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Strike: Anambra closes 12 private schools

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Barely 24 hours after private schools in Anambra state commenced strike over extortion by government, the state has announced the closure of 12 of such schools.

Announcing the closure of the schools on Tuesday, the state Commissioner for Basic Education, Prof Kate Omenugha, accused them of engaging in irregularities.

She said the schools did not have the capacity for conducive teaching and learning; such as qualified teachers.

The Schools are Jubilee Secondary School, Ihiala; Jonjay Comprehensive Secondary School, Ihiala; Redemption Model Secondary School Awada, Obosi, Higher Achievers Secondary School Uli and Spencer Secondary School, Uli.

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Others are City High Secondary School, Ozubulu; Summit Comprehensive College, Obosi; Dominion Comprehensive Secondary School, Obosi and Keep Looking to Jesus Comprehensive Secondary School, Nnewi.

The rest are Azia Comprehensive Secondary School, Azia, Star Light Secondary School, Ogbunike and Bilingual Secondary School Abagana.

Omenugha said the Education Commission would continue to fish out such deficient schools in a bid to sanitising the education sector.

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She said it was regrettable that some private schools in the state had engaged in examination malpractices, otherwise known as `miracle centres’, calling for proper reactivation of certificates of registration of private schools.

She said, “Ministry of Education has done a lot toward getting private schools work in order to achieve more for the state.

“It is unheard of that private schools will embark on a strike without writing to the ministry.

“We invited the groups to an emergency meeting on March 14 but two of the four groups declined the invitation and instead, resorted to industrial action.

“Anambra State is the only state granting subvention to private schools. In the last administration, they were given N2.5 million for laboratories as well as buses.’’

Nigeria Update

Cancellation of WASSCE will truncate future of Nigerian children – Reps

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The House of Representatives on Friday said the cancellation of the West African Senior Secondary School Examinations [WASSCE] will truncate the future of Nigerian children.

WuzupNigeria reports that the examination, administered by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and held yearly in May, was postponed indefinitely in April after schools were shut down across the country in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, announced during a media briefing on July 6 that the examination will now take place between August 4 and September 5.

But the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, on Wednesday 8 July 2020 at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided by President Muhammadu Buhari cancelled examination, saying he would prefer that “Nigerian students lose an academic year than to expose them to dangers” of COVID-19.

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He added that the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) cannot determine the resumption date of schools for Nigeria.

But the Chairman of the House Committee on Basic Education, Prof Julius Ihonbvare, who made the position of the House known in a statement in Abuja said the announcement by the minister was done without due consultation with relevant stakeholders in the education sector.

He said the Education Minister did not inform the country if his decision was in agreement with other West African leaders or in consultation with the examination bodies, the state governments and other stakeholders in the education sector.

He said:

“The minister also did not also inform the public, if the decision was the outcome of a meeting with all state governments that are in charge of all, but the unity secondary schools that are owned by the federal government.

“The Minister of State, in his usually consultative and participatory approach, had briefed the nation at the COVID 19 Presidential Committee briefing over the airwaves and in an appearance before the House Committee on Basic Education where he assured Nigerians that all steps had or were being taken to ensure full compliance with all COVID 19 protocols.

“This sudden policy reversal is not good for the country. It is bound to create further confusion in the education sector, create disappointment and suspicion among parents, frustrate the students and show to our development partners and Nigerians that the distortions and disarticulations in the sector are only getting worse.

“The reversal also shows that our policymakers may just be adopting a laid-back approach to the need to confront the novel coronavirus rather than taking proactive and creative steps to manage and contain it.

“The House Committee disagrees with the minister and believes that a reconsideration is urgently needed to save our educational system on the following grounds that Nigeria is not the only country expected to write the examination in the midst of Covid-19.

“Nigeria should insist that the examination be based exclusively on the already covered syllabus of schools; the Federal Ministry should not chicken out of its responsibilities but take charge, provide policy direction, engage the states and other stakeholders, while the WAEC should quadruple its invigilators and use all classrooms and event centres to conduct the examination and comply with Covid-19 protocols.”

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ASUU constructs twin-lecture hall, donates it to UNIJOS

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The University of Jos chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has constructed a 1,000 seater capacity twin lecture hall and donated it to the University.
Speaking during the inauguration of the project on Friday at the university’s permanent site, Dr. Lazarus Maigoro, Chairperson of the union, said the project gulped N63.2 million.
According to Maigoro, the funds used for the project were drawn from the meagre salaries of members, adding that it is part of the union’s Cooperate Social Responsibility (CSR).
He said that the gesture was aimed at supporting the government to address the gross infrastructure deficit in the university.
“We have spent N63.2 million to construct this structure, and these monies were deducted from salaries of our members,” he said,
The chairperson thanked members of the union for contributing and supporting the initiative and promised to do his best to advance the course of education in the country.
Inaugurating the project, the National President of ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, commended the chapter for the giant stride.
According to Ogunyemi, the initiative is the first of its kind in the history of university education in Nigeria, adding that the gesture has raised the bar of the trade union patriotism.
“To the best of our recollection, this is the first time in the history of university education since 1948, that a campus-based union would conceive, implement and deliver a project of this magnitude for use by staff and students.
“ASUU at the University of Jos has just raised the bar of trade union patriotism and we salute their altruism and patriotism for this worthwhile legacy.
“This project has practically demonstrated to all ‘Doubting Thomases’ that ASUU does not revel in wishful thinking. We walk the talk,” he said.
Ogunyemi also thanked members of the union in the university for cooperating with its officials in achieving greater heights and urged them to continue the support.
Receiving the keys to the project, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Sebastian Maimako, thanked the union for the gesture.
Represented by Prof. Ishaya Tanko, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academics of the university, Maimako assured that the project would be put to good use.
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Student's Life

UPDATED: Nigerian students won’t write 2020 WAEC – FG

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WAEC Candidates

The Federal Ministry of Education has said Nigerian secondary final year students will not be participating in the upcoming West African Examination Council (WAEC) examinations.

The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, who disclosed this to State House Correspondents on Wednesday after the seventh weekly virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, also said there is no date for resumption of schools in the country yet.

He said he would prefer that Nigerian students lose an academic year than to expose them to dangers, appealing to state governments that had announced the reopening of schools to reconsider their decision for the sake of the students’ safety.

Speaking on the effect the decision to keep schools closed could have on final year secondary school students, due to write the WAEC, Adamu said Nigeria would not open the schools yet, not even for the WAEC, which is a regionally control programme.

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He, however, debunked an earlier report, which claimed that the Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, announced August 4, 2020, as resumption date for schools, saying the Minister was misquoted.

“I don’t know whether you journalists are misquoting the Minister of State for Education or maybe quoting what WAEC said and made it into a story. Schools under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Education will not be opened on August 4 or anytime soon.

“Our schools will only open when we believe it’s safe for our children and that is when the situation is right, not when the incidence of the infection is going up in the nation. I just want to make it clear.

“We will not open soon for examination or for any reason, unless it is safe for our children, even WAEC. WAEC will not determine for us what we do. Schools will remain closed.

“Yesterday we called on stakeholders who will tell us the situation and the way it should be done for it to be safe. While the meeting was going on, WAEC announced that they are starting examinations. Let’s see who they are going to start with.

“I will also like to use this position to ask those states that have already announced (reopening), I appeal to them. I think it is not safe. I feel responsible for all children, not just those who are in federal government controlled schools. Please let’s save our children from this.

“One infected child is enough to infect a whole class. When they close from class they go into the dormitory, this is not the right time to open schools. I appeal to the states that have already announced to reconsider it,” he said.

When asked if Nigeria will be the only country to miss out of the WAEC examinations, he said:

“Me as Minister of Education, if I’m given the chance, I don’t mind Nigeria losing a whole school year than exposing our children to danger. WAEC is a parastatal of the Ministry of Education, they cannot determine for the government what it does,” he said.

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