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OAU resumes Feb 7, cancels 2020/2021 session

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Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife has announced February 7, 2021 for resumption of academic activities.

A statement by the university authorities on Tuesday said the announcement followed the institution’s senate meeting on Tuesday.

Titled: ‘Resumption of academic activities for 2019/2020 academic session’, the statement added that the institution had cancelled its 2020/2021 session.

The statement read in part, “Consequent upon the directive of the Federal Government that schools should re-open, the Senate of Obafemi Awolowo University at its meeting held today (Tuesday), January 19, 2021, announced the following resumption timetable for the continuation of the 2019/2020 academic session that was suspended in March 2020 following the outbreak of COVID-19:

“February 7, 2021 – Final year students in the Faculty of Pharmacy, Clinical Students in the College of Health Sciences and year four students in the Faculty of Agriculture are to come into residence. All other students are to attend their classes virtually.

“February 8, 2021 – Resumption of Lectures: The approved resumption programme is subject to periodic review in line with the realities and trend of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In addition, the Senate approved cancellation of 2020/2021 academic session.

“Furthermore, in line with the directives of the Federal Government on prevention of community transmission of COVID-19, the Senate was emphatic on the need for both staff and students to strictly adhere to the following COVID-19 protocols – regular handwashing with soap and running water, use of hand sanitizer, compulsory wearing of face mask; and social distancing.

“Staff, students and other members of the university community must also adhere strictly to the recommendations of the COVID-19 committee of the university.”

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1.4 million candidates write 2021 UTME

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No fewer than 1.4 million candidates seeking admission into tertiary institutions in Nigeria on Saturday started writing this year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, being conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB.

The number of candidates for this year’s exam was a significant drop from the previous year’s when about 2 million candidates sat for the exam.

While some blamed the drop on challenges encountered by some candidates in linking their National Identification Number, NIN, to their applications, JAMB still gave such candidates a two-week window to register at its offices nationwide.

At the end of the day, less than 50,000 candidates took that opportunity.

The Registrar, Prof. Isaq Oloyede, said the huge figures of the past could be attributable to double registration by some people or even registration by proxies that the NIN has helped to eliminate.

While the examination for early registrants would end on July 3, this year, the Board is expected to conduct a mop up examination for candidates who registered late at a later date.

When Sunday Vanguard visited some of the examination centres in Ikotun, Ogba, Abule-Egba, Ikorodu among others, there were no serious cases of hitches or malpractices noticed.

Candidates and their parents expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the exercise.

At a centre in Ogolonto, Ikorodu, Femi, a candidate, said, “I was among the first set who sat for the exam and everything was prompt. There were no technical hitches and no disruption of the exercise. Everything was done in orderly manner.”

At a centre in Abule-Egba, Lagos, men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, were on hand to prevent parents of candidates from staying too close to the centre.

In Ikotun area of Lagos too, the exam started on time and the usual issue of candidates having difficulties in logging in did not occur.

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BREAKING: Polytechnic lecturers suspend over two-month strike

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Polytechnic lecturers have suspended their industrial action, after 65 days of staying away from classrooms.

The lecturers said the suspension was for three months to enable the government to complete execution of the items contained in a Memorandum of Action signed with their union since April 27, 2021.

The lecturers, under the aegis of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), said they would resume the suspended industrial action if the government failed to implement the demands after three months.

A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of ASUP, Abdullahi Yalwa, read in part, “Following an appraisal of the report indicating the gradual implementation of the items contained in the Memorandum of Action signed between our Union and the Federal Government, the Union has resolved to suspend its 65 days old industrial action with effect from 10th June, 2021.

“The suspension is for a period of three months to enable the government complete the execution of the items contained in the Memorandum of Action signed with the Union since 27th April, 2021.

“As part of the efforts communicated by the Federal Ministry of Education, certain items have been fulfilled like the reconstitution and inauguration of governing councils and visitation panels in Nigerian Federal Polytechnics while we are led to believe that the release of funds for infrastructure revitalisation and minimum wage arrears is currently being processed.

“Other items include the ongoing efforts at the review of the Scheme of Service and Conditions of Service for Polytechnics as well as the commencement of work towards resolution of the issues around CONTISS 15 migration arrears for the lower cadre. We also acknowledge the recent passage of the Bill for removal of the dichotomy against HND holders in the country.

 

“In reaching the decision to suspend the strike, our Union took into cognizance the appeals made by the government, revered traditional stools in the country, members of the National Assembly, Chairmen of Governing Councils of Federal Polytechnics and indeed members of the public who showed varied interests in the matter.

“It is the expectation of our Union that the suspension of this action will provide an enabling environment for the government to fulfill other aspects of the memorandum of action and afford the government an opportunity to reverse its trust deficit within our sector.

“We equally appreciate the different layers of intervention by critical stakeholder groups in the sector within the period.”

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FG inaugurates remodelled Chibok school seven years after B’Haram attack

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday inaugurated the newly remodelled Government Girls Secondary School in the Chibok Local Government Area of Borno State.

The school was attacked by the Boko Haram terrorisms seven years ago, where they kidnapped 276 schoolgirls.

The new school is now renamed ‘Government Secondary School’ as a mixed school for boys and girls.

The attack which took place on April 14, 2014 had led to the schoolgirls, mostly Christians, being ferried into Sambisa Forest, causing agony for the parents, the state and the country.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan through his Finance Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iwella, visited Chibok in March 2015, to lay the foundations for new school building.

But not until President Muhammadu Buhari came on board, in which, the Borno State Government under the leadership of Governor Babagana Zulum took over that the project was completed, this year.

While some of the girls escaped, some rescued, about 112 of them were held captive or married off to the terrorists as their whereabouts are still unknown.

Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, who at the Monday’s inauguration represented Buhari, said she was in the state to bring a goodwill message of the President to the people of Borno, especially those in Chibok.

She thanked Borno State Government for singlehandedly renovating the school.

She said the FG was determined to provide quality education, especially to the downtrodden and improve the girl-child education.

She said the present administration was also unwavering to root out insurgency in the North-East region and the country as a whole to enable the displaced people to return to normal life.

The minister said, “We sympathize with the Chibok community. We know what you are going through. But I want to assure you that we are working day and night to make sure that life returns to normal both in your community and all others affected by terrorism.

“I want to appeal to Chibok leaders and the community to continue give their maximum support to the present administration under the leadership of Governor Babagana Umara Zulum who is ever willing to give girl child education the desire it needs.”

The chief host, Governor Zulum, thanked President Buhari for his support and cooperation to the state government to obtain the required funds which led to the completion of all the destroyed structures, and pledged his administration’s commitment to uplifting the education sector in the state.

He prayed God to rescue the remaining schoolgirls and all those still in the captivity of Boko Haram.

Zulum said, “The reconstructed Chibok school have a state of the art classrooms, library and laboratory, computer and ICT centre, a sports arena and a clinic.

“For security, it has a gate house and observation post to be manned by well-equipped security agents.

“This administration promised to rebuild the Government Secondary School in Chibok which was destroyed by terrorists. Today, I am glad that we are all witnessing the official commissioning of the completed befitting projects.

“We want our students to go back to school. We want them to get the education they need to live a decent life. We will support them and we will do everything we can to support their parents and the entire community.

“We will also not forget the Chibok girls. We are working hard to ensure that they return home. As a father, I can feel the pain of the parents. What happened was tragic. But I want you to know that this administration cares. We will not abandon our children. We are with you.”

A number of other projects executed by the state government were also commissioned to mark the governor’s two-year anniversary.

 

The projects executed by the Zulum administration are the newly constructed Government Lodges in Chibok and Askira Uba LGA,  Mbabala Technical College also in Chibok; primary health care centres in Mbalala and Wamdeo in Askira Uba; 200 housing units in Chibok town; 20 double classrooms in Damboa; boreholes in Mboa community as well as distribution of palliatives, among others.

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