Five students drown during excursion
• By Baba Negedu
Anguish hung over Kaduna metropolis yesterday following the death of five students of Victory International Secondary School, Ungwan Yelwa, during an excursion. Victory International School is located at Television village, within Kaduna metropolis in Kaduna South Local Government Area. The incident occurred on Wednesday about midday at the Kaduna State Water Board pump station, near the Railway Station in the Kaduna metropolis.
It was learnt that about 73 Senior Secondary School (SS2) students went on the excursion after paying N500 each to the school authorities. The spot is said to be a regular excursion arena for many secondary schools. According to sources in the area, about two or three schools visit the area on a weekly basis.
The students, it was learnt, normally follow through the gangway and enter an iron boat, which moves them around. However, shortly after the students entered the boat part of the gangway collapsed, which pushed the iron boat into the river.
Ten of the students were said to be in the boat but only one person was able to swim out. Four others were later rescued by some students and local divers. Five of the students were said to have disappeared into the river. A man-hunt, involving the local divers, was lunched but as at the time of filling this report only two bodies of the five missing students had been recovered.
The victims’ names were given as Priscilla Romana, Goodness Aromilade, Monday Umahi, Joseph Benedict and David Ukegbu, four boys and one girl, aged between 14 and 16. Speaking on the development, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Aliyu Mukhtar, said: “We were informed about it and we swung into action immediately and we were able to rescue some of them, including two teachers. “As we speak, we are collaborating with local divers searching for the missing children.”
Source: New Telegraph
By Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin City and Victor Ifeanyi Uzoho
They were alleged to have collected between N11,000 and N20,000 for school uniforms as against N3,000 for Junior Secondary School and N4,000 for Senior Secondary School approved by the state government.
• School adds German language to syllabus in Ondo
Following their roles in the collection of illegal fees from students in four secondary school, principals in Edo State, who were last week suspended, have been demoted to classroom teachers.
They were also asked to refund the difference of the money they collected from students under the strict supervision of Post Primary Education Board.
They were alleged to have collected between N11,000 and N20,000 for school uniforms as against N3,000 for Junior Secondary School and N4,000 for Senior Secondary School approved by the state government.
The affected teachers were Glory Omorodion of Oka Junior Secondary School, Mrs. Victoria Okuonghae of Niger College Junior School, Mrs. Cecilia Isibor of Idogbo Junior Secondary School and Mr. Bright Omorogie of Idogbo Senior Secondary School.
Chairman, Edo State Post Primary Education Board, Mr. Gabriel Oiboh, announced the demotion of the teachers while giving report of the disciplinary committee set up to investigate them. He stated that the teachers were found guilty of collecting illegal levies having admitted during questioning by the committee.
Meanwhile in a bid to make its pupils educated in foreign languages and international relationship, Fourier International School, Akure, has embarked on training of its language teachers overseas for foreign studies.
Director of the school, Olumide Omosuyi, who spoke with The Guardian in Akure, said the school was exploring ample opportunities available in foreign languages for the development of the students.
Omosuyi reiterated the need for Nigerian schools at all levels to expose students at an early age to the studies of foreign languages, urging the ministry of education to prioritize it in the school curriculum.
According to him, “the school management has made it a policy to add German language to the study of English and French languages in the school syllabus so that the pupils can be proficient speakers of at least three international languages.”
The Director disclosed that the institution had set up a committee, which would oversee the training of some teachers in the school abroad with all expenses paid by the management.
“One of our teachers, Odidiomo Taiwo, who studied Linguistics from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, will soon leave for Germany for further studies in order to deliver on our mandate, which is to set an international standard and equip students for competition with their contemporaries not only in Nigeria, but also around the world,” he said.
Source: The Guardian
World Teachers’ Day and a profession in extinction
By Iyabo Lawal
As the World Teachers’ Day is marked today, Nigerian teachers look forlornly to a bright future as they suffer neglect, disdain and poor financial compensation from the trinity of governments, parents and employees. In this report, Head, Education Desk, IYABO LAWAL, examines how teachers’ pathetic situations contribute to dwindling education standards in the country.
The howling wind blew the dilapidated wooden windows with rage, slamming them against the cracked wall. The windows, almost torn out of their hinges, creaked in pain. The pupils struggled to keep their books on the rickety narrow desks.
The class teacher struggled to keep down his tie as it blew in his face. He tried to control the excited children as some of them ran after their books flying out of the classroom. By the time the wind calmed down, a scorching sun was already peeping through the gaping roofing sheets.
His stomach rumbled to the amusement of the pupils. He barked an order for them to keep quiet. Beads of sweat trickled down from the teacher’s forehead. It was unbearably hot. He fanned himself uncontrollably with the lesson book in his hand.
They too had begun to use their books to fan themselves. They were 94 crammed in a small room meant for 30 learners. As the day wore on, the teacher screamed out instructions as he scribbled on a charcoaled wall that served as the blackboard, backing the disillusioned children.
The school bell rang. It was closing time. The teacher heaved a sigh of relief – it was another frustrating day. It was 5pm and he had not had his breakfast. He checked his mobile phone, there was no bank alert. The government owed him and his colleagues eight months’ salaries. As usual, he grudgingly went to a nearby shop to grab a grub and added to his pile of rising debts.
“How many of you will like to be a teacher?” Mrs. Sekinat Adeyinka, teacher in a private school in Lagos, had asked her pupils during the school’s Career Day.
She got no response. Though a bit ashamed, she gave an understanding smile.
Today, it’s World Teachers’ Day but many teachers in Nigeria are not smiling. They have become the butt of jokes in their neighbourhood, at schools and anywhere else.
Nigerian teachers – especially those in primary and secondary schools – are poorly remunerated and work under some of the worst conditions imaginable. They are often held in disdain by parents, pupils and the government.
It is part of the collective derision of perhaps the country’s most prized human resources that it is said, “A teacher’s reward is in heaven.”
Little wonder, government-owned and many private schools are losing their best teachers to other sectors. The teachers feel ill motivated and least appreciated.
According Theodorah Ezugoh, teachers’ motivation is a way of empowering them on the job and “involves the perceptions, variables, methods, strategies and activities used by the management for the purpose of providing a climate that is conducive to the satisfaction of the various needs of the employees, so that they may become satisfied, dedicated and effective in performing their task.”
Ezugoh added, “In education, teachers should be motivated in order to boost their productivity, effectiveness, efficiency and dedication in performing their task, which will enhance quality assurance, quality education and quality instructional delivery in the educational system. This will also enhance the achievement of educational objectives.”
As noted in a research paper, ‘Teachers’ Motivation and its Influence on Quality Assurance in the Nigerian Educational System’, teachers are important instrument in education. They can influence the teaching–learning outcomes either positively or negatively “because they determine the quality of instructional delivery and also influence quality education when it comes to implementation of the curriculum and educational policies”. Teachers are the producers of tomorrow’s leaders.
While noting that quality assurance is a powerful means that can improve the effectiveness of education, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) said teachers’ motivation should be a priority of government’s policies with a view to enhancing quality education.
However, often times the relationship between the government and teachers has been that of protagonist-antagonist. Recent industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities illustrated that. Nobody knows when the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) will take to the streets to protest the unrelenting ill- treatment meted out to its members over the years.
This year’s World Teachers’ Day is expected to nudge the federal and state governments to pay more attention to the crumbling societal norms partially occasioned by ill-trained youths who nurtured by a bastardised educational system.
Poorly paid teachers, according to various studies, are more likely to absent from the classroom than well-remunerated ones. Ill-motivated teachers breed half-hearted students.
According to a 2013 survey (Global Teacher Status Index) examining attitudes to teachers around the world, teachers in China had the greatest respect from people in their country. It was the only country where people compared teachers most closely to doctors, with the majority of places opting for social workers, and in the case of the United States, Brazil, France and Turkey, librarians.
The United Kingdom and the US ranked in the middle of the GTSI, and were beaten by South Korea, Turkey, Egypt and Greece, which all valued their teachers more than any European or Anglo Saxon country. Israel was at the bottom of the index, which was based on a survey of 21 countries.
The latest findings of UNESCO are unsettling. New data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics showed that 617 million children and adolescents worldwide are not achieving minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics.
“This is the equivalent of three times the population of Brazil being unable to read or handle basic mathematics with proficiency. The waste of human potential signalled by the new data confirms that getting children into the classroom is only half the battle. Now we must ensure that every child in that classroom is learning the basic skills they need in reading and mathematics, as a minimum,” Silvia Montoya, Director of the UIS, said.
Sub-Saharan Africa has the single largest number – 202 million – of children and adolescents who are not learning. Across the region, nearly nine out of 10 kids between the ages of about 6 and 14 are not gaining minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics.
The data fingered the issue of education quality and what is happening within the classroom itself as some of the factors responsible for the problem.
Two-thirds of the children who are not learning are in school. Of the 387 million primary school-age children unable to read proficiently, 262 million are in school. There are also about 137 million adolescents of lower secondary school age who are in classrooms but unable to meet minimum proficiency levels in reading.
“The figures are staggering but they show the way forward. We know where these children live and go to school. They are not hidden or isolated from their governments and communities – they are sitting in classrooms with their own aspirations and potential. We can reach these kids but not by simply hoping that they stay in school and grasp the basics,” Montoya added.
Unfortunately, evidence also indicates that all students regardless of their background are “harmed academically” by poor teaching for three years running. Effective teachers who are committed and willing to teach to a diverse student population are essential to the success of a school and can make a difference in the lives of each student.
Qualified teachers are thus vital to quality education. However, according to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, in 31 of the 96 countries with data, less than 80 per cent of primary school teachers were reportedly trained according to national standards in 2014.
Following that, besides conducive environment and financial motivation, Nigerian teachers should be exposed to continuous capacity building.
Education experts also argued that teachers in rural areas – where quality of education is said to be lowest – should be the best compensated in those areas. More teachers are needed too.
Nigeria and other Sub-Saharan African countries face the largest teacher gap: it will need a total of 17 million primary and secondary school teachers by 2030. It is also the region with the fastest-growing school-age population. It is already struggling to keep up with demand: more than 70 per cent of the region’s countries face acute shortages of primary school teachers, rising to 90 per cent for secondary education.
In the next 14 years, countries must recruit almost 69 million teachers to provide every child with primary and secondary education: 24.4 million primary school teachers and 44.4 million secondary school teachers.
Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) demands inclusive and equitable quality education for all by 2030. The needs are urgent, with an estimated 263 million children and youth still out of primary and secondary school globally.
SDG 4 includes a specific call for more qualified teachers and more support from the international community for teacher training in developing countries.
According to the American National Education Association, depending on the state, high school teachers in the US get as much as $48,631. While the best-paid 10 per cent in the field made approximately $86,720, the bottom 10 per cent made $37,230. According to the group, compensation for American teachers is typically based on years of experience and educational level. Newly qualified teachers in England and Wales, for example, start on the main salary scale, which rises incrementally from £22,023 to £32,187, though salaries may be higher depending on location. Salaries on the main scale in Northern Ireland are said to range from £21,804 to £31,868. High school teachers in South Africa earn an average of R166, 068 per year.
National President of NUT, Michael Olukoya, in his assessment of the profession posited that looking at it from all angles, teaching is no longer safe.
He listed some of the challenges confronting the sector to include funding, infrastructural decay, outdated curriculum, insecurity and lack of capacity development.
The NUT boss said the theme of this year’s celebration, “Teachers in freedom, empowering teachers,” is to address some of these problems.
He said, “ It is for this reason that we are dedicating this year to plead with governments at all levels to address these challenges. We want the retirement age increased to 65 years, better funding for education and a review of the curriculum to be in tandem with technological and entrepreneurial education. We are also appealing to them to beef up security in all our schools to keep kidnappers away from our children. “
“Teachers should be celebrated by way of national awards, and should be exposed to local, national and international training to enhance their status and motivate them. As a gift to teachers this year, the sector must be sanitised, unprofessional teachers must be sent out, that is the only way to build system and add value to it, Olukoya added.
While the attrition rate of teachers may be a global phenomenon, the Nigerian government must introduce incentives that will attract the best people into the system.
We cannot hope to build a better country with a broken education system and poor quality of teachers.
Lagos Education District 1 marks Teacher’s Day with five-km fitness walk
Lagos State Education District 1 at the weekend commenced this year’s Teacher’s Day with a five-kilometre walk by teachers in the District. Leading the walk, Tutor-general/Permanent Secretary, Education District 1, Dr. Folayinmika Ayandele, lauded the commitment of Akinwunmi Ambode led administration on its concern towards capacity development of teachers in all ramifications.
The endurance trek which is tagged Building the Workforce took off at Government College, Iyana-Ipaja and ended at Agege stadium where other activities took place. According to Ayandele, Teachers’ Day is an international event to celebrate teachers for their roles towards national development. “A healthy workforce is paramount towards national development. So it is important to ensure the wellness of teachers which explains the concept of this 5-kilometre walk”, she said.
“You can see that they didn’t feel it, we were having fun and recognising the beautiful work done by our teachers. This is one of the intervention programmes for teachers by Lagos state Government as approved by His Excellency, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, and our Deputy Governor, Dr. Idiat Adebule to make our teachers fit so that they can have their position in national development”
The Tutor-General stressed on the significance of fitness walk to their profession. “We want to ensure that our workforce is free from ailments; so thirty minutes walk is not too much for us and not a one day-off thing”
She also stressed the need for the teachers to make it a regular event in their private lives. In a brief interview with journalists, Education Secretary, Agege Local Government Education Authority, Hon. Olamilekan Majiyagbe reiterated that the programme is relevant as the development of the body system is achieved through exercises. “Most of the teachers are engaged and don’t have time for exercise, this exercise is to promote their well-being and mental development. It is a means of motivating teachers on the importance of exercise in their daily life and create bonding among ourselves. Although, we have been doing it at LGEA level, but it’s the first time at District level and commendable”.
Similarly, the education secretary, Alimosho Local Government Education Authority, Honourable Airat Mojirade Alamu ,urged parents to complement the efforts of teachers by ensuring pupils’ punctuality to schools, saying that pupils need attention on healthy living and academics.
The event also featured march past and novelty match between Education District 1 and Local Government education authorities within the district’s jurisdiction.
The week-long teachers celebration will feature; seminar, staff rooms decorations by students among others
Education District 1 is made up of Agege, Alimoso and Ifako Ijaye Local Governments and their Local Council Development Areas.
Yoruba language bill: Lagos schools risk N500, 000 fine, closure for non-compliance
Lagos – The Lagos State House of Assembly is proposing a fine of N500, 000 or closure of any school that flouts its proposed law on compulsory teaching and learning of Yoruba Language, when passed. •
“A Bill for a Law To Provide for the Preservation and Promotion of the Use of Yoruba Language and for Connected Purposes’’ before the House seeks to make Yoruba language a core subject in schools.
Presenting a report on the bill on Thursday, the Chairman of the House Committee on Education, Mr Lanre Ogunyemi, said that it would enhance the preservation of the language.
According to him, the bill also recommends the translation of all the laws in the state into Yoruba language in order to get to its target.
The Assembly had previously made moves to make teaching and learning of Yoruba Language compulsory in both public and private schools in the state.
The House said that such step had become imperative to meet its target of preserving and promoting the indigenous language of the South West from going into extinction.
The bill states further that all state- owned tertiary institutions should incorporate the use of Yoruba Language in the General Studies (GNS) curriculum.
It reads in part: “The use of Yoruba Language shall be an acceptable means of communication between individuals, establishment, corporate entities and government in the state if so desired by the concerned.
“Any school that fails to comply with the provisions of Section 2 of the law commits an offence and is liable on first violation to issuance of warning and on subsequent violation be closed down and also pay a fine of N500, 000.” Ogunyemi later told newsmen that the committee might amend a provision in the bill which recommended that it should take effect after two years of its passage.
According to him, most of the lawmakers want the bill to become effective immediately after it is signed into law by Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode. The lawmaker added that the Assembly was passionate about Yoruba Language which necessitated its adoption for parliamentary debate on Thursdays.
“The National Policy on Education provides that the language of an environment should be spoken in schools, which is why Yoruba Language is being adopted for Lagos schools.
“After the passage of the bill into law, it would become compelling for schools to speak Yoruba Language. We want to preserve the language for generations yet unborn,’’ he said.
On compliance by private schools after passage, the lawmaker said that schools owners were part of the bill and that they were at meetings the committee held across the education districts in the state.
He added that private schools owners would have no choice than to key into the project as they have been properly mobilised, adding that the state Ministry of Education would ensure compliance. On the translation of the laws into Yoruba Language,
Ogunyemi said that this was to ensure that those that are literate in Yoruba language were carried along in the scheme of things in the state. The Speaker of the House, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, commended the committee, noting that the bill should take effect once signed into law by the state governor.
NAN reports that the House accepted the report as its resolution as the bill awaits third reading. (NAN)
The Lead Professional Developer of The Writers’ Corner [a group concerned with training pupils and teachers in writing], Uche Odoji, said the use of the social media by children was turning them into bad writers.
Udoji stated this during the week at the 2017 Rising Star Writing Competition Award in Lagos.
The competition, organised by TWC in conjunction with Vuvuzela Communications Limited, was to encourage children in both primary and secondary schools to become better writers.
Udoji said the children were asked to write an essay on the theme, “The beauty of nature,” and that over 540 entries were received from Lagos, Abuja, Anambra, Delta and Ogun states.
She said, “We are concerned that the writing culture is dying in Nigeria as a result of the social media. We have noticed how the online language is making its way into the class. Some children can’t write properly again.
“We are struggling with them using the words they use online in the class. Right now, some of them can’t punctuate properly, they write improperly. They are now using contracted words in their writings.
“These children probably think they are right because they see adults use those words online. It’s actually a big trouble for us, but we hope that through competitions like this, they can become better writers and readers.”
Udoji added that she hoped that more pupils from more schools and states would participate in the next edition of the competition, which would be the third organised by TWC.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic and Research, University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, who was the chairman of the occasion, said through his representative, Dr. Olusola Adekanmbi, that it was time parents created more time to train their children.
He said, “There’s room to do more in terms of educational development in the country. We teachers in particular and everyone in general need to do more. The government shouldn’t be totally blamed for the system’s collapse.
“We all need to play our part so as to move the country forward and to make sure it is reckoned with in the comity of nations. Parents too should be willing to put in more work and create time to train their children. They shouldn’t be running after money while they forget to train their children.”
The authorities of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) , Ile-Ife have directed the students to resume the second semester academic programme on Sunday, 1st October, 2017.
In a statement by its Public Relations Officer of OAU, Abiodun Olarewaju, the university 24th September earlier date have changed because of the parents’ call for repair of facilities in the hostels to make them conducive for students.
According to the statement, students are to come into residence on Sunday, 1st October and resume academic activities on Tuesday, 3rd October, 2017.
The statement further said: “We also wish to encourage our students to make the semester ‘aluta free’ by shunning any act or utterance that is capable of igniting a situation that can truncate a smooth academic calendar for the second semester. We wish all our students a safe trip to the campus and a successful semester.”