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Ibadan Polytechnic burns students’ phones

The management of the Ibadan Polytechnic has ordered  mobile phones worth millions confiscated from students during examinations be burnt.

The school decided to take the action to restate its commitment to fighting examination malpractices to the barest level

The Deputy Rector, Bayo Oyeleke, addressing told reporters the move was also aimed at ensuring that examination in the school is seen as sacred.

“We are here to take further action on our resolve to ensure that the crop of students and product being produced by the school are students with exemplary character and are those who really work and worth the certificate of the institution.

“There are rules guiding the principles of our examinations and one of it is that no student under whatever guise should come into the examination hall with cell phones but you know that some students are very recalcitrant

“We have resolved to confiscate them because it has been expressly stated on their examination paper that any phone found on any students during examination shall be confiscated and in order not to allow any of the phones to filter out, the school has resolved that such phones shall be burnt,” he said.

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Tech-U varsity critical to Nigeria’s Transformation — Makinde, Falola

Tech-U varsity critical to Nigeria’s Transformation — Makinde, Falola

FOR its unwavering devotion to functional education through emphasis on technology, entrepreneurship and technical skills, Nigeria’s premier technical university, First Technical University (Tech-U), Ibadan has been commended.

Continue reading Tech-U varsity critical to Nigeria’s Transformation — Makinde, Falola at Vanguard News.

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What govt must do in restoring teaching of History — STAKEHOLDERS

What govt must do in restoring teaching of History — STAKEHOLDERS

AFTER  decades  of proscribing the teaching of History as  a subject in schools, the Federal Government is set to commence the teaching in September.

Continue reading What govt must do in restoring teaching of History — STAKEHOLDERS at Vanguard News.

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Obaseki assures of durable infrastructure to complement reforms in primary schools …more schools to benefit from feeding programme

Obaseki assures of durable infrastructure to complement reforms in primary schools …more schools to benefit from feeding programme

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has assured of adequate infrastructure in public schools to complement ongoing reforms and improve access to quality education across the state.

Continue reading <h1>Obaseki assures of durable infrastructure to complement reforms in primary schools</h1> <h3>…more schools to benefit from feeding programme</h3> at Vanguard News.

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ACAN pledges professional training for architecture graduates

ACAN pledges professional training for architecture graduates

THE Association of Consulting Architects Nigeria has vowed to assist students who are studying architecture   in tertiary institutions transit into professionals.

Continue reading ACAN pledges professional training for architecture graduates at Vanguard News.

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Mother of 2 emerges best graduating student with 4.97CGPA

Mother of 2 emerges best graduating student with 4.97CGPA

Dayo Adesulu

MRS.Edafe Bawa-Dogo, a Business Education student and mother of two children has emerged Babcock University overall best graduating student with Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 4.97 out of the 62 first class in the 2018 graduates

Bawa who spoke with Vanguard said that her achievement of the academic feat was made possible by God. Tracing her success to her husband, two daughters and classmates, she described the role of her mother who is a retired teacher as massive.

Continue reading Mother of 2 emerges best graduating student with 4.97CGPA at Vanguard News.

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‘How Mobile Classroom App Inspires easy learning’

‘How Mobile Classroom App Inspires easy learning’

AN indigenous audio-visual learning application, Mobile Classroom App has been launched to enhance learning among students and to reduce challenges causing massive examination failure during examination.

Continue reading ‘How Mobile Classroom App Inspires easy learning’ at Vanguard News.

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Crisis looms in varisties over earned allowances

Crisis looms in varisties over earned allowances

CRISIS is looming in the universities over the alleged fraud in the sharing formula of the Earned Allowances among the unions in the universities. 

Continue reading Crisis looms in varisties over earned allowances at Vanguard News.

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Wanted: Radical approach to fixing education system

The challenges of the education system, the focus of a two-day summit in Lagos had stakeholders from home and abroad discussing how the country could devise a new system that would serve it well. KOFOWOROLA BELO-OSAGIE was there.

With over 10 million children out of school in Nigeria, poor level of teaching and learning in schools, inadequate number of qualified teachers, poor infrastructure, inefficient governance structure, and the attendant effects on the economy, stakeholders who gathered at the NEDIS Education Innovation Summit 2019 last week, debated radical solutions to the country’s education debacle.

The crucial role of the teacher in the education space, the place of the child at the centre of learning as well as ideas of a system that makes the two parties work smoothly came into focus during the summit which featured 50 speakers, two keynote addresses, and nine plenary sessions at The Zone, Gbagada Lagos last Thursday and Friday.

In addressing the theme: “Strengthening Education Systems; Delivering Effective Teaching and Learning,” senior government functionaries in the education sector, academics, teachers, regulators, researchers, innovators and others shared thoughts on various ways to make education work for the country.

Dr Oby Ezekwesili led the call for a radical change of the current education system, arguing that what presently operates in the country could not deliver the kind of talent Nigeria needed to get to her next level.

The former Education Minister under Olusegun Obasanjo administration said Nigeria’s education must evolve like it has happened in other parts of the world.

She said all members of the society had roles to play in making the education system run properly.

She said in an interview: “Attention has shifted to what the learner must learn in order that they can be the agency through which societal progress happens.  When you look at what has happened with the educational system in many societies including Britain which basically handed a certain kind of education system to us, you will realise that they have learnt historically that you must constantly change the purpose for which you are giving education to people.

“So we as a society have to upgrade the way we think of education. Education has to be something that makes us think quality and relevance. If we are thinking quality, relevance, it then means the structure and system of providing education must undergo a complete overhaul because today, it is absolutely not in sync with the kind of learning that children of this generation and those that will follow them require to be a part of a competitive world.”

To lift Nigerians out of poverty through education, Dr Ezekwesili said the education system must be able to deliver the kind of skills that can yield income.

“When you look at education as the means through which people are lifted out of poverty, it then takes a completely urgent mandate as a society because we know that data shows we are now the world capital of poverty with some 93 million of our citizens in poverty. Education being the pathway to gaining competencies and skills and the cognition to be able to have agency for what you as an individual can produce as your income, when it eludes too many people, it leaves them stuck in poverty.

“So the easiest pathway to conquering pernicious poverty is to make sure that we upgrade what education represents and provide the opportunity for people to access that level or component of education that gives them the capacity to be able to produce what can be exchanged to realise the income that lifts them out of poverty. So there’s the social progress of society, the economic progress of the individual that adds to the economic progress of the entire Nigeria,” she said.

NEDIS Convener, Dr Modupe Awofesu-Olateju, said Nigerians were doing a lot in terms of innovations in the education sector.  She spoke of the need to collaborate on such innovations to achieve scale that could reach more teachers and learners and improve the teaching and learning process.

“For us to build lasting innovating practices that are reaching many world children, it is important that we think deeply about how to systematically scale innovations that work,” she said.

 

Meeting learners’ needs

Keynote speaker, Mr Tom Rudmik, speaking on: “Education needs transformation, how do we See and Create the 2030 Future of Education that Nigeria Needs?, said the current learners must be able to see the future Nigeria and begin now to create that future.

He said Nigeria does not just need an improvement of its present system of education but a transformation to produce people who are future ready – ‘imaginal leaders’ who have a vision of a new future and can create it.

Rudmik, who has written a book, Becoming Imaginal, to explain his model of empowering learners to create the future they imagine, and runs a school, Master’s Academy and College in Canada, where the model is in operation, said when students are empowered and allowed to own their dreams without fear, along with developing skills relevant for the future, they would blossom.

To transform education in Nigeria by 2030, Rudmik advocated curriculum review.  He said schools must transform into places where profound learning takes place.  He said such system would integrate elements of personalization, digital connection, ubiquitous learning and creativity, and others.

He noted profound learning helps students retain 90 per cent of what they learn without the need to cram.

A professor from Oxford University, David Johnson, said it is important to evolve a system that allows students to be creative.  He said numeracy and literacy indices were inadequate to tell how much Nigerian learners knew or were learning.  He gave examples of children who may not know their maths yet know how to take measurements in the tailors’ shop or cut up meat into portions for sale in the butchers’ with appreciable level of accuracy.  He said while adopting new technologies in the classrooms may be attractive, they would not work without the fundamental knowledge children should learn.  He called for a system that recognises the various ways children learn and provides opportunity for them to be creative.

“Children learn in different modes.  Different modes of assessment should be considered.  Understanding learners’ flexibility is important. What is important is to enable schools to provide opportunities for problem solving, creativity, deductive reasoning ,” he said.

Founder, Unveiling Africa, Dr Chizoba Imoka, said Nigeria’s education system was failing learners because they were being educated without learning requisite skills they needed to function.  She said research for her doctoral thesis showed that Nigeria’s education system was inequitable and unjust – entrenching ethnic, religious rivalries right from school.

She also called for a restructuring of the education system to reflect local content and culture such that Nigerian children would have of their indigenous knowledge, history and culture to share in the world.  She lamented she was a victim of such broken education which did not help her to function uniquely when she went for further studies in Canada.

“When I got to Canada, I spoke fluent English but I could not talk about my culture, history, festivals.  I could not speak the Igbo language.  I could not share anything unique about Nigeria. What does education do for the Nigerian child?  Our problem cannot be quickly fixed. We are a country of at least 250 ethnic groups. We are a complex people; we need at least 250 perspectives to solve the problem we have,” she said.

 

Strengthening teachers’ capacity to deliver

As much as learners are important, Principal Consultant Leading Learning, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo, said teacher competencies must be addressed. She said the situation in Nigeria was so dire that both teachers and learners must be helped together.

“It is a chicken and egg situation.  Who comes first, the chicken or the egg? We cannot afford to ignore teacher development. Who are the people teaching our teachers? Our professors, many of them are far removed from teaching practice; they teach theories. What we need is that the college of education should be more vocational; more practical,” she said.

With the teaching profession not well remunerated in Nigeria, Mrs Adefisayo said the best of brains are not attracted to teach in schools. She said there was need for the government to wake up to its responsibility of teacher training and rewarding so the teaching profession is better respected.

“We cannot get away with teacher training; leadership and governance.  We focus too much on infrastructure.  The best teacher in the National Common Entrance Examination one year was one boy from Yola who was taught by a fantastic teacher under a tree,” she said.

Programmes Manager, Oando Foundation, Tonia Uduimoh, said teachers can be equipped to deliver.  She said the Foundation’s efforts training teachers in its over 80 adopted schools across the country was yielding results.

“Many teachers don’t know how to think because they have not been taught. If you equip the teacher, you will get direct impact of the training provided,” she said.

Ms Uduimoh added that Nigerian government needed to learn from Indonesia, which has similar demographics, yet invests heavily in education.

“There is a limit to what the private sector can do without government leading.  I traveled to Indonesia with other government officials on a tour of their education system. We have similar demographics with Indonesia.  It is a largely Muslim country with over 200 million population.  But they do not struggle with large number of out-of-school children like we do; there is quality control; and teacher development is prioritised.  The more you develop yourself, the more you are paid. Teachers in the rural areas earn twice as much as those in urban centres.  The country budgets 20 per cent of its GDP for education. Money is assigned for the education of every child; the government pays the salaries of private school teachers,” she said.

On her part, Principal/CEO Olumawu School and Polyphony Group, Abuja, Mrs Felicia Jackson, put the responsibility for teacher development on the laps of the teachers themselves.  She said if teachers viewed themselves as life-long learners, they would constantly update their knowledge.

In her school, Mrs Jackson said teachers are challenged to learn new things and share among themselves on regular basis.  As school head, Mrs Jackson said she keeps learning new things and organising in-house training for her teachers.

“My duty and responsibility is to teach my teachers. When I see my teachers need to learn something, I go to learn the new skills and train them.  I do not believe I have to get an external consultant to train teachers; we do it together.  I tell my teachers you have to be the trained expert in the room.  We are the hospital for education,” she said.

Teach for Nigeria Fellow, Henry Anumudu, said teachers can do a lot for themselves.  He also said teachers should learn to blow their own trumpets to improve the image of the teaching profession so it can attract passionate people.  He said he started a blog to do this and had got responses from readers who now want to be teachers.

“The teaching profession suffers from real bad PR.  It is not attractive at all. A big solution is for teachers to tell their stories  of impact, joy, stories of happenings in the classroom. Until we are able to influence popular culture, this denigration will continue,” he said.

Executive Secretary of the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), Prof Josiah Ajiboye, said with the agency now licensing teachers, there would be sanity in the teaching profession.  He said by December, non-qualified teachers would be flushed out of the profession.  Until then, he said teachers within the system should register with the agency, write the qualifying examination and get their licences, which would recognise them as qualified teachers in Nigeria and beyond.  Though Nigeria had the lion share of teacher deficit in Sub-Saharan Africa, Ajiboye said purging the system of quacks was a first step in the right direction before addressing the problem of teacher quantity.

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Applause for Kellogg’s scholarship awards

Kellogg Tolaram Nigeria, makers of Kelloggs Coco Pops has awarded scholarship to 50 pupils who excelled in the Kellogg’s Tolaram Superstar contest – a competition aimed at improving their writing skills.

During the presentation of the awards, the Director-General, Office of Education Quality Assurance, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Mrs Ronke Soyombo, praised the firm for the initiative.

“It is crystal clear that Kellogg’s Tolaram essay competition and reward initiative was borne out of passion and will no doubt contribute to the ever-expanding educational status of Lagos State and Nigeria,” Soyombo said.

The Contest which began in March 2019 reached out to more than 1.8 million pupils in about 12,000 schools across Rivers, Lagos and Oyo states to write on the topic: “What makes you a Kellogg’s superstar?”

The winners read their essays to the audience which comprised of parents, school representatives, Ministry of education officials, National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), and a member of the Federal House of Representatives, Mrs. Tolu Akande- Sadipe.

Chairman NAPPS, Lagos State Chapter, Mr. Wasiu Adumadeyin, said the firm’s gesture would have far-reaching impact on the economy.

He pledged unflinching support of the association to any organisation that promotes a better tomorrow for Nigerian children.

General Manager, Kellogg Tolaram, Mrs. Vani Malik       said the “programme follows a holistic developmental approach, which begins with making sure children have the best start to their day by getting a complete breakfast option through Kellogg’s various cereal variants while also encouraging them to identify and improve their inherent academic skills in the area of writing.”

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Academy rewards 800 gifted pupils in Southwest

Academy rewards 800 gifted pupils in Southwest

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

Over 800 primary and secondary school pupils in the Southwest were honoured by the International Academy for the Gifted (IAGifted) for excellent performance in the American Mathematics Competition (AMC) and the Kangarou Sans Frontiers (KSF) in the past year.

They were presented with medals at an event held at the Ambassadors School, Ota, penultimate week.

National coordinator of the Academy, Mr Oyebola Fabowale, said the awardees ranging from primary school pupils aged seven, to teenagers in senior secondary school, had recorded scores that put them in good standing internationally.  It meant that they achieved 50 per cent and above in the competition which is taken by children of similar ages in over 100 countries of the world and are therefore gifted.

“These ones have competed favourably with their peers and brought the glory not only to their schools but to Nigeria,” he said.

Consultant for IAGifted, Prof Adewale Solarin, said by encouraging young children to participate in the competition, Nigeria was gradually grooming pupils who could win medals in the international mathematics Olympiads.

“AMC is the process they follow to be able to win medals in International Maths Olympiads.  We achieved the goals we set.  All the Nigerians getting medals in the Olympiads participated in the AMC.  By 2015 we included the KSF which started right from Primary One because we realized that waiting till they get to secondary school may not be too advantageous.  The genesis of participating in AMC 8 was when I found that children from Asia aged seven were getting 24 out of 25.

“This year, we have two Nigerian children trained here who scored 24/25,” said the professor of algebra.

Solarin, the former Director-General of the National Mathematics Centre (NMC), also specially acknowledged a pupil of Ambassadors College, Faith Oluwatamilore Odunsi, a medalist, who had also won two medals in the Pan African Mathematics Olympiad (PAMO).

Besides coordinating the AMC and KSF in Nigeria, Mr Fabowale said the Academy organizes training for teachers all over the country.  He said teachers get to update their knowledge and methods from such trainings, adding that they would also be able to help their pupils do better in Mathematics.

He said many of those who excel in the AMC and KSF were not necessarily thought to be the best in their schools until discovered by the Academy’s assessment.  He said it was important to discover gifted children so they could be supported to fulfill their potentials.

“A gifted child is not necessary the brilliant one.  A gifted child should be able to go extra mile; you want to see trace of something unique; something special – in the sense that they bring out a kind of innovation; something that tends to be unbelievable as it were perhaps in the area of engineering, sciences, even in the arts.  So what you do or what stakeholder should crave to have now is making sure you expose them to many challenges,” he said.

Gold, silver, bronze medals, and certificates of achievement, distinction and honour roll of distinction were rpesented to the pupils depending on their performance.  Schools which produced top three pupils who scored a total of 66 were also presented with certificates of merit.

Parent of one of the star pupils, Mrs Christiana Ojeli, was impressed that her son, Dominion, a JSS3 pupil of Imperial Lite College, Gowon Estate, could win a medal, considering that he was not regarded the brightest in his class.

Dominion’s teacher, Mrs Adetutu Bailey, said she was surprised about Dominion’s performance.

“I was surprised when I saw it.  When the result came, they said Adejare Mayowa snd Dominion Ojeli were the best in our school.  I would not have picked him among my top students.  This shows that any child can do well,” she said.

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NUJ chairman advises pupils

The Lagos State Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Dr. Quasim Akinreti has given members of the Model Press club and Model Anti-Aids club of the African Church Model College (ACMC), Ifako Ijaye tips on how to be good journalists.

The chairman gave the advice at the 6th Annual dinner of both clubs themed ‘Relaunch of the Footprints’ in honour of their outgoing SS3 students.

He said: “The sky is your limit. To be a good journalist, you need to know history. You need to read widely, literature, novels. You do not have to work for anybody; you can be a media entrepreneur. You must be able to write well, speak good English-Queen’s English not adulterated English. As a journalist, you are a master of all trades”.

He further encouraged them to learn the French language as three-quarter of the world speak it.

The coordinator of the clubs, Mr Olumide Renner earlier in his welcome address said the dinner was a forum for the club members to learn how to make a better Nigeria.

“Unfortunately, the change we craved for seems to have eluded us. Yet we must not despair but continue to hope for a better tomorrow amidst the challenges we face. If Nigeria must be great again and it will, it would be achieved through the next generation not this corrupt generation. It is for the purpose that the clubs through a forum like this teach leadership skills by interacting with experts in various fields.”

An ex-student of the school, now a certified theatre artiste from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Shedrack Olowomeye, thrilled the students with a dance performance.  He also advised them to follow their dreams.

He said: “Your life starts now, follow your hearts. Do not let anyone talk you down. Also, know that you should be careful what you use social media for. Use it well,;connect with good people, put yourself out there for business and worthwhile connections.”

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Make Igbo compulsory in schools, says Ohanaeze

Ohaneze Ndigbo, the apex Igbo cultural organisation has urged the Anambra State House of Assembly to enact law to make Igbo language a compulsory subject in all primary and secondary schools in the state.

The Anambra State chairman of the body, Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene, said this in Awka at the grand finale of Igbo quiz competition organised by Otu Igbo Adigo for all primary schools in the state.

He regretted the steady decline of Igbo language among the people of the area, describing the trend as a serious threat to their root and identify.

He said making the subject compulsory in all primary and secondary schools would save the language from going into extinction.

He said: “Igbo people are experiencing a gradual decline in the use of their mother language and culture.

“Enacting law that will make Igbo language a compulsory subject in all primary and secondary schools in the state will go a long way to checkmate the trend.”

Also speaking, Chairman, Anambra State Universal Basic Education Board (ASUBEB), Chief Patrick Ugboaja pledged the board’s readiness to partner Otu Igbo Adigo group in its quest in promoting Igbo language.

He called on teachers and parents to encourage children to speak the language with pride at home, in schools, worship centres and other places to enable it assume its rightful position in Nigeria.

On his part, Head, Department of Linguistics Igbo, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam, Dr. Obiageli Nsolibe, explained that the Igbo quiz competition would inculcate the culture of Igbo language in the pupils.

She added that her department had Igbo books for use at different class levels to promote and preserve the language.

Earlier, the President, Otu Igbo Adigo, Lady Jane Chukwujindu, said the competition was targeted at rekindling and sustaining children interest in Igbo language.

“We need to do something urgently before Igbo language will go into extinction within the next 50 years as predicted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

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Sundry Misusages XVII: No fewer than . . . plus more

In this edition, we address the rest of Mr. Oyawale Bestmann’s randomly selected posers, which should interest many other users of the English language, if only for clarification. Let’s go:

No fewer than: You use no fewer than when you find the number of something surprisingly high. Example: “No fewer than 50 professors attended his inaugural lecture.”

Much/many:  Much means “abundant, ample, considerable, copious or plentiful,” and it is used to qualify uncountable nouns, as in: “The class governor commands much respect among his mates.” But many stands for “numerous, countless, several or a lot of,” and it is used to qualify countable nouns, as in: “Many Nigerians watched the match.”

As and when due: The Standard English idiom is: as and when. But as and when due is correct usage, just like as and when needed or desired. However, avoid the common error as at when due, because it is pure syntactic bedlam to say at when. By definition and function, the word when embeds at. When means “at what time; at the time at which” (Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary). And the related idiom as and when (if and when in the US) means “at the time something happens” (ibid.). The dictionary illustrates thus: “We don’t own a car – we just rent one as and when we need it.”

 

In/on the African continent: In the continent and on the continent are correct expressions, depending on the context and the purport of the message. Thus, all of the following are correct usages: Governance in the African continent is not people-centred; Lake Victoria is roughly in the centre of the African continent; The DRC is one of the most richly-endowed countries in the African continent; The hottest spot on the African continent is likely to be in the Sahara Desert; Wole Soyinka is a most familiar face on the African continent; South Africa is on the southern tip of the African continent. It is similarly correct to say that Nigeria is on the West African coast. These usages show that in and on could have been used interchangeably in most of the expressions, though one may be more appropriate than the other in some. For example, it is clumsy to say Nigeria is in the West African coast.

African heads of state/African heads of states: Correct usage is African heads of state. Note similar examples, viz: commanders-in-chief; secretaries-general; governors-general; heads of mission; postmasters-general; chiefs of staff; sergeants-at-arms; controllers-general and the like. Add the following: chief whips; senior boys; senior girls; head-girls; girl-children; head-teachers. Sometimes later, we will discuss the rules for pluralising these kinds of expressions.

On the one hand . . . and on the other/on the other hand: On the one hand … and on the other hand is a Standard English expression “used when you are comparing two different facts or two opposite ways of thinking about a situation” (ibid.). Avoid the contraction … and the other.

Magistrate’s court/magistrates’ court: Correct usage is magistrates’ court. This columnist’s barrister-daughter confirmed this, and that makes the matter an issue of correct professional register, not just a matter of grammar.

Between . . . and/between . . . to/From . . . to: Correct usage is between one thing and another. It is not correct to write between something to something. Mistakes occur mostly when indicating dates, with expressions like between 7 – 18 August, instead of between 7 and 18 August. Perhaps many do not know that the sign – stands for to. And when you write from one date, link it with the other date by the preposition to, NOT the sign -. Here is what we mean: from 7 to 18 August, NOT from 7 – 18 August.

Concerted efforts/concerted effort: The more conventional usage is concerted effort. Concerted implies singularity, a collapse of several actions into one for the same purpose. The dictionary says: concerted as an adjective means “planned or done together for a shared purpose” and that it “describes an effort or attempt that is determined and serious” (ibid.). Just as there can be a concerted effort, there can be a concerted campaign, a concerted exercise or a concerted gesture – all indicating a determined singular act for a shared aim..

Swearing/swearing-in ceremony: As a noun, swearing means imprecation, execration or cursing, and as a present continuous verb, it means imprecating, execrating or cursing. It should thus not be confused with swearing-in used to qualify ceremony here. Swearing-in, on its own, is a noun used to refer to the act of oath taking by someone, usually when assuming public office. And when swearing-in qualifies ceremony, it is functioning as an adjective describing the type of ceremony. So, while it is correct to say I attended his swearing-in ceremony, it is not correct to say I attended his swearing ceremony. Just like you can say his swearing-in is tomorrow, but NOT his swearing is tomorrow.

Compliment/complement: These look-alikes and sound-alikes are different in meaning and function, considered either as verbs or nouns. When you complement (verb) something, you add something to it or combine something with it to make it better, and when something is a complement (noun) to something, it is an addition to improve it. When you compliment (verb) someone, that means you praise him, and when you present your compliment (noun) to someone, that is showing him respect and admiration.

10th anniversary/10th year anniversary: The former is the correct usage. The latter is incorrect, because the word year is tautological and therefore redundant, as the idea of year is embedded in the word anniversary. Anniversary is a derivative of the Latin word anno, which means year.

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Foundation reiterates commitment to Montessori ideals

Foundation for Montessori Education in Nigeria (FMEN) held its second Annual General Meeting (AGM) with members promising to pursue more social-impact projects to drive the Montessori vision.

Its Board of Trustees (BOT) Chairperson , Mrs Bimpe Pogoson, said at the event held at Chevron Club Gbagada that FMEN had recorded successes in capacity building of parents from low-income backgrounds; training of teachers through its Montessori training centre, and provision of Montessori teaching resources for schools in the past year.

She said: “For certain, we have had quite a few successes. We are basing what we are doing here on three pillars that the association itself has – to promote Montessori legacy; promote capacity to get people to better understand more about Montessori; and also the outreach bit.

“In regards to legacy, we have signed an agreement with a company that publishes Montessori books for us to bring in our books at a discounted price to our members and general public in Nigeria. We have a library that is going to be accessible, not just to students of the training centre but also members of the public and Montessori teachers who want to quickly read something about Montessori, they can quickly buy a book here.”

In the coming year, another trustee, Mrs Nonye Emafo, said FMEN would organise seminars on child safety and protection; Montessori training for interested members of the public, as well as collaborate with Nobelova Gradini in training teachers to recognise special needs children early.

She also spoke of the need for FMEN Schools to align their calendar with the one prescribed by the Lagos State Ministry of Education, and the benefits of their membership with the Joint Association of Private Schools in Lagos (JAPSIL) which gives them access to the government.

On her part, the Treasurer of the Foundation, Mrs Yinka Awobo-Pearse, said the Foundation raised a total of N3.5 million for its Aid to Life Project, which takes Montessori training to the grassroots. In the course of the year, Mrs Awobo-Pearse, said the project was implemented in three Local Government Education Authorities – Agege, Ikorodu and Kosofe.

She added that it cost N6,000 to train each of the 444 participants – with the cost covering picture books, goodie bags, food, and other gifts distributed to participants.

With the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LSUBEB) approving the implementation of the Aid to Life project in the remaining 17 LGEAs, Mrs Awobo Pearse appealed to members for funds to be able to conduct the three-day training in the various venues.

She said: “We have approval to go into all 20 LGEAs in Lagos State so we have been to Agege Local Government; we had that in September; we have been to Ikorodu, February. Just last few days, we were in Kosofe Local Government Area. We run three days of parenting session, talk to parents about four main areas- movement, communication, independence and self-discipline. These four areas are the basis of education so we believe that if parents can support the natural development of their children at home in these areas, when they get to school, the children do very well.”

Speaking on future social projects, a trustee, Mrs Bola Benson, said the Foundation would explore how to provide some form of classes for out-of-school children found within markets, starting with Sura Market on Lagos Island.

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FUNAAB VC warns contractors

The Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Prof Kolawole Salako, has read the riot act to contractors executing projects in the University to either deliver on the projects or be replaced.

Salako gave the warning while leading Principal Officers and other top management staff of the University on an inspection tour of various project sites on campus.

“I am highly concerned about the slow pace of some contractors, particularly for projects that we met on ground. We thought that we should have completed them by now as they have gone beyond their delivery dates and they are not yet completed so I am trying to sensitise members of the community to let us know where we are. By Wednesday, I will be meeting the contractors to tell them how we feel about the pace of work and to also hear from them what they feel about us in terms of the administration of the project”.

Inspecting the recently rehabilitated bridge close to the University main gate, Salako, who has sent about 30 months in office, condemned the dumping of refuse into water channel, which he said was capable of blocking the channel.

He admonished residents, shop owners and commuters along the bridge to discontinue the practice which caused the collapse of the road before  rehabilitation was done by the University.

Projects inspected included the Academic Building Complex Blocks A and B, College of Plant Science and Crop Production (COLPLANT) Building Phase II, Maternity Clinic, Postgraduate Students Hostel II, Refurbishment of the Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Development and Sustainable Environment (CEADESE) laboratory, bakery building, NEEDS Hostel Block III, Agricbusiness Incubation Centre and two km rural road construction project among others.

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World Education

Osinbajo: Basic Education is a must

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said parents who withdraw their wards from school risk prosecution.

He spoke at a symposium by the Obafemi Awolowo University formerly known as University of Ife (UNIFE) Economics Class 1979, held in Lagos.

He said state governments had no excuse not to provide children the basic education in the first nine years of their lives as the Federal Government was collaborating with them to ensure basic primary education for all children for the first nine years.

In his paper, “Human Capital Development for Economic Growth”, Osinbajo said President Muhammadu Buhari had provided the enabling support, backed by law for the success of basic primary education.

“Free and compulsory education shall be provided every child in the first nine years of their lives and this is backed by law,” he said.

Osinbajo said the major problem facing the country was poverty, noting that with education the margin could be reduced when stakeholders work to raise the bar.

He said the school feeding programme jerked up enrolment, noting efforts should be made to curtail dropouts in primary and post primary schools.

Presently, he said the government was investing in teacher training to boost high quality teaching in primary  schools.

“The quality of teachers has a greater way of enhancing education. We are working with relevant institutions to improve teachers’ potentials for capacity building and economic growth.”

The Keynote speaker, Chief Bisi Ogunjobi, in his speech on: “Alternative Approach to Financing Public University Education for Effective Human Capacity Development”, said the proliferation of universities was currently undermining education development.

He said some of the licensed private universities do not have the funds to sustain good and quality education, adding some of them were looking towards making profits which was often elusive.

“Funding education has become an issue because you need teachers and other logistics to facilitate good research and education. The number of private universities has skyrocketed with appalling consequences,” he said.

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World Education

Make impact, Sanwo-Olu urges corps members

LAGOS State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has advised corps members posted to the state to see their posting as a challenge to contribute to societal development.

Speaking during the close of the orientation programme for Batch B Stream 1 corps members at the Iyana Ipaja National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Orientation camp on Monday, Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the Secretary to the State government, Mrs Folasade Jaji, said: “Your place of primary assignment should be viewed as a challenge to contribute to the overall socio-economic and political development of our state and the nation as a whole.”

The Governor also urged the corps members to utilize the vocational skills learnt under the Skills Acquisition programme so they could qualify for loans under the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF).

In his speech, State Coordinator, NYSC Lagos, Mr Sunday Aroni, praised the corps members for their comportment during the three-week orientation course.  He admonished them to be good citizens and avoid spreading fake news through the social media.

“Permit me to use this occasion to admonish my dear corps members to avoid the abuse of social media, broadcast of false news and hate speech in line with the Federal Government’s efforts at containing avoidable crisis in our nation,” he said.

Speaking on his experience in camp, visually-impaired corps member, Oladipo Emmanuel, said he got a lot of support and did not find being in camp intimidating.

The Mass Communication graduate of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) said he wants to spend his service year impacting children positively.

“I want to go into social development and I want to see how I can cater for the less privileged children.  I want to go into children’s ministry,” he said.

Another corps member, Chidinma Onwuyili, a Modern European Languages graduate of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU), Awka, described the time in camp as interesting time for learning.

She however said the camp accommodation was cramped though effort was made to keep the environment clean.

“It was a wonderful experience full of learning.  I wish the number of bunks in the rooms would be reduced.  There were 18 bunks in my room.  It made the room too compact and stuffy,” she said.

At the closing ceremony for Batch B Stream 1 corps members posted to Ogun State in Sagamu, the NYSC State Coordinator, Dr Belinda Faniyi appealed to potential employees to receive them warmly and provide for their needs.

She said: “I will like to appeal to employers of corps members and community leaders to help receive them warmly so that they can settle down quickly, as first impression matters.”

“I also want to appeal to those organisations that enjoy the services of corps members but are yet to provide basic needs like accommodation, medical care, transport to and from places of primary assignments, among others to reconsider their stance and be more emphatic about these youths who have left their family behind to obey the clarion call for the service of fatherland.”

Dr Faniyi said the corps members had been exposed to various skills as part of NYSC skill acquisition and entrepreneurship development (SAED) initiative, aimed at making young graduates self-reliant and job creators.

Thanking various sponsors for their moral and financial backing, Belinda praised Ogun State Governor Prince Dapo Abiodun, for directed that the NYSC should present its challenges to the government.

Abiodun expressed optimism that the Batch ‘B’ Stream corps members would spend the 11 months in partnering the state to attain greatness.

Abiodun, who was represented by the permanent secretary, Ogun State Ministry of Youth and Sports, Peter Fagbohun, urged the corps members to be good examples to young people in the communities they are posted to.

“I am aware of the many entrepreneurship and skill-acquisition and motivational lectures that were organised for you in the course of your induction. It is not only to sensitise you, but to prepare you for post service self-employment. I also enjoin you to be role models to other youths in your host communities by putting into practices those virtues and skills you have acquired in the course of this induction. As agent of positive change, you have a task to transform them positively and in still in them those qualities need for tomorrow’s leaders.”

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World Education

‘Our children trek miles to school’

Residents of Federal Housing Estate, ‘33’, Onitsha suburb, Anambra State, have lamented lack of primary and secondary schools in the area.

They said their children trekked far distances to access schools, wondering why an estate of such a magnitude could exist for years without educational facilities.

They called on government to come to their rescue by siting primary and secondary schools in the area to reduce the risks the children were exposed to.

One of the residents who simply identified herself as Mrs Okereke, told The Nation that the absence of schools in the area have compelled some parents to relocate to areas where their wards would easily have access to schools.

Okekere, a mother of three, said her children risked their lives on daily basis to access schools outside the estate.

She said, “It sounds strange that a Federal Government project of this magnitude as Federal Government Housing estate has no primary and secondary schools.

“Every morning, my three kids trek to schools outside the estate at their own risk because government at the state and federal levels cannot provide schools for children of the area.

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“Some trek to Oyolu primary school and Nkwelle-Ezunaka High school that are outside this our domain risking their lives on daily basis.

“I appeal to Governor Willie Obiano and Commissioner for Education to do something about it urgently because it is our children, not Federal Government children that suffer it.”

A teacher, who preferred anonymity, lamented the untold hardship they were subjected to as a result of absence of primary and secondary schools in the area.

She said: “As a teacher, I know what it takes me to go out of this place to another school to teach because there is no primary school here, not to talk of a secondary school.

“Some parents have even parked out of the estate to areas where their kids will have easy access to schools so they will not be in trauma whenever their kids go to school.”

Also speaking, the state chairman of Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Comrade Vincent Ezekwueme, said many children had been victims of various accidents because of the long commute.

“The problem of lack of primary and post primary schools in the area has resulted in school children falling victims of ghastly auto accidents, molestation and kidnapping as they trek far distance to schools.

“I advise the governor and education commissioner to visit the area and see things for themselves.

“They will discover that for years now, the residents have been without schools and they need not to be told the hazards of trekking outside one’s domain to acquire educational knowledge,” he said.

Ezekwueme also called for the establishment of blind and talented schools for both indigent, physically challenged but brilliant students in the area.

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World Education

Kebbi govt upgrades three colleges

In an effort towards expanding access to tertiary education, the Kebbi State government has upgraded three of its schools to colleges.

Permanent Secretary, Ministry for Higher Education Dr Isah Muhammad Sama, said at a press conference held at the ministry’s conference hall in Birnin Kebbi that the three schools were: Adamu Augie College of Education Argungu, Kebbi School of Nursing and Midwifery, now called College of Nursing; and the School of Health Technology Jega to be known as College of Health Sciences Jega.

The upgrade according to Sama was reached at the Kebbi State Executive Council meeting held May 22 and has the backing of the amended law number 5 of 1993.

He adding that, the upgrade would allow the colleges to offer degree programmes on their own or through affiliations with various universities to meet demand for more degree awarding institutions.

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Dr sama also noted that the upgrade of Adamu Augie College of Education Argungu met the requirements of National Universities Commission (NUC) and the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE).

Sama said the College of Nursing will now offer courses like pediatric nursing, Geriatric nursing, flight nursing and preoperative (Theatre) nursing, A&E nursing management among others.

With the upgrade of the College of Health Sciences Jega, Sama said the institution, which already offers courses in laboratory technicians, pharmacy, can now go up to Higher National Diploma (HND) level, which would allow its graduates participate in the mandatory one year national service.

Sama praised the Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagaudu, for his foresight.