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Education Sector: FG Invests N1.3trl in Four Years

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As CBN plans support for Diagnostic Centres

By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, reiterated his administration’s commitment to providing quality of education in the country.

The President gave the assurance when he inaugurated the newly completed Post-Graduate Centre of Excellence at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, constructed and donated to the school by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Before unveiling the commemorative plaque to formally inaugurate the edifice that sits on a total floor area of 34,102.

81sqm, President Buhari said the construction of the project was a testimony to his administration’s effort at supporting qualitative learning from the primary through to the tertiary level.
According to him, his administration, in the past four years, had invested about N1.3 trillion in the educational sector of the country, excluding personnel and overhead costs.

The President assured that his administration, in its second term, in spite of funding challenges, will continue to accord education priority by ensuring adequate funding for the sector to make it affordable, qualitative and competitive with what was obtainable in more developed countries.

While lauding the vision of the late Sarduana of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello in establishing the university, he commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for supporting the Federal Government’s investments in the educational sector as well as other keys areas of the economy tied to overall national development, he urged the Bank to sustain such funding support for research and overall economic development.

Welcoming the President to the complex earlier, the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele said the Bank’s involvement in the funding and infrastructural support in the educational sector was borne out of the conviction that an educated workforce played a critical role in the advancement of the Nigerian economy and the society in general.

He said the Bank’s analysis of the factors responsible for the growth of successful economies, indicated that investment in education played a prominent role in driving innovation and growth in advanced and emerging economies, while also contributing to significant reductions in inequality. Hence, he said the CBN, being a knowledge-driven organization, had to ensure the sustenance of improvements in institutions of higher learning across the country.

The Centre of Excellence, according to the apex bank boss, was also designed to accommodate the Central Bank of Nigeria Collaborative Postgraduate Programme (CBN-CPP), which he described as a child of necessity in the Bank’s intervention programme in the educational sub-sector. He explained that the project was conceived to produce a critical mass of skilled professionals that will be able to apply their knowledge towards supporting growth and continued innovation in our nation’s financial sector and the economy in general. “This was against the recognition that the dearth of skilled manpower constituted a binding constraint towards making Nigeria the number 1 hub for economic activity in Africa, he added.

He also disclosed that the three first generation federal universities in the country across the six geo-political zones (Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, University of Ibadan (UI), Ibadan and the University of Nigeria (UNN), Nsukka) were selected under the first phase of the intervention programme. He added that the programme was later expanded to cover six other tertiary institutions across Nigeria, which are nearing completion.

He added that the project was mainly to ensure that students at post-graduate levels in Economics, Accounting, Banking and Finance, Business Administration and Statistics study in a serene environment that would stimulate effective learning with a view to building human capacity for the financial services sub-sector.

Emefiele assured that the CBN, working closely with all the participating universities, had taken steps to ensure that this investment yields considerable benefits. Specifically, he said the curricula for the target disciplines had been reviewed and harmonized across board to ensure students are provided with the optimum level of knowledge relative to their peers in other parts of the globe.

“We believe that the Centres of Excellence will help support the government’s efforts towards reducing the incidence of brain drain, and curtail the huge foreign exchange being spent on school fees for Nigerians studying in other countries,” Emefiele said.

While disclosing that the three Centres of Excellence in Zaria, Enugu and Ibadan will commence operation in October 2019, he said the CBN expected the universities to take maximum advantage of the world class facilities provided by the Bank to challenge their counterparts in London, New York and Dubai in the provision of training programmes in banking and finance-related disciplines for the global business community

He also thanked stakeholders in the Federal Ministry of Education, National Universities Commission (NUC), the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and the contractor, Messrs Afdin Nigeria Limited, for their support in completing the project, stressing that such collaborations were necessary for progress.

The Post-Graduate School project, similar to the project inaugurated by President Buhari at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus (UNEC) in January 2019, comprises a Faculty building and a block of rooms, as well as a 544-seater auditorium, four lecture and four tutorial rooms, traditional and e-libraries, and a telepresence room.

Meanwhile, the CBN Governor has disclosed plans by the Bank, in the near future, to also provide funding support for the health sector in the country, through the establishment of six diagnostic centres across the geo-political zones of the country.

He said the decision of the Bank to support the health sector was based on the realization that education and health formed the bedrock of development in any society.

Education

Nigerian Students Are Facing Excruciating Hardship-Enyinstede

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Nigerian Association Of Science Students, Comrade Henry Enyinstede has cried out over the economic crisis in Nigeria, which is affecting the Nigerian students.

Enyinstede, who stated this in a press statement yesterday, said students are also struggling to go for lectures because of the high cost of transport.

He lamented that this can possibly lead to their poor academic performance.

According to him, despite the oil earnings, the Nigerian economy finds it difficult to experience an improved life style rather the economy get tough every seconds of the day and this has placed a terrible scar on the Nigerian Students.

 

“The High cost of tuition fees across varsities and other tertiary institutions has rendered the Nigerian Students helpless and hopeless because the Students union are bought over like hot pot of porridge by school Management and are dancing to their tones instead of seeking for justice.

 

“Tuitions are increased annually in some tertiary Institutions and the increment is horrific. Even the price of Joint Matriculation Board (JAMB) and Institutions Post JAMB forms has been increased and this price increment of registration form has and it’s dashing the of hope of Aspiring Nigerian Students.

“The Nigerian Students are enormously hit by the current economic crisis as 90 percent of Students rely solely on parents and family members for source of livelihood and as a result proper spending plan must be adopted and as at that they still find it difficult to feed at least once a day because of the outrageous price of foodstuffs and goods which the sellers blamed on the removal of oil subside.

“Students struggles to go for lectures because of the high cost of transport and this can possibly lead to their poor academic performance,” he said.

He further said Nigeria is one of the World’s resource rich economies but continue to be ravaged by poverty.

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Education

UNIZIK, Group Partner on use of Mother Tongue to Promote Science Curriculum

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The Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK) and an Igbo sociocultural organisation, the Odinala Cultural Heritage Foundation (OCHIE Igbo), have partnered on the use of mother tongue to promote science curriculum in the region.

Mr Caleb Onwe, the National Publicity Secretary of OCHIE Igbo, made this known in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.

Onwe said UNIZIK, through its Vice Chancellor, Prof.

Charles Esimone, had approved March 15 for the unveiling of the OCHIE-Igbo STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Project Committees in partnership with the university.

He said the proposed OCHIE Igbo STEM School (Igbo Silicone Valley) would be sited in UNIZIK and would take off on a virtual note targeting to enroll Igbo children from all parts of the world.

“Over the years, educationists, researchers and curriculum development experts have argued that children perform better when taught in their mother tongue.

“The efficacy of the above claim lies with the inroads and quantum of converts which the missionaries made in Igboland on their arrival.

“Therefore, the target of the OCHIE Igbo STEM Project is to raise a generation of Igbo children that can innovate, conceive, invent and interpret phenomena in Igbo language.

“This way, the educational barriers and challenges associated with the learning sciences in our primary and secondary schools would be a thing of the past,” Onwe said

He said three committees would be inaugurated on March 15 at the university.

“The Coordination Committee is led by Prof. Joseph Ikechebelu, Deputy Vice Chancellor in Charge of Administration, with Okoro Chinedum Benedict as the committee’s Co Chairman.

“The Curriculum Development Committee is led by Prof. Lilian Akudolu of the Faculty of Education.

“Igbo Translation Committee is led by Prof. Thecla Udemmadu of the Department of Igbo,”” he concluded.(NAN)

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Education

Osun Govt. to Recruit 5,000 Teachers

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The Osun government has approved the recruitment of 5,000 teachers and 250 education officers to fill the existing vacancies in the teaching service in the state.

This is contained in a statement signed by Olawale Rasheed, Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Ademola Adeleke on Wednesday in Osogbo.

He said that the approval for the recruitment of teachers was sequel to the conclusion of the need assessment conducted by the government in 2023.

He said the council directed the Ministry of Education to fast track the process of recruiting qualified and competent hands to enhance teaching and learning.

According to him, the council has also approved the release of N1.

3 billion for the immediate rehabilitation of Ora Igbomina water works in Ifedayo Local Government area. (NAN)

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