Aide Calls For More Support For Aregbesola’s Education Reforms

Special Adviser, Osun Ministry of Information and Strategy, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, has called on stakeholders in the education sector to give more support to Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s bid to overhaul the education sector in the state.

He said that in seven years of the Aregbesola administration, it has been proved that so much can still be done with so little.

Okanlawon, who was the chairman at the Triennial congress of the Ansar-ud-deen Society of Nigeria (Osun Branch), held in Iwo between Friday and Sunday, said Aregbesola government’s vision in education tallied well with the mission of the Islamic society which he said began as a movement to give Muslims quality education without surrendering their faith.

Okanlawon while addressing delegates to the Congress, urged the stakeholders in Osun, including religious organisations to support the Rauf Aregbesola administration in its bid to fully overhaul the education sector in the state.

He said with education as the first basic reason for the formation of the society 95 years ago, it is incumbent on the society to support a government that gives its all to the promotion of education and advancement of knowledge.


FG May Declare State Of Emergency In Education Sector By April –Adamu

The Federal Government has finalised plans to declare a state of emergency in the education sector across the 36 states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The declaration has been slated for April 2018.

The minister of education, Mr. Adamu Adamu, represented by the state minister for education, Prof. Anthony Gozie, stated this at the 2oth quarterly meeting of UBEC management with the executive chairmen of SUBEB in Nigeria in Lafia.

Adamu expressed concerns over the rate at which scores of school children were out of school, poor infrastructure, lack of regular teachers’ training, dearth of instructional materials, among others, calling on all states and other major stakeholders to address the issue.

He said: “The President Muhammadu Buhari led administration is vigorously implementing its change agenda in the education sector, as plans have reached advanced stage for the declaration of a state of emergency in the educational sector by the Federal Government in April this year; and it is expected that state governors will do same in their states,” he added.

Earlier, the executive chairman, Nasarawa Universal School Basic Education Board, Mr. Muhammad Dan’azumi, had commended Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura for his support for the sector, which include the construction of modern classrooms for pupils in primary and junior secondary schools popularly called Ta’al modern schools.

Protest: Osun Assembly Assures Students Of Intervention

The State of Osun House of Assembly has assured students of the State College of Health Technology, Ilesha of its intervention to resolve the crisis in the College.

Speaker of the State Assembly, Dr. Najeem Salaam gave the assurance while addressing the protesting students of the college at the premises of the Assembly Complex in Osogbo.

Salaam who was represented by the Deputy Speaker, Hon Akintunde Adegboye assured the protesting students that the house would take necessary intervention to curtail the challenges in the school.

He assured the students that the house will look into their problems through its Committee on education and Health.

According to him, “We will go back now to see into your request because you are our glory and we will treat you well. We commend you for the peaceful protest you embarked upon to register your grievances,” he added.

However, in his remarks the Chairman House Committee on Health, Hon Leke Ogunsola commended the students for their position on the situation of infrastructure in the school.

He assured the students that their entire request will be looked into and the position of the house would be communicated to them at the appropriate time.

He said, “all these request will be looked into and we will deliberate on all the issues during our meeting.”

Earlier, the president of Students Union Government (SUG), Comrade Musliu Babatunde who led the student to the Assembly said they came as a result of some problems in the College of Health Technology Ilesa.

He said, “we are facing a lot of problems especially in our college, especially in the area of poor infrastructures, Health centre and accreditation of courses”.

In his contribution, the State Chapter, President of the National Association of Nigeria Student (NANS), Comrade Muftaudeen Saheed said some of their courses in the college are not yet accredited and this has been hindering them from furthering in those courses.

According to him, “some of our students have undergone four to five years courses that are not yet accredited”.

The students’ leader later handed over their requests to the lawmakers for consideration.

US To Grant Scholarship To Study Abroad To FUT Minna Students

The United States Embassy Education Advising Centre, Nigeria has indicated that America has declared it is willing to sponsor the education of high achieving students of the federal university of technology, Minna.

This was made known by the centre’s coordinator, Mr Joseph Schaller during a courtesy visit to the tertiary institution. He said:

“The centre is ready to assist high-achieving low income students to access funding opportunities from institutions in the U.S.
“Normally, the tuition and fees range between 20,000 dollars and 70,000 dollars, the financial aid is limited, highly competitive and usually based on merit.”

He said that there were more funding opportunities at the graduate level than at the undergraduate level.

‎ ‎‎“To compete favourably for financial aid, a student must have at least six to seven As in WAEC senior secondary school examination, or a minimum of Second Class Upper Division. In most cases, the financial aid is largely determined by the field of study,’’ he said.


APC Youths Want Private Schools Banned

The National Youths Caucus of All Progressive Congress (APC), Northwest Zone, on Friday in Kaduna canvassed for total ban on the operations of private schools in the country.

The caucus which held a rally in support of ongoing reforms in the education sector in Kaduna State said the measure was necessary to save public schools from total collapse.

Malam Isiyaku Sarkin Pawa, Secretary of the caucus, said Nigeria must take steps to salvage the education sector from its present poor state in order to build a prosperous and stable nation.

“In the past, everyone attend public schools irrespective of their parents’ status in the society, but because of the establishment of private schools, all public schools have been neglected.’’

He added that public schools which used to be for all classes of people have now become only for the poor, thus encouraging segregation in access to educational opportunities between children of the rich and poor.

“Public schools performance is not too good, that is why we are supporting the governor’s reforms in the education sector,” the secretary added.

Jafaru Sani, the state Commissioner for Local government and Chieftaincy Affairs, who received the group on behalf of Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai, explained that the reform was not politically motivated but for the benefit of the future generation.

“The state government has done a lot towards improving the education sector, there is no going back on the disengagement of unqualified teachers, instead we will improve on the quality of teachers and education in general,” he said.

He assured that the government would continue to do the right thing in spite of the challenges being faced.


Provisional Licences Given To 6 New Private Universities

The Federal Ministry of Education on today issued provisional licences to the six newly established private universities.

The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, gave the provisional licences to the institutions in Abuja. The institutions are Admiralty University Ibusa in Delta, Spiritan University Neochi, Abia, Precious Cornerstone University in Ibadan, Oyo State, and Pamo University of Medica Sciences, Port Harcourt.

Others are Atiba University in Oyo, Oyo State and Eko University of Medical and Health Sciences, Ijaniki, Lagos State.

Adamu, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr Sonny Echono said the Federal Executive Council approved the take-off of the universities on Dec. 6.

He said that the approvals were given to the universities to provide quality education in Nigeria.

He said the approval had increased the number of private universities in the country to 74.

“The problems of access to quality education in Nigeria has poised serious challenges and therefore required serious efforts to address them.

“The approval of the universities tends to address the issue of access to university education.

“Private universities in Nigeria have contributed and will continue to contribute to the development of education in the country.

“The competition of private universities has contributed to healthy delivery within the system.

He called on the institutions’ administrators to ensure highest standard of best practices to achieve academic excellence in their programmes.

Earlier, the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, said quality control must be strictly adhered to.

“ With about two million candidates applying for admission into universities annually, the university system is only able to accommodate about 500,000 students yearly.

“ And so, there is need to licence more universities to help deal with the challenge of access to education.’’

Also, Former head of state, Gen. Abdusalami Abubakar called on Nigerians to maintain peace in the country to ensure educational development.

Abubakar also urged universities to maintain and ensure quality education for the betterment of all Nigerians.

He said with a total of 160 universities in Nigeria out of which 74 are private universities, 46 states and 40 federal universities, there was need to ensure peace to achieve educational development.

He called for the engagement of the youths educationally, adding that the universities should be adequately equipped for meaningful development.


Osun Govt Calls For Effective Record Keeping In Public Schools

Record keeping is an important management tool which guarantees accuracy, reliability, credibility and widely acceptable data which can be used for proper monitoring of the progress of school activities.

The Commissioner for Education, Mr. Kola Omotunde-Young made this statement while declaring open a two-day training workshop on record keeping in schools organized by UNICEF in collaboration with the state of Osun at SUBEB Hall in Osogbo.

Mr. Omotunde-Young reiterated that, the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola since its assumption of office seven years ago, has taken a giant stride to reconstruct and restructure the education sector as well as promoting functional education at all levels in the State.

He therefore implored all participants at the training workshop to pay serious attention in order to grasp the important notes that will help them to effect positive attitudes to record keeping so as to pass the knowledge acquired to other teachers at their various schools.

In a welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mr. Festus Olajide thanked the UNICEF and state Government of Osun for bringing up such a laudable training workshop for proper record keeping, noting that planning without accurate data is like planning without facts.

He explained further that the articulation of relevant policy, plan and implementation of same at Elementary/ Middle School levels can be well captured through accurate data and record keeping.

Mr. Olajide added that, the training is part of the education reform in Osun on capacity building while asking the participants to make judicious use of the knowledge acquired in the training workshop for educational development of the state.

In their separate remarks, the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, Ministry of Education, Mrs Titilayo Amaoo and Head of the UNICEF team Officers, Mr. Saka Ibraheem thanked the state Government of Osun for creating an enabling environment for the workshop.

They commended the educational infrastructure put in place on human and material resources while promising that, the synergy between the state and UNICEF Organization will continue to yield positive results on educational development in the state.

Highlight of the event was the declaration of the training workshop open by the Commissioner for Education which was witnessed by Directors, Education Officers and teachers.

Osun Continues Distribution Of Opon Imo In Public Schools

The State Government of Osun has begun the distribution of e-learning computer tablets for the 2017/2018 academic session to final year pupils in the state’s public schools.

The distribution of the tablets began in an informal ceremony at Osogbo Government High School, Osogbo, as pupils and teachers were excited to receive the device again.

Thirty thousand units of the tablets will be given to final year pupils ahead of writing their Senior Secondary School Examinations (SSCE), the National Examinations Council (NECO) and the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) examinations.

Their teachers across the state will also get the device.

The device, nicknamed Opon Imo (Tablet of Knowledge), was introduced by the Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola administration in 2013 as a first-of-its-kind Stand-alone e-learning tablet to aid learning among secondary school pupils in the state.

The beneficiaries have been final year pupils across the state.

Since its introduction in 2013, it has served four sets of final year pupils in Osun public schools.

Out of the intended 150,000 tablets, 50,000 were produced and distributed every session to final year pupils and their teachers.

At the inaugural ceremony at Osogbo Government High School in Osogbo, the school’s head teacher, Mrs Folorunsho Olubisi Ladapo, described Opon-Imo as an unusual education infrastructure.

She noted that since its invention, the device had brought about significant improvement in teaching and learning in the public schools.

The head teacher said its introduction in the last four years had redefined the education system as well set a new standard and direction for purposeful education in Osun State.

Mrs Ladapo said: “To us as teachers and mothers, the introduction of Opon-Imo has not only revolutionised the Education sector but has also eased teaching and learning, particularly for outgoing pupils.

“This device, as we all know, has been assessed and adjudged to be a very useful education tool and has serious impact in boosting mental capacity of pupils who may not necessarily require printed materials.

“As an electronic device, we have seen the level of improvement which the innovation has brought on the results of our students in both internal and external examinations.

“We have equally experienced the great impact that this technological initiative has on the reading culture among the students.”

Lauding Aregbesola’s education revolution in the state, the head teacher said the state government was doing the best in the Education sector.


Osun Public School Students Emerge Winners Of Redeemers University Quiz Competition

Adventists Government High School, Ede has emerged winners of this year’s annual quiz competition organised by the Redeemers University, Ede to mark the 2017 library week.

The competition, where students made the to answer questions in various subjects which include: English Language, Mathematics, Literature in English, Economics, Geography, Commerce among others produced Osogbo government high school as first runner up.

With this feat, one can easily say the huge expenditure into the education sector of Osun is yielding positive results when students of public schools are outclassing private school students in academic competitions.

The keenly contested competition saw students of Osogbo Government High school proving that the huge investment of government in the education sector is not a waste as their opponents from private schools in the competition were no match for them.

It got to a stage that the organisers of the competition could not hide their surprise at the academic performance of the students from Osun public schools whom many present at the avenue thought would come last.

A spectator, Mr Falade Toriola who was visibly surprised at the academic prowess of the Osun public school students said he never expected students of public schools in the state to show so much maturity and brilliance in answering questions.

He said he is even more surprised that they could defeat students of private schools who many had thought would emerge winners at the competition.

Mr Toriola added that the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has indeed turned around the education sector in Osun to the extent it is no longer necessary to go and pay exorbitant school fees in private schools which is now a waste of money.

According to him, “Sincerely speaking, I am amazed at what I have just experienced here today. For students of public schools to perform excellently well in an academic competition involving private school students.

“I have attended many academic competitions around Nigeria and I have never seen where students of public schools take students of private schools to the cleaners like this, this is amazing.

“I think the various interventions of the present administration in the education sector is beginning to yield positive results and kudos must be given to the governor.

“With this, I think it is no longer necessary for people to take their children to private schools where they pay huge amount as schools fees, public schools in Osun now stand shoulder to shoulder with the best private schools in the land” Mr Toriola stated.

Mr Festus Olajide who was represented at the event by the state acting Librarian, Mrs. Adefunke Kolawole stated that the outstanding performance of the students was a testimony of the potency of the qualitative and functional educational policy of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s Administration.

He then called on members of the public to support government efforts and policies aimed at taking education to higher level in Osun.

“This is a testimony to the fact that the huge investment of Aregbesola in the education sector is yielding positive results. Osun public school students can now compete with their peers from anywhere in the world.

“This competition which we have just witnessed is of very high standards and Osun public school students won it with ease against students from private schools, it goes a long way to underline the fact that things have improved tremendously.”We are proud of these students and are proud of the achievements of the present administration in the education sector”, he added.

History Will Vindicate Aregbesola’s Investment On Education

Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is a first class citizen in the education sector and history will eventually judge him rightly.

Head of Service in the State of Osun, Dr. Olowogboyega Oyebade made the assertion today at Owena and Ipetu-Ijesa while on education drive mission to two schools in the area.

It was in his separate address to the principals and teachers of Community High School, Owena and AUD Middle/ High, Ipetu-Ijesa after engaging the final year students of each of the schools in a period of English Language.

He charged them to double their efforts to improve students’ performances, adding that our challenge is to pass the forthcoming WAEC and NECO examinations with distinctions without cheating.

While commending teachers for being the most hardworking set of workers in the State, Dr. Oyebade pointed out that their best is not yet enough considering the unsatisfactory performance of students in the previous external examinations.

The Head of Service then enjoined the education stakeholders to, between now and April next year, concentrates their efforts on the final year students, advancing that they can only give good accounts of themselves through their students performances.

In an interview with the principals of both schools, Mr. Kayode Awe and Alhaji Idowu Bisiriyu who expressed delight to see the Head of Service teach in their schools, promised to do their best to ensure improved performances in the forthcoming WAEC and NECO examinations.

Governor El-Rufai’s Politics And Teachers’ Revolt

By Erasmus Ikhide

“Your Excellency Sir, we are not sacking teachers in Kaduna. Rather, we are replacing unqualified people who are unfit to be called teachers to save the future of the next generation.” That was Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s response to his Ekiti State counterpart, Governor Ayodele Fayose who chided him that the sacking of 22,000 teachers in Kaduna State could ignite climatic upsurge in crime wave and other ancillary social vices.

The teachers and the labour unions have been up in arms, protesting against the governor for daring to protest the rottenness in the educational system of the State and his attempt to arrest the drift from total collapse. It’s a case of two protesters: the first is insisting on force-feeding poor contents into students’ minds, while the latter is resisting that giving the best education to the students is the responsibility of trainable teachers. It’s like saying, ‘you can’t very well explain to your students how Newton accounted for planetary motion if you hadn’t boned up your Newtonian mechanics first.

The governor pius stand is hinged on the latest poor showing in the WASSCE performance. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report has it that in September 2016, 158,035 students from Kaduna State took the West African Senior School Certificate Examination, WASSCE, between 2011 and 2015. Only 12.8 per cent obtained credit passes in five subjects or more, including in English Language and Mathematics. Also, the Kaduna State Educational Resource Centre reported that over the same four-year period, out of 135,957 results released, only 19,137 or 14 per cent passed with the required number of credits for admission to any tertiary institution.

The illiterate teachers should have known that Governor El-Rufai who has the penchant for troubleshooting wouldn’t take the poor output of Kaduna State pupils kindly. Early in 2016, the governor embarked on a suicide mission by instigating a legislation that stipulates prison terms for parents who refused to send their wards to schools. The injuries that resulted from it has not been fully healed to date. Several efforts were made by those who are profiting from the poverty of uneducated people.

As if that was not enough, he further went for the jugular by banning street begging, a tradition that is in sick and soak with Islamic foundation of giving to the less privilege, a trade that has made thousands powerful political power brokers billionaire in the state! The illiterate teachers’ fracas with the governor is long expected, given his style of unfriendliness or his usual inability to always convince his people on policy issues since becoming governor.

Governor El-Rufai’s problem is his selfsame believe that his people would always understand his policy and passion for altruistic leadership towards a liberated state through the development of the people’s mind and the ethical restructuring of their mindset. He has been governing in abstract, believing that a “state or nation can not be greater than her own teacher”! He probably want to do justice to humanity, in a clime that views and receives education with contempt.

Poor El-Rufai expected this gesture to be applauded for his decision to replaced these illiterate teachers in a state or country that wishes to be ‘greater than her own teacher’ without clinical educational standards for the development of the human’s mind. Governor El-Rufai is not the only governor to face this tribulation. Those who made such efforts at righting the wrongs in the educational sectors, including his predecessors at their various states were either intimidated out of the policy or voted out of office.

In 2012 the late Governor Patrick Yakowa shocked Nigerians when he said a verification exercise carried out in the state revealed that no fewer than 2,000 teachers secured their appointments with fake certificates. However, he failed to deal with the issue, forthwith. The backlash is the continued poor grades and by extension poor leader at every level of our national development.

In 2013, a report in the state’s ministry of education revealed that of a total of 1,599 teachers selected from across the state who were given primary four tests in Mathematics and Basic literacy; only one of them scored 75 percent, 251 scored between 50 to 75 percent and 1,300 scored below 25 percent. When the same examination was conducted for 1,800 primary school pupils, virtually all the pupils failed the exam! Surprisingly, no action was taken against the functional illiterate teachers by governor Mukhtar Yaro!

Prior to Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s re-election in 2011, he paid an unscheduled visit to a primary school in the state capital where he encountered an illiterate teacher who could not read her own name in an affidavit she deposed to. That prompted him to organized aptitude text for all the teachers across the state. Painfully, Oshiomhole could not implement the outcome of the aptitude text and his threat to weed off the illiterate teachers from the system turned out to be mere threat. He caved in because of his second term ambition.

He later gave vent to that frustration at a town hall meeting held in July 2013, disclosing that from the audit carried out in the state, “We found that of all our primary school teachers, only 1,287, representing 9% out of 14,484 teachers have proper records in our system. 91% have various forms of discrepancies in their records. About 1,379 teachers, representing 11.5% claim that they obtained their Primary School Certificates after they had been employed as teachers. In fact, some obtained their Primary School Certificates not more than two years ago, from the school in which they were employed as teachers.”

Oshiomhole was like his counterparts across the country. They lack the balls to step up to the rot in the educational system and ride it off the plague for political reasons. That is even when the figures of Nigerian out of school number has increased to 13.2 million, yet States and federal governments budgetary allocations to education are far below UNESCO benchmark.

With the poor population of more than 90% in the country, it will be fair to say that Nigeria has not been able to provide effective education to almost 75% of the children roaming the streets. This is an extremely depressing figure knowing that education is the bedrock of nation building or great nations. The time is now to awake ourselves and start to work towards improving our education system.

Part of our drawback as a nation unfortunately, is the fact that Nigeria has been plagued with poor leadership over time, whose education or lack of it cannot develop or move the country forward. They are probably too blinded to know that education plays critical role in deciding both political and economic growth of any nation. They are too bereaved of common sense to be aware that once citizens are educated, they brings fame, wealth and prosperity to the country which help to galvanized the development of any country.

They have no idea that educated populace are less aggressive, as such, the society remains in peace, stable in the long run. Education serves as a unifying tool because educated minds work in similar ways, united by the unique sense of reasoning and almost the same sense of right and wrong.

The illiterates teachers have to be flushed out of the system to pave the way for trainable new set of teachers who will impact actual and true knowledge on Kaduna State students. If Governor El-Rufai pulls through, the up coming generation would forever be grateful to him for his statesmanship. He would be remembered as the governor who sacrificed his political ambition for the future generation. The retention of the illiterate teachers in the educational system in Kaduna State, as it is the case with other states of the federation can only bring damnation to Nigeria now and in the future.

Erasmus, A Public Affairs Analyst writes from Lagos.

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