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Benue Varsity Shut As Students Protest Over Graded Point

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From Chris Gaga, Makurdi

Management of Benue State University has directed the shutting down of the University with immediate effect.

This  followed Monday’s closure of the University’s entry gates by protesting students who were expressing concerns over their grading point.

In seperate Press Statements signed by the  Registrar of the University, Dr(Mrs) Mfaga Modom said all attempts to stop the students from blocking the gates failed.

It directed the students to vacate the campus  immediately.

DAILY ASSET reports that students of the University on Monday barricaded all entry gates of the school protesting a revert to 5 – Point Grading System as recommended by the National universities Commission(NUC). 

The students who were in their large numbers carried placards with varying inscriptions like; “No 5 points no school”,
“We want peace not war”, “Aluta Bomb, no 5 points no school fees”, “We want to meet with NUC”.

The Spoke person of the students,  Comrade Kingsley Obora said they were demanding immediate implementation of the 5 – point grading system as directed by the NUC. 

“The protest today is simple. Students are tired of dialoguing with management concerning the issue of 5 Grading Point System, because we have used almost a year to dialogue with management on this issue. And we felt this is the only avenue for management to hear us, that is why we are here today, to call on management to hear our cry. If we don’t do this, then most of the students will be withdrawn for no just cause.
So we are saying management should revert to the five point grading system that other Universities are grading on already,” Kingsley said. 

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The students expressed fear that if they were graded on 4 point system, majority of the students will be withdrawn because of poor CGPA. 

” Four point grading system only have advantage for first class. In 4 point grading there is no pass degree. As it stands, so many people have been withdrawn. If you go to Economics Department, over 100 students have been withdrawn, Sociology have already sent their children home. If you go go to Sociology, the least person has 0.37 CGPA on 4 point grading system, where as when you convert it to 5 Point, that person will be on 1 point which is pass degree. All we are asking for is go back to 5 Point grading point,” One of the Department leaders,  Moses expressed. 

But in a swift reaction the Benue State University Vice Chancellor, Prof. Msugh Kembe  through a statement signed by the Registrar said management was aware of students grievances and has already complied with NUC directive by reverting to 5 Point grading System with effect from 2018/2019 academic session.

It noted that the closure of the University gates by students on account of the issue was unwarranted.

“Management of Benue State University is aware of the grievances of students, especially as it relates to the Five (5) Point Grading System. It is in recognition of this that the Benue State University Senate constituted a Committee to consider the appeal by the students for the recalculation of their previous results from Four (4) Point Grading System to Five (5) Point Grading System and submit its recommendations. 

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“The Committee requested and received memoranda from the Universuty community including the Students; met severally and its report is to be considered at the forthcoming meeting of Senate scheduled for Thursday, 5th September, 2019. 

“Students must acknowledge the fact that the University had already complied with the directive by the National Universities Commission (NUC) by reverting to the 5 Point Grading System with effect from the 2018/2019 academic session. 

“In the interim, the University Management met the students and informed them of the efforts of Senate and appealed for their patience to enable the Committee to complete the assignment. Management also, through the Dean of Students issued a circular informing the students of its efforts. 

“Management wishes to reiterate that it can only consider their appeal when the report of the Senate Committee is received. 

“Management wishes every student to note that it cares for their academic success and will never deliberately distort their academic performance and results,” the statement reads. 

The University Management  appealed to students to be law abiding and respect constituted authority, policies and properties of the University and allow due process to prevail. 

In 2013, the NUC directed all Universities to adopt a 4 point grading system. NUC however, instructed four years after that 5 point grading point be reverted to. 

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Education

Society Calls for Speedy Action on Review of Anatomy Act, 1933

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The Anatomy Society of Nigeria (ASN) has called on the National Assembly and other authorities concern to speed up action on the review of the Anatomy Act of 1933.

Its President, Prof. Bernard Enaibe, made the call on Thursday at the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE),  venue of the 2023 Annual Scientific Conference and General Meeting of the society.

Newsmen report that members of the society across the country, converged on the university for the 18th edition of the Annual National Conference.

According to Enaibe, the review has become necessary, in order to reflect the current direction of Anatomy practice globally.

“It is important to mention that the process of re-enacting the Anatomy Act of 1933 has passed the Public Hearing stage.

“We are very hopeful and ever committed to ensuring that the amendment process receive the necessary legislative backing in the shortest time possible,” he said.

Enaibe said that theme of the conference: “Anatomy, The Backbone of Medical Science”, was deliberate.

“It is geared toward the exploration of the diverse professional areas of the anatomical sciences,” he said.

According to him, this would, along with the Act review, create entrepreneurship for the burgeoning areas of the anatomical cohorts of young scientists, choosing anatomy as a career.

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He said the society was also in support of the current drive skills for Post-Graduation challenges of the National Universities Commission (NUC) to position the Nigerian Universities among the best globally and ensure that Nigeria graduates acquire the requisite knowledge.

“To this end, ASN has identified with the ongoing general review of programme curricular by NUC and had made necessary contributions to the curriculum review processing Anatomy.

“Fortunately, our society had taken a proactive step, long before the NUC initiative, to overhaul our BSc Anatomy curriculum, in order to position it for entrepreneurial base and competitiveness,” Enaibe said.

Also, Dr Oluwatosin Ogedengbe, the Local Organising Chairman (LOC) of the conference, said that the conference was originally scheduled for 2022, but was postponed due to the eight months old strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

Ogedengbe said that the conference, with the sub-themes, “The 21st Century Anatomists and Progress in Reproductive Sciences” and ” War and Natural Disasters, Roles of Forensic Anatomists”, promised to be a timely forum for discussion of the most recent developments in the global practice of anatomy and new challenges facing the profession.

In his remarks, Prof. Abayomi Fasina, Vice-Chancellor, FUOYE, commended the ASN for choosing the university as the host venue of the conference.

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Fasina, represented by Prof. Akeem Ajiboye, said: “We don’t expect anything less than what we are seeing, at a time like this, in our nation.

“We need programmes like this and we are glad that it has been brought here in the university, which is one of the fastest growing universities in Nigeria. l appreciate the organisers for this.”
Newsmen report that several distinguished speakers, including  Prof. Olusola Adeeyo, Dean, Faculty of Basic Medical Science; Prof. Aladapo Ashiru, Secretary-General,  International Federation of Fertility Societies (IFFS) and Medical Director, Medical Art Center, Lagos and Prof. Barnabas Danborno of the Department of Anatomy, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU),
spoke on the importance of anatomy to man’s existence.

It also reports that the speakers offered suggestions on how to move the profession forward.(NAN)

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Education

NBTE Develops 60 Curricula for HND, ND, Others

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The National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) has developed over 60 new and reviewed curricula of the National Diploma (ND), and the Higher National Diploma (HND) curricula.

Specifically reviewed are the National Occupational Standards (NOS) and Open, Distance and Flexible e-Learning (ODFeL) Courseware in Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET).

Executive Secretary of NBTE, Prof.

Idris Bugaje, announced this at the public presentation of the new and reviewed ND, HND curricula, NOS and ODFeL in Abuja yesterday.

Bugaje said that the new and reviewed curricula was long overdue as they would help to provide general guide to institutions in determining the body of knowledge and skills, while also addressing the employability problems in the country.

According to him, the number of developed regulatory instruments to be unveiled represent just about 15 per cent of the total on offer.

He, therefore, stressed the need for the board to keep developing and reviewing more to bring them to national and international standards

“The board has a combined total of over 350 curricula, NOS and ODFEL course-ware in the Nigerian TVET system.

“The notable quality of these curricula is that they are industry-driven; developed and/or reviewed with the full participation of the Nigerian industries to address the employability problem that are often encountered by our diplomats upon graduation.

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“The problem of employers of labour incurring additional cost to retrain our products in order to fit into their operation is hopefully being solved.

” The peculiar type of training that should be given to Polytechnic and Monotechnic students in line with the national objective of encouraging youths economic self-reliance, entrepreneurship as a programme has, more than ever before, become one of the key features of the reviewed curricula,” he said.

He listed some of the new and reviewed curricula as ND/HND in Petroleum and Gas Processing Engineering, Transport, Planning and Management, Strategic Communication and Media Studies, Water Sanitation and Hygiene and Organic Agricultural Technology.

He also listed Homeland Security, Articulated Vehicle Driving, Construction Equipment Operation and Traditional and Herbal Hygiene as part of the new and reviewed NOS for skill training.

Bugaje added that the National Council on Establishment (NCE) at its last meeting in Yola, approved the inclusion of some of these TVET courses into the schemes of service of the Federation, particularly the National Innovation Diploma (NID).

He said that this had made two African countries to show interest in the quality of the country”s system with Rwanda signing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) while Morocco was also in line to do so.

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The executive secretary, however, called on stakeholders and the government for continuous support in ensuring proper funding of the Skills Sector Council (SSC)  to drive the skill agenda forward.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu said the new development would mark the departure from the old practice where subject experts develop or review curricula without taking cognisance of the expectations of employers of labour.

Adamu, who was represented by the Director of Polytechnic Education and Allied Institutions, Dr Ejeh Usman, said the curricula would no doubt instill fresh ideas in the delivery and learning processes.

” I understand over 30 ND/HND curricula, 16 NOS and 18 Course-ware were either developed or reviewed in the last one and a half years, with the active involvement of the industry and the Organised Private Sector (OPS).

“This is a marked departure from the old practice where subject experts develop/review curricula without taking cognisance of the expectations of employers of labour, thus, making products of TVET institutions either unemployable or costing employers fortunes to retrain.

“It is in this regard that I consider the development of new curricula, especially in new and emerging fields, and the review of old ones, most of which have become obsolete, as very apt.

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“Specifically, it is worthy of note that some of the NOS that were reviewed were first developed in 1963 with the support of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Since then, there was no effort to review them,” he said.

He said that usually curricula were supposed to be reviewed at most every five years, but some were now being reviewed after 20 years.

He said this called for serious efforts by all stakeholders, including TETFund, to ensure the review was carried out on time.

Responding, the Chairman of Council of Heads of Polytechnics and Colleges if Technology (COHEADS), Dr Samuel Kalagbor promised to ensure the full implementation of the new and reviewed curricula and expand the frontier of students training.

In attendance at the occasion were the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, Registrar NABTEB, Prof. Ifeoma Isiugo-Abanihe and the Executive Secretary, NCCE, Prof. Paulinus Okwelle, among others. (NAN)

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Education

New NYSC DG, Dogara Spells Out Action Plan

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By Evelyn Terseer – Abuja

The new Director-General of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brigadier-General Yusha’u Dogara Ahmed, has promised to adopt a policy thrust that will drive the Scheme to a greater height as he assumed office.

Dogara who stated this in Abuja today while taking over from Christy Uba, hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for finding him worthy to be appointed as the 22nd director general of the Scheme.

He succeeded Uba who was named the overseer of the NYSC in November 2022 following the sacking of Brigadier-General Muhammad Fadah by President Muhammadu Buhari.

In his 6 points agenda, Dogara said he will improve the security, welfare of Corps
members and Staff to engender optimal service delivery to the nation, while providing enabling environment for Research and Development advancement of the Scheme.

He also promised to strengthen stakeholders’ engagement for the promotion of the frontiers of the Scheme and enhance capacity building to stimulate efficiency and higher corporate performance while deepening the impact of the Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) Programme.

“I assure you that I will not only sustain the high tempo but collectively, we will take the Scheme to greater heights.

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“This administration will be open and pay special attention to strategies that will bring the desired improvement in the general operations of the Scheme,” he said.

Earlier, the outgoing acting director general, Uba assured that the Management team will give the new director general maximum support to succeed.

She commended the staff for demonstrating loyalty, unity of purpose, and undiluted commitment to the success of the Scheme, while congratulating Dogara on the appointment.

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