Tag Archives: Education

Ambode Harps on Capacity Building to Boost Teaching, Learning

Ambode Harps on Capacity Building to Boost Teaching, Learning

Gov Akinwunmi Ambode

Funmi Ogundare

The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode has expressed confidence about the rapid infrastructure growth and strategies of the state, saying that this could only be sustained by corresponding capacity building to enhance teaching and learning.

Ambode, who made this known recently at the inauguration of the Girls’ Junior Model College, Agunfoye, Ikorodu, said the new school was to further drive the ‘Change Lagos’ initiative of his administration.

Represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Oluranti Adebule, he said the administration has invested in the future of the children of the state through strategic reforms and planning in the education sector to ensure that their potential to compete favourably with their peers globally is assured.

“Upon the take-over of the school from the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), the state government invested substantially in the provision of infrastructure and facilities towards meeting the set standard.”

He expressed delight that the intervention of government in the education sector has been yielding positive results as evidenced in improved students’ performance in examinations, national/international competitions, as well as improved morals, etiquette and confidence in public speaking.

Speaking to journalists, Adebule said the move is about commitment and ensuring that education is accessible particularly to the girl-child.

“We understand that as a government, we have new developments coming up in the environment to make education available to children. The girl-child has a special place in the heart of the governor because we know that giving them a conducive environment will make them to do better.

“We know that a conducive environment for learning with the best of teachers around them, they will do excellently well. We have that conviction and that is why we have inaugurated this school which was established in September 2017. It is about excellence and learning,” the deputy governor stressed.

The inauguration of the college brings the number of existing model colleges in the state to 16 and the second model college for girls.

The Chairman, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Mr. Ganiyu Sopeyin said the state is poised for greater things, adding that inaugurating a number of projects which are now at completion stages would be paramount.

“On our part as a board, we shall not relent or shy away from our responsibilities to execute policies geared towards the improvement of basic education which has in recent times, been transformed by the present administration.”
Source : ThisDay 


I worked hard for my PhD in NOUN, Obasanjo replies critics

I worked for my PhD in NOUN, says Obasanjo

From Fred Ezeh, Abuja

Former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday, responded to criticisms that he was given preferential treatment while pursuing his academic career at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) based on his social status.

Responding to the criticism at the institution’s 7th convocation ceremony held in Abuja, he dismissed the insinuation as unfounded, adding that he had at the entry point requested that he should be allowed to pass through the process without fear or favour. So far, Obasanjo is the first PhD graduate of the NOUN. He was honored with doctorate degree in Christian theology yesterday.

His words: “I requested that I should not be given any special privilege or recognition as a former Nigerian President. My reason was because I wanted to pass through the system like every other student and I am proud that I did that with all diligence.”

“I carried my NOUN bag like every other student. I attended classes and wrote my exams like every other student. Most helpful was the learners’ support services which I maximized just like every other eligible student.”

“My teachers and supervisors were firm, strict and ensured that I diligently passed through the process.”

Recalling his research experience, he said his field work had afforded him the opportunity to appreciate the socio-economic realities confronting the people of the North-east. “Most instructive was my field work in the northeast. It exposed me to the true state of the geopolitical zone. I had the privilege to interact with people of different strata and they spoke candidly to me on the state of things there.”

“The experience I gathered from there enriched my knowledge and my position on any socio-economic/political discussions of the region. It made me to understand that poverty is not our lot or that of anyone but as a result of the conscious or unconscious decisions made by our leaders,” he submitted.

The former president, therefore, used the occasion to call on the electorate to make good choice of leaders that would pull Nigeria out of poverty and underdevelopment in the 2019 general elections.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Rasheed Abubakar, urged the institution to strengthen its learner’s support system for effective service delivery. He also congratulated Obasanjo for the success of his academic programme, describing him as a role model.
Source: The Sun

JAMB sets dates for 2018 UTME

Breaking: JAMB sets dates for 2018 UTME

By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA-THE 2018 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, will take place between March 9 and 17, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, has said.

The examination, according to JAMB, is to be preceded with mock examination, which also will take place in the first week of February.
Its registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, while disclosing this Tuesday, during a meeting he held with stakeholders, said the most examination earlier billed to take place between January 22 and 24 was shifted to the new dates, attributing the change the ongoing industrial action by public universities’ non teaching staff.

Oloyede, who spoke at the meeting with a theme:“Strategic planning on the conduct of the 2018 Unified Tertiary Matriculation”, said:
“We are unable to access our CBT centres because most of them are in the universities and non teaching staff are on strike. ”

He also disclosed that about 10 percent of prospective candidates for this year’s UTME have purchased and registered for the examination.

According to him, a total number of candidates that have registered was about 283,319.

He used the occasion to warn candidates against using prohibited items during the examination exercises, saying those who fall prey to the law would have themselves to blame.

The prohibition of materials, he said, was applicable to candidates, supervisors and examiners., adding, ” candidates, examiners, invigilators will be allowed to enter the examination hall with wrist watches, pencils except HB pencils and cameras.”
Source: Vanguard


NECO release Nov/Dec 2017 results, 

NECO release Nov/Dec 2017 results, Plateau highest in malpractice cases

• By Michael Abimboye

The National Examinations Council on Tuesday released the results of the 2017 November/December Senior School Certificate Examination as 32,917 candidates out of 42,429 candidates that sat for the examinations scored 5 credits and above.
The Registrar/Chief Executive of NECO,Prof. Charles Uwakwe, who spoke at the council’s headquarters in Minna said the release of the results is coming barely 38 days after the examinations were conducted.
In the analysis for candidates’ general performance by States, Ogun state has the best result as 4,766 students out of the 5,213 that sat obtained five credits and above in all subjects representing 91.42% while Zamfara state records the worst result with only 24 out of the 186 candidates obtained 5 credits and above representing 12.90%.
According to Uwakwe “a total of 42,985 candidates registered, out of which 42,429 sat for the examinations, and the number of candidates with five credits including Mathematics and English Language put at 24,098 (56.79%)”.
A total number of 41,429 candidates sat for English language with 29,258 credit pass representing 70.62%, while out of the 41,485 that sat for Mathematics, a total 32,701 candidates got credit pass representing 78.82%.
While putting the number of candidates with malpractice cases at 4,425 representing 10.43%. This according to Prof. Uwakwe represents 5.9% reduction in cases compared to 2016.
In the malpractice chart, Plateau state records the highest case with 943 candidates representing 21.31%, with FCT-Abuja, Kogi, Ondo and Taraba states with least in malpractices recording zero cases representing 0.00%. Mathematics has the highest case with 728 candidates involved.
Uwakwe advised candidates to access their results on NECO website http://www.mynecoexam.com, using their Examination Registration Number and scratch cards.
Source: New Telegraph


Strike and be dismissed, El-Rufai threatens Kaduna teachers

El-Rufai threatens to dismiss any teacher who goes on strike

Godwin Isenyo, Kaduna

As teachers in public primary schools in Kaduna State goes on indefinite strike on Monday, Governor Nasir el-Rufai has threatened to dismiss any teacher who is absent from duty.

The Chairman of the Kaduna State branch of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Mr. Audu Amba, confirmed to one of our correspondents on phone on Sunday that teachers in public primary schools would embark on indefinite strike on Monday to force the state to reverse the sack of over 20,000 of its members the state government claimed had failed its competency test.

However, the NUT chairman refrained from making comments on the latest threat by the governor, saying “I will not comment on this now.”

El-Rufai, through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, in a statement said any strike embarked upon by the teachers would be considered illegal and would be treated as such.

The governor noted that strike or no strike, nothing would derail the education reforms being implemented by the state government.

He said the state would neither be blackmailed by the action of the teachers nor mortgage the future of two million primary school pupils.

The governor insisted that as an employer, the government has every right to determine who its employees are or can be, and the minimum qualifications they must possess.
Source: The Punch


WAEC to be 100 per cent technology driven in 2018, says head national office

WAEC to be 100 per cent technology driven in 2018, says head national office

The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) says it will sensitise and train its workforce on key areas of technology deployment in order to improve its operations in 2018.

The council’s Head, National Office (HNO), Mr Olu Adenipekun disclosed this in an interview on Saturday in Lagos.

According to him, the council has organised series of retreats for both management staff and the workforce in preparatory to deploy technology in its operations.

“We have worked hard in sensitising the workforce of the council and prepare their minds because it is one thing for one to strive to do something

“But if the people who drives the system are not attuned psychologically, to doing that all such efforts will be fruitless.

“So, we want to prepare our psyche on the need to sharpen our tools in preparation to move over to a 100 per cent technologically driven WAEC and of course we have done that and we are going full blast,’’ he said.

The HNO noted that already, the council’s budget for 2018 had been fully designed to support the introduction of technology into the various aspects of its operation in Nigeria.

He explained that the move would put WAEC at the level it was expected to be in the comity of examination bodies worldwide.

“Members of staff of the council must be able to go beyond being a staff of the ICT Department. Even if one is a messenger, one should be able to ask how he can deploy technology to carry out his duties and this applies to all other operational components of council.

“So, this is an era where we are looking at 2018 as a year where we will be deploying technology in all facets of our operations, not just in conducting examination, processing of results and printing of certificates but in all areas of our operations,’’ the HNO said.

On the possibility of introducing Computer Based Test (CBT) platform for its examination, Adenipekun said that the CBT was not an examination mode that was limited to any particular examination body.

According to him, WAEC also has a section called the Aptitude Test department that can equally use the CBT platform in conducting examination for candidates.

He, however, said that the main point was that the mandate of WAEC makes it difficult to go the whole hug as it was different from that of other examination bodies like JAMB.

“It will interest you to know that WAEC conducts achievement tests to ascertain the level of achievement of a candidate or student after attending secondary school for a six-year period.

“So, if you want to test knowledge for English Language for instance, we do so without bringing about any complications.

“We are aware of the operational environment. WAEC examination is not a selection test, it is an achievement test and so in doing that, we will have to deploy all facilities available to ensure that we help that particular candidate to prove himself or herself,’’ he said.

The WAEC boss explained that if in a school, a candidate or student had not been exposed to the use of a computer in any form for the six years he had been attending school, it would be unfair to subject such candidate to the CBT platform in an examination.

“So what we are then doing as an organisation and as part of our step forward is to come out and encourage state governors, school owners, communities, individuals and of course the generality of education stakeholders on the need to see how we can encourage secondary schools.

“This, we should do starting from Junior Secondary 1, to see how students can deploy computers in writing their internal examination.

“Once we are able to identify schools that are favourably disposed to this and we are convinced that they can meet our terms, we will start looking in the direction of introducing them to some aspects of our examinations which is the objective questions, which can be done on the CBT platform to start with.

“We have some papers that have three components and others two. Those with two components, objective and essay and for schools that are ready for CBT, we should be able within the next two years to encourage them to present their candidates,’’ Adenipekun said. (NAN)


Scrap examinations in schools – WAEC chief

We don’t need exams in schools – Prof. Obayan

Professor Pai Obayan is the immediate past Chairman of the Governing Board of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC). In this interview with MOJEED ALABI, he suggests scrapping of some parastatals in the education ministries and cancellation of examinations in schools, among others as solutions to the challenges facing Nigeria’s education system

You have always canvassed scrapping of some agencies of government and particularly in the Ministry of Education. What informed your position?
There is nothing like an agency as we have them too numerous in this country. Here in Nigeria, you count many ministries and the number of agencies. You have about 23 parastatals in the education ministry alone and I call them “parasiters.”

Let me give you some examples; look at the National Teachers’ Institute (NTI), I know how it started. It is doing something about teachers; the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) is doing something about teachers and we still have the Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) carrying out similar mission. When I was in school, my teachers were registered.

We saw their names and registration numbers. I would have expected that there would be just a desk in the ministry to do the registration of teachers, but now we have TRCN with its own chief executive officer. When the National Examination Council (NECO) was to start too, the states opposed it, but the people’s interest was in the money they would make, and that is Nigeria for you.

But, the primary education sector is also advocating the establishment of a commission like what NUC is for the university system?
Look, I was Chairman of a Presidential Task Team on Education and which the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) was a member, where they made case for something for secondary education, but I insisted that there was no need for any parastatal for now and they all clapped and hailed my position.

More importantly, the former Minister of Education, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili said the Onasode’s Commission, which looked at every other ministries also raised the same issue, but no one listened. The truth is that we started this wastage long ago.

Don’t you think that the faulty foundation, especially in the basic education, is a contributory factor to the issue of examination malpractice?
Which one is basic education? Where does it start? Unfortunately it is not this general meaning you ascribe to it that is correct. Basic education does not mean schooling. It is bringing you to a level when you have learnt how to learn.

If you go to Arabic school and you have learnt how to learn, it is basic education. But, if you have PhD and you have not learnt how to learn, then you have no basic education.

Everyone here is a candidate for basic education. After the World Conference, African Ministers got together to say the formal equivalents is what the government should provide – primary and the junior secondary school education. But that does not mean nine years in every country. It is nine years in five English-speaking countries, and in the Francophone countries, it is 10 years because the junior secondary school there is four years.

In the East African countries, it is eight years because the junior secondary is two years. And, the argument is that at the age of 11 or 12, the children are too young to be thrown into the world and that knowledge has become so complex that at that level you have not learnt enough.

After that, America came up with K12. Children are registered in a kindergarten and are there till Grade 12. They don’t even write examinations there. And later, America introduced K14 because almost every hamlet in America has a junior college, where they do two years and then can transfer. Now, they say basic education has K99; that is, kindergarten plus 99 years. This implies everybody is a candidate for basic education.

You are a key stakeholder in the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), yet you are condemning the conduct of examinations in our schools. Why?
Look, you don’t need any examinations to give people knowledge. Examinations were introduced during the colonial times to eliminate some people because they could not cater for everyone. I used to preach it here that assessment should replace examination in our schools, but I thought I was talking heresy.

Between 1986 and 1999, I was working outside this country touring the whole world and examination was not the in thing. My last child attended American type of school from primary school and he never wrote any examination, yet he is more knowledgeable.

This is because the job of the teachers or parents is to bring a child up.
The real assessment is that a child at age five should be able to do certain thing and once you are deficient they bring you up to that level.
So, what you find is that every teaching procedure has assessment already built into it.

An assessment is not about what you scored, but why did you score it. This is because it could be the teachers that have caused it, or it could be the school environment or any other reasons.

So, that is what assessment is supposed to do.
But here, we are only interested in the examinations and the candidates’ business is to pass regardless of how that came to be. So, in Nigeria we pass examinations, but we are not educated. And, that is the problem.

For instance, if you have acquired your degree in Mass Communication; the day you get on the job, you begin to wonder what your teachers have taught you in class.

Again, the teachers, who taught you, do not even know how people communicate out there, and yet they can tell you about many theories in the world. Let me give you another instance, my first daughter, who is almost 50 years old now, graduated from here and thereafter decided to go into banking job, but later went to an Indian School in London and from there to America for MBA, and she is now so brilliant because the teaching techniques and methodologies were different.

So, are you suggesting we should reduce the number of examinations we conduct for students in our schools?
Of course, we do not even have to conduct examinations in the first instance. We should assess the students because when we assess, what we do is to help them.

How can we assess without examinations?
Yes, we can. Look, the way it is done is that if you are teaching, it should be participatory; it is not that I talk you write down notes. So, I am looking at you for not participating or that you are just tired or you are not participating because you are too brilliant, then I have to adjust myself.

So, by next day everyone has known it. Thus, it is not at the end of the term that you set examinations. If you are a motor mechanic and you have apprentices, how do you assess them? Is it not day by day? That is why people say someone is more intelligent than the other.

Then how do you move from one class to the other?
You move because your age mates are moving, they have tasks to perform and everyone is able to perform it. It is not that you start setting examinations. You know teaching is individual-basis.
For instance, you are born in Ivory Coast where you don’t write English, and you get admission to an American university, don’t you know that in one year you would learn English enough to do well in your studies? When you don’t want to provide education for all you introduce examinations and in the process people cheat and they pass examinations without passing the work.
Source: New Telegraph