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Katsina bans use of WhatsApp in public schools

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Use of WhatsApp, a social media platform, has been banned for information dissemination by teachers and non-teaching staff in public schools in Katsina State.

The state government said it took the decision because the social media platform was encouraging insubordination among staff.

It gave the order banning WhatsApp in a memo dated December 7, 2020 and sent to all public schools in the state.

One Muhammad Dikko from the Zonal Education Quality Assurance of the state Ministry of Education signed the memo.

It stated, “I am directed to write and inform all the principals to direct the various Group Admins in their respective schools to wipe out the so-called school WhatsApp.

“Principals should also remind their staff about the government circular that prohibits any civil servant from commenting positively or negatively on government activities on Facebook or WhatsApp.”

It quoted the Permanent Secretary (Administration) in the Office of the state Head of Service, Lawal Dutsim-ma, as saying government was worried about the leakage of its sensitive information on the social platforms.

Education

ASUU: Varsities to get FG’s N30bn revitalisation fund next week

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Reprieve may have come for university students over fresh threat by their lecturers to go on strike as Labour and Employment Minister, Chris Ngige, has said the Central Bank of Nigeria will next week begin the disbursement of the N30 billion revitalisation fund set aside for them by the Federal Government.
Ngige, who announced this in Abuja, said the Federal Government deposited the N30 billion with the CBN in January.
He explained that the fund was not immediately disbursed because the Federal Ministry of Education and the National Universities Commission (NUC) committee needed to evaluate the audit reports of the universities.
The revitalisation fund is one of the seven key issues evaluated on Monday at a Federal Government’s meeting with the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
According to a statement by the Deputy Director of Press and Public Relations in the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Charles Akpan, the two parties expressed satisfaction with the implementation stages of what Ngige called “work in progress”.
The minister said some of the items in the Memorandum of Action (MoA) were nearly done hundred per cent within the timeline.
He added that the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) was directed to expedite action on the integrity test on the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) which, if successful, would eliminate the challenges posed by the peculiarities of the university system to the current payment platform.
“The report has been turned in, deliberated upon and the Education Ministry and the NUC have promised to write to the Accountant General of the Federation next week for the release of the money to the NEEDS Special Account for onward disbursement to universities shortly,” Ngige said.
He explained that apart from the N40 billion Earned Allowance, which the Federal Government has already paid, the Budget Office had shown evidence that N22 billion Earned Allowances for 2021 was already captured in the 2021 supplementary budget.
On the proliferation of state universities, the minister said: “A Bill has been sent to the National Assembly by the NUC to strengthen its arms in terms of delisting universities where funding and other parameters are inadequate.”
ASUU President Emmanuel Osodeke expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the meeting and promised that the union would reach out to its members.
Ngige expressed shock that the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD) embarked on strike after holding a similar successful evaluation meeting with him last week.

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Education

Tetfund disburses N300bn to 226 tertiary institutions

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Chairman, Board of Trustees at Tertiary Education Fund, Alhaji Kashim Ibrahim-Imam, says Tetfund has disbursed over N300 billion this year to 226 tertiary institutions in Nigeria for staff training and infrastructural development projects.
Ibrahim-Imam, who disclosed this in Asaba at an audit and accounts reconciliatory meeting with the benefiting institutions in Delta, said Tetfund was committed to building the education sector through training of the academic staff and the building of projects such that would make teaching and learning more conducive.
He said: “Tetfund is 10 years old and we have in excess of 10,000 projects across the various tertiary institutions in the country to show for our effort.
“Our performance/impact is visible in every institution. At the University of Lagos alone, we have completed and ongoing 75 projects, at Lagos State University, we have 68 projects.
“There is no tertiary institution that I have visited that does not have at least minimum of 50 completed and ongoing projects fully funded by tetfund and I want to assure all the institutions that we are going to do much more than we have done in the past”.
Speaking on Academic staff training and development, Ibrahim-Imam said; “in the past 10 years, Tetfund has successfully trained more than 30,000 lecturers across the country for masters and PhD programmes locally and internationally.
“This year alone, the overall budget of Tetfund is about N300 billion: each university will be accessing overall budget of about N900 million; each polytechnics will be access in excess of N800 million while the colleges of education will access in excess of N700 million.
“We have about 226 tertiary institutions on our records as at the last count and we are counting more; For academic staff training and development, each university will access about N150 million, Polytechnic and colleges of education N120 million each this year.”
He, however said there was need for various institutions to examined, evaluate the costs of staff training abroad and resolved to look inward for more staff to be trained locally given the challenge of the depreciating value of naira to foreign currencies in the country.
According to him, Tetfund places premium on academic staff training and development, yes, we spend more on Physical infrastructure without which lecturers will not operate on conducive learning atmosphere.

“For this reason, physical infrastructure takes up of about two-third of our annual intervention but we place our premium on training of lecturers and that is why you have so many beneficiaries of our training programme here and we are here to see you physically and hear from you.
Head of Academic Staff Training and Development at Tetfund, Mr Muhammad Sulaiman, disclosed that no fewer than 1,127 lecturers have been trained from nine tertiary institutions in Delta state by Tetfund at the cost of over N5 billion between 2015 to date.
According to him, the visit is to reconcile and harmonise the records with beneficiaries of the programme and also to interact with returnee scholars to tap from their experience particularly those that have travelled oversee in the period under review.

“From inception, Tetfund has invested over N161 billion for staff training and over N32 billion for conference attendance and teaching practice and out of this investment, we have trained both local and international more than 30,000 academic staff across the country.
“We also sponsored over 68 conference attendants and over 79, 000 for teaching practice outings. The essence of the exercise cannot be overemphasised because there has never been an attempt since inception by the fund to look at both end in terms of record keeping.”

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Ghana university lecturers begin strike over poor service conditions

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Public university teachers in Ghana on Monday commenced an indefinite strike over poor conditions of service.

 

Professor Charles Marfo, national president of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), said the strike was borne out of the government’s refusal to heed calls by the association to improve the worsening conditions of service of the university teachers across the country.×

 

He said the association was not happy with the way the authorities had been dragging their feet on negotiations concerning the welfare of the teachers, which started two years ago.

 

“We write on behalf of the National Executive Committee of UTAG to inform and/or remind you of the intended strike action of UTAG,” read a statement issued earlier by UTAG.

“By this notice, all campuses are to withdraw all teaching and related activities namely teaching, examinations, invigilation, marking of examination scripts, processing of examination results, etc. from Aug. 2 until further notice.”

There are 15 public universities in Ghana.

 

Among them are University of Ghana, Legon, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, University of Cape Coast,

CK Tadem University for Technology and Applied Sciences.

 

Others are University of Education, Winneba and Simon Diedong Dombo University for Business and Integrated Development Studies.

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