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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

ASUU strike: Lecturers outstanding salaries now delaying reopening of varsities

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  • We won’t pay lectuers for strike period, FG insists
  • ASUU vows not to end strike without full payment

Controversy over payment of outstanding salaries owed striking lecturers may further delay reopening of government universities shut about six months ago due to the industrial action called by the Academic Staff Union of Universities.

While the Federal Government on Thursday insisted it would not pay the lecturers for the whole strike period, ASUU vowed not to call off the strike unless its members had been fully paid their outstanding salaries.

Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, who said the no-work no-pay policy would be fully enforced, said ASUU was free to go to court to challenge the government’s decision on the matter.

He also said students affected by the industrial action of the ASUU should sue the union.

ASUU has been on strike since February 14 over the Federal Government’s failure to meet its demands bordering on the funding of universities, salaries and allowances of lecturers as well as payment method or platform.

The strike clocked 185 days on Thursday, a development that has left students, parents and other stakeholders frustrated.

Adamu said no lecturer would not be paid salaries for the six months they are absent from work.

He said, “I think the stand that the government has taken now, not to pay for work not done, I think that’s the only thing in the hand of the government to ensure that there is penalty for some behaviour like this.

“I believe teachers will think twice before they join strike if they know that at the end, they are not going to be paid.

“The government is not acting arbitrarily. There is a law and I believe this is going to be a strong element to deter many from going on strike.”

When asked if the FG had plans to compensate students affected by the industrial action, Adamu said it should be ASUU to compensate the students, not the government.

The minister said, “Who do you assume will compensate students? The Federal Government? Probably you should take the leaders of strike unions to court to pay them; probably the court will award damages and then, we’ll see how they pay.

“We are all hit by this strike action, perhaps because students have to spend an extra one year or two, you can say, they are worst hit. If you had the chance, or the capacity to measure the effect of that on the economy, the economy is also a victim, parents are also victims.

“It’s a loss for the nation. As far as I know, JAMB will administer examinations; students will use it to process admissions into universities, nothing has changed.”

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We’ve not accepted UTAS as payment platform for lecturers, says FG

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The Federal Government says it has not adopted the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) as the payment platform for lecturers.

President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, said on Monday that the FG had approved UTAS, which was presented by the union as against the government’s Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

But reacting to this on Thursday at a briefing on ‘Reforms in the Education Sector in Nigeria’ in Abuja, Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, said the issue of UTAS was still being deliberated upon.

He said a committee had been set to look into it.

Adamu also said an estimated N2.5 trillion had been invested in tertiary education in the last 10 years, adding that the amount was invested through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).

He said the amount exceed the N1.2 trillion contained in the 2009 agreement with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and still counting.

He added that President Muhammadu Buhari had expended a total of N6,003,947,848,237 in capital and recurrent expenditure in the education sector in the last seven years.

According to him, this is more than any other administration in the history of the nation. Adamu added, “Common knowledge as it were, many Nigerians may not know that the Federal Government is paying the salaries of every staff in its tertiary institutions, academic and non-academic staff, while these institutions are also in full control of their Internally Generated Revenues (IGR).”

He said the unions in tertiary institutions in the country, especially ASUU, had been engaged in recurring and avoidable strikes that had crippled the university system.

He said, “We are doing everything humanly possible to conclude on the negotiations. It is our hope that the outcome of the renegotiations will bring lasting industrial peace to our campuses.

“In the meantime, I am sure that the current efforts would yield the desired results and return our children back to school.”

He also said enormous resources had gone into various categories of training including the PhDs, master’s degrees and related research programmes for personnel of universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education.

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Borno public school teachers now enjoying N30,000 minimum wage – Zulum

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A total of 4,491 qualified teachers under the Borno State Local Government Education Authority are now enjoying the monthly payment of N30,000 minimum wage with effect from August, 1, 2022.

The Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, stated this, saying he had approved the immediate implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage to the teachers.

The State Government under the leadership of Governor Zulum faced accusations on the social media last week that teachers working with public primary schools received monthly salary between N7,000 and N11,000 as take home pay.

Governor Babagana Zulum who just returned from Japan after an official engagements gave the approval while having meeting with the chairmen and members of the state civil service and local government service commissions, Head of Service, as well members of Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), and Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) at the Government House, Maiduguri on Wednesday.

Zulum also said promotion benefits of all state civil servants would be implemented from January 2022 to 2023 after a promotional examination, stressing that if Yobe State could conduct promotional examination, nothing should stop Borno from doing so.

“The problems in the state civil service and the local government service commissions are enormous. Many people could not understand the complexity of problems we have at hand, but I assure you we are going to sit down and address them with time.”

He lamented that about 3,000 teachers on the payroll of the LEA in the state did not have any qualified certificate, talk less of experience to teach, but assured that those trainable would be trained.

“We will take 1,000 unqualified teachers that are trainable to be undergo training at the Colleges of Education Waka Biu and Bama, while others will be trained in collaboration with National Teachers Institutes (NTI) for six months, and when pass the competency test, they will be observed into the system,” he said.

Borno State Chairman of the NLC, Yusuf Inuwa, commended Governor Zulum for the payment of 2020 leave grant to the state civil servants and assured him of the labour continued industrial harmony and support.

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