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C’River Requires 20,000 Teachers to Address Shortage in Public Schools, Commissioner

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The Commissioner for Education in Cross River, Sen. Stephen Odey, says a minimum of 20,000 teachers is required to address shortage of teaching staff in public schools across the state.

The Commissioner, who disclosed this during a press briefing in Calabar on Tuesday, said that the Sen.

Bassey Otu led administration had embarked on massive employment of teachers to bridge the gap.

He however, noted that owing to paucity of fund, the employment would be carried out in phases.

The commissioner further noted that there were several ongoing reforms to revamp the education sector in the state.

Odey said, “We are determined to reform the sector holistically because we want to make Cross River a reference point in education sector amongst commity of states.

“There is already a memo before the governor for us to start with the employment of 6,000 teachers.

“We discovered that in many schools, especially in the rural area, had only two teachers and this is not how we intend to be the best in the country.

“The money the government paid as fee for West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) for students in the state will amount to nothing without teachers to teach them.

Odey disclosed that priority would be given to the employment of teachers in their catchment areas as the state was not buoyant enough to pay peculiar allowances to teachers in rural areas.

Speaking on the payment of WAEC fee, Odey dispelled the rumour that the 16,301 list was padded.

He said rather, the list was not exhaustive as some schools that submitted late were not captured.

“The only issue that arose from the list was that we found out that some names were duplicated during compilation which brought the figure to about 16,287 students.

“Even at that, we had students from about 20 schools that were not included because of late submission; for instance, a particular schooling in Boki had over a thousand students not included.

“For the avoidance of doubt, those principals that were found not to have been diligent in their duty have been sanctioned.

“About 37 of them are in this category and are going to be demoted to the classrooms,” he said.

The Commissioner further said part of the reform is to ensure uniformity in school system in the state as well as go after illegal schools.

On school uniformity, he said, “Upon resumption in office, I discovered that schools across the state, both public and private, operate different school calendars.

“We have been able to streamline this to a large extent and still working to ensure all around complaint across the state,” he explained.(NAN)

Education

Six Nigerian Universities to Benefit from EU’s €27m  Funding 

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By Eddy Ochigbo

No fewer than six Nigerian Universities have been selected to benefit from the 15 Intra-Africa Mobility Scheme Projects funded by the European Union (EU) with €27 million under the flagship Youth Mobility for Africa.

Permanent Secretary, of the Federal Ministry of Education, Mrs.

Didi Walson-Jack, who signed the agreement at the Global Gateway High-Level Event on Education in Brussels, said Nigeria would also benefit from the regional Team Europe Initiative on Opportunity-driven Skills, Vocational Education and Training in Africa

Under the initiative, the European Union would spend €27 million, allocating €1.

8 million to each of the Projects in the education and healthcare sectors in Africa.

These Projects, which are to be facilitated by various Universities, aim to enhance learning mobility opportunities for Students, Trainees, and Staff across the Continent, focusing on developing high-level green and digital skills.

The participating Universities include the University of Lagos, the University of Port-Harcourt, Ebonyi State University, the Federal University of Technology, and the University of Nigeria.

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Education

UTME: Police, JAMB Warn Candidates Against Patronising Fake Websitess

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The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and the police have warned candidates preparing for the 2024 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) against patronising fake websites.

The two bodies gave the warning at a joint news conference in Abuja on Saturday.

The Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said there were several fake websites created by unscrupulous individuals with the intention of misleading candidates.

He urged candidates to be wary of their tactics, saying the fake web sites were designed to deceive innocent candidates into providing personal details such as registration numbers, email addresses, and phone numbers.

“Both JAMB and the Nigeria Police Force condemn these fraudulent activities and hereby reiterate the readiness to safeguard the interests of candidates and maintain the integrity of the examination process.

“We urge parents, guardians, and all stakeholders to ensure that candidates print their UTME Notification Slips only from the Board’s approved website: www.jamb.gov.ng.

“Candidates can print their slips from the comfort of their homes or visit any of the over 700 accredited Computer-Based Test (CBT) centres nationwide,” he said.

Adejobi explained that the force was familiar with the tactics employed by fraudsters, especially during the annual assessment and admission exercises.

He, therefore, said that both organisations was actively sensitising candidates and the public about these deceptive practices.

“Any candidate who visits these fake sites will definitely have unreliable information and thereby miss out in the forthcoming exams.

“Candidates are advised to print their UTME Notification Slips before Friday, 19th April, 2024, to access vital information about their examinations.

“Any website other than www.jamb.gov.ng offering UTME slip printing services is fake and designed to defraud candidates,” he said.

He also called on candidates to beware of web sites offering ‘live’ questions and answers, as they were false and deceptive, saying that accessing such materials was prohibited.

He further said the board was partnering with the Nigeria Police Force National Cyber Crime Centre (NPF-NCCC) to address online scam-related issues seamlessly.

He assured candidates and the public of the force firm dedication to ensuring a fair and transparent examination process.

He also stressed that the Inspector General of Police had ordered the NPF-NCCC to go after scammers and fraudsters who engage in cyber related crimes and create phishing sites/portals.

On his part, the JAMB spokesperson, Dr Fabian Benjamin, pledged the Board’s commitment to continue in playing its role

He, therefore, urged candidates to ignore any unsolicited messages noting that they were from elements who aim at defrauding candidates.

The 2024 UTME is scheduled to commence on Friday, April 19, and end on April 29. (NAN)

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TETFund to Upgrade NOUN Study Centres with Fibre Optics

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The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) will upgrade all the study centres of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) with fibre optics to transmit information and data with the speed of light.

The Vice Chancellor of NOUN, Prof. Olufemi Peters, said this during a pre-convocation news conference on Monday, ahead of its 13th convocation slated for April 13, in Abuja.

Fiber optics, or optical fiber, refers to the technology that transmits information as light pulses along a glass or plastic fiber.

Peters said the rate of technology advancement at NOUN attracted the offer from TETFund.

“Right now, our academics all over the faculties and departments have video components to assist our students and we deploy this with ease.

“And because of the manner we deploy technology, TETFund has offered to assist us with fibre optics in all our study centres across the country.

“It is a testimony to where we are in terms of technology,” Peters said.

He said that a lot of Nigerians were yet to understand how the university operates in spite of its years of existence in the country.

Peters noted that the institution had brought development to many towns and villages where the university had its study centres.

“The forthcoming convocation would be an opportunity to showcase what the institution can do with technology,” he said.

Peters said that 22,175 students in various disciplines across the country would be graduating on April 13.

He said the graduating students would join the convocation via technology from its 120 study centres across the country.

“Of this number, 15,768 are undergraduate degrees, while 6,407 are for postgraduate degrees, with the Faculty of Social Sciences producing the highest number of graduates.

“Twenty-two of these students are first class, 2,362 are PGD graduates, while 41 are Masters and six leaving the institution as PHD holders.

“This is an indication that the school is gradually moving towards establishing a more robust post graduate school,” he said.
Peters said the interesting part of the convocation would be the conferment of an investiture on the University’s new Chancellor, His Royal Majesty, Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, with Doctorate Degree, and his installation as the Chancellor.

He said that the convocation lecture would be delivered by the Vice Chancellor of Open University of Tanzania, Prof. Elifas Bisanda, with the topic: “Is western education still relevant for Africa.”

The NOUN VC said the lecture would direct Nigeria and Africa in general to areas which would be useful to citizens.

He added that the lecture would be followed by the conferment of Honorary Doctorate Degrees on Dr Innocent Chukwuma, the Chief Executive Officer of Innoson Motors, and Hajia Hafsatu Abdulwaheed, the first female novelist in Northern Nigeria, and an eminent activist.

“Dr Chukwuma is a well-known Nigerian entrepreneur and founder of Innoson Motors, and his creativity and commitment to local content, is one of the reasons the university considered it fit to honour him.

“The second person, Hajia Hafsatu, has dedicated her works to promoting education particularly for girls, and she believes in the transformative power of literacy to uplift communities and break the circle of poverty.

“These two awardees reflect the core values of NOUN which is entrepreneur ingenuity and knowledge-based content creativity,” Peters said.

He noted that the last time the university awarded honorary degree was in 2015.(NAN)

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