From Abdulgafar Oladimeji, Kano.
Former Kano state Governor and immediate past Senator representing Kano Central, Musa Rabiu Kwankwaso on Tuesday, bid farewell to 242 graduate students who are beneficiaries of Kwankwaso Development Foundation post- graduate study abroad scholarship scheme.
Kwankwaso in his farewell speech at the sent forth held at his Miller road Kano residential villa urged the students to be weary of illicit acts and other misdeeds, cautioning the students to always conduct themselves as worthy ambassadors, while they domiciled overseas.
He revealed that the major requisites for the commencement of their studies to the completion level have been fulfilled by the foundation, adding that they would be provided with allowances to aid and cater for their academic sojourn overseas.
The former governor said the post graduate scholarship initiative was in consonance with the core principles of the Kwankwasiyya movement, which he said had a firm root in empowering Nigerian youths through the provision of access to quality education at home and overseas.
“Education is the key and corner stone to nation building and all aspects of development, we are believers in education and would not rest in our efforts to continue to pursue this belief.
“Out of the 242 of you, 8 will proceed to Sudan to study Arabic and Islamic related post graduate studies, the remainder will study across four universities in India.
“I thank Allah for this achievement and I employ you all to be patriotic, make your state, parents and nation proud of you at the end of your studies, I bid you all farewell.”Kwankwaso stated.
Former Edo state governor and Chancellor, Igbinedion University, Lucky Igbenidion applauded Kwankwaso Foundation for what he described as laudable initiative, stressing that the beneficiaries of the scheme should be abreast with the fact that the acquisition of education is essential to a fruitful career in life.
Aminu Rabiu who addressed the august gathering on behalf of the beneficiaries noted that the Kwankwaso Foundation scholarship scheme had set free the children of the less privileged from the shackles of helplessness.
He noted that the scheme was anti -poverty, and unemployment saying the step was an enrichment of the lives of the wards of the less privileged.
94 Sacked Enugu College Lecturers Appeal to Gov. Mbah for Reinstatement
The 94 sacked lectures of Enugu State College of Education, Technical (ESCET), have appealed to Gov. Peter Mbah for reinstatement.
The group made the appeal in a letter to Mbah, signed by Dr Egbo Doris, Dr Njideka Frank and others, made available to newsmen on Sunday in Enugu.
In the letter titled “A passionate appeal to reconsider staff disengagement at Enugu State College of Education (Technical) Enugu”, the group said if nothing was done, their disengagement would bring untold hardships to their families.
Mbah had in October 2023, constituted a seven-member investigative committee to probe alleged fraud and corrupt practices in the school.
According to them, they wrote to the governor as responsible and dedicated indigenes of Enugu State who were employed at ESCET on Oct.22, 2021.
They stated that on Feb. 26, they received the distressing news of their disengagement from service which was communicated to them through the Acting Registrar of the school, Mr Pat Aneke.
Aneke informed them he took directives from the Government Implementation Committee, to deliver the disengagement message to the affected staff.
While appealing to Mbah for reconsideration and reinstatement, the group said: “Our dedication to the educational growth of the school has been top-notch.
“It is only our set and Alvan Ikoku College of Education Owerri, that were successful in the whole of the South East in the 2023 TETFAIR programme. We believe that the sudden termination of our employment does not accurately reflect our contributions.
“It was only this set, disengaged since the establishment of ESCET, that was able to attract international education grant for further research work to continue improving on the quality of education in Nigeria.
They disclosed that they were special hybrid and highly intellectual academicians that had been working for the institution on how to increase Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) through different research engagement for the school before their disengagement.
According to the group, upon their employment, they remained dedicated and committed to the growth of the college and never deterred from discharging their duties in spite of irregular payment of staff salary.
“It is equally sad to state that two of our colleagues lost their pregnancies at their duty post, right inside the examination hall while selflessly and diligently serving the institution as invigilators.
“May the blood of those innocent babies be enough atonement and cry for justice on behalf of all the disengaged staff.”
“It is quite unfortunate that both the Investigation and Implementation Committees set up to look into the various challenges of the ESCET, never deemed it fit to have a word or two with any of us.
“We strongly believe that the challenges of the institution could be tackled without depleting the already understaffed institution.
“After our employment, proper documentation was done and regularization, through verification of our documents for relevance and our names were duly added in ESCET Payroll.”
They equally alleged that they were being owed cumulatively to the tune of 13 months of salary arrears and “you can imagine the excruciating pain, and rude shock this sad news triggered on us.
“We are those fathers, mothers, aunties, uncles, sisters, brothers, who have found out excuses explaining to our children, and families, why lunch and dinner are no longer available on the table.” (NAN)
Reps Want Mandatory Drug Test for School Students
The House of Representatives has urged the Ministry of Education to collaborate with the Ministry of Health to develop a mandatory drug test for secondary school students in Nigeria.
This followed the adoption of a motion “On need to Introduce Mandatory Drug Test for Secondary School Students in Nigeria, by Rep.
Presenting the motion, Oshun, said the adolescent age remained a critical period in human development.
He said individuals at this age were usually influenced by factors such as experimental curiosity, peer pressure, poor socio-economic conditions at home and the need for extra energy for daily activities.
He said that youth were critical stakeholders in fostering socio-economic development in the country, adding that their vulnerability to societal vices necessitates strategic government intervention.
This he said was to secure their wellbeing and enhance their contributions to national development.
He expressed concern over substance abuse by young people, which he said was fast becoming a global public health concern.
“According to studies there is a notable prevalence of drug and substance abuse across secondary schools in Nigeria, one in every four students aged between 15-19 years
abused substances,” he said.
This, he said, included codeine-containing syrup and tramadol topped the list of drugs, ranking higher than cannabis.
“Random Student Drug Testing (RSDT) is a drug prevention programme whereby students are tested for recent use of illegal substances.
He said that this was aimed at deterring drug use and identifying students who needed help with staying drug-free.
He said that a mandatory routine and random drug testing for students was for preventive, not punitive purposes, and early intervention.
He said it was crucial for achieving success in tackling the menace of substance abuse in the country.
Adopting the motion, the House urged the National Orientation Agency and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to increase awareness campaign on substance abuse to secondary school students nationwide.
The House also mandated its Committees on Basic Education and Services and Healthcare Services to ensure compliance and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.(NAN)
Benue Born Medical Doctor Breaks Uncommon Grounds in Literature
By David Torough, Abuja
A Benue born Medical Doctor and a writer, Dr Mark Ogbodo, has broken uncommon grounds in literature as his third Novella, “Untold”, has been certified and approved by the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), as a general reading material.
In a letter, the Executive Secretary of NERDC, Prof.Ismail Junaidu, stated that the book, Untold, has been assessed by NERDC and found useful, and therefore, “it is recommended as a general reading material”.
The approval made it the second approval of Dr Ogbodo’s books, as the first Novella, “Amour Maternel”, was also approved by NERDC as a supplementary reader for all JSS 2 classes in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Fellow, Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) who is also the immediate past Deputy Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Lafia (FULafia), Professor Idris Amali, has congratulated Dr. Ogbodo for his successful outing in another literary work.
“This is an important achievement to be on a national reading list. This is creativity with a purpose with immediate impact.
“The concept well held for many years that there is no money in literary creativity is becoming a thing of the past and the era of milking the author without replenishing the milk is no longer tenable in the 21st Century.
“Thus, the exploitation of the third world creative writers by the west is mellowing down. The Nigerian writers can today pursue his copyright issues to a gainful and logical end.
“This position therefore makes Dr. Mick Ogbodo, a potential instant millionaire from the sales of his latest outing which has been placed on a national reading list of schools nationwide. This is a great feat.
“This situation should spur you to write more specific literary creativity that targets such an audience which would attract a national audience for a specific purpose like the one you have written.
“Let me therefore congratulate you for this achievement. Manage the success well,” Prof. Amali stated.
Ogbodo who is the Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Medical Association, Benue State Branch is also the Chairman, Publication Committee, Nigerian Medical Association, Benue State Branch as well as the Secretary, Association of Nigerian Authors, Benue State Chapter.
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