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17-year Old Nigerian Wins Commonwealth Essay Competition

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A 17-year-old Nigerian student, Nnemdi Ozoemena, has emerged the runner-up in the senior category of the 2019 Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition.

Mr Blackson Bayewumi, Country Director of the Royal Commonwealth Society in Nigeria and Chairman Nigeria Conversation, said this in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday.

Bayewumi said that the Federal Ministry of Education had on March 11, inaugurated the competition in Abuja on behalf of the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) Nigeria during commemoration of the Commonwealth Day.

According to him, the Royal Commonwealth Society in Nigeria inaugurated the Essay Competition in Lagos on Feb. 20, 2019 and that the competition was held all over the 53 member countries of the Commonwealth.

“Ozoemena emerged runner-up courtesy of her literary piece chosen from more than 11,000 entries from across the five regions of the Commonwealth.

“She wrote about “Hello” a tale of two young people struggling with issues in their society and who do not feel truly appreciated for whom they are told through direct messages on Twitter.

“From different countries, backgrounds they find common ground and become friends; the One Final Panel Judge described the piece as ‘shop window of how youth are speaking to each other today’.

“Ozoemena will be invited to attend an Awards Ceremony at Buckingham Palace where the Duchess of Cornwall will present them with their certificates on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen,” he said.

Bayewumi said that Ozoemena came closely behind a 15-year-old Canadian, Beached Wang, in the senior category.

He added that Veronica Shen, 13, from Singapore emerged winner in the junior category while 12-year-old Ghanaian, Elise Jensen, emerged runner-up.

He, however, said that the senior category was for people between the ages of 14 years and 18 years, while the junior category was for those who were 13 years old and below.

Bayewumi said that notable authors would read extracts from the winning pieces at the ceremony as part of a week of cultural and educational activities in London, UK.

He explained that the 2019 competition titled “Connected Commonwealth” required applications on how the contestants could use cultural, technological, and environmental connections for positive change across the Commonwealth.

Topics for the competition provided room for young people to write on ways that Commonwealth potentials could be used to strengthen the vast and varied links between citizens.

“It is important to conclude that Nigerian young people have the competence, capacities, capabilities, and intelligence to compete globally and excel if given the opportunity and the right environment.

“While few Nigerian youths indulge themselves in crime, there are millions others making the nation proud in academics, sports, science and technology, entertainment, and other dignifying human endeavours,” he said.

He said that a pan-Commonwealth body consisting of more than 100 volunteer judges across 40 different countries assessed the entries for the competition.

Bayewumi also said that the judges commented on the skill and talent shown by any of the young writers, with entries described as ‘massively memorable’ and ‘very powerful’.

The competition is the oldest international schools’ writing competition organised by the Royal Commonwealth Society founded in 1868, as network of individuals and organisations to improve prospects of Commonwealth citizens across the world.

The society seeks to promote Commonwealth societal values through youth empowerment, education and advocacy. (NAN)

Education

ASUU Holds Peaceful Protest over Non Implementation of Agreement

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Members of the University of Jos Chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has organised a peaceful protest over the non implementation of agreement it reached with the Federal Government.

Prof. Jurbe Molwus, Chairperson of the union in the University led the protest on Tuesday in Jos.

Reports says that members of the union took the protest to the office of the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof.

Tanko Ishaya.

Presenting the union’s demands to the vice chancellor, Molwus, represented by his vice, Prof. Kiri Jaryum, said that the protest was in line with the directive of its National Executive Council (NEC).

”This peaceful protest is in line the 14-day ultimatum issued by our NEC, calling on the Federal Government to honour the agreement reached with it a long time ago.

”We are  particularly calling on the federal goverment to pay the balance of the earned academic allowance, unpaid and withheld salaries arrears of our members, which are all captured in the 2023 budget.

”Government should also check the proliferation of universities in the country and remove universities from the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS), among others.

”As we speak, university lecturers have been on the same salary structure for 15 years and that’s very bad for the university system,”he said.

Molwus called on the vice chancellor to transmit the demands to the federal government for immediate action.

Responding, the vice chancellor commended members of the union for conducting themselves peacefully during the protest.

He particularly thanked them for not disrupting the ongoing examination and other academic activities in the university.

Tanko, who described the demands by the union as genuine, promised to transmit them to the government.

Reports says that a cross section of students of the university, led by the President of the Student Union Government, Sambo Peter, joined the lecturers for the protest.(NAN)

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Education

NBTE Begins Accreditation of New Courses in Federal Polytechnic Wannue

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The National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), has commenced accreditation exrceise for six new courses at the Federal Polytechnic, Wannue, Tarka Local Government Area of Benue.

Mr Ogah Ngbede, NBTE’s Director of Polytechnics Programmes, disclosed this on Thursday during the ongoing exrceise in the institution.

According to Ngbede,  all the courses would be inspected before making a pronouncement.

He said that the exercise would last for two days,  after which its decision would be made known.

He added that the institution secured full accreditation for two out of the five courses it presented to NBTE in 2023.

“We are here to look at the claims made by the institution because they have requested to commence some new programmes.

”We are here to ensure that the right thing is done and ensure that this polytechnic is not regarded or treated as a second grade institution,”he said.

The director, who decried poor funding of polytechnic education in Nigeria, called on goverment at all levels to ensure adequate funds were allocated to the education sector.

“The major problem affecting polytechnic education in this country is finance.

”Let me  use this opportunity to call on the government at all levels to inject more funds into the polytechnic system.

“Technical education is a low hanging fruit from which this country can use to escape poverty; technical education all over the world has become a major currency with which nations are using to escape poverty.

“When we pay adequate attention to our polytechnics, students that graduate from these institutions can hit the ground running because they have the necessary tools to be job providers and not job seekers”, he said

Earlier, the Rector of the institution, Dr Tyover Ashinya, listed the courses presented for accreditation to include, Business Management, Public Administration, Agricultural Technology, Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering and Computer Science

He said that the institution has the adequate manpower and infrastructures to effectively run the six new courses.

”We are willing to improve on all necessary areas that need improvement to enable these new courses secure full accreditation,”the Rector said.

Reports says that the institution was established by the Federal Government in December 2020. (NAN)

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Education

FG Set to Revolutionise Educational Infrastructure with N98.2 bn – Edun

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By Tony Obiechina,  Abuja 

The Federal Government has announced the ground-breaking ceremony for the building of a 1,600-capacity student hostel in Akwa Ibom State.

This project is part of a N98.2 billion nationwide initiative to enhance educational infrastructure.

The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Wale Edun who disclosed this said the Federal Government, in partnership with states and the private sector, will construct 24 housing facilities across 24 institutions, each with 1,600 bed spaces.

 

According to a statement by Mohammed Manga, Director of Information & Public Relations, the initiative is aimed at addressing a significant student accommodation deficit, enhancing student performance and well-being.

It is also a testament to the sophistication and depth of our local capital markets

Represented by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Special Duties Mr Okokon Ekanem Udo, the Minister added that

“this initiative invests in our youth and educational infrastructure, ensuring that tomorrow’s leaders have the resources and environment they need to thrive.

“It also demonstrates the private sector’s willingness and capacity to partner with government to deliver critical infrastructure projects across all geopolitical zones, to reduce the housing deficit*, Wale Edun said.

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