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FEC approves bill increasing teachers retirement age to 65

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The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved a new bill to increase teachers’ retirement age to 65 or after 40 years in service.

The approval was given at the FEC meeting in Abuja presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents in Abuja on Wednesday on the outcome of the meeting.

The bill, ‘Harmonized Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria Bill 2020’, among others, seeks to change the retirement age of teachers in the country from 60 to 65.

It also recommends a change in the years of service for teachers from 35 to 40 years.

Adamu said, “This memo that was approved for the Ministry of Education is a giant step towards what we set out to do last year, with the approval of some special packages for teachers by the President. So, at the meeting today, Council approved that a bill which will be called ‘Harmonized Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria Bill 2020’ be sent to the National Assembly for enactment into law so that all the promises made by the president and all the approvals he had given to me will now begin to be put into effect because this is the legal backing that is required for it.

“The essence of the bill actually is to give legal backing for the approval of a new retirement age of 65 for teachers and then the service period being extended to 40 years.”

He gave other components of the bill as the introduction of bursary awards; special rural posting allowances, and other measures to attract the best brains to the teaching profession.

“The intention is to attract the best brains to the teaching profession and for that, the President approved the reintroduction of bursary awards, improving teacher quality, funding teaching practice form TETFUND, enhanced entry point for teachers. The president also approved that there should be some special allowances, like rural posting allowance and science teachers’ allowance,” the minister added.

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Education

UniAbuja replies JAMB, says only varsities have powers over admissions

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University of Abuja says the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB lacks constitutional powers to meddle in admissions into universities.

The university also refuted last week’s allegations by JAMB that it was engaging in “Illegal admissions”, outside the constitutional provisions.

In a statement on Monday by its Head, Information and University Relations, Dr Habib Yakoob, the university insisted that it had not done anything wrong to have conducted admissions without JAMB’s input.

It quoted the Universities Miscellaneous Provisions, (Amendment) Act 2003 7a (ii) as giving the university’s Senate the “powers in all academic matters including the organisation and control, teaching and research, admission of students.”

“What this means is that the university, not any external body, is guaranteed the power of admissions,” it stated.

The statement, entitled, ‘The University of Abuja is not engaged in illegal admissions’ read in part, “The University of Abuja has been constrained to respond to recent reports in the media that the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has named the University, among others (curiously unmentioned), as being engaged in “illegal admissions” exercise because it failed to upload the list of its admission on Central Admissions Processing System (CAPS). “The University of Abuja wishes to categorically and emphatically state that it has not conducted any illegal admissions, and has nothing to hide as far as its admission exercise is concerned.

“It makes bold to state that, at the moment, the University has one of the best and most transparent systems of admission in the country.

“This, indeed, is the only federal university which catchment area is the whole of Nigeria, and truly and practically admits from all states of the country, while simultaneously upholding the principle of merit and excellence!

“Our rules are clear and transparent. As long as candidates have taken the UTME, scored 180 and above, met the University’s cut-off points and some other stringent criteria set by JAMB, the University ensures, within the limit of its capacity, that such candidates stand a chance of getting admitted. “In other words, nobody who has not taken the UTME, nor failed to meet JAMB or University guidelines, can be admitted in the University of Abuja now.

“In any case, the University is familiar with the operation of CAPS, and has since, largely embraced it as part of its contributions to ensuring that the university system serves and protects the interest of all Nigerians in the search of quality tertiary education.

“For instance, the Merit List for the 2020/2021 admissions was proposed on CAPS and all queries issued on same were replied to accordingly.

“It is important to note that candidates have been directed to ensure that they upload their ‘O’ Level results and accept their offer of admission on CAPS. This is the clearest proof if any is needed that the University is not opposed to or in violation of CAPS and what it represents.

“However, the University is careful that in following this operation, it is not hindered to effectively deliver the service for which it was created, in the first place. After all, it is not outside the powers of the University to conduct admissions of our students.”

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Education

Katsina govt okays use of dogs to secure boarding schools

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The Katsina State Government has approved the use of dogs by the security personnel deployed to secure the state’s boarding schools.

This move, according to the Katsina State Commissioner for Education, Dr Badamasi Charanchi, is to complement the efforts of the security personnel attached to each boarding schools.

“We were advised to deploy these dogs in each school because they have special abilities to detect intruder faster than human beings in many instances.

“These dogs, when deployed, will alert the students and other security agents in case of any intruder or bandits when they are coming,” he said.

Governor of Katsina State, Aminu Masari, said his administration had reinforced the security architecture of the state’s boarding schools before reopening them.

He said apart from deploying five security guards in each school, a perimeter fence was erected and a security watch tower constructed in each of the  boarding schools.

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Education

JAMB stops use of email for UTME, Direct Entry registration

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The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says use of email is no longer required for registration processes for Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and Direct Entry (DE).

JAMB Registrar, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, said email addresses of applicants would be needed only at the successful completion of the registration to access information on the examination.

He said as from Thursday, April 15, 2021, candidates would no longer be required to provide any email address during registration, adding that they would have the options to access their profile during or after registration.

According to him, the new system is to ensure candidates’ details are not exposed to dubious cyber cafe operators and other criminal elements who in the course of UTME/DE registration steal email passwords to perpetrate fraud.

The JAMB registrar said an individual’s mobile phone now remains the only major tool to carry out all the registration processes.

He said the options include “mobile APP on the candidates’ phone, on the 55019 option (being designed) for example admission status checking, acceptance of admission etc on their profile.”

The registrar added, “Printing of examination slip (notification) or result notification slip or ticketing can be done anywhere using the candidates JAMB registration number only.

“At the conclusion of the 2021 UTME/DE registration exercise, candidates will provide their email addresses only after the 2021 UTME/DE registration exercise has been declared closed by JAMB through (a) mobile APP on his/her registered phone.

“Sending the word email (space then the email address) on his /her registered phone to 55019.

“The email is typed twice for correctness (email addresses will be entered twice for validation and prevention of typographical errors.”

Oloyede said the board had phased out the use of cash for any transactions in the computer-based test (CBT) centres owned by JAMB, saying only the use of Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards is now allowed.

He said the move was to frustrate the antics of touts who hang around JAMB CBT centres, as well as prevent illegal charges, noting that candidates that were only keen in using cash could visit privately-owned centres for their registration and other activities.

Earlier, a final year student of the University of Abuja (UNIAbuja), Adegoke Justina, told newsmen how she was lured to hand over her email details to a cyber cafe worker, who posed as an employee of JAMB.

Adegoke had visited JAMB CBT centre in Kogo-Bwari area of Abuja to rectify issues with her admission when she was accosted by the young man, who promised to help do necessary applications, only for him to be issuing threats and demanding money days later after taking over the student’s email address.

Moses Peter, the cyber cafe operator, nabbed by police over the incident, however, identified the perpetrator of the crime as one David Ahmad, a student of Auchi Polytechnic, who sometimes works in the cafe.

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