Tag Archives: Education

Relief For Kaduna Teachers As Court Stops Govt from Effecting Sack

Relief For Kaduna Teachers As Court Halts Sack


BY ISAIAH BENJAMIN, Kaduna

The National Industrial Court of Nigeria in the Kaduna judicial division, yesterday, granted an order of interlocutory injunction restraining Kaduna State governor , Nasiru el-Rufai, from the planned sack of 21,780 primary school teachers who reportedly failed a competency test meant for primary four pupils.

Dakun Rindi Esq and Augustina Joshua (Miss) Esq had, on October 30, 2017, filed a motion of notice brought pursuant to order 17 rule 1(1)to (9) and order 22 rule 1 and 2 of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (civil procedure) rules, 2017 and the inherent powers and sanctions of the honourable court as conferred by section 6(6)a 1999 constitution (as amended) in a suit number NICN/KD/53/2017 on behalf of the Nigeria Union of Teachers and Comrade Audu Titus Amba (suing on behalf of primary school teachers in the public schools of Kaduna State) against the Governor of Kaduna State, Attorney general of Kaduna State and Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria.

The suit sought an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the governor of Kaduna State and the Attorney general of the state whether acting by themselves, their officers, servants, agents and privies whosoever and howsoever otherwise from dismissing, terminating or in any manner whatsoever disengaging any primary teacher in the public schools of Kaduna State from his employment on the grounds of having failed a competency test conducted at the instance of the Kaduna State government pending the hearing and determination of the substantive originating summons.

Justice Lawal Mani granted the application pending the determination of the substantive suit and adjourned to February 6, 2018.

Speaking to newsmen shortly after the adjournment, counsel who stood in for the teachers Sunday Atum Esq commended the court for granting the order
Source: Leadership 

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JAMB remits additional N3bn to treasury

JAMB returns additional N3bn to treasury

By Frank Ikpefan, Abuja

The Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, said on Tuesday the Board has remitted additional N3.6 billion to the treasury.

He said the N5.2 billion earlier sent to the treasury was not the total money the Board actually transferred to the government.

He disclosed this during a meeting with Executives of Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COESU) in his office in Bwari, Abuja.

Prof. Oloyede said more monies generated from the sale of 2017 admission documents were transferred, adding that the Board had so far remitted N7.8 billion to the treasury.

He told the colleges of education executives that applicants were allowed to choose colleges of education as first choice institutions in the admission forms but most of them preferred to choose universities because the five credits requirement for admission into higher institutions was uniform.

Earlier the COESU National President, Nuhu Ogirima, had said the transfer of over N5 billion to the “nation’s coffers would remain quite indelible.”

Source: The Nation

The killing of Teacher Odilinye

The killing of Teacher Odilinye

THE death of a secondary school teacher, Miss Rita Odilinye of Starlight Secondary School, Ogidi, in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State has sent shock waves across the nation. According to reports, Odilinye died when the mother and a relation of one of her students whom she allegedly flogged for not carrying out a class chore engaged her in a scuffle. Until her death, Odilinye taught Igbo in the school. The teacher had reportedly arrived school on the fateful day only to discover that her class had not been swept. Following her inquiries, she was told that one Chinaza Okafor, whose turn it was to sweep the class before going home the previous day, failed to carry out the assignment.

Then, a dastardly drama reportedly played out. Queried by the teacher, Chinasa gave an insolent answer, and her enraged teacher gave her a hiding. As she was being flogged, the apparently athletic Chinasa ran out of the class, scaled the school fence—the gate was under lock and key— and made straight to her home where she reported the matter to her mother. Rather than making attempts to find out from the school authorities if indeed her daughter had been unfairly treated, the mother reportedly stormed the school in a fit of rage, armed with sticks and accompanied by her daughter and a relation, ready to pounce on the errant teacher who flogged her precious daughter. But Odilinye had left the school to attend a meeting of private school administrators. Sadly, the efforts made by other teachers in the school to calm down the aggrieved persons and allow the school authorities to handle the matter reportedly fell on deaf ears.

And when Odilinye eventually showed up at the school gate, the aggrieved mother, her daughter and her relation engaged her in a scuffle. She slumped and was rushed to a nearby hospital where she was confirmed dead. The Divisional Police Officer in charge of the area, Mr. Mark Ijarafu, who confirmed the incident, was quoted as saying: “We have arrested the mother, the daughter and one other person. The corpse of the teacher has been deposited at Iyi-Enu Hospital mortuary, while investigation is ongoing.”

It is indeed difficult to find the right words to describe the killing of Miss Odilinye. The whole episode speaks of callous indiscipline. It is indeed heartbreaking that a mother could accompany her daughter to a school to beat up a teacher, whatever her (the teacher’s) offence was. If Chinasa had been unjustly punished, what a reasonable parent would have done was to report the matter to the school authorities. And in case they failed to do justice in the matter, it would have been perfectly within the parent’s rights to report the matter to the police. However, the light esteem in which teachers are unfortunately held in this clime dictated a different course of action. In this clime, teachers have become objects of ridicule, spite and disdain, and this partly accounted for the ease with which Mrs. Okafor speedily decreed punishment for Rita Odilinye. She was not bothered at all that she was going to humiliate her daughter’s teacher, a person she ordinarily ought to appreciate for trying to assist in moulding her daughter’s character, right before other students and teachers. If this story does not speak to the virtual collapse of the nation’s value system, what else does?

If the nation’s value system was still intact, no student would dare to flog her teacher. Indeed, time was when such a thought would have been clearly subversive. But things have fallen apart and the centre, if there is one, just cannot hold. It is clear from the sad story in Starlight Secondary School, Ogidi, Anambra State, that the nation is breeding a generation of renegade students, and that days of distress lie ahead if urgent surgical operations are not carried out in the relevant sectors, including the home front. It is unthinkable that an entire class preferred to learn in a dirty environment just because one student chose to be irresponsible. Was there no student humble-hearted and dutiful enough to sweep the class on the fateful day in question? Surely, no one can expect students who cannot sweep their class to successfully manage a home in future. In any case, if students have no respect for their teachers, just how can they understand what they are being taught? And how can the education sector improve in such a situation?

The foregoing should not however detract from the need by teachers to exercise caution in dealing with their students. It is for instance clear that Miss Odiliinye could have handled the case of her disobedient student differently. The point must also be admitted that some teachers treat students unfairly, and school administrators must always ensure that they intervene meaningfully in such situations. In the extant case, though, the Anambra State government must ensure that justice is done in this case, and that events of this nature do not recur in the state. We urge the Nigeria Police to carry out a thorough and impartial investigation into the extant case and ensure that those found to have contravened the laws of the land get their just deserts. This will send a strong signal to those who think that taking the law into their own hands is fun.

Tribune Editorial 

Lagos begins bursary, scholarship payment this month

Lagos begins bursary, scholarship disbursement Dec

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State

The Lagos State Government has concluded plans to commence disbursement of bursaries and scholarships before the end of the month of December.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh said Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had given approval for the disbursement, adding that it was in line with the continued commitment of his administration to ensure that Lagos State students continue to thrive and excel in the academic field.

“Our commitment to education across the sphere is unparalleled, but specifically, with regard to tertiary education, this administration over the past two and a half years has been deliberate about increasing the capacity of our institutions,” Bank-Olemoh said.



The Special Adviser said that despite the challenging economic situation in the country, Ambode had continued to invest in a range of initiatives to upgrade the status of institutions in the State.

He recalled that in 2016, there was an increase in subvention for all the State’s tertiary institutions, while innovative programs such as Ready.Set.Work were launched to equip final year students with entrepreneurship and employability skills for the world of work.

Bank-Olemoh disclosed that to date, a total of 2,500 final year students have trained and exited into the workforce; and up 10,000 students in their penultimate year have participated in the Ready.Set.Work online program (www.readysetwork.com.ng), which qualifies them for the full-fledged program in their final year.

Besides, Bank-Olemoh added that the CodeLagos, a programme aimed at teaching coding skills to one million Lagos residents, has entered its next phase, with centres opened across the State to train interested learners at no cost to them.

“These initiatives demonstrate this administration’s unalloyed commitment to the welfare of our students. In view of this administration’s investment towards their success, we urge our students to make the most of these opportunities and continue to be good ambassadors of Lagos State,” the Special Adviser said.

2017/18 Admission: UNILAG Registration, Screening Begin Today

UNILAG Registration, Screening Begin Today

By Bukola idowu, Lagos –

University of Lagos (UNILAG) has released its registration and screening schedule for resumption of the 2017/2018, even as it called on newly admitted UTME candidates on its merit list to commence the process.

In spite of the industrial action called by the Senior Staff Association of Universities, Non Academic Staff Union and the National Association of Academic Technologists, UNILAG Registrar and Secretary to Council, Dr. (Mrs.) Taiwo Ipaye in a notice issued at the weekend said all newly admitted UTME undergraduate candidates are requested to report in the institution today.

According to her, the registration is to commence from today through Friday next week, saying candidates are expected to upload their documents by login to the students’ portal and fill the bio-data form, print the screening form.

“They are to proceed to the Registration Centres and submit copies of their documents to the Registration Officer and make payments of fees,” she said.

Ipaye cautioned against impersonation during the process saying it “is a serious offence and anybody found guilty of this will automatically forfeit his/her admission and may be handed over to security operatives.”

Ondo Stops Payment of WAEC Fees, Introduces Education Levy

Ondo Stops Payment of WAEC Fees, Introduces Education Levy

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu

James Sowole in Akure
The Ondo State Government on Thursday announced that every adult in the state would have to pay N1,000 education levy towards funding education in the state.

Also, parents would from next year be responsible for payment of the West African School Certificate (WASC) examination fee for their children from next year.

The state Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr. Femi Agagu, disclosed the decision of the government while briefing journalists on the outcome of the state executive council meeting.

Agagu, who was flanked by his counterpart in the Ministry of Information, Mr Yemi Olowolabi, said that the government has resolved to continue with the age-long policy of free for pupils in primary schools and students of public secondary schools.

Agagu said the state executive council took the decision after a careful deliberation on recommendations that emanated from the education summit held in October.

“The executive accepted the recommendations of the education summit committee but adjusted the second article.
It means that what we have on ground now that is free education at primary and secondary schools will not be tampered with.’

The commissioner also explained that an Education Trust Fund was underway to mobilise resources for the funding of education.

“An Education Trust Fund is to be put in place to ease the funding of the sector. Trustees of the fund would be drawn from eminent sons and daughters of the state.

“Every adult in the state will be encouraged to contribute into the education levy, which will be administered by the Education Trust Fund.”
Source: ThisDay

So Many Things to Reform


So Many Things to Reform
By Simon Kolawole

 
In my primary four, the Yoruba text book we read was ‘Kola ati Kemi’ — a series of short stories depicting the “adventures” of two siblings: Kola and Kemi. Kola was the crafty one while his sister, Kemi, was the clever one. One day, Kola and Kemi followed their father to the farm. As they played around the farm, Kemi would announce: “Daddy, I found a snail!” And the father would reply: “Well done, my daughter.” Kola, not to be outdone, would also announce: “Daddy, I’ve found a snail!” And the father would reply: “Good job, my son.” It became a healthy competition as they went on picking snail after snail while their father kept himself busy cultivating the land.

They left for home and it was soon dinner time. So the father announced: “For your dinner tonight, you will eat the snails that you picked on the farm.” As it turned out, Kola did not pick any snail — he was just deceiving himself in order to keep up with his sister. Kemi had plenty snails and had a good dinner. When the true story came to their father’s attention, he said something like: “If you planted one hundred ridges of yam and claim it is two hundred, after eating one hundred yams, you will eat another one hundred lies.” In Nigeria, we have perfected a way of living on lies, cooking the books, dancing with the digits, and whitewashing the sepulchres. Whom are we deceiving but ourselves?

One of the biggest scandals rocking our education system is the yearly competition for the best-performing state in WAEC (I will leave that of the “best university” out of this discussion for sanity sake). As a result, many state governments give school principals the marching order to make sure the students pass very well. So the school authorities will, like Kola, game the system. They will aid and abet cheating. They will bribe invigilators and supervisors. The students will come out in “flying colours” and the state will get good ratings in WAEC. But states where things are done more decently will seem to perform poorly on the WAEC table. In the end, who is deceiving who?

A positive thing coming out of the controversy over the recent “competency test” conducted by Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, the governor of Kaduna state, is that we are now having a sustained conversation around the quality of instruction in our schools. For too long, our attention has been more on the quality of infrastructure. We often complain about leaking roofs and dilapidated classrooms. Politicians and their allies have made billions of naira from contracts to build schools, but the quality of teaching has not improved in billions. You can have a classroom that looks like a five-star hotel, but what are the pupils learning? That is what counts the most.

I have read a number of comments on the Kaduna issue that caught my attention. One is that a competency test can only be legally conducted by the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN). And since we claim to be operating a constitutional democracy, then we have to follow the law. You can hardly argue against this position if you believe in the rule of law. However, the teachers that were tested by Kaduna state all have certificates from the same TRCN legally proclaiming them as “qualified”. And then you will turn to the same TRCN to assess them? What is the likely outcome? So whom are we deceiving but ourselves?

How do people get certified in Nigeria today? How did you get your driving licence? Did you go to a driving school? Did you do a driving test? Did you read the laws and regulations of driving? Do you understand the road signs around you? Do you know who should give way at a roundabout? If your answer to all these questions is “yes”, you deserve a national honour. I know many people who have driving licences but are yet to learn driving. I kid you not. With just N20,000, you can get a driving licence in Nigeria and hit the road. I don’t know how much it costs to get a TRCN “qualified teacher” certification, but you can buy it even if you can’t spell “teacher” correctly.

I also noted the argument about the “validity and reliability” of the test. It is an extension of the legality argument. I support things being done properly, I should say, but I am just curious: if you cannot spell “Donald Trump”, does it matter who is conducting the test? Would you be able to spell the name of the eccentric American president only if the test was conducted by TRCN and not by a consultant? I don’t get the argument, but I will let it pass. It is also argued that a civil servant may not be able to sing the national anthem but that does not mean he or she is unpatriotic. Beautiful analogy. But it still breaks down at some point: the national anthem is a competency test.

The officials of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) said the leaked scripts were not those of the teachers. They were filled by el-Rufai’s aides to ridicule the teachers, they said. In other words, the teachers are not that bad: el-Rufai is only calling a dog a bad name in order to hang it. Really? Do the NUT officials currently have their children in public schools? If so, are they happy with the quality of instruction their children are receiving there? Would the NUT officials please withdraw and enrol their children in public schools to prove their point, to put their money where their mouths are? It is very easy to pursue that line of argument when your own children are schooling at Corona.

For those of us who believe that the teachers are as bad as the test results showed, the next question is: what should be done? Sack them and recruit new ones — as el-Rufai wants to do? Re-train them? An interesting recommendation coming from the debate is the need to re-train the teachers. Some think that with an intensive course of about nine months, these teachers will learn to differentiate between a triangle and a square. This is a very optimistic suggestion. I wish I could be this generous. What experience has shown, though, is that while there will be those who can be still be salvaged, the majority may be unserviceable and, thus, unsuitable for teaching.

No matter the criticism of el-Rufai, we have someone who is not just worried about the quality of education but is determined to do something about it. All the governors must address this issue. We live in a society where politics colours everything and where labour unions are so powerful they can stop the rain from falling, but after the fire and the brimstone, it is very important to keep asking the question: is this how things should be? Can we maintain the status quo and expect a turn-around? Can we ever make a fundamental change by papering over the cracks? Can we make omelette without breaking eggs? Can we cleanse the education sector without a major surgery?

The biggest headache for me, though, is that there are so many things to reform about Nigerian institutions. The bureaucracy is sick and weak — no thanks to corruption. You bribe to get certified as a teacher. You bribe to get certified as a nurse. You bribe to get certified as a driver. You bribe to get your uniform as a police officer. You bribe police to investigate the theft of your car. You bribe to get university admission. You bribe to pass your exams. You bribe to graduate. Bribe makes way for everything in Nigeria, and the teaching profession is just a victim of the system. We can’t move forward under this rigged system. If the foundation be destroyed, what can the righteous do?

President Muhammadu Buhari last week backed the strategic education plan of Mallam Adamu Adamu, the minister of education. It’s a well-articulated plan. But, as we all know by now, it takes more than a plan. It takes more than a vision. It takes more than a man. All hands must be on deck. The institutions and human beings to actualise the vision have to be on the same page. Unfortunately, most unfortunately, Nigeria is such a warped society that when you think about reforming a critical sector like education, the only thing some people can see is money. The unions are there to put a spanner in the wheel, in any case. Who really cares about any vision?

Let’s be honest: if the TRCN were driven by a vision and were doing such a great job, the complaint we would have about our schools would be the infrastructure, not the teaching. All sorts of characters, both literate and illiterate, are certified as “qualified teachers”. I can say confidently that I was well taught in my primary school, even if we didn’t have great toilets or cushioned chairs. Over the decades, everything has gone on sale. Everything has a price. That is why we keep rigging the figures. We keep deceiving ourselves that things are improving when they are not. After eating one hundred yams, we will feast on another one hundred lies — like Kola (no relation).

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NEW CUSTOM
Just when you see and hear things that should make you finally give up on Nigeria, a light suddenly flashes in the darkness. I was so encouraged by the testimony of a Customs officer in court on Thursday on the illegally imported 661 pump action rifles. Abdullahi Muhammad said he was offered a bribe of N8 million but he turned it down — and his supervisor fully supported him. Oh my God! In Nigeria? How many Customs officers would do that? In a country where, for filthy lucre, fake and substandard drugs — including life-saving insulin and antibiotics — easily pass through Customs, this inspires some optimism about Nigeria. Maybe we are not genetically corrupt, after all. Hope.

BUHARI KWENU!
President Muhammadu Buhari did what some called a “soft launch” of his 2019 re-election bid last week in the south-east, which is clearly the bastion of opposition to his government. He was received by the politicians and the traditional rulers. He was hosted to a banquet. He was even decorated with chieftaincy titles. Was this for real? Was it meant for the cameras? Is he genuinely wooing them? Are they genuinely responding to his touch? Are they faking it? Most crucially, are the Igbo elite and the people on the same page? In all honesty, it is difficult to know the fruits his overtures will produce, but I think there is a long way to go in winning them over. Dicey.

PEACEFUL POLL
It was heart-warming that the Anambra state governorship election went on smoothly on Saturday. I had my fears. The IPOB threat was there, and with allegations that the APC was hell-bent on taking the state to please President Buhari, I was wondering if we were not about to reverse the gains of previous elections. I wondered if we would not need a massive deployment of soldiers to reinforce security. When police withdrew Governor Willie Obiano’s security aides a few days to the D-Day, I almost gave up. You can now understand my relief that it went without any major incident and the turn-out was good. At least we should be able to get something right in this country. Progress.

MUGABE MISERY
How much is too much? President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has always carried on as if he can do and undo. His actions and decisions go unchallenged by his subjects. Slammed with a hefty hammer by the West since 1990 over his insistence on implementing agreements with the colonialists to cede land to blacks, Mugabe has watched his country wither like herb but he would rather eat grass than backtrack. He has not helped himself with a series of rash and selfish decisions that have worsened his country’s economic and political fortunes. Removing his VP to pave the way for his wife as his successor appears to be the final straw leading to a military intervention. Snookered.

 

Source: ThisDay