran Rasul, International Growth Centre; Andrea Smurra, International Growth Centre, and Oriana Bandiera, London School of Economics and Political Science

Policymakers globally have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with tough measures. As a result of the risk and uncertainty caused by the virus, economic activity has contracted, hitting firms and workers whose activities rely on face-to-face contacts the hardest. Low-income countries with lower state capacities, including weaker health infrastructure and less data to inform policy, face an even more difficult balance between public health policy measures and their economic costs.

That balance has been discussed a great deal. But an equally important aspect to think through is the potentially longer lasting impact of policies being used to tackle the pandemic. While the immediate costs of the crisis are large and visible, long-run consequences are less visible but potentially larger.

In this article, we consider what we might learn based on our earlier research from the 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic in West Africa. This was the “longest, largest, deadliest, and … most complex [Ebola outbreak] in history.”

We consider, in particular, the impact on young women of the closure of all primary and secondary schools through the 2014-2015 academic year. Using the findings from our own study we highlight the consequences of the closures and propose interventions to counter these adverse impacts.

Figure 1: Timeline of the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone.

During the COVID-19 pandemic schools have been closed in over 180 countries, affecting close to 1.6 billion children, accounting for over 90% of enrolled learners.

School closures

Our data collection exercise in Sierra Leone was originally planned to evaluate an intervention to empower young women. The programme provided clubs in which young women could meet, offering them a package of vocational skills training, financial literacy, and information on health and reproductive issues.

Most importantly, the clubs offered women a safe space to meet. From June 2014 onwards, we opened 150 clubs in four districts of Sierra Leone. Participation rates were high, with over 70% of girls aged 12 to 24 attending, corresponding to some 4,500 girls and young women overall.

Fieldwork for our baseline was completed a week prior to the first cases of Ebola being reported in May 2014. In our follow up survey in early 2016, we were able to track 4,800 girls in 200 villages across four districts. We used this survey data to measure how the Ebola shock affected their lives, assessing the lasting impacts post-epidemic, when lockdown policies had ended and markets and schools had reopened.

We exploited the randomised rollout of the programme to understand whether the safe spaces established as part of the intervention prior to the epidemic mitigated any of these impacts.

Figure 3: Time to first pregnancy, Control group.
Women without Children at Month=0

Our analysis shows that over the course of the Ebola epidemic, out-of-wedlock pregnancy rates for girls aged 12-17 at the onset of the crisis increased by 7.2 percentage points. But this was entirely reversed for those who had access, prior to the epidemic, to the safe space of one of the clubs in the most highly disrupted treated villages.

The changes in pregnancy are closely associated with changes in school enrolment after the crisis. So they have important implications for the ability of these young girls to raise their skills in the long run. By not returning to school after the epidemic when schools reopened, the girls are unlikely to return to schooling ever again. School closures during the epidemic can thus have permanent impacts on the future lives of these girls, as they are forced to transition into work or home chores more quickly than they would have chosen to if there hadn’t been an epidemic.

In control villages, school enrolment rates fell by 16 percentage points over the crisis. That fall was halved in the most disrupted treated villages. This was largely a result of young girls not becoming pregnant during the crisis and thus being able to enrol again when schools reopened.

Using further data from our surveys, we are able to pinpoint some of the key changes in the lives of young women. We find that girls with prior access to clubs reported spending much less time with men, and were able to retain more of their social ties to others post-epidemic.

Temporary school closures and the lack of economic opportunities drove those who did not have access to the clubs to spend time with men. This resulted in increased early childbearing and permanently dropping out of education. This had long term implications for the girls.

What’s needed

Policy responses to COVID-19 need to adhere to social distancing. This means that alternative safe space provisions need to be thought through. For example, interventions could include supporting young women through virtual mentoring or phone-based group chats, or any form of feasible group activities that take time that might otherwise be spent with men.

These might help in making sure that a short-lived epidemic shock does not damage lives in the long run. Such activities could also help girls build and maintain their social networks, enabling them to be more resilient during the crisis.

Our evaluation also suggests that equipping young women with a minimal set of competencies in reproductive health – such as using contraceptives or practising safe sex – during the crisis might protect their welfare in the longer term.

The importance of addressing these challenges is clear: many countries through sub-Saharan Africa have relatively young populations – the majority of the population is aged below 25 – and school closures could leave many adolescent girls vulnerable.

Acting now and with thought for the dynamic effects of policies can positively affect lives now and in the future.

Imran Rasul, Professor of Economics, International Growth Centre; Andrea Smurra, Country Economist and Researcher,, International Growth Centre, and Oriana Bandiera, Professor of Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

COVID-19 exposes the underbelly of South Africa’s education system

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Zahraa McDonald, University of Johannesburg

The COVID-19 pandemic could be the catalyst for action to address the consequences of inequalities in South Africa’s education system. This is because measures taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus are unearthing a wide range of systemic problems right across the education landscape – from water shortages to bad sanitation and overcrowding.

Over the past two and a half decades the legacies of apartheid have slowly emerged. But never at the scale – or with the impact – inflicted by COVID-19.

One example is basic water and sanitary infrastructure. The schools built under apartheid for black children in both urban and rural settings still have chronic infrastructure shortages.

These gross inadequacies have hit the headlines from time to time. One example was the death of six-year-old Michael Komape in 2014 after he fell into a pit latrine at a school in the Limpopo province. The tragedy led to an outcry, but that didn’t last. Many people were disturbed and saddened, but nothing changed substantially.

By October 2019, over 26 years after apartheid and more than five years after Michael Komape’s passing, projects to refurbish pit latrines were still under way.

But COVID-19 could be the shock that changes this. The country closed all schools in March as part of lockdown measures designed to curb the pandemic. This week the government announced a plan for the gradual opening of schools.

The announcement has brought home the fact that many schools are not in a condition to welcome pupils back in a way that ensures their health and safety. For many this will mean that they can’t return to their classrooms, with long term consequences for the country. These would include having to shift the school-going age for children and losing an entire cohort of university entrants.

The impact of the changes being forced by COVID-19 were best summed up by the minister of basic education, Angie Motshekga, when she said:

The virus has forced us to re-engineer the basic education system.

The gaps

This week Motshekga announced that grade 7 and 12 learners would be going back to school on 1 June 2020.

The announcement followed weeks of uncertainty during which the minister set various dates for opening, pointing to the government’s decision to take a staggered approach.

The country’s trade unions were clear from the beginning that they opposed goverment’s plans. For example, the country’s biggest teacher union, South African Democratic Teachers Union, issued a media statement which ended with the words:

We stand firm that no schools shall open until our concerns are met.

The union’s concerns were laid out in 14 points. These included:

  • proper school infrastructure in the form of proper toilet facilities and classrooms,
  • observance of social distancing inside the classroom and in courtyards,
  • reduction of class sizes,
  • the provision of soap, sanitisers and masks,
  • the screening of learners, teachers and support personnel.

Another union, the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa, asserted that the proposed dates were incomprehensible.

The government’s most recent statement was met with a more muted response from the unions. This suggests that government had begun to address many of the concerns raised initially.

The events of the past six weeks have systematically exposed the scale of the problems facing South African schools. Many are so severe that they stand in the way of the country being able to send its pupils safely back into the classroom.

They also point to the fact that there was never a full overhaul of the education system after apartheid.

Inadequate sanitation and water infrastructure, overcrowded classrooms and a shortage of teachers in specific phases and subjects are some of the challenges the education system is battling with.

All militate against schools reopening.

The consequence is that the Department of Basic Education is being forced to prioritise the basics. This was made clear by Motshekga when she pointed out that:

We have had to focus on water sanitation. The question of water and sanitation is part of the plans.

It’s quite likely that at no point in the post-apartheid era has there been more urgent and decisive action taken to address inequalities related to basic water and sanitary infrastructure than at present in the education system.

Zahraa McDonald, Postdoctoral fellow, University of Johannesburg

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Almajiri kids, malaria, graduation gift: Your Wednesday evening briefing

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Good evening. Here’s the top stories from today.

Ohanaeze Ndigbo has accused northern leaders of shifting their “burden” to other parts of the country by relocating almajiri kids from their states.

US Supreme court rules freedom of same-sex marriage all over the country

Alaska, USA (The Bloom Gist) – US Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the country, in a culmination of two decades of litigation over marriage, and gay rights generally.Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote “No union is more profound than marriage,” this was joined by the court’s four more … Continue reading US Supreme court rules freedom of same-sex marriage all over the country

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Give a different kind of graduation gift

The class of 2020 is graduating into an off-kilter world. Ceremonies are canceled and it’s not safe to throw an in-person party. But graduates are still celebrating. And gifts are still in order, though in interviews many graduates acknowledged the country’s economic problems, and did not want to create a stress or burden on their families. For many joy and pride are enough.

“The greatest gift can be just spending time with the ones I love,” said Zeeshan Parupia, a senior marketing major at the University of Texas at Dallas.

Based on dozens of suggestions from real graduates, here are some gift ideas to help them celebrate their accomplishments.

Emma Lingo, an 18-year-old from Kirkwood, Mo., wants to make memories, to make up for experiences she lost because of the pandemic. “I missed out on a lot at the end of senior year, from banquets to bonfires,” she said.

Kirkwood High School held a parade for seniors, where they wore their caps and gowns and drove through their community in decorated cars. She thought it was fun but not quite the equivalent of a formal graduation ceremony.

Once it’s safe to go outside, she wants her aunt to take her out for coffee, or to visit an aquarium with her little cousins.

To give an experience to your graduate, create a certificate redeemable for a future hang.

Dylan Campos wants to concentrate in English literature and political science when he begins at Hampshire College in the fall. Mr. Campos, 17, has been doing his schoolwork remotely on the shared family computer. He’d like a laptop.

“I have no expectations, and I know that if they could provide me with the latest state-of-the-art technology, they’d do it in a heartbeat,” Mr. Campos said.

Mr. Campos, a first-generation American, knows he will need to use videoconferencing once classes start, either to attend them from his home in Branford, Conn., or to keep in touch with his family from campus.

Money is not an uncommon graduation gift, but this year’s recipients may be spending it in different ways. Amelia Loeffler, a senior at Lafayette High School in Lexington, Ky., is trying to save up for a geology course she is taking this fall at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The class takes an annual trip to California over fall break, the coronavirus permitting.

“Students have to pay about $500 in fees for the trip, so I’m saving the money I’ve been gifted by friends and family to pay for this experience,” she said.

Lexie Overstreet, 18, loves her job at a coffee shop in Louisville, Ky. Before she goes to Centre College in Danville, Ky., this fall, Ms. Overstreet wants to spend time with her friends out and about in Louisville.

“I would take exploring downtown or going to a coffee shop with them one more time over any material item,” she said. “If I did get a gift, I’d love anything local or that gives back to my hometown community.”

Supporting the area’s businesses is especially important to her now, so a gift certificate to one of them would be perfect.

“Walmart and Amazon don’t need support during this pandemic, but the little shops that donate to local events and charities throughout the year do,” she said.

Also: They will not have photos of prom or graduation, but all those Zoom screenshots need to go somewhere, so consider getting prints and frames for grads. And portable Bluetooth speakers bring the beat to even socially distanced events and will be useful whenever dorms reopen.

It can be expensive, but your graduate might wear a class ring for the rest of his or her life. It’s one of the most enduring symbols of honest-to-goodness graduation.

Leah Abrams, who majored in public policy and history at Duke University, has worn hers since the fall, when her grandmother helped her buy it. Her friends have been teasing her, “Why don’t you wait until graduation?”

“I guess graduation never came, and now I’m so happy to have this physical reminder that my experience at Duke is always with me,” she said.

It’s especially meaningful because the virtual commencement ceremony, over in 30 minutes, was such a letdown.

“My grandma was like, ‘Was that it?’” Ms. Abrams said. “And I had to be like: ‘Yep, thank you all so much for coming! It means a lot!’

“I hadn’t cried yet, but I cried after that.”

It was hard for Marcella Anderson to miss out on a traditional ceremony. She has three older sisters and remembers their blowout parties. She tries not to think about what she is missing. It makes her too sad.

Instead of gifts, Ms. Anderson, who is graduating from San Diego State University with a degree in food and nutritional sciences, wants the physical acknowledgment that remote graduation can’t provide.

“To know that my family and friends are still supporting me during this time is all that really matters to me,” she said. “I think a graduation card, or even a piece of paper folded into an envelope, is all I really need right now.”

Victoria Eavis wants photographs taken by her father. He takes a camera with him wherever he goes.

“I’d like four of his photos — in whatever size he sees fit — that are in some way representative of my four years in college,” said Ms. Eavis, who graduated with a degree in cultural anthropology from Duke. “I don’t want to be in them, rather I want to look up at them on my wall and be reminded of the beauty of Durham’s sticky light and infinite skies.”

In usual times, many recent grads specialize in takeout for dinner. After spending much of the last semester at home eating family meals, they may be more inclined to cook. Help them.

“I’ve been spoiled by my kitchen at home, equipped with any cookware I could ask for,” said Hala El Solh, who studied at Yale University.

Both a wok and a cast-iron skillet truly last a lifetime. They distribute heat more evenly than most other pans and are not coated with chemicals. If your graduate also loves to bake, present him or her with a piece of cookware, a few printed-out recipes and some spices, tied up in a bow.

Amanda Gordon, who majored in journalism and history at Northwestern University, has been reading more during the quarantine and knows that the first few months out of college can be daunting.

“I would love for the women of my family to send a book they read in their early 20s, one which helped them through tough moments in early adulthood,” she said. “It’s my hope that these stories can shed some light on the very murky waters I find myself wading into.”

Also: Consider a coffee maker and a thermos. The real world starts a lot earlier than college and making your own coffee and taking it with you saves money and cuts down on the waste of disposable cups. You could also go for a mixology kit: Bars will most likely be among the last places to open, so D.I.Y. refreshments and entertaining at home may take precedence. And one final idea, a watch: Even if it is the most traditional gift ever and may seem obsolete in the age of cellphones, it’s a sign of adult life. And punctuality is always in.

Are you a teacher in Nigeria? tell us your lockdown experience

If you are a teacher in Nigeria, teaching nursery to college, we want to know how you have been coping in this lock down.

This survey is just for analysis sake and we are not going to share your information with any third party.

Impact of school closures on education outcomes in South Africa

Parents and family must consciously support children in completing a few hours of school work during this period.
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Vijay Reddy, Human Sciences Research Council; Crain Soudien, Human Sciences Research Council, and Lolita Desiree Winnaar, Human Sciences Research Council

By mid April about 1.725 billion students globally had been affected by the closure of school and higher education institutions in response to the coronavirus pandemic. According to the UNESCO Monitoring Report, 192 countries have implemented nationwide closures, affecting about 99% of the world’s student population.

This is unprecedented. The scale and complexity of what’s happening is entirely new territory.

In recent decades crises such as natural disasters, armed conflicts and epidemics have disrupted education around the world. For example, in 2005, Hurricane Katrina in the US destroyed 110 of New Orleans’ 126 public schools. In the past decade, at least 2.8 million Syrian children have been out of school for some period, and in 2013, 5 million children were out of school as a result of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

School closures affect students, teachers and families and have far-reaching economic and social effects. This is especially the case for fragile education systems and the negative effects will be more severe for disadvantaged learners and their families.

Finding alternative learning forms during this time is difficult. But not impossible.

In response to COVID-19 school closures and adherence to social distancing, UNESCO and many governments and agencies have recommended the use of distance learning, open educational applications and online learning to reduce disruption to education.

Richer households are better placed to sustain learning through online learning strategies, although with a lot of effort and challenges for teachers and parents. In poorer households many children don’t have a desk, books, internet connectivity, a computer, or parents who can take the role of homeschooling. The disparity in access to digital devices and connectivity between rich and poor is immense.

While it’s necessary to institute educational programmes during this period, these will not replace regular school. Despite the best efforts of government, schools and parents there will be learning losses for almost everybody and worsened educational outcomes for the poor.

We applied the learning curve scenario methodology developed by the World Bank to the South African Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study data to illustrate the patterns of expected learning losses over the next few months due to school closures and disruptions.

Possible education outcomes

We plotted the kernel density learning curves for the 2015 study scores and a (hypothetical) reduced learning average across the distribution. We then plotted the kernel density curves for the fee-paying and no-fee schools and the reduced learning averages for each.

We expect higher learning losses in no-fee schools. While we don’t know the exact value of the learning losses, these graphs illustrate that learning loss patterns will be different for learners in different school types.


Provided by authors.

In graph A the solid line shows the South African learner mathematics achievement. The dotted line shows learner achievement profile because of learning losses. Graph B shows the expected learning graphs for current achievement and expected reduced achievement in no-fee and fee-paying schools.

We use the cut-off score of 300 to show the numbers of poorly achieving learners. The shaded portions in these graphs show the increased proportion of learners achieving very low achievement scores. The existing data show a larger proportion of learners in no-fee schools obtaining scores below the 300 point cut-off compared to learners in fee-paying schools.

Our findings underscore the fact that disasters amplify the existing structural inequalities in society and worsen inequalities through an unequal recovery process.

Going forward

Parental and family support is important during this period. Parents and family must consciously and deliberately support children in completing a few hours of school work. A Human Sciences Research Council study on early educational environments found that close to one third of parents reported that they read books to their children and played with alphabets, number toys and word games.

Half of them reported that they wrote numbers, watched educational TV and sang songs with their children. The patterns are different for learners in fee and no-fee schools. But home activities are happening and parents must be supported and encouraged to continue with educational activities.

It’s also important to start preparing for the recovery period when schools reopen. The curriculum must be simplified, targeting areas where learning loss will be most consequential for the following years. The sad and uncomfortable truth is that for South Africa, with low and unequal achievement scores, the longer social distancing is in place the bigger the learning losses for learners, especially the most disadvantaged, thereby deepening inequalities.

Vijay Reddy, Distinguished Research Specialist, Human Sciences Research Council; Crain Soudien, Chief Executive Officer of the Human Sciences Research Council, Human Sciences Research Council, and Lolita Desiree Winnaar, Senior Research Specialist, Education and Skills Development, Human Sciences Research Council

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

COVID-19: Arizona students graduate virtually using robots

Arizona State University (ASU) in the US has organised a graduation ceremony for its students virtually using robots due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

According to Reuters, students of the institution who had planned for months preparing to receive their master’s degree diploma saw their hopes dashed following the outbreak of COVID-19.

The university, however, considered the option of holding the ceremony virtually for its students from the comfort of their homes.

To achieve this, the institution used robots as stand-ins for the graduating students. The students were able to control the robots — which were topped with tablet computers showing video screens of their faces — across the stage.

About 140 of the graduands were pre-recorded as they logged on at home early this week, dressed in graduation robes and mortar board caps.

The graduating students had consequently took turns moving a remote-controlled robot on a podium at the university that held an eye-level display showing their face.

With the help of the robots, the students approached Sanjeev Khagram, the dean and director general of Thunderbird School of Global Management, at the university to receive their diplomas and take a photo.

Khagram said the idea seemed crazy at first but they had to work on it so as to celebrate their students.

“To be honest, my team thought I was completely crazy. I was like, ‘I want robots, we’ve got to do robots! We want to show that we did everything that we could to celebrate them,” he was quoted as saying.

Nancy Sierras Morales, 22, one of the students, said while the novel idea was unusual, they had to quickly adapt to the reality.

“We have been able to adapt very quickly because we are used to being on a computer and on the phone almost like 24/7. Graduating virtually, it’s not ideal but it’s actually also very cool and iconic to be like the first class ever to do this,” she said.

The robots, produced by Double Robotics, based in Burlingame, California, had earlier been used to allow people to show up at weddings and funerals without traveling.

12 of the best apps if you’re teaching kids in lockdown

Some things just go together: Kim and Kanye, toast and salted butter, and children barging in on Zoom work calls to ask what a fronted adverbial is (answer: nobody knows).

At times like this, with many of us trying to support our kids’ education while we work from home or put in demanding shifts as key workers, emotions are unbelievably heightened. When we’re trying to do it all, knowing that we can rely on our wifi and mobile phone connections means one less thing to worry about.

If we’re home schooling, the best we can do is roll with what each day brings and try to have fun along the way. A good place to start is by trying out the slew of educational apps that are helping children stay happy and smash their schooling at the same time. A+ for everyone.

Preschool

CBeebies apps, all free
CBeebies’ most loved characters? Tick. Heaps of fun? Tick. Oh-so-clever content based on the early years curriculum? Tickety-tick. All CBeebies apps get the educational thumbs up, but we love Go Explore for the way it helps kids expand their world, and Storytime for building early reading and comprehension skills.

Cosmic Kids, free trial
Sure, learning your ABC is important, but it’s equally vital to teach children how to deal with the uncomfortable emotions they might be feeling because they’re stuck indoors and unable to see friends and family. Step forward this 100% kid-friendly yoga and mindfulness app where they can learn how to calm and centre themselves while having serious laughs with everything from Frozen themes to fluffy dogs. Now, that’s smart.

Pinterest, free
There’s endless play-based brain food on here, from craft ideas that encourage fine motor skills (Cheerios caterpillar, anyone?), to tips for using Lego to introduce basic maths concepts. Save your favourite ideas and you’ll never be short of a toolkit of fun screen-free games to play.

Key stage 1

Teach Your Monster to Read, 99p
Flummoxed by phonics? This app helps your children continue where they left off and it even has the stamp of approval from the Department for Education. Covering the first two years of learning to read, from matching letters and sounds to enjoying small books, the joyful little monster of the app’s title will help your child sidestep common reading stumbling blocks.

Squeebles Spelling Test, £3.99
Let us count the ways we love this app. First up, it allows you to customise spelling tests using the words your own child finds tricky, or, if you prefer, you can simply download one of 100 pre-recorded tests based on the national curriculum. Second, it’s suitable for every level and is awash with nifty options, including dyslexic-friendly fonts. And last but not least, children love rescuing their little Squeeble from the spelling snake and earning motivating stars along the way. A win-win.Advertisement

Maths Rockx, £9.99
There’s nothing yawnsome or rote here: your kids will be nailing numbers by singing along to classic tunes from the likes of One Direction, Pink, Pharrell Williams and more. Kitchen disco, anyone?

Key stage 2

Roblox, free
This collection of online multiplayer games and virtual worlds has a Learn & Explore option to point parents – and children – towards games that educate in a way that’s fun. Children can explore the Roblox History Museum with their friends, learning as they go about everything from mammals to human psychology. If they brave the Digestive System Adventure, groups of budding scientists can discover the ins and outs of the body’s waste disposal system. And there’s more, with time on their hands, children can learn how to code and even find out how to design their own games.

Duolingo, free
This app will help your child nail any of 30 languages. Best of all, it’s a doddle to use, with rewarding short daily sessions (and handy reminders) that will help your children build that all-important love of learning. Très bon.

Secondary school

Forest: App store, £1.99; Play store, free
As every parent knows, the biggest problem with secondary school children isn’t that they don’t have enough work to do, it’s getting them off TikTok/Fortnite/YouTube long enough to get it done. The idea here is simple: the app has a picture of a tree and the longer they stay on their school task, the taller the tree will grow. If they pick up their phone to check Snapchat? Yup, its days are numbered. Better still, they can buddy up with pals to plant trees together, helping them collectively go from procrastinators to productivity machines.

Fender play, free for limited period
If music lessons have gone out the window, this app is the next best thing to live tutoring. Learn the guitar, bass or ukulele in bite-sized lessons, and get a heap of video inspiration from musicians and instructors. Just remind your child to remember you when they’re playing Wembley, yeah.

GCSE+

BBC Bitesize, free
Select the GCSE subjects, watch the video infographic flashcards, and test your progress. Yes, it’s that simple. Sleep easy that everything follows the national curriculum and is exam-board specific so there’s no fluff to distract children from their goals. Great for helping year 11s stay up-to-speed on subjects they want to study at A-level and for keeping year 10s on track for their 2021 exams.

Ted, free
If you haven’t watched a Ted Talk, you’re missing out – these lectures from some of the smartest people around are fascinating and, best of all, free. Why not encourage the family to listen when they’re out and about on their daily walks, making use of unlimited data plans on mobiles? The Ted-Ed video-based lessons are no different, featuring experts and teachers who excel in their field. From how soap kills the coronavirus to the tricks used to build tunnels underwater, there are countless compelling lessons to choose from. If only there was one that would teach the kids how to load the dishwasher.

Vodafone #KeepingtheUKConnected
Connecting with teachers, schools and the world of education has rarely been more important for families.

That’s why every day we at Vodafone are working hard to maintain our network. So even when we’re apart, nothing can stop us being together.

And there’s more … with so many of us keen to use the extra time indoors to learn a new skill, we at Vodafone are making it easier than ever. We’re offering customers free access to 150+ free online Udemy courses and six weeks free access to over 300,000 digital books from the academic library Perlego.

You can get access to both resources by joining VeryMe Rewards through the My Vodafone app, available on Google Play or the App store. So if you are looking to count to 10 in Russian, train your pooch or finally read the works of Thomas Hardy – now you can.

No date yet for schools resumption – Education minister

By Adelani Adepegba and Olaleye Aluko

The Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, has said that despite the announcement by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), on a gradual relaxation of the lockdown on Abuja, Lagos and Ogun states, the Federal Ministry of Education could not foresee or give any date when schools will be resuming in the country.

Nwajiuba said this while responding to newsmen during a briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday in Abuja.

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The minister said, “The President actually addressed the issue of the opening of the economy gradually. Until that is done, we can’t foresee or immediately tell you when all the schools will be reopened. It will not be proper for us to simply give you a date. It has to be in tandem with these opening terms. We don’t want to put our children at risk. None of these schools can function on their own without the society.

“On the question of children promoting to the next class, those exams will happen when we are satisfied that the children have learnt what is enough for them to move. For those who are in the exit classes of junior basic and senior secondary schools, we are preparing them and will continue to.

“This will go on until we are sure that they are equipped for the external examinations. The West African Examinations Council has not cancelled their external exams. It was postponed indefinitely. This indefinite nature is so that we can get a definite date. Students will still have to go and take those exams when we are sure that we have taken good care of the pupils.”


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Meanwhile, the Federal Capital Territory Administration Education Secretariat has cautioned schools against re-opening, noting that it had not issued any directive for resumption of academic activities.

The acting Secretary for Education, FCTA, Umaru Marafa, in a statement on Tuesday, affirmed that the directive closing all schools at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic explicitly stated that it would be in effect “until further notice.”

Secrets out: not COVID-19 but free studies in Italy

By Inyiama Neche

Although, Italy is recording it’s death in thousands due to the pandemic but we can’t overlook the truth that many don’t know about.

If you have probably followed me, you would know see this as the continuation of the abroad studies. And trust me, your curiosity won’t deteriorate because It would get more bigger and alive in you to see the truth of studying abroad no one will tell you.

So today, I will be laying out the secrets of studying abroad in Italy for free.

Studying in Italy is exciting experience with unique opportunity to immerse in Italian culture and reach out to the other parts of the world. Am sure you have heard of other free tuition in other popular country like Norway, Germany, Iceland etc but it’s with a lot of competition. So it’s probably harder to get into this popular countries than entering a university here in Nigeria.

That’s why I thought to share this secret many don’t know. Italy has good universities with best world ranking and good facilities a school should have, hence it’s gradually becoming an international destination. So you better grab a seat here before it’s full.


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Shocking!

Different provinces in Italy offer regional scholarship for every student for low income paid families to cover their tuition (be it a public or private university), feeding and accommodation. Shocked right?. There’s more to it.
Every student be it a foreigner from any country can participate in this so far you prove you are from low income earning family.

And how do you prove that?

Through the embassy in your country. The embassy in your country has to prove to them with just a confirmation you’re eligible for this scholarship.

Though, this secret is out but there are a lot of processes to take to get this and I promise I will discuss that next time.
At the main time, you can research more on this and inquire from the Italian embassy or consulate in Nigeria for more information on this.

Meanwhile, hit the comment button let’s hear your thoughts.

“We are suffering here” – Nigeria BEA scholarship recipients in Russia complains

By Inyiama Neche

Over the years, the BEA scholarship has become very challenging contest for Nigerians. Nigeria has Bilateral Education Agreement (BEA) with non-speaking English countries like Egypt Ukraine, Turkey, Serbia, China, Macedonia, South Korea, Romania and Russia which many Nigerians participate in.

Nigeria pays for the student allowances like textbook, feeding, housing, medical insurance etc while the host country waves off the school fees and receives them. Among this host countries, Russia is the most choosen destination for Nigerians and has taken more than half scholarship receipent each year.


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The Nigeria president union of students in Russia has written telegram to Nigeria complaining they haven’t receive their student allowances resulting to them working in cold odd hours to survive. Some have been even chased out of their hostels because they haven’t paid. The lists goes on how they are being mis-treated in Russia.

Director, Federal Scholarship Board, said efforts were being made to pay the students their outstanding arrears. Ndajiwo said the board had forwarded memos to the Central Bank of Nigeria to start payment of both 2017 and 2018 arrears of the stipend.“The arrears will be paid to the scholars bank accounts,” she promised.

NAN reports that the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, during a news conference in Abuja on Thursday also assured the students that their arrears will be paid. Adamu said the Federal Government was committed to fulfilling its financial obligations to students pursuing undergraduate and postgraduate degrees both at home and abroad.

He said: “On our part, we will do our utmost best to meet our obligations arising from all bilateral agreement as much as circumstances will permit.

They have said but we are still waiting until the issue remains passive.What’s your thoughts on this?.Hit the comment button to voice your opinion on this.We would appreciate your opinion on this.

ASUU Strike: Nigerian govt reaches agreement with lecturers

The Nigerian government has reached an interim agreement with striking university lecturers to integrate the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) into the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

The IPPIS is the government’s accountability software that has been made compulsory for all public institutions, mainly for personnel payroll.

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ASUU is opposed to the use of IPPIS for lecturers saying it does not consider some of the peculiar operations of universities. The lecturers’ union then developed its own UTAS which it wants the government to adopt for universities.

The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, announced the agreement after a four-hour meeting between both parties.

Mr Ngige said the two parties will reconvene on Monday after the ASUU delegation deliberates with its National Executive Council (NEC).


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Also speaking, the National President of ASUU, Biodun Ogunyemi, said the National Executive Committee of the union will review the conditions for the integration of UTAS into IPPIS .

However, both parties did not reveal the conditions to the media.

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ASUU on Monday asked its members in federal universities across the country to begin two weeks warning strike in response to the government’s decision to stop the February salaries of lecturers who have not registered on the IPPIS platform.

Thursday’s meeting is the first by both parties since the strike commenced.

The BBC sent undercover journalists posing as students inside universities

Nigerian lecturers don’t want sexual harassment law

The body representing university lecturers in Nigeria is opposing a bill aimed at preventing sexual harassment at universities.

The BBC sent undercover journalists posing as students inside universities
The BBC sent undercover journalists posing as students inside universities

The Academic Staff Union says the law unduly targets and stigmatises university lecturers.

The bill is suggesting a five-year jail term for lecturers convicted of sexual harassment of their students.

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The bill was introduced following the BBC Africa Eye investigation which exposed sexual misconduct by multiple lecturers at two top West African universities.

The revelations led to the suspension of some lecturers at both the University of Lagos and the University of Ghana.

Nigerian students still don’t have good knowledge of safe contraception

Emergency contraception can help prevent pregnancy after sex.
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By Anthony Idowu Ajayi, African Population and Health Research Center and Meggie Mwoka, African Population and Health Research Center

Nearly half of pregnancies among adolescent girls in developing countries are unplanned. In Africa, about 46% of these pregnancies end in unsafe abortion. Deaths from abortion account for 10% of maternal deaths in sub-Saharan Africa.

In Nigeria, nearly 28% of women were found to have had an unwanted pregnancy. The rate of unplanned pregnancy is especially high among young people. But women can only get a legal abortion if the pregnancy poses a threat to the life of a woman or in cases of rape or incest.

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Emergency contraception can help prevent unwanted pregnancies. Emergency contraception includes the use of drugs or devices to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex, contraceptive failure, coerced sex or rape. Some, like the morning-after pill, have been in use for four decades.

We asked female university students in Nigeria about emergency contraception and what practices they used to prevent pregnancy after sex. Our study explored barriers to the use of emergency contraception.

We found that their knowledge about conventional methods was patchy. And that most used unconventional and unproved methods. These included douching with mixtures of salt and hot water as well as a selection of soft drinks.

Our studies confirm earlier findings in Nigeria that found that knowledge of after-sex contraception was low and unprotected sex common among young people, especially students.

Our research

We conducted 20 in-depth interviews and five focus group discussions with unmarried female students in two universities in southwestern Nigeria.

Our analysis shows that female students in sexual relationships consider themselves to carry the risk of unintended pregnancy. For example, they said there was a chance that their partner might not inform them if the condom they were using burst.


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All the students interviewed considered unplanned pregnancy to have dire consequences, including stigma, alienation from parents, a high likelihood of school dropout or delay in attaining their degree, and financial implications.

Most indicated that they knew about after-sex contraception methods and had used them. When asked to name the specific methods they knew or had used, many of them mentioned unconventional methods. Respondents who did not have any knowledge of after-sex contraception were relatively young and mainly in their first year of study.

Some interviewees relied on what was locally termed “concoctions”. These included mixtures of substances with unproven efficacy, such as salt and hot water, soft drinks, a local brand of analgesic known as Alabukun, lime and potash, and lime and Alabukun.

Respondents were convinced that these concoctions were highly efficacious as after-sex contraceptives.

A 24-year-old fifth-year student said:

If unprotected sex happens, instantly, there are some drugs like lime and “Alabukun” at the same time; they work in most cases.

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An 18-year-old first-year student:

A nurse once told me that you can drink the mixture of cold “7UP” [a brand of carbonated drink] and “Alabukun” to wash the womb.

Beside concoctions, at least half of the participants said they could personally testify to the efficacy of certain non-emergency contraceptive drugs. These included antibiotics and Cytotec which is used to induce labour or to induce abortion, and Menstrogen injection which is used when a period is missed.

The study found that students used combinations that could prove quite dangerous. One 22-year-old respondent said that such a combination eliminated any chance of pregnancy after unprotected sex:

Menstrogen first, then lime and potash, can be used to prevent unwanted pregnancy. I have used this combination and it works.

Another method that worked for some was removing semen by vaginal douching immediately after intercourse. As this 28-year-old fourth-year student stated:

I stand up immediately and go to the bathroom and try to bring out the sperm.

Most of the participants knew about approved emergency contraception pills, such as Levonorgestrel or Postinor, that are available without a prescription for less than $2. The majority (63%) were familiar with Postinor and 27.4% had used it.

This 23-year-old fourth-year student is one of them.

I have used Postinor and it works.

But some participants had doubts about the efficacy of medically approved pills. They also exaggerated the side effects of these drugs and associated them with infertility.

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Some respondents thought a combination of emergency and non-emergency contraceptive pills worked best. Others, like this 21-year-old third-year student, preferred the combination of emergency contraceptive pills and concoctions.

I will use Postinor immediately and then use very hot water and plenty of salt – just to be sure.

Looking forward

It was clear from our study that knowledge of emergency contraception was inadequate among these Nigerian university students. There is a need for comprehensive sexuality education that begins early, before the initiation of sex, and continues into their university years.


Anthony Idowu Ajayi, Postdoctoral Research Scientist, African Population and Health Research Center and Meggie Mwoka, Policy research officer, African Population and Health Research Center

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Student success requires more than hard work

It is that time of year again when South Africans celebrate National Senior Certificate results, ushering a generation of youth out of the school system and into the world. Of the 788,717 who successfully completed these exams, 186,058 achieved passes that potentially open the doors of university study.

Entering university from a middle-class family is easier. Shutterstock

As we read about the results, we take delight in the success stories, like the student from a poorer background scoring multiple distinctions despite having no properly qualified maths or science teacher. Or the rural student who earned a university entrance despite walking long distances to school each day. These achievements should be celebrated, as they are truly exceptional.

But the problem with these stories, uplifting as they may be, is that they often carry a subtext.

“If he can do it, why can’t the rest of them?”

The presumption that hard work alone leads to success – and that laziness leads to failure – follows the student into the university. Here, despite a wealth of careful research that proclaims otherwise, most people believe that success emerges from the intelligence and work ethic of the individual.

In a recent journal article, we have argued that academics often ignore the research on student failure that shows it emerges from a number of factors. Many of these factors are beyond the attributes inherent in the student. Instead, most hold on to the simplistic common sense assumption that success comes to those who deserve it. Academics who hold this view are prone to assume that students are successful because of what an individual student does or does not do.

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But the reality is a far more complex interplay of individual attributes with social structures which unfairly affect some more than others.

The lure of meritocratic explanations

There is a widely held view that education is a meritocracy, where success is determined by the merit of the individual. The term was coined in British sociologist Michael Young’s 1958 book The Rise of the Meritocracy. In it, he described a dystopian society stratified by educational level and intelligence. The term has been appropriated to suggest that those who do well at university do so on the basis of personal effort and acumen rather than as a result of their privileged background.

University academics have access to research looking at the complex mechanisms of higher education. Despite this, many are likely to believe that the university is a meritocracy. Believing that students succeed or fail on their own merits sits more comfortably than scrutinising the role universities play in reinforcing divisions in society.

In every country around the world, higher education success most strongly correlates to social class. Parental education levels, wealth, social influence and status are the strongest indicator of university success. But class does not work in isolation from other forces.


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Social class intersects in varying ways with race, gender, language, and so on. In some countries, for example, race is used as a means of dividing society and assigning social class. In many countries, gender too plays a role in who gets access to the powerful knowledge offered by the academy. All of these factors and more have a role to play. But it is social class that most consistently tracks higher education success across geographical contexts.

If you did well at university, chances are that you worked hard and you’re bright. But those two characteristics probably account for a much smaller part of your success than most of us would care to admit.

What class privilege looks like

Entering university from a middle-class family doesn’t only confer financial, health, educational, emotional and nutritional benefits. It also provides less visible privileges. A middle-class student probably had role models like relatives who went to university, possibly even the same university, who could explain the university system. It’s likely that they took part in everyday conversations about professional identities, and they could probably draw on social networks to assist them in adapting to university life and then entering the workplace.

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The late French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu argued that underprivileged students fail not because they are less intelligent than middle-class students but because the curriculum is biased towards what middle-class students are already accustomed to. It is this that reinforces the relationship between social class and success in higher education around the world.

Many of the privileges that middle-class students enjoy are so arcane as to be invisible, even to themselves. These students often bring with them a sense that their role at university is to engage not just with facts but with the disciplinary rules for how knowledge gets made. Typically they are willing to challenge what is presented to them and to seek flaws in the evidence provided in the texts they encounter. They also have a stronger confidence in their right to be there and to participate fully. These, and many other ways, aid middle-class students to enter the academy primed for success.

What needs to happen?

Academics who are committed to social justice often have to grapple with the fact that the university does not reward students on the basis of merit so much as on privilege. This calls for teaching in ways that constantly seek to make the expectations of the classroom transparent and the disciplinary norms and values explicit.

Teachers need to make these practices clear to students and, in the process, harness students’ agency to craft their own place in the world and their own contribution to knowledge. Regular feedback on student work, for example, allows students to begin to see what counts as knowledge in the particular discipline.

It is also important to expose academic practices to scrutiny. Increasingly the academy is being challenged to consider forms of knowledge long omitted by the colonial order.

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The university promises society that it will produce both powerful knowledge and competent graduates adept at using such knowledge to tackle societal and environmental problems. But not all university practices are inherently powerful and much powerful knowledge remains outside its walls.

If some students enter the university with easier access to the practices needed for success, nobody can pretend that institutions are a meritocracy rewarding attributes inherent in the individual. Understanding the complex relationship between social class and educational success requires that educators reconsider almost all aspects of their teaching.

JAMB suspends use of NIN for 2020 exams

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has suspended the use of the National Identification Number for registration for the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination UTME.

The registrar of JAMB, Ishaq Oloyede, who stated this while briefing journalists in Abuja on Saturday, said the move was to provide more time for candidates to get their national identification numbers.

He said the suspension was also to address the technical challenges experienced at some centres.

He asked candidates to disregard the use of NIN for the 2020 registration and strictly comply with other procedures for the registration. He however said that JAMB will consider the use of NIMC for 2021 exams.

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The board last year said from 2020, candidates will register for its examinations with their national ID numbera to solve the challenges of multiple registration.

We need the government to ban homework

Children still go through this ordeal today and it is neither helpful to their physical structure, nor helpful for their mental health.

By Augustine Agwuele For The Conversation

Seeing Teju and Laide his kid brother, aged 10 and six respectively, with their overloaded school bags and lunchboxes reminds me of my childhood days; when I struggled to maintain an oversized schoolbag for a term.

My bags always underwent a routine sewing and occasional visits to the cobbler, to enable it withstand the pressures from the weighty books in it. Worse, I ended up looking like a mini tortoise.

Children still go through this ordeal today and it is neither helpful to their physical structure, nor helpful for their mental health. Besides, nothing stresses children and parents more than having to come home after a busy day at work or school to begin sifting through a bag full of books with homework.

A study published in The American Journal of Family Therapy, discovered that students in the early elementary school years are given significantly more homework than is recommended by education leaders, in some cases, nearly three times as much homework as is recommended.

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Parents reported that first-graders (children between ages six and seven) were spending 28 minutes on homework each night as against the recommended 10 minutes. This is not peculiar to American and Canadian kids alone, as this is a global challenge.

Recently, the Indian government ban schools from giving students homework and heavy books to prevent spinal damage. Teachers have been asked not to give first and second graders homework to prevent them from carrying heavy books home. In addition, weight guidelines were issued for school bags, depending on a child’s age, after studies showed heavy loads can affect soft/developing spines.


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While the goal of sending a child to school is mental development amongst others, postural defects would do a great disservice to the overall wellbeing of the child. Carrying over-sized school bags full of heavy books can cause young children to develop serious spinal deformities; they develop forward head posture because they hinge forward at the hips to compensate for the heavy weight on their back.

A study by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India discovered that children below 13 years might, in their later years, suffer from mild back pain which may develop into chronic pain and a hunchback. Of the 2,500 children and 1,000 parents surveyed, 88 percent of these pre-teen children carry more than 45 percent of their body weight on their backs.

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Imagine if this was in Africa, especially the rural areas, where some children come home from school with loads of homework, after having trekked long distances to and from their schools, still have to fetch and carry water on the very same backs strained from the weight of their bags. These children may not show symptoms or experience pain immediately, but in the long term, they develop imbalances in the body which can affect the health of the nervous system.

Asides the health issues, these excessive homeworks are not helping as kids develop basic skills and it takes away much of their play time, which is also essential to their wellbeing. According to the 2017 World Development Report by the World Bank, 650 million children attend primary school, but a staggering 250 million are not even learning basic skills. Even after several years in school, children cannot read, write or do basic maths. So, what is the aim of these back-breaking homework?


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Adaku, a barrister and a mother of three girls aged four and two who resides in Rivers States, noted that each day, her children come home with nothing less than five homework assignments which are spread across in textbooks, workbooks and exercise books. According to her, “most times, for an assignment on one subject, my four-year-old has to use three books for just one subject and she is given a minimum of five assignments daily, some of which are not age-appropriate. To ensure that all her books enter into the bag, I had to buy a big schoolbag more than my daughter’s size.”

Chinomso a Lagos resident on the other hand says that the bulk of her children’s assignments are given during the weekend. She noted that her kids spend about an hour doing their homeworks.

Arguably, homework improves grades and test results, helps reinforce learning as well as allow parents be involved with their children’s learning. But how much is too much?

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Parents have expressed concerns that their pre-teen kids are overloaded with much more than is required. Denise Pope, a senior lecturer at the Stanford School of Education and co-founder of Challenge Success stated that, “there is a heightened sense of stress for the whole family when the kid has too much homework. For the parents, it’s a real source of stress because some of them don’t even get to see their kids.”

In a survey of more than 27,000 parents, Varkey Foundation found out that one-quarter of parents worldwide spend seven or more hours a week helping their children with homework. Seeing these homework load, one cannot help but the role of curriculum in the educational system. The conversation about banning homework, especially for young children, appears to be growing in popularity, even among teachers themselves.

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In 2017 Spanish parents called for a homework strike for their kids, many British teachers share this same  view, as well as the Indian government. Its high time African governments’ considered placing a ban on voluminous homework for elementary graders. After all, this system hasn’t worked, given that this mode of education has led to a continental churn of graduates which many employers say are unemployable.

Many homeworks are simply busy work; a chore rather than a positive and constructive experience, and maintaining the work-life balance is as difficult on the parents as it is on the children, whose school-life balance is a struggle, no thanks to homework.

South Africa’s new sex education curriculum is seen by some as infringing on the rights of parents. EFE-EPA/Jon Hrusa

Sex education and the role of the state in South Africa

Passions are running high in South Africa about a proposed new curriculum for education about sexuality in schools. Aimed at children in grades 4 to 12, it’s intended for roll out in public schools in 2020.

South Africa’s new sex education curriculum is seen by some as infringing on the rights of parents. EFE-EPA/Jon Hrusa
South Africa’s new sex education curriculum is seen by some as infringing on the rights of parents. EFE-EPA/Jon Hrusa

Concerns raised by parents, schools and civil society organisations include that elements of the curriculum are not appropriate for the age of the children who will be targeted – mostly 10-year olds – and that it undermines the authority of parents.

Another concern is that key stakeholders, including parents, schools and teachers were not consulted. Anger about this is reflected by the fact that a parent-based Facebook group #LeaveOurKidsAlone gained over 100 000 members in less than four weeks.

The political question that the new curriculum has raised is: does it show that the government has over-reached its powers? Has it overstepped the mark in the delicate relationship between the state and society? And what does this say about the divide between what is public and what is private?

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The Department of Basic Education has retracted the option for parents to have their children excluded from the lessons. This, and the fact that parents were not widely consulted, contravenes the White Paper on Education and Training  which stated:

Parents or guardians have the primary responsibility for the education of their children, and have the right to be consulted by state authorities with respect to the form that education should take and to take part in its governance. Parents have the inalienable right to choose the form of education which is best for their children, particularly in the early years of schooling, whether provided by the State or not, subject to reasonable safeguards which may be required by law. The parents’ right to choose includes choice of the language, cultural or religious foundation of the child’s education, with due respect to the rights of others and the rights of choice of the growing child.

In addition, the new curriculum is not in keeping with the spirit of section 15 of the Bill of Rights of the South African Constitution, which protects individual rights, such as the freedom of opinion, religion and expression.

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It is indicative of a prescriptive state in terms of shifting the imparting of norms and values in a sensitive area such as sexuality from parents in the family context, to the state through public schools. This is a move towards a more moralistic and intrusive state.

Theories of the state

The state is either limited in power, a neutral umpire in society that doesn’t favour any particular group, individual, family, religion or ideology. Or it is overarching and prescriptive in terms of beliefs, norms and values.

In the classical liberal understanding of the role of the state, the authority given to those in power through elections is limited by a constitution; checks and balances, either horizontal (such as an independent judiciary) or vertical (such as organised civil society and an independent media); and the recognition of sphere sovereignty.


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The idea of sphere sovereignty implies an institutionally pluralistic society, where power and authority are divided among various “spheres”. Thus, the state, the family, religious institutions, civil society have their own jurisdiction. And, as long as they don’t do any harm, other spheres of authority should not intrude on them. It recognises that societies are pluralistic.

These countervailing distributions of power protect the liberties of citizens and guard against the centralising impulse of the state from infringing on them. Philosophical pluralists, ranging from John Stuart Mill to the contemporary Hannah Arendt, contrast this recognition of diversity with the monist  nature of totalitarian states, which penetrate all aspects of society.

The other form of state-society relations is one in which a state actively intrudes into the personal or private realm and becomes prescriptive, especially around beliefs, norms and values. Such a state becomes more than a neutral arbiter and rather dictates how people should live and conduct their lives.

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On a scale, less extreme forms of this would be a nanny state, with its extensive social responsibilities, as some would classify the welfare state of the UK. But the scale moves towards totalitarianism, as evident in North Korea.

The common feature is that the distinction between the public and the private becomes blurred, and the state prescribes moral values, behaviour and meddles in every aspect of human life.

Historical examples include the Holy Roman Empire, which conflated church and state, imposing one religion on all. There are also the communist systems of the Soviet Union and its satellite states; and the fascist states such as Nazi Germany and Italy under the dictator Benito Mussolini. In both, only civil society organisations and religion approved by the state were allowed.

As Mussolini argued in the Doctrine of Fascism:

The Fascist conception of the State is all embracing; outside of it no human or spiritual values can exist, much less have value.

South Africa’s state

South Africa’s governing party, the African National Congress, has long historical and ideological ties with communism. It continues to understand itself as the vanguard of society.

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Marxist ideology advocates that a prescriptive state is necessary for correcting social inequalities. Coupled with this is the growing interest in Critical Theory. This takes the Marxist ideas of a prescriptive state further, into the realm of culture, and thus norms and values.

Unlike other theories, which seek to understand or explain society, Critical Theory actively seeks to change it.

Reclaiming parents’ rights

The push-back against the curriculum by parents, teachers, schools, religious bodies and civil society alike, is a clarion call to the state to stay out of their homes.

Parents are reclaiming their sphere of jurisdiction, in particular the right to teach and raise children in accordance with their norms and values. Will the South African government respect this?

It’s not all doom and gloom for African universities – some are getting it right. Shutterstock

Common contributing factors to scholarly success of African universities

As the start of the northern hemisphere academic year hundreds of thousands of students across Africa head to the airport. The reason for this “student exodus” is that those who can afford it head abroad for their tertiary education.

It’s not all doom and gloom for African universities – some are getting it right. Shutterstock
It’s not all doom and gloom for African universities – some are getting it right. Shutterstock

Why do they go? A survey done last year found that 71% of African students studying outside Africa thought a degree earned abroad represented a higher-level qualification than a degree at home.

The exodus can be attributed to numerous reasons. These include inadequate funding of tertiary education resulting in dilapidated campuses and obsolete study programmes that are not adapted to developments in science and technology. Other factors include an absence of research policy and insufficient resources. All these result in a perception of low quality African universities.

That more than 70% of the students interviewed had a jaundiced view of an African degree seems a bit unjust. Nevertheless, the truth is that 17% of the world’s population lives on the African continent. Yet Africa has less than 1% of the world’s top 250 universities.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. There are African universities, despite the financial constraints, that are getting it right.

I did an analysis of universities on the continent to establish which were strongest in terms of research output. I used published research to identify the strongest and sourced scholarly outputs statistics from the academic database SciVal.

I used a number of measures for the analysis. These included the number of scholarly outputs (academic publications), the growth of authors contributing to these outputs, the number of international co-authors and the proportion of scholarly outputs in the top 10% of academic journals. I looked at the period between 2014 to 2019.

The number of outputs represents the research productivity of academics within an institution. For their part, articles published in the top 10% of academic journals serve to quantify the quality and impact of the scholarly outputs. The level of international co-authors indicates the level of international research collaboration and global prestige of each institution.

What emerged from the analysis is the similarity in the strategic approaches the best and aspiring African universities employ to achieve an increase in both scholarly output and quality. All universities covered in the article deemed international partnerships as essential to research productivity.

The best performers

Two of the top universities in Africa for published research – also known as scholarly output – are the University of Cape Town and the University of the Witwatersrand. Both are in South Africa. They are ranked in the top 250 globally.

Both universities have between 30%-35% of all their scholarly output published in the top 10% of global academic journals. This is important for universities’ prestige as well as their finances.

Also notable was the high number of international co-authors in their outputs. At the University of Cape Town it was 60%. At the University of the Witwatersrand it was 54%.

An institution with a rapid increase in scholarly outputs is Egypt’s Zewail City of Science and Technology. Established in 2012, just over 43% of its scholarly outputs were published in the top 10% of global academic journals. In addition, 51% of all its outputs were co-authored with international institutions.

There are positive signs in Nigeria too. The University of Ibadan was the top West African university for scholarly outputs. The university has 15% of all its outputs published in the top 10% of academic journals. And 38% of its publications were co-authored with institutions in other countries.

Another institution with an increasing scholarly output rate is Covenant University, Nigeria. It’s also a relatively young institution – it was opened in 2002. Just over 8% of all its outputs were published in the top 10% of academic journals.

The fact that 31% of its publications were co-authored with institutions in other countries demonstrated a collaborative approach to research.

So how have these African universities bucked the trend, and made their voices heard outside Africa?

Six key factors

In researching the issue, I identified six lessons that can be learnt from these successful African universities:

Research excellence: The University of Witwatersrand has driven a 37% increase in its scholarly outputs over the last five years, with an emphasis on quality. The university has also adopted a strategic focus on increasing the number of post-graduate students. It aims to have post-graduates as 45% of its student population by 2022. This, in turn, has helped drive the surge in scholarly output. The university also has a clear focus on priority research areaswhere it can make a significant impact. An example is clinical research to manage AIDS.

Research support infrastructure: Research productivity is crucial for academic promotions within the universities. The University of Cape Town in particular has invested heavily in a pro-research infrastructure. This comes with extensive research administrative support and guidance. In Nigeria, the University of Ibadan recently established a new leadership role to focus on research and innovation.

A balance between the teaching and research workloads, possibly by restricting student intake: The University of Ibadan, for example, has adopted an approach of rigorously maintaining a student-staff ratio that ensures academic workloads allow time for research. The university has maintained an annual undergraduate intake of approximately 4,000students. This has been despite growing pressure to increase the numbers.

Attracting the best professors and researchers: The University of the Witwatersrand has made a concerted effort to recruit professors with high citations – “A”-rated professors.

Setting levels of academic expectation: Covenant University in Nigeria has adopted a research, citations, innovation and teaching agenda that drives academic activities at all levels. There’s significant support for staff through workshops in grant writing and publication.

Zewail City of Science and Technology was founded by Nobel laurate in Chemistry, Professor Ahmed Zewail. It has four Nobel laurates as members of its Supreme Advisory Board. It’s therefore no surprise that it has a significant number of its scholarly outputs in the top 10% of global academic journals.

Forging international partnerships: The University of Ibadan, and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, also emphasise the importance of international references for professorial promotion. The University of Nigeria, Nsukka has taken the decision to actively seek collaborative international partners to mitigate the lack of research infrastructure.

As part of his research, the author also conducted interviews with: Dr Marilet Sienaert, Executive Director Research, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Professor Zeblon Vilakazi, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Postgraduate affairs, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa; Professor Olanike Adeyemo, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships, University of Ibadan, Nigeria; Professor Salah Obayya, Zewail City of Science and Technology, Egypt; Professor Emeka Iweala, Director, Covenant University Centre for Research, Innovation and Discovery, Covenant University, Nigeria; Professor James Ogbonna, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria.

Scholarly success of African universities: common contributing factors

It’s not all doom and gloom for African universities – some are getting it right.
Shutterstock

David Mba, De Montfort University

As the start of the northern hemisphere academic year hundreds of thousands of students across Africa head to the airport. The reason for this “student exodus” is that those who can afford it head abroad for their tertiary education.

Why do they go? A survey done last year found that 71% of African students studying outside Africa thought a degree earned abroad represented a higher-level qualification than a degree at home.

The exodus can be attributed to numerous reasons. These include inadequate funding of tertiary education resulting in dilapidated campuses and obsolete study programmes that are not adapted to developments in science and technology. Other factors include an absence of research policy and insufficient resources. All these result in a perception of low quality African universities.

That more than 70% of the students interviewed had a jaundiced view of an African degree seems a bit unjust. Nevertheless, the truth is that 17% of the world’s population lives on the African continent. Yet Africa has less than 1% of the world’s top 250 universities.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. There are African universities, despite the financial constraints, that are getting it right.

I did an analysis of universities on the continent to establish which were strongest in terms of research output. I used published research to identify the strongest and sourced scholarly outputs statistics from the academic database SciVal.

I used a number of measures for the analysis. These included the number of scholarly outputs (academic publications), the growth of authors contributing to these outputs, the number of international co-authors and the proportion of scholarly outputs in the top 10% of academic journals. I looked at the period between 2014 to 2019.

The number of outputs represents the research productivity of academics within an institution. For their part, articles published in the top 10% of academic journals serve to quantify the quality and impact of the scholarly outputs. The level of international co-authors indicates the level of international research collaboration and global prestige of each institution.

What emerged from the analysis is the similarity in the strategic approaches the best and aspiring African universities employ to achieve an increase in both scholarly output and quality. All universities covered in the article deemed international partnerships as essential to research productivity.

The best performers

Two of the top universities in Africa for published research – also known as scholarly output – are the University of Cape Town and the University of the Witwatersrand. Both are in South Africa. They are ranked in the top 250 globally.

Both universities have between 30%-35% of all their scholarly output published in the top 10% of global academic journals. This is important for universities’ prestige as well as their finances.

Also notable was the high number of international co-authors in their outputs. At the University of Cape Town it was 60%. At the University of the Witwatersrand it was 54%.

An institution with a rapid increase in scholarly outputs is Egypt’s Zewail City of Science and Technology. Established in 2012, just over 43% of its scholarly outputs were published in the top 10% of global academic journals. In addition, 51% of all its outputs were co-authored with international institutions.

There are positive signs in Nigeria too. The University of Ibadan was the top West African university for scholarly outputs. The university has 15% of all its outputs published in the top 10% of academic journals. And 38% of its publications were co-authored with institutions in other countries.

Another institution with an increasing scholarly output rate is Covenant University, Nigeria. It’s also a relatively young institution – it was opened in 2002. Just over 8% of all its outputs were published in the top 10% of academic journals.

The fact that 31% of its publications were co-authored with institutions in other countries demonstrated a collaborative approach to research.

So how have these African universities bucked the trend, and made their voices heard outside Africa?

Six key factors

In researching the issue, I identified six lessons that can be learnt from these successful African universities:

Research excellence: The University of Witwatersrand has driven a 37% increase in its scholarly outputs over the last five years, with an emphasis on quality. The university has also adopted a strategic focus on increasing the number of post-graduate students. It aims to have post-graduates as 45% of its student population by 2022. This, in turn, has helped drive the surge in scholarly output. The university also has a clear focus on priority research areas where it can make a significant impact. An example is clinical research to manage AIDS.

Research support infrastructure: Research productivity is crucial for academic promotions within the universities. The University of Cape Town in particular has invested heavily in a pro-research infrastructure. This comes with extensive research administrative support and guidance. In Nigeria, the University of Ibadan recently established a new leadership role to focus on research and innovation.

A balance between the teaching and research workloads, possibly by restricting student intake: The University of Ibadan, for example, has adopted an approach of rigorously maintaining a student-staff ratio that ensures academic workloads allow time for research. The university has maintained an annual undergraduate intake of approximately 4,000 students. This has been despite growing pressure to increase the numbers.

Attracting the best professors and researchers: The University of the Witwatersrand has made a concerted effort to recruit professors with high citations – “A”-rated professors.

Setting levels of academic expectation: Covenant University in Nigeria has adopted a research, citations, innovation and teaching agenda that drives academic activities at all levels. There’s significant support for staff through workshops in grant writing and publication.

Zewail City of Science and Technology was founded by Nobel laurate in Chemistry, Professor Ahmed Zewail. It has four Nobel laurates as members of its Supreme Advisory Board. It’s therefore no surprise that it has a significant number of its scholarly outputs in the top 10% of global academic journals.

Forging international partnerships: The University of Ibadan, and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, also emphasise the importance of international references for professorial promotion. The University of Nigeria, Nsukka has taken the decision to actively seek collaborative international partners to mitigate the lack of research infrastructure.

As part of his research, the author also conducted interviews with: Dr Marilet Sienaert, Executive Director Research, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Professor Zeblon Vilakazi, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Postgraduate affairs, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa; Professor Olanike Adeyemo, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships, University of Ibadan, Nigeria; Professor Salah Obayya, Zewail City of Science and Technology, Egypt; Professor Emeka Iweala, Director, Covenant University Centre for Research, Innovation and Discovery, Covenant University, Nigeria; Professor James Ogbonna, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria.


David Mba, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Computing, Engineering and Media, De Montfort University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Nigeria don’t have enough universities to take in all it’s intending students, but the government don’t care

By Chiamaka Kaima


Education is, around the world one of the first and basic right of everyone, but here in Nigeria, it has been abused by both the Governments and People.

During one of the Tours to the Adekunle Ajosin University in Akungba Akoko, Ondo state. The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Igbekele Ajibefun identified Poor Funding as a major threat to achieving a Functional Education in Nigeria. He said, Poor funding of Nigeria’s Education Sector causes Setbacks for its inherent ability to compete globally even with the inferior countries to Nigeria.

In Nigeria, to enhance good Education and stop the yearly increase of Admission-seekers [from getting] out of Hand[, the] Education Sector should be given lots of attention because it gives room for the country’s development ,but unfortunately, the quality and standard of Education in Nigeria is poor because it has not been paid adequate attention to.

And due to these lack of attention, it has caused lots of Problems that the Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) has [revealed] how the number of admission-seekers increases yearly but only 75% are granted admission with only 20% being admitted to Public Universities, while 55% into other sectors of Education in Nigeria like the Private Universities or Polytechnics.

And this is are drastical elements that needs to be changed. Below are the causes;

Poor Funding

The foremost and greatest challenge that triggers this is Inadequate Funding by the Federal, State and Local Government.

In the year 2017, it was recorded that the budget bill allocated to the Nigeria’s Education sector was 26% much lower than the National budget recommended by the United Nations.

The Global organization recommended the budgetary benchmark to enable Nations adequately cater for rising Education demands.

But in the proposal represented to the National Assembly, President Muhammadu Buhari allocated only 7.04% of the 8.6 trillion budget to the Education.
 The total sum allocated to the sector was 605.8 billion, with 435.1 billion for Recurrent Expenditure, 61.73 billion for Capital Expenditure and 109.06 billion for the Universal Basic Education Commission. Even though, it hasn’t reduced the rise of Education yet but has yearly increased the number of Applicants to Universities.

Corruption

This is another Major problem in the Country that has also affected the Educational Sector?

There are multiple stories of how lecturers collects bribes from students in exchange for grades, some even go to the extent of harassing their female students to sleep with them. Even some university administrators demands money from students to have their Exam results compiled and submitted to the (required) National Youth Service Corps.

 Also, funds meant for paying salaries and maintenance of school facilities and so on are being diverted for personal use and mismanaged.

And these acts can cause schools to embark on strikes or riots which will not only ruin the School reputation.

Politicization of Education

The Governments at all levels, especially at the State level, attempts to run many Institutions even when they’re least prepared to do such, which thereby cause a general fall in the Standard of the initially existing ones and the available budget insufficient to cater for their needs.

In addition, State Governments gives accreditation to Schools that they fully know are not well equipped for Teaching, all in a bid to generate more revenue for themselves.

Unwillingness to study Education in Schools

Due to how Courses are being scrapped out and parents advising their children/ward to go for courses that pays much in jobs than those that gives adequate time but pays less.

In 2015, it was recorded by the Educational Board, that out of more than 1,700,000 applications submitted, only 5% applied for Courses in Education.

 To that resul,most Graduate Teachers aren’t professional and inadequately exposed to Teaching Practices which has made Learning in schools in-conducive and generated the love of doing things for money and not for passion or will.

But to solve these problems, it all has to begin with the Governments and not the Citizens because they have the powers to punish any defaulters.

Solutions

Provision of Conducive Environment to enhance Active Learning: It’s not all about teaching on Theory but also with other Teaching aids like practices, interactive sessions and Computers to exposed the students to more digitalized ways of learning and prepare them to be able to compete with their counterparts from other parts of the world. When these are provided, it gives each student the room to be well prepared for what they want and get it at their disposal anywhere, anytime.

Giving Power to those who actually knows What they’re to do and not to those who are there for the Money:To govern the Educational Board, the Government needs to Employ one who has both the Intellectual Skills not to rule alone but to apply Good measures and build up the Sector in a Striking way that will not only develop the Students but also the Country.

Contributions of Financial Funds both from the Private and Public sectors to Universities.

•There should be a Career Counselling where the Youths are been advised about Courses and similar courses when not given the first: This is a very delicate issue that should be looked into.

The Federal Government can enforce career counseling in all schools especially in secondary schools both the juniors and Seniors to avoid large numbers desiring to study one course that has Several alternatives which hinders the progress of the Economy.

 And if these solutions and many more are being implemented, it’ll give Nigeria a greater chance of competing with their counterparts from other parts of the world.


About the author.

Chiamaka Kaima is a young prospective writer with good writing skill that cuts across, education, lifestyle and living. She writes for The Bloomgist through our Academic Writers Forum “Column 60

Five things that can fix Nigeria’s completely messed up Education system

Nigeria’s education system is based on the (1)-6-3-3-4 formula: one year pre-primary education, six years primary, three years junior secondary, three years senior secondary, and a minimum of four years tertiary education.

The model had been used successfully in China, Germany and Ghana before Nigeria adopted it in 1989.

But it’s never been fully implemented in Nigeria. Although successive governments have theoretically upheld its objectives, none has successfully implemented the policy.

Nigeria’s educational system is in assorted crises of infrastructural decay, neglect, waste of resources and sordid conditions of service. The country has over 10 million out-of-school children. That’s the highest in the world. Another 27 million children in school are performing very poorly. Millions of Nigerians are half-educated, and over 60 million – or 30% – are illiterate.

On top of this, many eligible young Nigerians can’t gain admission into public universities. At the same time prohibitive tuition fees, among other factors, are a barrier to the country’s private universities.

As the Buhari-Osinbajo government starts its second term it should focus on key areas that will dig Nigeria’s education system out of the deep hole it’s in. I have identified five priorities it should attend to first.

Appointment

The new government should appoint an expert Minister of Education, not a political party lackey. In the past, Nigeria’s educational system has fared better under expert education ministers who earned their stripes through the system.

Take Professor Jubril Aminu, who served in the portfolio from 1985 to 1990. The 6-3-3-4 system was inaugurated during his tenure. Aminu also introduced “nomadic education” in 1989 for nomadic Fulani and other migrant ethnic groups.

Aminu was followed by Professor Babs Fafunwa (1990 to 1992). He overhauled the national education policy. He also provided room for education in mother tongue, a universal practice which most African countries have not fully implemented. UNESCO recommends education in mother tongue because of its immense advantages.

Lastly, under Professor Sam Egwu (2008 to 2010), a controversial agreement was signed between the government and the union representing the country’s academic staff. The agreement – signed in 2009 after drawn-out negotiations – stipulated conditions of service and remuneration for lecturers, the autonomy of universities and how the government should fund tertiary education.

But successive governments have violated the terms of the pact, claiming that they didn’t have the money to meet some of its terms. Officials claimed that sections of the pact were difficult, and in some cases impossible, to implement. However, the union rejects these claims and has accused the government of using delay tactics and questionable criticisms to frustrate the deal.

Funding

Funding is the biggest problem confronting Nigeria’s education system. The percentage of the budget allocated to education annually is abysmally low. In 2018, only 7.04% was allocated to education. This is far below UNESCO’s recommended 15%-26%.

Nigeria’s experience with the commercialisation and neglect of government secondary and primary school levels has led to poorer education outcomes. Nor is privatisation the answer: it’s only likely to widen the gap between the rich and the poor. It will deny many children affordable quality education, increase the rate of illiteracy and reduce academic performance at the tertiary level.

If the government continues to privatise government-owned universities, as is already the case with the proliferation of private universities with high fees, tertiary education will become the exclusive preserve of the rich upper class. This, in a country where more than 90% of the population is currently living in abject poverty.

The government should also cut wasteful expenditure. For example, I would argue that the “school children feeding programme” is a massive drain on resources.

Government reported earlier this year that it allocated 220 billion naira for the programme and of that, about 50 billion naira was wasted. This money could have be spent on more pressing problems such as building more classrooms and equipping them, supplying teaching and learning materials and improving staff welfare and remuneration.

Money for research

Research suffers in three ways in Nigeria. First, researchers work without sponsorship, particularly in the core sciences. The Tertiary Education Trust Fund is virtually the only source of money. The Trust funds and sponsors research projects, gives grants for research and sponsors lecturers for academic conferences, among other things. But its resources are limited and its operations are slow, highly selective and sometimes politicised.

Secondly, study findings are often abandoned on library shelves because the government isn’t committed to research-oriented development. Researchers don’t have the means to promote their work and research findings.

Third, research output is mediocre and repetitive because there are no effective measures in place to track research output nationwide.

Stop incessant strikes

In 1978, the Academic Staff Union of Universities was established to represent academic staff in Nigeria’s universities. Since then, there have been strikes almost every year, disrupting the academic calendar.

To stop these annual disruptions, the government must increase budgetary allocations to the sector and honour agreements that have been signed with the unions.

The only way that strikes will be stopped is if the welfare of all staff, from teachers to lecturers, is prioritised.

In conclusion

If these priorities are successfully implemented, Nigeria’s education system would be well on its way to realising government’s commitment to its own policies and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

SOURCE: The Conversation

Girls beat boys at school and lose to them at the office – here’s why

Hard work and discipline help girls outperform boys in class, but that advantage disappears in the work force. Is school the problem?

From elementary school through college, girls are more disciplinedabout their schoolwork than boys; they study harder and get better grades. Girls consistently outperform boys academically. And yet, men nonetheless hold a staggering 95 percent of the top positions in the largest public companies.

What if those same habits that propel girls to the top of their class — their hyper-conscientiousness about schoolwork — also hold them back in the work force?

When investigating what deters professional advancement for women, the journalists Katty Kay and Claire Shipman found that a shortage of competence is less likely to be an obstacle than a shortage of confidence. When it comes to work-related confidence, they found men are far ahead. “Underqualified and underprepared men don’t think twice about leaning in,” they wrote. “Overqualified and overprepared, too many women still hold back. Women feel confident only when they are perfect.”

As a psychologist who works with teenagers, I hear this concern often from the parents of many of my patients. They routinely remark that their sons do just enough to keep the adults off their backs, while their daughters relentlessly grind, determined to leave no room for error. The girls don’t stop until they’ve polished each assignment to a high shine and rewritten their notes with color-coded precision.

We need to ask: What if school is a confidence factory for our sons, but only a competence factory for our daughters?

This possibility hit me when I was caring for an eighth grader in my practice. She got terrific grades but was feeling overwhelmed by school. Her brother, a ninth grader, had similarly excellent grades, but when I asked if he worked as hard as she did, she scoffed. If she worked on an assignment for an hour and got an A, she felt “safe” only if she spent a full hour on other assignments like it. Her brother, in contrast, flew through his work. When he brought home an A, she said, he felt “like a stud.” If his grades slipped a bit, he would take his effort up just a notch. But she never felt “safe” enough to ever put in less than maximum effort.

That experience — of succeeding in school while exerting minimal or moderate effort — is a potentially crucial one. It may help our sons develop confidence, as they see how much they can accomplish simply by counting on their wits. For them, school serves as a test track, where they build their belief in their abilities and grow increasingly at ease relying on them. Our daughters, on the other hand, may miss the chance to gain confidence in their abilities if they always count on intellectual elbow grease alone.

So how do we get hyper-conscientious girls (and boys, as there certainly are some with the same style) to build both confidence and competence at school?

First, parents and teachers can stop praising inefficient overwork, even if it results in good grades. Gendered approaches to learning set in early, so it’s never too soon to start working against them. Recently, as I read “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” to my 8-year-old daughter, I stopped at a passage in which Hermione — the fictional poster child for academic fastidiousness — turned in an essay that was “two rolls of parchment more than Professor Binns asked for.” Hermione, I pointed out, doesn’t make great use of her time. She’s a capable student and could probably do just as well without working so hard. “Right,” my daughter said. “Of course she could!”

We can also encourage girls toward a different approach to school — one that’s more focused on economy of effort, rather than how many hours they put in. Whenever one of the academically impressive and persistently anxious girls in my practice tells me about staying up until 2 in the morning studying, I see an opening. That’s the moment to push them to become tactical, to figure out how to continue learning and getting the same grades while doing a little bit less. I urge my patients — and my own teenage daughter — to begin study sessions by taking sample tests, to see how much they know before figuring out how much more they need to do to attain mastery over a concept or task. Many girls build up an incredible capacity for work, but they need these moments to discover and take pride in how much they already understand.

Teachers, too, can challenge girls’ over-the-top tendencies. When a girl with a high-A average turns in extra credit work, her instructor might ask if she is truly taken with the subject or if she is looking to store up “insurance points,” as some girls call them. If it’s the former, more power to her. If it’s the latter, the teacher might encourage the student to trust that what she knows and the work she is already doing will almost certainly deliver the grade she wants. Educators can also point out to this student that she may not need insurance; she probably has a much better grasp of the material than she gives herself credit for.

Finally, we can affirm for girls that it is normal and healthy to feel some anxiety about school. Too often, girls are anxious even about being anxious, so they turn to excessive studying for comfort. We can remind them that being a little bit nervous about schoolwork just means that they care about it, which of course they should.

Even if neither you nor your daughter cares about becoming a chief executive, you may worry that she will eventually be crushed by the weight of her own academic habits. While a degree of stress promotes growth, working at top speed in every class at all times is unhealthy and unsustainable for even the most dedicated high school students. A colleague of mine likes to remind teenagers that in classes where any score above 90 counts as an A, the difference between a 91 and a 99 is a life.

To be sure, the confidence gap is hardly the only thing keeping women out of top jobs. Women also face gender bias, sexual harassment and powerful structural barriers in the workplace. But confidence at school is one unequal advantage that we can address right now. Instead of standing by as our daughters make 50 flashcards when they were assigned 20, we can step in and ask them why. Many professional men brim with confidence because they have spent years getting to know their abilities. Women should arrive in the work world having done the same.

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Lisa Damour is a psychologist in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and the author of “Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions Into Adulthood” and “Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls.” @LDamour • Facebook

ASUU rejects FG’s offers, says strike continues

The hope of many university students across the country to resume academic activities soon may have been dashed.

The striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has rejected the offers made to it early this week by the Nigerian government.

At the seventh meeting with the leadership of ASUU on Tuesday, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said the labour dispute with the university teachers was on the verge of being resolved. He listed the fresh concessions made by the administration to ASUU.

According to Mr Ngige, the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Ministry of Finance presented evidence that N15.4 billion had been released to public universities.

On earned academic allowances, he said President Muhammadu Buhari approved N20 billion to offset arrears of the 2009 to 2012 verified earnings by university teachers.

But in an exclusive interview with PREMIUM TIMES early Saturday morning, the President of ASUU, Biodun Ogunyemi, said upon reviewing the offers made by the government, members of the union across various campuses and zones rejected it.

Mr. Ogunyemi, who described government’s offer on the outstanding revitalization fund of N1.1 trillion as tokenism, said members are insisting that government should release at least a tranche of N220 billion spread over four quarters of 2019.

He added that on earned allowances, government’s proposal should not be lesser than the total amount released “the last time” out of the verified balance.

Recall that as part of the agreement reached between the union and the government before ASUU ended its industrial action in September 2017, the Federal Government released a total N22.9 billion for earned allowances of both academic and non-academic staff across 22 Federal universities.

Of the amount, academics under ASUU got N18.3billion, while non-teaching staff belonging to the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian University (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) got N4.6 billion.

The sharing formula, which was condemned by the three non-academic staff unions, had led to pockets of protests across various campuses at the time, and eventually compelled the unions to embark on prolonged strike.

Apparently to avoid the controversy that greeted the sharing of the allowance in 2017, ASUU is insisting that the Federal Government should categorically state the amount earmarked for its members, which it said must not be lesser than N18.3 billion it received then.

Mr Ogunyemi said; “Our members have rejected tokenism with respect to outstanding revitalization fund of N1.1 trillion. They are insisting that government should release at least one tranche of N220 billion spread over four quarters of 2019.

“On earned academic allowances, our members said government’s proposed amount out of the verified balance should not be less than the total amount released last time, while evidence of mainstreaming the allowances into the 2019 budget should be shown. Also, timeline should be attached to payment of the balance of the arrears.

“The revitalization fund and earned academic allowances are the two critical areas on which our members feel strongly about. They expect necessary adjustments on the part of government before they can reconsider their decision on the ongoing strike action.”

ASUU had embarked on what it termed total and indefinite strike on November 4, 2018, to demand improved funding of universities and implementation of previous agreements entered with the government.

Some of the demands as contained in the ASUU’s list of grievances, include the implementation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreements, Memorandum of Understanding (MoU; 2012 and 2013) and Memorandum of Action (MoA, 2017) and the truncation of the renegotiation of the union’s agreements.

The union said its ongoing strike is aimed at compelling the government to make funds available for the revitalisation of public universities based on the FGN-ASUU MoU of 2012, 2013 and the MoA of 2017, and that the operational license of the Nigerian University Employees Pension Company (NUPEMCO) should be released.

The unions also asked for the release of the forensic audit report on Earned Academic Allowances (EAA), payments of all outstanding earned academic allowances and the mainstreaming of same into the 2019 budget.

The lecturers also demanded the payment of all arrears of shortfall in salaries to all universities that have met the verification requirements of the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA).

Meanwhile, one of the major issues that has been dragging the negotiations forth and back is the revitalisation of the universities.

As at Saturday morning, the government was yet to release the N1.1 trillion of the N1.3 trillion it agreed to provide for the exercise.

The 2013 MoU stipulated that public universities needed N1.3 trillion for a modest revitalisation. The fund was to be paid in tranches of N200billion in 2013, N220billion in 2014, N220billion in 2015, 220billion in 2016, N220billion in 2017 and N220billion in 2018.

The Goodluck Jonathan-led administration released N200 billion in 2013 but since then nothing more has been paid.

Earlier, after its meeting with the Federal Government and shortly after the Labour and Employment Minister went to town with the message of a possible return of the lecturers to their classrooms, ASUU had indicated the possibility of its members not accepting the concessions.

Speaking with PREMIUM TIMES Wednesday afternoon, Mr Ogunyemi had said the union was yet to reach an agreement with the government on any issue.

He said what the union took from the government were proposals because “We told them where there were low and what our members will not take but they said that was the best they could give.”

According to him, the difference between the last meeting and earlier ones was that it was the first time the union was given figures “that we could take back to our members.”

He said the union leaders warned government representatives that ASUU members were not likely to accept those figures “but they insisted that we should go and inform them first.”

“We agreed to go back to our members in order to show to them that we are not difficult people. We have been having consultations and telling the government the initial reactions we are getting. So, if they want this problem resolved, they should consider the low things.”

Speaking on the revitalisation of universities, Mr. Ogunyemi said if government does not release another tranche of the agreed sum, his members would think the government is not ready to solve the problem.

“Revitalisation is key to this issue. That was the point I was making when we had the exit engagement and Senator Ngige was saying we agreed on many issues. There are issues that did not require agreement. If you say you will set up a committee and you do, it is implementation not agreement. So, our intention is not to attack any government but to get our demands,” he said.

“They didn’t release any money. If we are talking about the N1.1 trillion that they should release in tranches and government has not said they will work towards releasing one tranche, then how do you think our members will take that from us? They are mixing up issues. They did not tell us if the N20 billion is a deposit.”

He said no Nigerian would believe the country does not have money to resolve some of the contentious issues.

“I don’t believe any Nigeria will believe government does not have money for what they see as a priority. We keep telling them that overnight they brought out N800 billion to bail out what they now call Polaris Bank. When they had a problem with subsidy, they knew where they went to; so they cannot keep telling us there is no money,” he said.

On when the union would meet the government to reopen negotiation, Mr Ogunyemi said the union was still consulting.

“I am not going to determine whether we are resuming or not. Our members will determine that and we will go back to them,” he said.

When asked what ASUU would be doing next, Mr Ogunyemi said the union was preparing its response to government.

SOURCE: Premium Times

ASUU Strike: Lecturers angrily walk out of reconciliation meeting

After weeks of engagements with the Federal Government to bring to an end, the ongoing strike by lecturers in the country, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), walked out from the sixth meeting which was supposed to bring to an end, the ongoing negotiations and suspension of the 43 days strike.

All hope was however dashed when ASUU led by its national President, Biodun Ogunyemi, staged a walk out from the meeting presided over by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sent. Chris Ngige, even as the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu was absent at the meeting.

Although the ASUU President declined comments on the reason why they were walking out of a meeting that lasted two hours, the ASUU delegation had arrived at the ministry at exactly 5:00 p.m. but no member of the federal government delegation was around as at this time, arriving at 6:00pm led by Ngige.

At the start of the meeting before the walkout, Ngige had told the lecturers that he hopes a consensus on most of the issues was reached at the end of the meeting. He assured the union that attention would be paid to three critical demands, which were salary shortfall, university revitalisation and earned allowances of lecturers

After ASUU’s walkout, the minister of Labour and employment maintained that negotiations were still ongoing and that the Federal government would try and meet up with ASUU’s demands before Christmas so as to allow affected University students resume school in January

The university lecturers embarked on an indefinite strike on November 4, demanding improved funding of universities and implementation of previous agreements with the government.

Meanwhile, an earlier meeting between the striking Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) and the federal government, ended in a deadlock

The meeting which lasted for five hours on Monday, was chaired by the permanent secretary of the ministry of education, Sonny Echonu

According to the ASUP President Usman Dutse, Polytechnic lecturers were not pleased with the body language of government which seems to be proposing second week of January 2019 for the continuation of the meeting

ASUP had resumed strike on December 12, 2018 following what it described as governments failure to keep to agreements reached on ‘NEEDS’ assessment, earned academic allowance among others.

SOURCE: Sahara Reporters

File photo of ASUU meeting with the Nigerian govt delegation prior to a warning strike

ASUU Strike: Lecturers and FG enters another meeting

The federal government on Monday resumed talks with the leaders of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over the ongoing strike in public universities.

File photo of ASUU meeting with the Nigerian govt delegation prior to a warning strike
File photo of ASUU meeting with the Nigerian govt delegation prior to a warning strike

The university lecturers have been on strike since November 4 demanding improved funding of universities and implementation of previous agreements with the government.

The national president of ASUU, Biodun Ogunyemi, led the union’s delegation to Monday’s meeting.

The ASUU delegation arrived at the ministry at exactly 4:10 p.m. but none of the federal government delegation was around then.

Also in attendance is the national president of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba.

The meeting is holding at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Abuja.

At least four other meetings have been held between both parties since the strike began.

When the government delegation arrived, the minister of education, Adamu Adamu, was absent. However, the permanent secretary of the education ministry, Sunny Echono, was present.

The government delegation was led by the labour minister, Chris Ngige.

While addressing the ASUU delegation, Mr Ngige appealed to the striking lecturers to ensure that Monday’s dialogue yields results.

”The strike is five weeks old today and it is not in anybody’s interest. We will ensure the needful is done,” he said.

In his speech, the NLC president, Mr Wabba, urged the federal government to urgently do the needful if it really wants to end the strike action.

SOURCE: Premium Times

WAEC set to allow registration 24 hours before exams

The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) says it will soon conduct the first series of the West African Senior School certificate Examination (WASSCE) for private candidates.

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This was made known in a press statement by the spokesperson of the council, Demianus Ojijeogu, Sunday morning.

The statement also said the examination will be conducted between January and February, 2019.

According to the statement, registration started October 8 and will end December 28, 2018.

The statement said the registration procedure has been designed to accommodate biometric features that will be used for validation at the examination centre.

“After obtaining the registration pin, candidates should log on to www.waeconline.org,” it said.

The council also said there is provision for “walk–in” candidates and candidates with special needs.

“Walk –in candidates, who wish to write the examination after the close of entries may be accommodated provided they register less than 24 hours to the scheduled time of the paper they intend to write,” the statement said.

The walk-in candidates’ fee is N25, 000.

The statement said the special needs’ candidates will also register online but “they must state clearly their disabilities: blind, low vision, spastic, speech etc.

“Candidates must conclude registration within two weeks of first access to the website during registration period,” the statement said.

The council said candidates are expected to pay a registration fee of N13, 950 and a commission of N500 to banks and accredited agents.

The council had earlier announced that it will begin to conduct two series of the WASSCE for private candidates from 2018.

The council conducted the first series for private candidates in January 2018 while the second series was held in August /September 2018.

The West African Examinations Council is an examination board that conducts the West African Senior School Certificate Examination, for University and Jamb entry examination in West African countries.


SOURCE: Premium Times

Ghana university shut down over ‘jamboree’ riots

Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Knust) has been shut down and students ordered to leave the institution following violent protests on Monday.

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The trouble started at Knust, which is in the country’s second largest city of Kumasi, last Friday night after 11 students were arrested by police after taking part in their usual end-of-week party, known as a jamboree, which the university authorities recently banned.

The students mounted roadblocks, vandalised property and boycotted lectures on Monday, accusing the university’s security and management of brutality.

A joint task force of police and military personnel has now taken over the university campus to maintain calm.

Students have been given up to 12.00 GMT on Tuesday to vacate the campus.

Only foreign students have been exempted from the decision – the authorities say they will be given security protection in their hostels.

Ashanti Regional Minister Simon Osei Mensah, who announced the decision, maintains the shutdown is necessary in view of the extent of the damages.


Cover photo: Some students have been leaving ahead of the deadline. Photo: Attah Poku

Young people are being let down by African Universities

MAKERERE UNIVERSITY’S position, on a hilltop commanding a panoramic view of Kampala, is fitting for a place some call the “Harvard of Africa”. By many measures, it is the continent’s best college outside South Africa.

But it was closed for two months from November by Uganda’s autocratic president, Yoweri Museveni, after a strike by lecturers over unpaid bonuses sparked student protests.

Founded by the British to train local colonial administrators, Makerere has a reputation for educating the powerful. Tanzania’s founding president, Julius Nyerere, studied there. So did Kenya’s third leader, Mwai Kibaki, and the Democratic Republic of Congo’s current head of state, Joseph Kabila. The university went through a rough period between 1971 and 1979, when it felt compelled to make Idi Amin, a barely literate despot, its chancellor. Amin awarded himself a doctorate of law, despite neither studying much nor believing in the rule of law. But those dark days are past. Makerere’s researchers are now some of Africa’s most prolific, creating everything from low-cost sanitary pads to an electric car. Nonetheless the institution’s problems—too many students and too little money—are all too common across the continent.

Makerere has more than doubled enrolment to nearly 40,000 in the past two decades. As government scholarships, most of them allocated by merit rather than need, have become scarcer, and strike-happy lecturers have demanded ever-higher wages (even though academics at public universities are some of Uganda’s best-paid workers), the university has tried to close the funding gap by admitting more fee-payers. But in real terms it spends almost a quarter less now than in 2007, even though the number of students has risen by 12% over the same period.

Similar pressures are felt across sub-Saharan Africa, especially in the poorer countries. (South Africa’s university system is more advanced but faces other difficulties, including demands by militant students that fees be abolished altogether.) A World Bank study of 23 poorer African states found that enrolments at public and private universities had quadrupled between 1991 and 2006, while public spending on them rose by just 73%.

Opening new public institutions to meet growing demand has not been problem-free, either. In 2000 Ethiopia had two public universities; by 2015 it had 29. “These are not universities, they’re shells,” says Paul O’Keefe, a researcher who has interviewed many Ethiopian academics, and heard stories of overcrowded classrooms, lecturers who have nothing more than undergraduate degrees themselves and government spies on campus.

In those countries where higher education was liberalised after the cold war, private universities and colleges, often religious, have sprung up. Between 1990 and 2007 their number soared from 24 to more than 460 (the number of public universities meanwhile doubled to 200). But they often find themselves tied up in red tape. Gossy Ukanwoke tried to establish Nigeria’s first online-only university in 2012, but was forced by the government to acquire a campus. Beni American University has 450 executive-education students on-site, and has taught 8,200 online in the past two years. But it has struggled to attract investment to finish the facilities it needs before it can teach undergraduates.

Many of these new institutions churn out cheaply taught business degrees. But some others are giving the better public institutions a run for their money. Kenya’s Daystar University is renowned for its communications courses (it also offers what it claims to be “the world’s first smartphone-based degree programme for teachers”). Strathmore, another private Nairobi university, focuses on specific areas, including intellectual-property law, disaster management and how to start a business.

And some public institutions are upping their game. Internships are now mandatory at Uganda’s public universities. The University of Nairobi’s Fab Lab, part of a global initiative that provides access to machinery and online courses in how to use it, has spawned a number of startups. Open-source hardware has helped, says Kamau Gachigi, who runs the lab. He cites AB3D, which makes 3D printers based on free designs posted online by Adrian Bowyer, formerly of the University of Bath in Britain. Open-source software and websites such as Sci-Hub that make pricey academic journals free to read (albeit illegally in most jurisdictions), also help cash-strapped universities improve teaching and research. But even these welcome developments will not go far if African universities continue to admit more students than they can cope with.

Africa needs more well-educated young people. But many of its young graduates have gained little more from their time at university than raised expectations. Swelling classes and stale courses mean they are generally ill-prepared for the few graduate jobs on offer. Young sub-Saharan Africans with degrees are three times as likely to be unemployed as their primary-school-educated peers, who are mostly absorbed by the informal sector.

Donors willing to fund universities in Africa, rather than scholarships for African students to attend European and American universities, might improve local institutions—and help pay for expansion. The World Bank is planning to spend $290m by 2019 on 22 “centres of excellence” in areas such as climate change and poultry science, in seven west and central African countries. Other donors and African governments would do well to follow, and tie funding to teaching and research quality, rather than to student numbers.


This story appeared on The Economist with the headline: African universities recruit too many students

Begin the school year with books by, for and about teachers

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Dear Match Book,

I am a high school math teacher by day and a reader by night. Could you please recommend some books about education? I’m especially looking for novels that show the fun and funny aspects of being a teacher. A few I’ve found in the past are “Up the Down Staircase,” by Bel Kaufman, and “Teacher, Teacher!,” by Jack Sheffield. Please help me find some joy and inspiration for the new school year. Thanks a million.

RISSIE LUNDBERG
MILWAUKEE

Dear Rissie,

Shopping for new school supplies can’t match the jubilation surrounding la rentrée, the French state of mind that marks the return to daily routines after the summer holidays. There are even pastries to celebrate the start of the new season. But let them eat cake: A meaty stack of books about school days can stretch to nourish you throughout the first term.

A Series of Educational Events

Since you enjoyed Sheffield’s novel about his first year as headmaster of a village school in late-1970s Yorkshire, England (there are now 11 books in his “Teacher” series; the latest, “Starting Over,” was published in England in July), consider “The Village School,” by Miss Read — the pseudonym of Dora Jessie Saint — another book in a series about a head of school in rural England, this one set more than 20 years earlier in an idyllic village called Fairacre.

Read’s narration of the small trials and deep pleasures of teaching, the gossipy townspeople and her sketches of students altogether reminded me of “Anne of Avonlea,” the second book in L. M. Montgomery’s beloved “Anne of Green Gables” series, which follows Anne’s first experiences as a young (teenage!) teacher on Prince Edward Island.

Look Sharp

For comic novels with more bite, turn to “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,” Muriel Spark’s novel about one unconventional teacher’s influence over her small circle of handpicked students, and two novels by Tom Perrotta. In both “Election” and “The Abstinence Teacher,” Perrotta features the perspectives of educators — and other members of the community — as he wryly plumbs the pathos of the suburbs.

And once you’ve read enough about the younger set you might be ready to graduate to higher education: Zadie Smith’s satirical stunner “On Beauty,” inspired by E. M. Forster’s “Howards End,” features an unmoored British-born art history professor on an elite American campus and his mixed-race family, and displays Smith’s affinities for both young adults and the elders charged with edifying them.

First Person Plural

The wealth of memoirs by teachers seems to spring from a well-worn career path — so many writers are also educators; they know the allure of the natural narrative arc of the school year. Two moving autobiographical stories, both with comic touches, offer largely sober accounts of life in the classroom. Mark Salzman’s “True Notebooks” charts his time teaching writing to a group of young men in a juvenile detention center in East Los Angeles. And in “Reading With Patrick,” Michelle Kuo details her relationship with a gifted, troubled student whom she met when she was a Teach for America volunteer in rural Arkansas. Both books are honest and beautifully crafted, but it is through the students’ writing — generously reproduced — that readers can learn the most.

The last in a trilogy of memoirs by Frank McCourt, “Teacher Man,” chronicles the 30 years he spent as a public-school teacher in New York City. Anyone who took to the colloquial charms of McCourt’s first two books — “Angela’s Ashes” (winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1997) and “’Tis” — will appreciate the warmth and surprising turns of his creative classroom style, and his expansive, enveloping storytelling skills.

McCourt aspired to become a teacher and dreamed of impressing folks back home in Limerick. By contrast, Garret Keizer, as he bluntly explains on the first page of his memoir “Getting Schooled,” first became an English teacher to fulfill his parents’ expectations. He returned, after a 14-year absence, to the same school in northeastern Vermont where he’d started his career to become a yearlong substitute, mainly for the health insurance: “It’s fair to say that I have never gone to work in a school with what might be called purity of heart, though much of what I know about purity of heart I learned there.” His whole gorgeously evocative book notably avoids sentimentality and instead probes for wisdom and clarity. And, despite Keizer’s equivocating about his profession, it inspires.

Yours truly, 
Match Book

Do you need book recommendations? Write to bloomgistbooks@bloomgist.com.

Check out Touch Book’s earlier recommendations here.


Nicole Lamy is a writer and book critic, and the former books editor of The Boston Globe. Follow her on Twitter @NicoleALamy.

How to take care of yourself as a student

One of the many challenges students face is the hardship that comes with facing school pressures and the tough time trying to meet with up with other things you want to be at a long run, the challenges on focusing on other goals.

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It’s not easy, managing your time and maintaining routines, but there are ways you can beat all these challenges;

  1.   Find time for yourself

College is hectic. There will be days, even weeks, when you feel like you haven’t got 3 seconds to just breathe. Between classes, homework, clubs, sports, and jobs, there’s not a whole lot of time for relaxing. However, it’s extremely important to find or make time to take care of yourself so you don’t burn out.

2.Take time in short bursts
Much like high-intensity interval style training, where you go all out for a short amount of time, then take a break, sometimes self-care has to come in short intervals between the workloads. Sometimes, those moments of relaxation might even be part of the crazy day-to-day activities.

3. Embrace your routines.

Whether you have a specific order of doing things to get ready in the morning or when you’re getting ready for bed, let that be a few minutes of your day where you recognize that you’re doing everything that you’re currently doing for you. Take a few minutes to enjoy your morning coffee or your walk to class, or take a few minutes to read a chapter or two of a good book before bed. That mindfulness surrounding your regular routine can help you feel calmer as you get ready to take on the day or take a snooze.

4. If you can, make time to exercise, even if it’s only for 10-15 minutes per day. That may not seem like much, but getting your heart rate up will help you get a burst of energy to perk you up, and will help to keep you healthy. And hey, no reason to feel guilty about that kind of self-care, after all, it’s exercise!

Mr, Ms and Mrs titles dropped by SA university

South Africa’s prestigious Wits University has dropped gender prefixes – Mr, Ms and Mrs – from all university communication to create a more inclusive environment for students who are transgender‚ non-binary or gender non-conforming.

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The University of the Witwatersrand, often called Wits University, is ranked in the top five African universities. Photo: Getty Images

“Now they can specify the title they would like to have,” says a spokesperson at the university’s Transformation and Employment Equity Office, even if it’s not linked to legal documentation. Explaining the decision, she added:

Addressing somebody by a particular name or title are intrinsically affirming for people who are transgender or gender non-conforming or gender queer. It makes you part of the university culture if you feel you are visibly appreciated and respected.”

The gender-neutral title “Mx”, which is widely recognised in many countries across the world, is increasingly popular, the university said in a statement.

South Africa’s Gender and Quality Commission has called the change at Wits University “very progressive”, according to news site Eyewitness News, adding they “hope this can be taken forward” nationwide

Osun state. Photo: Twitter/aufaregbesola

Imo is most educated state in Nigeria as Osun, Ekiti rated most peaceful

The Nigerian Peace Index Report has indicated that Osun, Kogi, Ekiti Kwara and Imo states are the five most peaceful states in Nigeria while Yobe, Kebbi, Bauchi, Zamfara and Sokoto are the least peaceful states.

Osun state. Photo: Twitter/aufaregbesola
Osun state. Photo: Twitter/aufaregbesola


The research, conducted by Foundation for Peace Professionals, also revealed that the South East has the highest number of higher education institutions in the country with Imo State rated to be the most educated state.

Osun is the most peaceful state, followed by Kogi, Ekiti, Kwara and Imo state. Akwa Ibom was rated most peaceful state in the South South, Kaduna in the North West, Kogi in the North Central, Osun in the South West, Imo in the South East and Taraba in the North East.

Lagos state has the least poverty rate, Zamfara, the least crime, Ekiti, the least incarceration rates and Taraba, the least human right abuses.

Executive Director of the Foundation, Abdulrazaq Hamzat, during the Media Launch of the Research Project yesterday, disclosed that data was collected between 2010-2016, an average of which was used for the report.


SOURCE: The Guardian, Nigeria

JAMB extends deadline for registration

JAMB extends deadline for registration


The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, has announced the extension of registration for 2018 UTME till February 11, 2018.

JAMB extends deadline for registration
Photo: The Guardian Nigeria


The spokesperson of the board, Fabian Benjamin, disclosed this in a press statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday evening.

The board had said in December that the sale of form and registration for all candidates including those from foreign countries will hold from December 6, 2017 to February 6, 2018.

“JAMB as a responsive organisation has taken the decision albeit with great hesitation to accommodate candidates who failed to register between the two months window period that ended at midnight of Tuesday, 6th February, 2018,” Mr. Benjamin said

The agency, however, said such extensions in future may involve some penalty.

“The failure of these candidates to register is unfortunate and the Board hastens to add that this culture of impunity will not be tolerated and indeed penalty may be imposed for late registration in future.

“Candidates are therefore strongly advised to take advantage of the extension to register as request for further extension would not be entertained,” the spokesperson said.

“For emphasis, 2018 UTME registration now closes at midnight of Sunday, 11th February, 2018.”

The board, however, said registration for direct entry candidates continues.

The board had also proposed March 9 to 17 as the date for the examination.

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, is a Nigerian entrance examination board for tertiary institutions.

The board is charged with the responsibility to administer similar examinations for applicants to Nigerian public and private universities, monotechnics, polytechnics and colleges of education. All of these candidates must have obtained the West Africa School Certificate, now West Africa Examinations Council, WAEC, or its equivalent, National Examination Council, NECO.


SOURCE: Premium Times

Queens College students forcefully promoted without exams over water Scarcity

Queens College students forcefully promoted without exams over water Scarcity


Abuja — The Senate Committee on Basic and Secondary Education probing the death of three students of Queen’s College, Lagos, has heard that lack of portable water in the institution caused the school to promote students who did not sit for exams.

Queens College students forcefully promoted without exams over water Scarcity
Queens College learners. Photo: This Day

A former Principal of the school, Dr. Lami Amodu, said this when she appeared before the Senate Committee on Monday.

Amodu, who has been accused by the parents of the deceased students of negligence contributing to the deaths of their wards, disclosed that at a certain time in 2017, the students were sent home because the institution did not have water supply in the examination period.

The students were however all promoted to their next classes, she said.

In early 2017, Vivian Osuinyi, Bithia Itulua and Praise Sodipo died allegedly from complications caused by gastroenteritis epidemic which broke out in the ninty-year-old school from lack of hygienic facilities.

Amodu however told the committee led by Senator Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto APC) that the parents of the deceased girls accused her of negligence to ensure they receive compensation from the Federal Ministry of Education.

“Till date, even almost a year after I left, the water situation remains a problem and students had to be sent home suddenly without writing exams and they were promoted automatically,” she said.

Amodu who was transferred from the institution following the uproar that followed the death of the girls, emphasised the need for urgent infrastructural upgrade of the school.

In her submission before the committee, a former Minister of Education, Prof. Chinwe Obaji, lamented that over crowding of the unity schools has contributed to the spread of some vices frowned upon in Nigeria.

“Overcrowding in the schools has led to all kinds of anti social activities including lesbianism and others,” she said.

Obaji also canvassed for better facilities and welfare for teachers in the unity schools.

Speaking earlier when he declared the hearing open, Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, said the dilapidating infrastructure in the schools have caused unhealthy living conditions.

This is despite the fact that education “remains the greatest instrument for the socio-political and economic development of the country,” he said.

Saraki who was represented by the Chief Whip, Senator Olusola Adeyeye, said the circumstances which led to the death of the girls, is unacceptable, and cannot be allowed to happen again.

The committee resolved to embark on inspection of two unity colleges each in the six geopolitical zones of the country. The lawmakers would thereafter make recommendations for urgent upgrade of the schools.

In another development, the Senate Committee on Ethics yesterday began the screening of President Muhammadu Buhari’s nominees into the Code of Conduct Bureau.

The CCB board nominees are Muhammed Isa (Chairman, Jigawa State, North-West), Murtala Kankia (Katsina State, North-West), Emmanuel Attah (Cross River State, South-South), Danjuma Sado (Edo State, South-South), Obolo Opanachi (Kogi State, North-Central), Ken Madaki Alkali (Nasarawa State, North-Central), S.F. Ogundare (Oyo State, South-West), Ganiyu Hamzat (Ogun State, South-West), Sahad Abubakar (Gombe State, North-East) and Vincent Nwanne (Ebonyi State, South-East).

It should be recalled that the CCB nominations are not affected by the Senate’s resolution to suspend considerations of nominees pending the clarification of its powers of confirmation on the appointment of the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

CCB is listed in the constitution as one whose members require confirmation by the Senate, where the EFCC is not.


SOURCE: This Day

Nigerian Polytechnics hit by protest as ASUP embark on indefinite strike

The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, has commenced a “total and comprehensive indefinite” strike on Monday due to the federal government’s failure to fulfill the outstanding agreement made with the union.

The National President of the union, Usman Dutse, confirmed this.

According to the union president, there was a meeting between the union and ministry of labour on October 16 with an agreement to develop a memorandum of understanding to resolve the issues.

Federal Polytechnic, Oko students protesting ASUP strike
Federal Polytechnic, Oko students protesting ASUP strike. Photo: Ned Godleeds, The Bloomgist

“We were told by the federal ministry of labour that a memorandum of understanding will be given, but we’ve not gotten one till date and that is why our members say there is no seriousness on the side of the government.”

Mr. Dutse said another meeting with the federal government has been scheduled for Wednesday, November 15.

“All academic activities will be suspended during the strike,” he said.

“Our union is constrained to lament that our sector is on the verge of collapse and needs all the emergency attention it urgently deserves.”

Efforts to get a reaction from the Ministry of Labour on the strike were unsuccessful. Its spokesperson, Samuel Olowookere, did not respond to calls and text messages sent to him.

Meanwhile, Bloomgist is getting reports of students protesting the strike.

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Federal Polytechnic, Oko students protesting ASUP strike. Photo: Ned Godleads, The Bloomgist

According to a student reaching Bloomgist from the scene of the protests, Federal Polytechnic, Oko, the students demand the strike be suspended until the students finish taking their final exams and those that have finished be allowed collect their results, but the officials of ASUP, according to an eye witness, have maintained that there would be no activities in the school.

Earlier before the protest began, a student of the Polytechnic told The Bloomgist that there was a “heated argument” between the school management and the officials of ASUP enforcing the strike. Bloomgist learnt that the argument began when the school exam official asked the students to come inside the classes to take their exams, but the ASUP official who was there to make sure that the strike was enforced insisted that the students should go home, saying the school management doesn’t have the right to conduct any exam while the strike is still in place.

The protest which was participated by a large number of the students started early Monday morning; with the students initially being denied access into the school facilities.

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Federal Polytechnic, Oko students protesting ASUP strike. Photo: Ned Godleads, The Bloomgist

There was no sign of violence so far at the school and the atmosphere has returned to normal after the ASUP official gave a go ahead of the conduct of all the exams scheduled for today.


SOURCE: The Bloomgist and Agencies, with Additional Reports by Premium Times

 

Ghana starts free secondary school education for all government Schools

Community fund raises for woman accused of killing daughter’s rapist

A new programme of free secondary school education has started in Ghana.

Ghana starts free secondary school education for all government Schools
President Nana Akufo-Addo, sworn-in in January, promised free secondary school education as part of his campaign

This was a key campaign promise of President Nana Akufo-Addo who was elected last year.

The 400,000 students entering secondary school this year will also receive free textbooks, meals and other benefits.

The aim is to reduce the number of children dropping out of school.

Primary school education is already free in Ghana.

A BBC correspondent in Ghana says there is concern about how the cash-strapped government will fund the programme and whether the increase in students will lead to a deterioration in the quality of education.

Two SUG leaders suspended by OAU over N3.8m fight

The Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife has indefinitely suspended two students union leader over a clash.

The students are Vice-President, Jacob Tosin Grace and Director of Socials, Adedayo Afolabi Emmanuel.

It was learnt that the clash occurred while the union was deliberating on how to expend the sum of N3.8m released to the union by the school management.

According to a member of the union, Grace was displeased about how her colleagues wanted to disburse the funds and engaged in a physical altercation with Emmanuel.

A statement released on Friday by D.O. Awoyemi, OAU registrar, conveyed the notice of their suspension.

It read in part: “Following a report of physical manhandling received by the vice-chancellor involving two members of the students union central executive council on September 5, the vice chancellor is satisfied that the code of conduct for the university community has been breached.

“He has therefore decided to suspend the students alleged to be involved in the incidence until a full investigation is conducted to determine their level of culpability.”

JAMB to close Direct entry admission portal

The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says it will shut down its Direct Entry admission e-registration portal on Sept.15.

JAMB
FILE PHOTO: STUDENTS WRITING THE JOINT ADMISSION AND MATRICULATION BOARD COMPUTER BASED EXAMINATION AT YABA COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY IN LAGOS ON TUESDAY (20/5/14). 3115/20/05/2014/WAS/AIN/NAN

Dr. Fabian Benjamin, the Head of Media and Information of the board, said this in Abuja on Friday.

Benjamin urged the prospective candidates for the direct entry admission to register before the deadline, saying that the board might not extend the deadline.

He also advised the UTME candidates to re-upload their O’ Level results in the JAMB new portal as the one previously used did not allow for the capturing of candidates O’ Level grades.

He further said that the candidates should use JAMB’s approved Computer Based Test (CBT) centers for the exercise.

According to him, the new portal has provided a platform for the detailed categories of West African Examination (WAEC) results of candidates for proper placement.

“The first platform that was used for the exercise did not create room for the capturing of the levels of grades such as C4, C5, C6, B1, B2, B3 and A1.

“You know in some schools, all these O’ level grades are considered.

“You may have a B1 and another candidate has a B3. If there is no room for separating the grades in the platform, schools may not be able to ascertain the levels of grades.

“The first platform just stated “A”, “B”, “C”. So with this new platform, there will be room for the download of the levels of grades.

“Somebody who has a B1 will stand a better chance than the person with a B3.

“So, we use this new platform to capture all those detailed categories of WAEC result so that no grade of result will be left uploaded.’’

Benjamin, however, added that any candidate who felt that what he or she uploaded earlier was enough might not bother.


SOURCE: The Bloomgist/PM News

ASUU finally reach agreement with Federal Government

ASUU finally reach agreement with Federal Government

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has reached an agreement with the federal government.

ASUU finally reach agreement with Federal Government

The accord comes after a meeting, which lasted 12 hours, between the leadership of the union and a government delegation led by Adamu Adamu, minister of education.

Speaking with journalists at the end of the meeting, Biodun Ogunyemi, national president of ASUU, said the dialogue yielded “a concrete proposal”, but that the union would have to reach its members for a decision.

“Now we have some concrete proposal that we will take back to our members for consideration,” he said.

Also addressing journalists, the minister of education said the demands of the union had been taken care of and that it would call off its strike within a week.

Since ASUU embarked on strike on August 14, the government has held meetings with the union, which were deadlocked, until that of Thursday.

ASUU went on the strike owing to the failure of the government to implement the 2009 agreement it reached with the union.

The union is asking, among other things,  the government to pay its members their earned allowances and to increase funding for universities.


SOURCE: The Bloomgist/The Cable

440,000 candidates to write UTME in 2 days

JAMB finally releases cut-off marks for admission into tertiary institutions

The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has fixed the cut off marks for tertiary institutions.

Jamb releases the "Not Too Bad" 2017 UTME results

Ishaq Oloyede, registrar, JAMB, made this known on Tuesday at the policy meeting of the stakeholders of tertiary institutions in Abuja.

He said the stakeholders unanimously agreed that the minimum cut-off marks for university degree is to stand at 120.

The stakeholders, according to him, pegged that of polytechnic to be 100, colleges of education 100, while national innovative enterprise institution remained at 110 marks.

The registrar said the timelines for admission of first choice was October 15, while second choice would be December 15.

Oloyede also said 569,395 of the 1.7 million candidates that wrote this year’s UTME scored over 200 marks.

He said 23.8 per cent of the total number of the candidates scored below 160 marks.

Oloyede urged the heads of the various tertiary institutions to set their modalities for admissions exercises as it was not the board’s responsibility.

He said that no candidate without O’ Level prerequisite would be offered admission.

“JAMB has a Central Admissions Processing System (CAPS) to aid you on the admission exercises,” he said.

“CAPS will not replace admission processes of institutions. It will enable institutions to simply communicate with JAMB in a more dynamic and timely manner.

“It will also allow for flexible cut-off marks and candidates are allowed to make their choice of institution and course.”

The registrar, however, appealed to heads of institutions not to charge more than N2,000 for admissions’ processes.

In his remark, the minister of education, Adamu Adamu, commended the board for conducting the UTME.

According to him, the stakeholders have worked together to create synergy for advancement of education in the country.

“We restate our commitment to ensure expansion of access to students in our institutions,” he said.

“To ensure equity in regard to rural and urban areas; we are committed to refocusing our curricula to meet our development need.”

Adamu, however, advised heads of institutions to accommodate qualified candidates in the most transparent and flexible manner.

NAN reports that the meeting was attended by stakeholders in both public and private tertiary institutions.

ASUU strike: UNN, UniAbuja shuts down activities, join other schools

ASUU strike: UNN, UniAbuja shuts down activities, join other schools

Staff of the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) have joined the ongoing nationwide strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Monday.

ASUU strike: UNN, UniAbuja shuts down activities, join other schools

Ifeanyichukwu Abada, chairman of ASUU-UNN, made this disclosure at a news briefing on Wednesday in Nsukka, shortly after the union’s congress attended by members from Enugu and Nsukka campuses.

The union leader said members had unanimously agreed to join the nationwide strike declared by ASUU at the national level.

Abada said the congress noted with concern and disappointment the non-payment of academic allowances and the non-release of operational licence.

“Having exhausted all avenues to get the government to fully implement the 2009 FGN-ASUU agreement and the 2013 MoU, ASUU resolved to embark on a total, comprehensive and indefinite strike,” Abada said.

“Members are advised to adhere strictly to the directive of ASUU, on the ongoing strike, as defaulting members will be brought to book.

“Parents should know that we are fighting for them, as well as it is in the interest of students and we regret any inconvenience this strike may cause students and their parents.”

Similarly, the University of Abuja on Wednesday joined the nationwide strike.

Ben Ugheoke, UniAbuja ASUU chairman, told NAN that the academic staff took the decision to join the strike after a meeting with its members on Wednesday.

“We have domesticated the total indefinite strike. The strike is on now,” he said.

NAN reports that the situation in and around the campus shows that academic staff had abandoned classes while students were seen roaming about.

BREAKING: ASUU begins nationwide strike

ASUU begins nationwide strike | All universities on standby

Nigerian students are set for a lengthy stay at home as the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has embarked on an indefinite strike action.

BREAKING: ASUU begins nationwide strike

The lecturers decided to go on strike after an estensive deliberation at its meeting held at the University of Abuja from Friday.

Consequently, the union has directed all members against going to teach or involving themselves in any academic activity, Premium Times reports.

According to a statement signed by Biodun Ogunyemi, ASUU president, the union explored all means of negotiation before the decision to embark on an indefinite strike action was reached.

The statement is expected to be made public at a press conference in Abuja on Monday morning, the news-outlet revealed.

“The national executive council (NEC) of ASUU met at the university of Abuja main campus, Giri, on the 12th of August 2017 to consider the results of a referendum from all branches in a bid to ascertain ways of convincing government to implement outstanding aspects of the 2009 agreement and MoU of 2013,” it read.

“The result of the referendum showed that an overwhelming majority of the branches of our union voted for the strike.

“In the light of the foregoing, and having exhausted all avenues to get government to fully implement the 2009 FGN-ASUU agreement and the 2013 MoU as well as related demands, resolved to embark on a total, comprehensive and indefinite strike action commencing Sunday, 13th August 2017,” the ASUU president said.

Reports also have it that ASUU had earlier tasked its branches to conduct referendum among members on whether or not an indefinite strike should be called.

The position of the local branches on whether to proceed on a strike action was reviewed in the Abuja meeting which ended in the early hours of today, Monday August 14.

The overwhelming position of the local branches was consequently adopted.

Poor funding of universities, part-payment of salaries of lecturers and the kidnap of two lecturers of the University of Maiduguri by the Boko Haram are among major reasons for the strike action.

Edo University, Iyamoh was not established for the poor – Vice Chancellor

Vice Chancellor of Edo state university, Iyamoh, Prof. Emmanuel Aluyor, has revealed that the Edo state University was created to cater for the wealthy in the society.

Prof. Emmanuel Aluyor, said on Monday, in Iyamho-Uzairue, in the Estako-West local government area of Edo.

edo-university-1.jpg

He added that the idea behind the creation of the university is to provide world class education to academically gifted and the rich.

He said

“The idea behind the establishment of Edo University by the founding fathers is neither to replace nor compete with the existing Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma.
“But rather, to complement it in terms of providing world-class education with the best of infrastructure to academically-gifted students and the rich, who can afford the fees.
“People have questioned why former Gov. Adams Oshiomhole did not upgrade AAU, than establishing a new university altogether.

Edo University, Iyamho is a state government-owned tertiary institution founded in 2016 under Adams Oshiomole’s Goverment and it is located in Iyamho, a town in Etsako West local government area of Edo State, Nigeria.

Reps order ministry of education to return CRS as independent subject

Members of the House of Representatives at plenary on Tuesday discarded the government policy which assimilated Christian Religious Knowledge, CRK in Civic Education as a compulsory subject in the Secondary School curriculum.

This followed a motion titled “Call to make Civic Education an optional instead of a compulsory subject for Senior Certificate Examination”, filed by Hon. Beni Lar, from Plateau State.

The House, therefore, resolved to call on the Ministry of Education to remove the religious component from civic education as a subject.

No president student would be allowed school - President Magufuli

No pregnant student will be allowed school – President Magufuli

Any girl of primary or secondary school age that gets pregnant should say bye to school as President John Magufuli says such students will not be allowed to return.

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“In my administration, as long as I am president … no pregnant student will be allowed to return to school. We cannot allow this immoral behaviour to permeate our primary and secondary schools … never,” Magufuli said.

The highest rate of teenage pregnancy in the world — 143 per 1,000 girls aged 15–19 years — is in sub-Saharan Africa. Several non-governmental organisations and activists have risen over the years to help find a way for pregnant girls of school age to return to school. Such call is becoming louder in Tanzania where increasing incident of teenage pregnancy is threatening the country’s impressive literacy rate (one of the highest in Africa).

In 1961, Tanzania banned pregnant girls from attending state primary and secondary schools. Activists have maintained that expelled teenagers face widespread stigma, the possibility of being forced into early marriage and the challenge of providing for themselves and their babies. However, Magufuli maintained during a public rally late on Thursday in Bagamoyo, a coastal town north of Dar-es-Salaam.

According to a 2013 report by the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), more than 55,000 Tanzanian schoolgirls have been expelled from school over the last decade for being pregnant. Wealthier families are not really affected by the law as they are able to send their daughters to private schools which are not included in the 1961 ban. Majority of pregnant girls, however, end up looking for casual work.

Magufuli does not allow the big hammer land only on pregnant girls but also on men who impregnante them. He ordered police to arrest and prosecute them, saying convicted offenders could get up to 30 years in jail under the country’s sexual offences legislation.

“Non-governmental organisations that have been campaigning for pregnant girls to be allowed to continue with their studies at government schools should open private schools and enrol those teenage mothers,” Magufuli said.

UTME 2017: Jamb finding it difficult to decide cut off marks

​In a new statement, JAMB says it has yet to release cut-off marks for placements into tertiary institutions for 2017 academic year.

According to NAN, the Head, Media and Information, JAMB, Fabian Benjamin, said the policy committee meeting responsible for the determination of cut-off marks had not met.

“We want to appeal to all candidates to jettison such speculations and engage themselves in more meaningful ventures that would add value to their future,’’ he said.

Benjamin said results of the just concluded 2017 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) had since been released, with a few others still under review.

“”We want to appeal to Nigerians to understand that such candidates whose results are being previewed may not necessarily have participated in any malpractice.

“But rather, centres where they sat for the examination had issues during the conduct of examination.

“”These issues were reflected on the CCTV footage and this suggests why they must be carefully investigated before releasing such results,” he said.

“We urge candidates to note that no result will be withheld without a cogent reason as this explains why we are taking time to ensure that those who are innocent are exonerated.

“Again, candidates are advised not to patronise any centre, office or shop for any service; please visit our offices in all the 36 states of the Federation and FCT for any complaint, enquiry or assistance.

“This is also because our attention has also been drawn to an illegal centre being operated near our Ikoyi Office in Lagos with the aim of defrauding innocent candidates.

“This centre collects all kinds of fees in cash for services that are even free. The general public should note that payments for any of our services are done via our TSA account with CBN and not cash.

“Anybody or group of persons requesting for cash from you is not from us,’’ Benjamin added.

440,000 candidates to write UTME in 2 days

UTME: JAMB releases results of 1,048,914 candidates

Professor Is-haq Oloyede, the Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), yesterday in Lagos, said that out of the 1,648,429 million candidates writing the ongoing UTME,  the results of 1,048,914 have been released.

440,000 candidates to write UTME in 2 days

He said that in addition to the 1,048,914 results that have been released, over 30,406 results are also ready for upload before midnight today.

He said, “As at today, 1,648, 429 are taking our examination and we have released the result of 1,048,914. That is the result we have released up till yesterday.

“On the first day, we released the results of Sunday because anything you call CBT, the results are ready, but for environmental reasons, we do not release the results immediately.

“That is to ensure we go through the CCTV camera  to see whether there are report of malpractice and prevent the situation whereby those who do not pass become agitated at the CBT centres.

“We have released the results of Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and we are going to release today’s result before 12 midnight. This morning, the results of 30,046 will be release”.

When asked about the performances of candidates results so far, he said, “the candidates have not done badly from the results released so far. As soon as the last person finished writing the last paper today, we will upload additional over 30,406 results before 12 midnight today.”

He however explained, “we have now been able to catch those people who registered two people with the same names. The impersonator and the one being impersonated went in collaboration with the CBT centres after screening them.”

“Both the impersonator and one being impersonated used each fingers. While, the impersonator used two thumb fingers, the impersonated used eight fingers to register. Thus, we have ten registered fingers and the ten fingers were not from one person.

“In some centres, when we tested all their fingers, we discovered that they were impersonator who had used two of their fingers thumbs in both hands. “By next year, we may not use finger print, there are other technologies whereby with the technology, everything about the candidate is captured. We need to move in that direction.”