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Nigerian Medical Doctor Wins Three-Minute Thesis Competition in UK

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From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja

A Nigerian-born medical doctor and international multiple award-winning author, Dr Kennedy O. Obohwemu, has emerged winner of the “Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition” 2022, organised by the University of Sunderland, United Kingdom.

The three-minute thesis competition is an annual competition held in more than 200 universities worldwide.

It is open to PhD students, and challenges participants to present their research in just 180 seconds, in an engaging form that can be understood by an intelligent audience with no background in the research area.

This exercise develops presentation, research and academic communication skills and supports the development of research students’ capacity to explain their work effectively.

An 80,000-word thesis would take nine hours to present.

The contestants (PhD students) have a time limit of three minutes to present their research in language appropriate to non-specialists, and with only one single presentation slide to support them.

Developed by the University of Queensland, Australia in 2008, the success of the 3MT has led to the establishment of local and national competitions in several countries.

As of 20th December 2019, there were at least 85 participating countries from every continent (apart from Antarctica) and at least 941 institutions.

The competition challenges doctoral candidates to present a compelling spoken presentation on their research topic and its significance in just three minutes.

At 100 words per minute, researchers needed to write 3 x 100-word speeches with absolute precision and present them in the form of a spoken word contest.

Since 2014 Vitae have proudly hosted the UK ®3MT competition which is the culmination of finalists from Vitae member Higher Education Institutions throughout the United Kingdom.

Active PhD and Professional Doctorate (Research) candidates who have successfully passed their confirmation milestone (including candidates whose thesis is under submission) by the date of their first presentation are eligible to participate in 3MT competitions at all levels.

Joining the rich tradition, the University of Sunderland held their 3MT contest on Friday 13th May 2022, which was open to PhD students from all nationalities, across all faculties and campuses of the university (Sunderland, London, and Hong Kong).

Multiple award-winning Nigerian writer, and Spoken Word Artist and leadership Coach, Dr. Kennedy O. Obohwemu, emerged winner of the competition by unanimous decision.

With his presentation titled, ”Childhood Vaccinations: Our Collective Responsibility’’, Dr. Kennedy swept the audience off their feet with his characteristic poise, style, elegance, and class.

Dr. Kennedy’s research focuses on parental childhood vaccine hesitancy, an increasingly important public health concern in the United Kingdom and other parts of the world.

Vaccine hesitancy is associated with a decrease in vaccine coverage and an increase in vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks and epidemics.

Many studies have focused on understanding and defining the relatively new socio-medical term, vaccine hesitancy; few have attempted to measure the prevalence of vaccine hesitancy in the UK.

Using conceptual frameworks based on the Protection Motivation Theory, Dr. Kenney’s research quantifies the prevalence of vaccine hesitancy in the UK and examines the association of vaccine hesitancy with sociodemographics and childhood vaccination coverage.

The research attempts to aid public health professionals with a catalogue of health interventions and strategies to ultimately address and prevent parental vaccine hesitancy in the long term.

Monitoring vaccine hesitancy could help inform immunisation programs as they develop and target methods to increase vaccine confidence and vaccination coverage.

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Education

Minister Unveils Fed Education Sector Games Mascot Scheduled for Bauchi

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By Tony Obiechina, Abuja

Ahead of the Federal Education Sector Games (FEDUGAM) slated for Bauchi, the Federal Ministry of Education has unveiled the mascot for the 4th edition named “FEDUGAM-Bauchi 2024,” at a ceremony held in Abuja.

Speaking during the unveiling, the Minister of Education, Prof.

Tahir Mamman, represented by the Minister of State, Dr.
Tanko Yusuf Sununu, expressed profound gratitude to attendees for their unwavering support and dedication to advancing the education sector.

In a statement by the Director Press and PR, Folasade Boriowo, the Minister noted that FEDUGAM serves as a cornerstone for fostering camaraderie, sportsmanship, and community spirit among educators, administrators, students, and staff.

“The newly unveiled mascot embodies the values of physical fitness, teamwork, perseverance, and fair play, and is set to inspire participants throughout the games” the statement stated

Mrs. Didi Walson-Jack, Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education, reiterated the importance of the games in promoting unity, friendship, fitness, and mental alertness among the Ministry and Agency staff.

She expressed gratitude to everyone involved in organizing the event and encouraged participants to compete with integrity and enjoy the games.

Chairman of the FEDUGAM Steering Committee, Omotayo F. Adeyemi, welcomed attendees and thanked the Minister and other dignitaries for their presence despite their busy schedule. 

He harped on the mascot’s significance in representing the spirit of the games and thanked the organizing committee for their relentless efforts.

Adeyemi called for widespread support from ministries, agencies, corporate organizations, and partners to ensure the success of FEDUGAM Bauchi 2024.

FEDUGAM Bauchi 2024 is scheduled to take place from August 3-10, 2024, at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium in Bauchi State.

The event aims to celebrate educational achievements and foster unity within the sector, with the Executive Governor of Bauchi State, His Excellency Sen. Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, graciously hosting and supporting the event.

“As the games approach, the entire Ministry stands united in support, echoing the spirit of the mascot unveiled today. Let us come together to celebrate our shared achievements and work towards a brighter future for our education sector,” the statement added.

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Education

ENSUBEB Executive Chairman Flags-off Agric Education Training

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From Sylvia Udegbunam, Enugu

The Executive Chairman of Enugu State Universal Basic Education Board (ENSUBEB), Associate Professor Hyginus Banko Okibe has flagged off the 2022/2023 Agricultural Education training programme for head teachers, teachers, and pupils at Independence Layout Primary School, Enugu.

Professor Okibe emphasized the importance of agriculture for economic development and growth, stressing that the country’s major problem is hunger due to people not engaging in farming activities anymore.

He noted that schools should be exposed to agricultural skills and technology; he however announced that there will be an agricultural trade fair, where produce from all schools will be showcased.

The Commissioner for Agriculture and Agro Industrialisation, Dr. Patrick Nwabueze Ubru, in a keynote address, highlight the importance of agriculture, stating that without it, there will be no life.

He disclosed that 12,000 bags of fertiliser will be distributed to registered farmers in the state and noting that non-farmers will not receive farming inputs and fertilisers.

Ubru reiterated that agriculture occupies an important space in the Governor’s vision and manifesto as one of the developmental areas for reviving the economy.

He said that Enugu State has introduced dry season farming with solar pumping machines and embarked on three-cycle rice production, making it the largest producer of cassava in the country.

He further disclosed plans to establish agricultural processing industries in the three senatorial zones of the state.

Dr. Amaka S. Ngene, Executive Chairman of STVSMB and former Permanent Member of ENSUBEB, appreciated the guests and emphasized that the agricultural education training programme is child-centered, aimed at making agriculture a future career or hobby for the pupils.

She enumerated the objectives of the training, including the provision of requisite skills for self-employment.

Hon. Nwakaego Ajah, Permanent Member 3, thanked the Executive Governor of Enugu State, the Executive Chairman of ENSUBEB, and UBEC for the initiative in making Agricultural Science more practical-oriented at the Basic Schools.

She urged the learners and teachers to take the training serious and also promote their dignity in labour.

 The event featured lectures on food crops, planting, and care, and the distribution of farm inputs and plants to various schools.

The highlight of the occasion was the decoration of Dr. Amaka Ngene by the Commissioner for Agriculture and Agro Industrialisation.

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Education

UniAbuja ASUU Suspends 82-day Strike

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Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Abuja chapter, has announced the suspension of its 82-day strike with immediate effect.

Chairperson of ASUU, Dr Sylvanus Ugoh, announced the suspension of the strike at a news briefing in Abuja on Monday, short after the congress held by the union.

Ugoh hinged the suspension of the strike on the union’s engagement with the institution’s new Governing Council, which promised to review all their demands and address them.

Report says that ASUU had, on May 2, embarked on the indefinite strike to protest violation of its established laws, including appointments and promotions of members of staff, in the absence of a governing council.

Other issues, according to the union, are: the purported illegal advertorial for the position of vice-chancellor by the then Prof. Abdulrasheed Na’Alla-led administration, and recruitments without due process.

Ugoh said that the council had met with the union and agreed to cancel the advert and republish a new one, following due process.

He said that the council also agreed to review the process of employment, which the union was against, and review the issue of promotion, especially the 2022/2023 exercise.

“Within these 82 days, we have been engaging with the former vice-chancellor but he did not shift ground.

“He refused to comply with the rules; he refused to comply with the act establishing the university and follow due process.

“After all the procedures failed, the union embarked on a comprehensive and indefinite strike,” he said.

Ugoh said that since the inauguration of the council, the union had been engaging the council and the university management.

He said that the council met with ASUU on July 18 and communicated to it in writing on the issues bordering on the strike.

“The council wrote the union and agreed to cancel the advert that was placed before now and re-advertise for the position of the vice-chancellor and that was actually the demand of the union.

“The council also agreed with the union to review the process of recruitment that was done without due process.

“According to the act, the process of employment of staff in the university is clear: there must be an advert in the national daily.

“This process was not followed, but the council has agreed to review it and get back to the union,” he stated.

Ugoh said that the council also agreed to review the promotion exercise, especially the 2022/2023 exercise.

He added that the new council had also directed that the election into the positions of deans of faculties and provost of college of health sciences be conducted.

“As for the position of director of the micro-finance bank, the acting vice-chancellor, through the secretary to the bank, has communicated with us that the union should take its position in the board of directors.

“So with these, and also in honour of the new council and the acting vice-chancellor, the union has reviewed the submissions of the council and we just finished from the congress.

“The congress unanimously resolved to suspend the strike so that the university administration will be able to look at the issues,” he said. (NAN)

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