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Photo: JAMB team inspects Wings Schools CBT Centre

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L-R: Assistant Administrator, Wings Schools CBT Centre, Iwo, Osun State, Imam Bilal Olurode; Mr Paul Femi Aderinto of Osun State JAMB office, Osogbo; proprietor of the Wings Schools CBT Centre, Prof. Lai Olurode; head of JAMB reaccreditation team to the centre, Prof. Adesola Aderounmu; JAMB Deputy Director, Mr Dele Daramola; the centre’s administrator, Mr Yunus Ishaq, and principal of Wings Schools, Alhaji Abdulateef Nafiu, after inspection by the JAMB officials from Abuja in preparation for 2021 exam…recently.

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Education

Kwara okays use of hijab in public schools

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The Kwara State Government has approved the use of hijab by female students in all public secondary schools in the state, thus ending a week of controversy and protest over the issue.

The state government also directed the reopening of all mission schools closed schools over the issue, with effect from March 8, 2021.

The following is a statement issued on Thursday by the state government and signed by the Secretary to the Kwara State Government, Prof Mamma Sabah Jibril:

Sequel to recent developments in our state over the status of the hijaab in public/grant-aided schools, the state government has consulted widely with thought leaders and leaders of both Muslim and Christian communities with a view to clarifying issues and reaching a consensus. The last of such meetings was held on Wednesday February 24, presided by His Excellency Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.

At least 10 schools of interest were earlier shut down to maintain peace and public order as well as prevent mischief makers from taking undue advantage of the development.

The state government has considered submissions of all major interest groups on the matter. It has also thoroughly considered the education law of Kwara State, the prevailing court judgments and current global trends of multiculturalism in evolving a consultation-based decision that will bring lasting peace and understanding to our communities. The government has also paid particular attention to the ‘declaratory’ nature of the subsisting judgments of the Court of Appeal and their purports.

Consequently, the government hereby acknowledges and approves the right of the Muslim schoolgirl to wear the hijab, and directs the Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development to come up with a uniform hijab for all public/ grant-aided schools, which will be the accepted mode of head covering in schools. Any willing schoolgirl with the approved (uniform) hijab shall have the right to wear same in public/grant-aided schools.

 Also, the government affirms the right of every child in public schools to freedom of worship.

The government hereby directs that the affected 10 schools should reopen to commence classes on Monday 8th March 2021.

Similarly, the government has carefully noted submissions regarding ownership of grant-aided schools and related issues. While the status of these schools is the subject of judicial determination, this and other related matters will soon be subjected to a technical committee to advise accordingly. The government reassures all members of the public that it will act in good conscience at all times.

The government asserts that there is no victor or vanquished on the hijaab question. It urges the two faith communities, especially the leaders, opinion moulders and media personalities to act with restraint and great responsibility in their public utterances and actions, and continue to live in peace and harmony with one another. The government commends all the thought and religious leaders on both sides for their forbearance, understanding and commitment to peace.

Prof Mamma Sabah Jibril

Secretary to the Kwara State Government

February 25, 2021.

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Education

Varsity workers suspend strike as unions, FG sign agreement

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University workers have suspended their three-week old industrial action after their unions have signed a memorandum of action with the Federal Government on their demands.

The Joint Action Committee of the non-teaching staff unions of universities, which announced the suspension of the strike on Thursday, said it would take effect from midnight of February 26.

The JAC non-teaching staff leaders comprise representatives of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union of the Universities (NASU).

The union conveyed the decision during a media briefing held after holding a conciliatory meeting with the Federal Government.

It said that it agreed to suspend the nationwide strike after reaching an agreement with the government.

NASU General Secretary, Peters Adeyemi, who spoke on behalf of the union, said their demands had been harmonised to the satisfaction of both parties.

He said that they would continue to monitor the agreements reached with timeline to ensure that the government would implement its own side of the bargain.

“We had eight items which we negotiated and which formed the basis for our ongoing national strike. Our members in our various campuses in the universities and inter-universities centres had appraised the draft MoU and then raised the few observations, but they granted us the mandate that if we are able to meet with the government which we have been able to do today and if the leadership is satisfied, we can go ahead and suspend the strike.

“So we have held the meeting with the government side and those areas that needed to be harmonized has been harmonized to the satisfaction of both parties and resulting from that development, we have agreed that the ongoing national strike in universities and inter universities centres should be suspended with effect from 12 midnight tomorrow which is Friday 26, February.

“We use this opportunity to appreciate our members for their commitment in this struggles, this strike is suspended and we are not mindful of the fact that we will continue to monitor the agreements that has been reached which has timeline and we hope that the FG we implement his own side of the bargain.”

Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, had earlier spoken with journalists on the outcome of their meeting, describing the deliberations as smooth.

He said, “If you remember, this is about the fourth negotiation on the matter brought by the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of both unions and today’s deliberation has been very fruitful.

“We have issued a conciliation document, a Memorandum of Action (MOA) and the two unions will get back to their members today with the MoA.”

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WAEC: 39.8% candidates pass 2020 examinations

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About 39.82 per cent of private candidates that sat for the 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (second series) made credits in five subjects, including Mathematics and English.

This is contained in the detailed results released on Monday by the West African Examination Council.

The Head of National Office, Mr. Patrick Areghan, also announced the opening of registration for the 2021 WASSCE for school candidates three months behind schedule.

Announcing the release of the WASSCE for private candidates 2020, Areghan said the result was an improvement in performance in the examination in the last two years.

“Twenty Four Thousand Four Hundred and Ninety One (24,491) candidates representing 39.82 per cent obtained credit and above in a minimum of five subjects, including English Language and Mathematics.

“Out of this number, 12,040, that is, 49.16 per cent were male candidates, while 12,451, that is, 50.84 per cent were female candidates.

“The percentage of candidates in this category in the WASSCE for private candidates in 2018 and 2019; that is, those who obtained credit and above in a minimum of five subjects, including English Language and Mathematics, were 35.99 per cent and 35.10 per cent respectively. Thus, there is a marginal increase of 4.72 per cent in performance in this regard,” he said.

Areghan however warned that the performance should not be the basis of judging how well candidates did in the examination as it is considered a remedial one for candidates seeking to make certain subjects.

Of the 61,509 candidates who took the examination, 5,548 (9.02 per cent) have their results being withheld because of alleged involvement in examination malpractice.

He also explained that the 66,375 candidates registered for the examination represented a 31.63 per cent in decline for enrolment in the examination, which he said was due to COVID-19.

Speaking on why the registration for the 2021 WASSCE for school candidates just opened, Areghan attributed the delay to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said, “We normally close earlier than now but because of the challenges in the education system, a lot of disruption has taken place. Some schools are still running third term. They do not have any SS3. So because of this we had to take time to allow things to stabilise a bit. “Today, we are going to roll out materials; schools will collect. They will enroll candidates. And the date of the examination would announced later.”

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