University workers may embark on another strike soon should the government fail to honour its agreement with the workers unions, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) has warned.
SSANU, which blamed the Presidency for the incessant strikes, said if the Federal Government failed to do the right thing, workers in the universities would down tools again.
The Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu Alike ÊkwÍ (AE-FUNAI) chapter of SSANU gave the warning while presenting its memoranda to the school’s visitation panel.
Presenting the association’s memoranda to the panel’s Chairman, Usman Sariki, the AE-FUNAI SSANU Chairman, Emma Chigbata, said the university system was dying.
He identified poor funding and divide and rule system by the Federal Government in its dealings with unions in the universities as some of the reasons for rot in the system.
“The Federal Government has no respect for agreements. Many agreements it entered into with unions, none of them have been fulfilled,” Chigbata said.
He said if the situation was not properly handled, it could lead to a breakdown of law and order in the universities.
“Very soon, students will rise against workers and lecturers because of incessant strikes,” he said.
Chigbata however expressed pessimism in the ability of the visitation panels set up for federal universities to solve the problem.
He lamented that workers’ salaries were slashed following the introduction of the Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System (IPPIS) by the Federal Government.
“IPPIS slashed the salary of workers. It is now peanuts. University workers cannot afford to feed and pay rents. They now borrow to feed and take care of their needs,” he said.
Sariki said the panel was not an investigative panel, but a fact-finding one.
He said, “We are not here to witch-hunt anybody but to find out the true situation of things and advise the government on how to improve the university system.”
FG bans SS1, SS2 students from participating in WASSCE, NECO, NABTEB
The Federal Government has stopped students in Senior Secondary School one and two from participating in external West African Senior School Certificate Examination, WASSCE; the National Examination Council, NECO; and National Business and Technical Examinations Board, NABTEB.
The development was contained in a circular issued to principals of federal unity schools by the Federal Ministry of Education.
The circular was signed by the ministry’s Director, Senior Secondary Education, Hajia Binta Abdulkadir, and confirmed by the Director of Press and Public Relations, Ben Bem Goong, on Friday.
The circular read, “The ministry’s attention has been drawn to the flagrant disregard to its directive on (the) writing of external examinations such as NABTEB (NTC and NBC), WASSCE, NECO (SSCE) by SS1 and SS2 students.
“Students who are involved in the practice find it difficult to settle down on serious studies. They become unruly and distract other students from achieving their goals.
“Any student caught to have written any of the above examinations in SS1 or SS2 classes will be expelled from the college. All students must write these examinations after they have been duly registered for the examination by the college.
“All students of Federal Unity College should adhere strictly to the content of this circular. And Principals are advised to bring the content of this circular to the knowledge of all parents of the college.”
21 Nigerian students get Stallion Empowerment Initiative scholarships
Twenty-one students of Premium Technical High School, Warri, Delta State of Nigeria, have received the 2021 education scholarship award, facilitated by Stallion Empowerment Initiative, the charity arm of Stallion Group.
The awards given at a ceremony held last Friday are for the best performing students for the 2020/2021 academic session across various classes.
The SEI Education Scholarship includes Sunil Vaswani Merit Scholarships with 100 per cent full tuition fee waiver for the best student in classes, Primary 6 to Senior Secondary 3; Principal’s Merit Scholarship with 75 per cent tuition waiver for the second-best student and Roy Tabet Merit Scholarship with 50 per cent tuition scholarship for the third-best student.
SEI Educational Scholarship’s inaugural edition was given to the best-performing students of the 2019/2020 academic session, despite the COVID-19, as it was essential to propagate the importance of education during a year of hardship.
Co-founder of SEI, Ms Sarina Vaswani, said the scholarship programme stemmed from the SEI’s belief in building positive prospects for the future generation through investment in human capital, especially education and skills.
She said, “We support the youth to further their education into secondary schools and university. We believe our school programmes and support can help prepare students into adulthood.”
The SEI, according to her, is working towards building Nigeria as a benchmark in improving the access and opportunities available for young individuals.
“The goal is to improve the attendance rates for schools in the region and encourage every child to attend school in the region,” Ms Vaswani said.
The is said to SEI support Premium Technical High School (THS), which comprises 1,746 students and two other premium primary schools with a student population of 2,000, all in Warri, Delta State.
Principal of THS, Mr Joseph Sido, said with the support, the schools could offer qualitative secondary school education for children in the neighbouring communities.
He said, “The students are imparted with technical training so that they are absorbed in industries like premium steel or other ancillary industry in that region.”
The firm noted that over 50% of this year’s beneficiaries were female, just like 2020, indicating a continuation of the initiative’s support for education of the girl child in Nigeria.
The statement noted, “Due to cultural and religious disparities, female literacy continues to be an ongoing challenge in Nigeria, which SEI believes are core challenges society will continue to tackle in the future.”
It went further to quote Ms Vaswani as saying, “By creating an open environment for girls to attend schools and supporting them with educational grants and scholarships, SEI sets precedence and propagates gender equality in Nigeria.”
It also stated that SEI’s key focus had been to support education, healthcare and drive youth empowerment programmes.
FG to reconsider South East candidates who missed 2021 WASSCE
The Ministry of Education has assured that candidates who missed the 2021 West Africa Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) in the South East, will be given another opportunity to write the examination.
Sonny Echono, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, made this known while monitoring some examination centres in Abuja on Monday.
Echono frowned at the Sept. 13 disruption of examination centres in the South East.
He, however, expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the examination across the country which was written by over 1.57 million candidates.
According to Echono, the ministry will put modalities in place to ensure that the candidates who missed the examination in the South East are given other opportunities to write the examination.
“We are very pleased that all around the country; examinations are going on peacefully as we have a total of over 19,000 exams centres across the country with over 1.57million registered candidates.
“Besides the disruptions we had on Sept.13 in the South East where some candidates were stopped from doing the exams, it is a peaceful examination.
“We are complying with all the standards and ethics of examinations, we are pursuing very hard more cases, incidence or possibilities of examinations malpractice because we have a zero tolerance for examinations malpractice.
“We shall punish any person found culpable and ensure that sanity is restored in our system,’’ he said.
Echono further said that the ministry did not encounter challenges in preparing students for the examinations aside from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“All COVID-19 safety protocols are being strictly adhered to in centres across the country,” he said.
He said that although some schools were closed in states due to COVID-19 pandemic, alternative arrangements were made especially for exit classes to take the examination.
On the possibilities of examination malpractices, Echono said that cases of examination malpractices were usually collated at the end of the examination, pointing out that the culprits would also be brought to book.
He said that the ministry was collaborating with relevant examination bodies and Non Government Organisations to fish out candidates involved in examination malpractices.
“This is because we have a lot of miscreant who are perpetrating and deceiving people. We are going to undertake a general overhaul for all those offering so called services to candidates.
“We didn’t see much of malpractices in internal examinations like this because these are students who are already in school,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the permanent secretary led the monitoring team to the Federal Government Girls College (FGGC) Bwari and Government Girls Secondary School, Dutse.
It was also observed that the students of the GGSS, Dutse, were in full compliance with COVID-19 protocols.
Muaz Hassan, The Eagle Online
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