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21 Nigerian students get Stallion Empowerment Initiative scholarships

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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.

Education

IPPIS: I now earn salary of graduate assistant, says Unilorin VC

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Vice-chancellor, University of Ilorin, Prof Sulyman Abdulkareem, says he is being paid the salary of a graduate assistant as against his statutory payment at the end of the month, attributing this to glitches in the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System

The Unilorin VC estimated the deduction in his monthly salary to be more than 500 per cent decrease in the statutory emoluments of vice-chancellor in a dederal university.

He made the disclosure on Monday at a press briefing marking the beginning of the 36th convocation ceremony of the University in Ilorin.

Prof Abdulkareem also stated that he has no regrets making peace with the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) stating that not doing so previously, had caused the university untold damages.

The VC also used the occasion to tell the public of the many achievements of the school which is set to convoke a total of 10, 922 students at the convocation ceremonies.

The vice-chancellor though admitted that the IPPIS, as a payment system, is quite innovative and subscribes to all university workers migrating to the platform, however, observed that the platform has its challenges.

”A system created to solve one problem shouldn’t be seen to be creating other ones. You can’t imagine that I am being paid the salary of a graduate assistant rather than as the VC as it should be by the IPPIS system,” he said.

He however expressed the hope that the glitches would be sorted out soon.

Reacting to trending talks about the merit of Unilorin rejoining ASUU, Prof Abdulkareem said that he had no regrets whatsoever taking the university back into the fold of the academic union.

The university broke off as a member of ASUU at the height of an industrial crisis in 2001 but returned some three years back.

“Those who complain about Unilorin being back in the fold of ASUU do not even know what the university has lost or the damage such action has caused us.

“The university has paid a huge price for its staff not being part of the university unions. It took the effort of the unions to get us the earned allowance from the Federal government.

“Even when the money was released by the government it became an issue for the university to get it’s own N700 million for the staff because it was the unions that fought for the money and Unilorin, was not part of them.

The VC explained that it took the university being part of the union to unlock the money for the benefits of the varsity staffers.

He also explained that staff and even graduates of the university suffered untold victimisation wherever they went on account of not being part of ASUU.

“Our students were victimised both home and abroad, lecturers couldn’t get fellowships in other campuses. It wasn’t easy,” the VC said.

But giving an account of 2019/2020, the chief executive officer of Unilorin said that the institution achieved remarkable feats despite the ravages of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

For instance, the university got nominated for the Top 100 Achievements Award in the UK.

“In addition, the university emerged as one of the universities that produced the most employed graduates in Nigeria. What this says is that employers of labour should be fair to our graduates. They claim that our graduates are not well trained to take up jobs out there, that is not fair. Our students are well trained. All the employer needs to do is give them orientations and they will deliver,” he said.

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Why Nigerian varsities are not among world best — NUC

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Poor funding is the main reason Nigerian universities are not ranked among the best in the world, Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission, NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, has said.

He however said the commission was planning to put in place stringent measures to curtail the proliferation of universities, especially by state governors and ensure adequate funding for universities.

The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities has also lamented that teaching staff are taking over their jobs through the composition of committees by the university management where the teaching staff are made to head such committees.

The NUC executive secretary spoke in Abuja when the leadership of SSANU paid him a visit in his office, in Abuja, the NUC Executive Secretary advised the association to ensure that any time it was entering into any agreement with the Federal Government, such an agreement should be one that will be implementable.

Explaining why Nigerian universities were not among the highly ranked universities in the world, Prof Rasheed said funding had become a key challenge.

He said, “Once a university loses reputation, it has lost everything.  The NUC may come up with stringent measures on establishing state universities because some of the state-owned universities are not well funded.”

He noted with regret that in a particular university in the South-South, the state government released to the management about N452 million to run the institution in the previous year, and later slashed the money the next year to N91 million, with a further slash to N40 million.

“I am not sure they are paying salary to staff regularly.  Some private universities are sick already,” he said,  pointing out that a particular private university had not paid salary to staff for one and half years.

On the concern raised by SSANU President, Comrade Mohammed Ibrahim, who led the delegation that state governors were proliferating universities as if it had become a constituency project, the NUC boss said the governors were interested in leaving a legacy but not investing in the established universities.

He, however, expressed optimism that the new NUC Act would give the commission more powers, unlike the existing one, adding that there should be a master plan to be submitted and approved by the commission before any new university was established.

He debunked the claim that some of the commissions set up by the NUC in the universities were dominated by teaching staff, against non-teaching staff.

Speaking earlier, SSANU President, Comrade Ibrahim, lamented that some of the jobs meant for non-teaching staff were being taken over by teaching staff.

He said the association believed in excellent service and doing things in the right way, adding that the voices of members of SSANU would only be heard when necessary.

He said, “Our members are becoming more and more troubled by the recent developments coming out of the university system. Our members’ jobs are being taken over by so many committees in the universities.

“There is the issue of non-payment of salaries, especially for our members in state universities. Some have not received salaries for up to six months, yet we hear that NUC is giving accreditation to new state universities.

“NUC should ensure that our members are not languishing in their offices. We are also disturbed over the negative development of nonuniformity in the conditions of service in the universities. This is happening to the morale of our members. We call for a uniform standard in the universities.”

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FUOYE begins 2021/2022 admission screening exercise, pegs cut off mark

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Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) has commenced the 2021/2022 admission screening exercise.

A statement made available to newsmen on Tuesday, and co-signed by the Public Relations (PRO) of the University, Foluso Ogunmodede and Media Adviser to the VC, Wole Balogun, disclosed that the announcement for the commencement of the screening exercise was made public on Tuesday.

 It added that only candidates who sat for the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), and made  FUOYE their first choice are eligible for the screening.

The statement added that the cut-off mark for the screening is now pegged at 160.

Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) has commenced the 2021/2022 admission screening exercise.

A statement made available to newsmen on Tuesday, and co-signed by the Public Relations (PRO) of the University, Foluso Ogunmodede and Media Adviser to the VC, Wole Balogun, disclosed that the announcement for the commencement of the screening exercise was made public on Tuesday.

 It added that only candidates who sat for the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), and made  FUOYE their first choice are eligible for the screening.

The statement added that the cut-off mark for the screening is now pegged at 160.

The screening exercise is also available for interested candidates for Direct Entry who possess NCE, HND, and JUPEB etc.

For further information on available academic courses and procedures for the screening exercise,  interested candidate should log on to http://ecampus. fuoye.edu.ng/putme.

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