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FCT Schools Record 95 Per Cent Return of Exit Classes Students

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Federal Capital Territory, FCT Minister Muhammed Bala
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About 95 per cent of students in the exit classes of the secondary schools in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), resumed on Tuesday, in preparation for the 2020 West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

Majority of the teachers and students said they were happy to resume after lockdown, which lasted for about five months, due to the ravaging Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Mrs Essien Enewan-Okon, Principal of Government Secondary School, Wuse Zone 3 in Abuja, said that 90 per cent of students in the school’s exit classes have resumed.

“They are all in their classrooms, very happy and we teachers are equally happy to resume; we thank God and the FCT Administration, who have made it possible for us to resume.

“As a government school, we are fully prepared for resumption because the FCT Secondary Education Board gave us all it takes to resume, starting from hands sanitizer, buckets for hand washing to face masks.

“The entire school premises was fumigated, we washed our classrooms and created the two meters distance required for desk spacing in all our 11 classrooms before resumption,” she said.

The principal also said that the school on resumption began by giving the students orientation on the new normal and how to go about their lives in school and at home.

“We even told them the type of food they should eat and pray to God that they should comply with the protocols,” she said.

A student in the school, Daniel Boluwatife said that she was excited to come back to school because the uncertainty of whether or not Nigerian students would be writing the 2020 WASSCE was very disappointing to her.

Also, Michael Oyegoke said, “I am excited to come back to school because there were a lot of distractions at home than in the school environment”.

On whether the teachers would be able to cover their syllabus within the two weeks preceding the WASSCE, both teachers and students were optimistic.

Mrs Felicial Ogbuegebe, head of sciences department in the school said that before they went on lockdown, there was only two weeks remaining before the WASSCE.

“We had covered our syllabus and we were doing revision before the lockdown came.

“All we need to do now is to revise with the students because staying at home for this long, they must have forgotten one or two things.

“Every safety measure has been put in place before the school resumed; so all the teaching staff are joining our hands together to teach the students, especially the sciences – Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

“All the teachers are now involved in preparing the exit class; this time it is not a time for a teacher to say that he teaches only SS 3 or SS 1 classes.

“Whatever class you teach, we are all involved with the SS 3 class now to make sure that they get whatever they need to get before their exams, ” she said.

An optimistic Nuralhuda Mohammed, a female student told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN): “my expectation for WASSCE is that, it will not be hard for me because I have read over and over during the lockdown, so, I am good to go.

“Since my teachers have all covered all their schemes of work and I am not new to the school environment, I have nothing to worry about,” she said.

In another vein, Malam Tamim Yusuf, the chief administrative officer of the Muslim Community Centre, owners of Fau-ad Lababidi Islamic Academy and four other institutions in Abuja, said that, the school was in full compliance with the government directives for resumption.

“In compliance with the directives of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, it is only our SS 3 students that have resumed.

“We decontaminated the entire school premises and an inspection was carried out by the Department of Quality Assurance of the FCT Education Secretariat on arrangement of classrooms.

“They were satisfied with our compliance, so they issued us a certificate for having satisfied all the requirements.

“Today being the first day of resumption, we organized a general orientation both for students and teachers.

“The orientation is in two phases: a medical doctor came from the National Hospital Abuja to give a talk generally on the COVID-19 protocols and an Imam gave another talk on what the Qura’an says about the pandemic and human responsibility.

“Right from the gate, no one is given access to the school premises until they have washed their hands and had their temperature taken; our classes are compliant in terms of social distancing,” he said. . (NAN)

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Education

Minimum Entry age to Tertiary Institutions18 Years – FG

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The Federal Government has directed that admission to tertiary institutions should not be given to candidates less than 18 years.

The Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman gave the directive on Monday during a monitoring exercise of the ongoing 2024 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in Bwari, Federal Capital Territory.

He decried the activities of some parent, who were pressuring their underage students to get admissions into tertiary institutions,

The minister said that the 18-year benchmark is in line with the 6-3-3-4 system of education.

“The minimum age of entry into the University is 18, but we have seen students who are 15, 16 years going in for the entrance examination.

“Parents should be encouraged not to push there wards too much. Mostly, it is the pressure of parents that is causing this.

“We are going to look at this development because the candidates are too young to understand what the whole university education is all about.

“This is the period when children migrate from controlled to uncontrolled environment; when they are in charge of their own affairs.

“But, if they are too young, they won’t be able to manage properly. I think that is part of what we are seeing in the Universities today,” he said.

On skill acquisition for those who will not be able to gain admissions into tertiary institutions, Mamman said the ministry is taking skills to pupils from primary school.

“ In overall, it is 20 per cent that can be admitted into the University, Polytechnic and Colleges of Education system.

“So, where will the 80 per cent go to? That is why the issue of skills acquisition is very important.

“Any student who is unable to proceed to tertiary institutions should be able to have a meaningful life after primary and secondary school’s education and the only solution to this is skill acquisition,” he said.

Corroborating the minister’s position on the benchmark of 18 years for admission to tertiary institution, the JAMB spokesperson, Dr Fabian Benjamin said 18 years is the is in line with the 6-3-3-4 education system.

The Minister of State for Education, Dr Yusuf Sununu who was in the monitoring team applauded the conduct of the 2024 UTME, particularly, the introduction of online examinations as a way of checking malpractices.

He said the Computer Based Test (CBT) had reduced examination malpractices to the barest minimum.

Sununu commended the Board for setting simple but high standard for the examination. (NAN)

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Education

NECO Reschedules 2024 Common Entrance Exam into Unity Colleges

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The National Examinations Council (NECO) has re-scheduled the 2024 National Common Entrance Examination into Federal Unity Colleges and the entrance examination into Federal Government Academy, Suleja.

This is contained in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday by Azeez Sani, acting Director, Information and Digital Communication of the council.

Sani stated that the common entrance examination earlier scheduled for April 20, 2024, would now hold on June 1, 2024.

He also said that the entrance examination for Gifted and Talented Children into Federal Government Academy, Suleja, earlier scheduled to hold on  May 4,
2024 would now hold on May 25, 2024.

He added that the rescheduling of the two examinations was due to low enrollment of candidates.

He enjoined candidates, parents, guardians, schools and relevant stakeholders to take note of the new dates.

Sani said that registration of candidates would continue till the new dates of the examinations. (NAN)

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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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