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We’ve been pushed to the wall, can go on strike any moment — ASUU

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has said its members can embark on strike anytime, as the Federal Government is reneging on its promise to implement the Memorandum of Action, MOA, the two parties signed last December.

Briefing the press in Lagos on Tuesday, the Lagos Zonal Coordinator, Dr Adelaja Odukoya, also accused the government of trying to cripple the union by withholding check off dues of members for over a year.

He said the dues ran into millions of naira and that the act was perpetrated by the government though the controversial Integrated Personnel Payroll and Information System,IPPIS.

Odukoya, who was in company with union leaders from various universities in the zone, said the union had given the government a rope long enough for the government to hang itself on the matter.

“We called off our strike last December and signed a MOA and out of the nine items on the list for implementation, only two have been done. The first is the setting up of Visitation. Panels to universities.

 Can you image that we as union are the ones asking the government to set up panels to know what is happening in their universities? Setting up of panels ought to be done every five years.

“The second item is the promotion arrears and that has not been done completely. A number of our members in some universities are yet to benefit. Can one say scoring two out of nine marks is enviable?

“The Revitalisation Fund that they said had been deposited at the Central Bank of Nigeria since January this year is still crawling and has not got to the accounts of beneficiaries,” he said.

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Old Boys institute N100m endowment fund for Edo Catholic college

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The Annunciation Catholic College Irrua Old Boys Association (ACCIOBA) has instituted a N100 million endowment fund and completed other infrastructure to support the redevelopment of their alma mater, the Annunciation Catholic College (ACC), Irrua, Edo State.

The unveiling of the various completed and ongoing projects coincided with the school’s maiden Nine Lessons and Christmas Carols festival, which also featured the award of cash and scholarships to deserving students of the school founded in 1955.
At the event, ACCIOBA announced the institution of a N100 million scholarship endowment fund and reported that N70 million had already been raised as part of the fund. It unveiled a fully completed six-bedroom Corpers’ Lodge, a 500-capacity College Auditorium, and a 20-bed ultra-modern medical centre which is now in its completion stages.
Other projects showcased at the event included a perimeter fence constructed around the school for adequate security, a statue of the founder of the school, Rev. Fr. Anselm Ojefua, a school gate house, installed solar power, and a tarred thoroughfare from the gate to the principal’s office.
The old boys of ACC Irrua who are top professionals worldwide, also supported the school by employing 10 highly qualified teachers, furnishing staff rooms and classrooms, supplying several boxes of text and exercise books, and providing six (6) lawn mowers to maintain the school’s vast compound.
As part of the event, ACCIOBA distributed bags of rice and beans worth N2.2 million to teachers and staff as incentives to encourage good teaching and learning.
Global President of ACCIOBA, Sir Pascal Isele, represented by Mr. David Akhuemokhan, read the first lesson during the Carol festival while the second lesson, was read by Prof. Mathew Ighalo, represented by Mr. Mike Akhimien.
In their messages at the event delivered via Zoom, the Global President, Sir. Paschal Isele, Keynote Speaker, Dr. Peter Okojie of the North American branch, Engr. Joseph Akhigbe, and Dr. Joseph Ohens (President, ACCIOBA North America), were excited that the school was regaining its lost glory and called on the students to be committed to their studies and avoid acts capable of mortgaging their future.
The Chief Inspector of Education, Esan Central, Mrs. Irene Uyigue and the Principal of the school, Dr. Peter Aikore assisted the Global Secretary, Dr. Ayemhenre Esekheigbe, to hand over awards to Aiwodogbo Wisdom and Odili Joseph for emerging overall bests in Junior and Senior secondary classes, respectively.
President of ACCIOBA North America, Dr. Joseph Ohens, in an interview, said an architectural plan for the construction of an ultra-modern hostel complex was ready and awaiting the state government’s approval.
“We are very lucky to have a governor, His Excellency, Godwin Obaseki, and a commissioner for education, Honourable Joan Oviawe, who have both indicated their willingness to partner with alumni associations in better managing secondary schools in Edo State. We are committed to exploring possibilities with the state government,” he said.

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Pupil gets scholarship to dream school despite not making grade

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A few years ago, when Bilikisu Abdulrahman was a pupil of Olowora Primary School, Isheri, Lagos, a former pupil of the school, Blessing Ugbebor, visited.

Blessing visited her former school as a pupil of Mind Builders High School.  She got a scholarship to the school in 2018 when Mind Builders School renovated Olowora Primary School as part of its 20th anniversary celebration and she impressed guests with her delivery of a vote of thanks at the event.

Blessing who excelled in the entrance examination, shared how hard work earned her  scholarship to the elite school and encouraged pupils of her former school to be studious.

That visit made a strong impression on Bilikisu, who was then in Primary Five, and she started dreaming of joining Blessing at Mind Builders after her primary education.

But to do so, she had to win a scholarship as her mother, Mrs. Khadija Abdulrahman, a low-income nanny, was raising her four girls alone after being abandoned by their father.

“The first day Blessing walked into our school to tell us about Mind Builders, that was when I said I would also try to get this scholarship because I really like the way she talked about the school.  I said I will work hard and try to get to the school.

“I read hard, and my common entrance exam I made sure that I passed.  I read all night and when the entrance exam came I wrote it; and after that I prayed I get the scholarship.,” said Bilikisu, now 11 years old.

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After writing the scholarship examination and not hearing from Mind Builders, Bilikisu’s mother, persuaded her to begin registration at the public junior secondary school closest to their home.

Bilikisu was heartbroken. But just a day later, her mother got a call that she had been given a scholarship to attend Mind Builders.

“Some days to resumption I went to her (Bilikisu’s) bed and tapped her leg and said ‘Biliki, I don’t have money to send you to Mind Builders so let us start our registration now (at the public school)’.

“She was sad until we came back from the school.  But when we got home that day her aunty (teacher) called me, ‘Biliki is going to Mind Builders tomorrow’.  She was just jumping, happy.  The following day was Friday September 10.  We were at the school.  She was registered and everything was given to her; even the uniform.

“Till I got home I was just praising God and singing. I wished for it but did not think it was possible because she is a Muslim and she is poor.  It just by the grace of God,” she said.

The scholarship which covers her tuition, books, activities, transportation, is worth N1,063,125 yearly.  The only thing she was required to pay for was her school uniforms.

Principal of Mind Builders High School, Mrs. Oluwafunmilayo Olatunbode said Bilikisu scored highest among indigent pupils that took the entrance examination.  But her score, 70, was 10 marks short of the scholarship benchmark.

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However she said providence was on Bilikisu’s side and the school’s governing board, chaired by Mr. Tunbosun Falore decided to offer her the scholarship with the proviso that she must reach the 80 percentile to maintain it throughout her secondary education.

Olatunbode said: “At the end of the exams, Bilikisu actually scored 70 percent, which actually is not the cut off for the scholarship. The scholarship mark is 80 per cent and our normal candidates could afford the fees.  We already had like four candidates who scored 80 and above. But the scholarship scheme is not meant for the candidates who could pay, but for learners whose parents could not really afford it.

“We now said it will mean that we don’t have any scholarship candidate for this 2021/2022 session.  But the Chairman insisted. And it was based on that philanthropic mind of assisting the needy that he said, ‘okay, give it to the child that scored 70. But as soon as she gets here, call the mother; speak with her to encourage her daughter to improve on her academic performance.

“The rule is that, once you come in as a scholarship student, you should be able to maintain your 80 percent. Once you retain that, you get your scholarship till you finish your secondary education.”

I fainted when my wife said I’m not father of our 14-yr-old daughter — Father of four

Mrs. Olatunbode said Bilikisu had already improved and achieved over 80 percent last term.

While Bilikisu was the only indigent pupil to benefit from the scholarship this session, Mrs. Olatunbode said the school was willing to offer more.  She however lamented the lack of interest by public schools in Ikeja and Magodo environs to allow their primary six pupils participate in the scholarship examination.  Only two pupils from Olowora Primary School took the scholarship entrance examination.

“There is one where we actually visited; we wrote a letter that they should bring their pupils to participate in the examination.  They told us that except we get a letter from the ministry of education authorizing them to allow their children write the exam that they would not present their pupils. It is a volunteering thing; it is not a compulsion,” she said.

The Nation

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Four federal university students abducted in Nasarawa

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The Federal University of Lafia, Nasarawa State, has been thrown into confusion following the reported abduction of four students of the institution around their campus.

The students were reportedly abducted at the university community in Maraba.

The Public Relation Officer of the institution, Mr. Abubakar Ibrahim, confirmed the incident, explaining that four students were abducted.

He said the gunmen stormed the university community at about 11:30 pm on Thursday and whisked the students to an undisclosed location.

“The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Shehu Abdul Rahman, on behalf of the management of the institution, expressed his profound outrage at the unfortunate development and condemned it in strong terms and demand for the immediate release of those kidnapped.”

The vice-chancellor was quoted as saying kidnapping of students constitutes one of the most serious threats to education in Nasarawa State, in particular, and Nigeria in general.

While expressing his deep sympathy to the families of the abducted students, he assured them that serious efforts were being taken to ensure quick rescue of the victims.

“The vice-chancellor, who has since visited the area where the students were kidnapped, visited the Nasarawa Police command where he formally notified the commissioner of Police about the abduction of the students,” the statement added.

Prof. Rahman reportedly urged students to pay more attention to security-related matters and appealed to them to remain calm and go about their normal activities.

  • He said additional measures had been put in place to guarantee adequate safety of lives and property within and outside the university.
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