ANA Osun Inaugurates Committee On Young Writers Mentorship Scheme

The Osun state chapter of Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) has inaugurated a committee to handle the issues of teen authorship in Osun state. The committee headed by Mr. Tunji Adepoju was set up with the major aim of giving young writers the opportunity of enjoying the mentorship from established writers, in addition to having their writings published and read by their mates and others at the young age.

Mr. Muriola Awosemo, ANA Osun Chairman during the inauguration said “ ANA Osun Young Writers Mentorship Scheme hopes to hone, enhance, nurture and publish works of teen and young writers between the ages of 9 and 17”.

To supervise and coordinate the scheme in Osun State, ANA Osun state Chairman, Mr. Muriola Awosemo appointed a four-man committee, headed by ANA Osun PRO, Mr. Tunji Adepoju, Mr. Bunyamin Zakariyah, Bada Yusuf and Mr. Adelowo Quadri as members.

El-Rufai Right To Sack 22,000 Teachers, Says Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has on Monday defended the decision of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai to sack over 22, 000 teachers, who recently failed the competency test conducted by the state government.

Buhari at the special retreat of the Federal Executive Council on the challenges facing the Education sector in Nigeria said what El-Rufai is doing is to rid Education in the state of rot and decay.

”What El-Rufai is trying to do now is exactly what that man told me about 10 years ago. It is a very serious situation when teachers cannot pass their exams. They are supposed to teach the children to pass, it is a very tragic situation we are in and this gathering together to me is the most important in this administration.”

Buhari at the meeting which had in attendance, the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, ministers and other key stakeholders said the Council members should come up with workable solutions to solve the problems affecting the education sector.

He criticised the poor quality of teachers in the nation’s institutions of learning, adding that the Kaduna State governor, El-Rufai is trying to correct that in the state.

The President, recalling the period he was a boarding school pupil said that his foundation knowledge was build at the elementary period.

“Having been an orphan, I still feel that whatever I did in life so far was built by boarding school. For nine years, I was in boarding school. Those days, teachers behave to students like their children.

”If you do well, they will tell you, you did you well. If you don’t, they will never spare the rod and then when I finished, six years in Secondary School then, I didn’t work for a day. I refused to work for a day, I left home I refused to work in the Local Government. I joined the army and the army of that time we went through what we went through up to the civil war.”

The President said teachers should be more reformed and impact the students with knowledge.

Let’s Adapt Education Policy That Fit In With New Trends - Osinbajo

Let me first commend the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, not just for hosting this retreat, but more importantly for subjecting the education plan to critical interrogation so that all of us have had a chance to contribute to developing what everyone agrees is the most important foundation we can lay now and for the future.

I also want to commend and thank both Professors Omolewa and Okebukola for the very excellent direction they have brought to the proceedings here today, and always for their informed insights. These are veterans and I’m sure by just listening to them, you can tell that they have gone through every possible education plan. I’m glad to see that they are not cynical and they are still very hopeful that we will get it right.
I just wanted to make a few comments before I declare the proceedings closed. I think that for everything that we’ve heard, the most important things for now are implementation, implementation, and implementation!

There is nothing that we need to know that we don’t already know. Everything is somehow or the other in the plan, it is time to just sort this business out and get it done.

One of the things I thought we should clarify for the purpose of making it easier to implement are the objectives of our educational policy. We may want to define it, have a short-term, medium-term, long-term, as they do. I think just in a few words, we should know what our educational policy seeks to achieve.

One of the things that occurred to me as I thought through the educational plan is that our educational plan must address the challenges we face in the next few years. I believe that this particular plan must be designed to serve the 4th largest population on earth, which is Nigeria. The moment we overtake Malaysia, we would be the 4th largest on the earth.
So what sort of educational policy or system would address the concerns and needs of that kind of population, which will provide high paying jobs, food, shelter and healthcare. I think if we focus our minds on the main challenges that we would be addressing in the next two decades, it is easier for us to see how every other thing would fall into place. There is no way that we are going to have the kind of population we are going to have and we are already seeing 2.6% increase every year in population. We are galloping away in terms of actual numbers and yet human resources are barely catching up.

What sort of education should we be looking at? I think that the plan adequately addresses that. I would just like to see some sort of streamlining of that. One of the priorities I think we should emphasize, and it’s in the plan, but it just requires more emphasis, is STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). I believe it will be very difficult for us in the coming years to achieve the objectives of providing food, shelter, and good jobs without emphasizing STEM.

The way forward for our country is the emphasis on those critical things. Of course, the humanities and every other thing are also important, but just in terms of looking at how development has taken place in other places, they emphasized on STEM.

The next issue is; how do we educate the large number of people? I see that we are still talking of more classrooms, which, of course, will be important, but I believe that it is time for us to begin to emphasize now how technology will be leveraged upon to provide mass education. I don’t think just building more classrooms will be able to cope and cope quickly with the numbers that we have today.

When we were working through the N-Power project with the inter-ministerial team, what we have done within the past 18 months is to employ about 200,000 and we are also training them. We have a portal which has a lot of information on a variety of issues like computing, code writing, but we also have devices. They have devices where information can be loaded unto and we are trying to migrate the information to mobile devices. If you have a phone, you can access a lot of this information.

When we are implementing, we must have Google, Cisco and others in the room with us. A lot of them are developing platforms and strategies for mass education, and they can be extremely helpful, especially as we devise the means of educating such a large number of people very quickly.

We mustn’t be stuck in the way we think about education, we must move on, because all over the world, most people are learning good and evil on the Internet. We must adapt whatever we want to learn to all of this. We must recognize that most young people are looking at these devices almost 24 hours of the day. We must take advantage of that because in the years to come, emphasis on classroom and formal sitting down learning is going to diminish.

What we are seeing today already points in that direction. A lot of learning is going to take place online and electronically. We should plan for it in our policies.

The other point I wanted to make is that relevant education is so important. What is it that we should be teaching our young people? What type of education? Sometimes you look at what is being taught, I think one of the most important things is that everything is changing and the way that we teach is changing very quickly.

Some of us, who have spent all of our lives teaching, have also recognized that perhaps the way we taught certain things is not even right. For example, the whole idea of giving notes in class, especially in a university, is probably not the best. I reviewed my approach to teaching about 10 years ago, and I thought that it might be better to actually pose the questions to the students. This is not an invention of mine; it is the so-called Socratic Method, tried and tested in the US and several other places and what we now call clinical education in Law. So you are actually posing the questions to the students and they are collaborating to answer the questions.

This is the sort of strategy and method being used today; you tell them the problem and get them to think the answers through. You generate critical thinking in the students as opposed to giving notes and telling them what to do. Many times, the students just cramp the material and just regurgitate them; they are not able to work effectively in the industry, business and commerce.

It is important to understand what it is we want to teach students; what sort of learning is important and will be important in the next few years. There are certain things that may not be very useful anymore. It might be important to look at those things and teach things that will be important in the next few years.

The other question I wanted to raise is that we have talked about girl-child education and out-of-school children; what I am yet to see is the implementation strategy. Where are the girls? How many are they? I have seen some of the statistics, the NBS has some depressing statistics, but what is the method we want to use to first encourage families of the girls to ensure they go to school, and also what are the methods we want to use?

For example, there are statistics that show, especially in certain states in the North, several women under the age of 25 are illiterate. How do we deal with educating that segment who obviously have missed the opportunity of going to primary and secondary schools?

I think we should spend some time looking at those issues and developing a plan for that; so we have a plan for girl-child education that is detailed and costed. These are huge areas that we must move on to very quickly. The female population, according to NBS statistics, is almost equivalent to the male population. So we are talking about almost half of our population that may be uneducated unless we have a clear plan.

Same goes for out-of-school children, the figures range from 10 – 12 million, but what is the plan? I read in the plan about building more schools and training more teachers. I think we must look at some of the flexible learning skills to see how we can use them. I have a short note which will be passed on to the Minister of Education and those compiling the communique.

Another last point I would like to make is on educating on citizenship. There must be some kind of education for citizenship and it should play a prominent role in the plan. One of the critical things that many countries do is that they teach their young people how to be citizens of their country and be proud of their country.

I think it is so important we do that, because sometimes we find out that unless you actually tell people things, they don’t know anything about the past. Very few people know anything about the past.

While I was a commissioner in Lagos State, the Governor and I stood on the ramp at the round house. Some young boys were playing football down the ramp. I told the Governor nobody knows the Abraham Adesanyas, and his counterparts. These were people prominent in the AD at the time; we were talking about legacy and the conversation turned to whether people know them. People don’t know any history; the Governor disagreed and said Abraham Adesanya was very prominent.

I told him we should call one of the boys playing football, we called three of them and asked if they knew Abraham Adesanya. He asked, “Is he the one that plays for Julius Berger?” The governor held his head! You don’t know how little people know.

That is really the problem we have, we have a population of young people who may have studied and gone to school, but have very little knowledge of history and their nation, and so they just base everything on stereotypes and what they are told. They have no real way of testing their ideas and becoming true citizens. So we need to write it into the plan, something that helps to educate our citizens.

Having said all these, I want to thank everyone for giving so much of your time and paying attention to all that have been said today. A final point I want to ask NUC is this business of insisting a university must have certain hectares of land before establishing a university. I don’t know whether that takes into account, that today so many universities are occupying relatively smaller places. In any event, does that take into account all the technology available now, online universities and all that?

I hope there is flexibility enough to take into account universities that want to use technology to train, because after a while there won’t be hectares of land for those that want to teach.

Thank you all very much.

Education Situation In Nigeria Saddened Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has described as “very serious, a situation where teachers could not pass the examination that they are supposed to teach the children”.

President Buhari addressed FEC retreat on education
President Buhari and his Vice Osinbajo at FEC education retreat
A cross section of ministers at FEC’s education retreat

President Buhari, who spoke at a special retreat of the Federal Executive Counicl (FEC) on Monday in Abuja, endorsed the primary education reforms being carried out by Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state.

“It is a very tragic situation we are in, and this our gathering is one of the most important ones in this administration.”

“ I listened to one of the Nigerians I respect, he said after his training here in Nigeria and the United States, he went to his alma mater, his primary school to see what he could contribute.

“I won’t mention his name but when he went, he couldn’t differentiate between the students, the children and the teachers.

“And what el-Rufai is trying to do now is exactly what that man told me about 10 years ago.

The president said the effect of decay in the education sector was glaring, vowing that his administration would change the situation for the better.

“Being an orphan, I still feel that boarding school moulded me. I spent nine year in boarding school, three in primary school and six in secondary school.

“In those days, teachers treat students like their own children. If you did well, they will tell you, you didn’t, they wouldn’t spare the rod.

“When I finished my secondary school, I didn’t work for a day, I refused to work for a day. I left home, I refused to work in the local government, and then I joined the army.’’

As part of the reforms, Kaduna state carried out an assessment test on all its 33,000 primary school teachers to determine their suitability as teachers.

No fewer than 21,000 of the teachers fail to score the mandatory 75 per cent of the primary four examination administered.

El-Rufai has therefore decided to fire all the teachers that failed and to replace them.

The organised labour is currently inflamed by the decision of Kaduna government, but the government warned that there was no going back in the interest of posterity.


Osun Govt Cautions State Owned Tertiary Institutions Workers

The state Government of Osun has urged the Coalition of Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics and Colleges of Education in the state Tertiary institutions to reason with the state government and handle the current financial situation with care and understanding.
Like other workers in the state civil service, the government appreciates and commended the workers in the tertiary institutions for their sacrifices in the financial turbulence that nearly crippled the state finances. We equally note their support and calmness in the current   financial quagmire.
It is doubtless that the present administration is very committed to welfare of the workers in the state and it has demonstrated it with series of welfare packages for the workers. The government wishes to state that the payment of modulated salary is heart- aching and saddening as recently stated by Governor Rauf Aregbesola.
Not until the effect of the immediate past Federal Government of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) induced economic recession began to take its tolls on the state, the Aregbesola’s administration never wished for any workers not to enjoy his or her full salary and other entitlement.
We recalled that it is the current administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola that implemented the CONTISS salary structure for the academic staff in the state owned tertiary institution and it has increased the subventions to the institution.
We appeal to the workers in the state tertiary institutions to please bear with the government for the time being. The trying time is getting over gradually.

El-Rufai Condemns Unqualified Teachers Using Pupils For Protests

The Kaduna State Government has condemned in strong terms the use of primary school pupils for protests by teachers who failed the competency test. The government said it will not tolerate the reckless endangerment of minors by adults who are sending them to the streets.

A government statement stated that it is unfortunate that the children who are victims of bad teachers are now being used as cannon-fodder by the same teachers. The government disclosed that it will take legal measures to punish the wrongdoers, assuring parents outraged by the reckless exploitation of young children by the unqualified teachers that it considers such conduct as unacceptable.

Signed by Samuel Aruwan, spokesperson to Governor Nasir El-Rufai, the government statement described as callous and despicable the act of involving young pupils in illegal, politically-inspired demonstration.

The Kaduna State Government has received reports of primary school pupils being pushed to the streets by their unqualified teachers for illegal protests. These unlawful acts have included getting young children to block highways.

“Government condemns this wanton disregard for the lives and safety of primary school pupils placed in the care of these unqualified teachers. It is grievous enough that bad teachers have been allowed to imperil the educational future of these children. But for these same teachers to endanger the children by asking them to block and lie on highways illustrates a chilling level of irresponsibility that no law-governed society can accept.  

“When parents send their children to school, they place pupils in the care of their teachers during school hours. Parents rightly do not expect teachers to teach their children hooliganism or endanger these minors by involving them in matters they are too young to understand.

“These children are not union members. Our pupils are the victims of bad teachers who are evidently do not mind making these children cannon-fodder for their desperation. Exposing minors to hazards, and endangering their lives and limbs shows that some teachers want to jeopardize the present and future of these children.

“These irresponsible actions by unqualified teachers at the behest of their union affront both morality and the law, including the Penal Code and the Young Persons’ Law. Those involved will bear the consequences.

 Government hereby warns everyone to desist from illegal and irresponsible acts. Sound education is not a matter of sentiment. Parents who send their children to public schools have a right to expect decent tuition for their wards. Being poor should not mean that the prospects of their children should also be truncated. Nobody will be allowed to play politics with the future of our children, their education and their safety.

Government urges parents to be vigilant, report to the relevant authorities any attempt to use their children to threaten law and order.” 

Aregbesola Commissions Another N94 Million School In Ipetumodu

The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, on Tuesday added another feat to his administration’s achievements in the education sector with the commissioning of another Elementary school, St. Augustine’s Government Elementary School, Ipetumodu, in Ife North Local Government Area of the state.

The Elementary school at the cost of N94 million is a‎ quadrangular block of 12 rooms, 10 of which are used as classrooms, one is a computer centre while the last one is used as the library.

It also has a Headmaster’s office, a store, a power office and a conference room. It is complete with its own borehole, power transformer and a recreation and sporting centre.

‎Aregbesola at the commissioning held that the school among others are designed to be able to attract the best brains from their catchment areas, especially draw intake from public middle schools, where excellence is also the watchword.

He added that Osun elementary schools are neighbourhood schools where children out of infancy will have schools at their walking distance; within view of familiar neighbours.

‎According to the Governor, “Today marks another epoch in New Dawn of Education Infrastructure in the State of Osun. The last time we gathered for this purpose was on Tuesday, October 24, 2017, when we commissioned Ilesa Government High School, Ilesa.

“In the order of our new elementary schools, the most recent was the commissioning of the AUD Government Elementary School, Sabo Osogbo, on November 29, 2016. ‎

“On March 21 this year, our trains moved around simultaneously, to celebrate the official opening and commencement of learning activities at four newly-built government high schools; namely: Ataoja Government High School, Osogbo; Osogbo Government High School, Osogbo; Wole Soyinka Government High School, Ejigbo; and Adventist Government High School, Ede.

“These schools were the first set of completed high school infrastructure embarked upon by our administration and have since been put to use by end-users, the students and their teachers”.

Aregbesola added that beyond new buildings, he has carried out renovations on 40 other schools which gives 1,694 standard classrooms in the existing elementary, middle and high schools, noting that they will accommodate nearly 90,000 pupils.

He also held that his administration has provided more than 100,000 desks and chairs, toilets and boreholes and made schools decent places to be.

Earlier in his remarks, the Apetumodu of Ipetumodu, Oba ‎James Adedokun Adegoke described Governor Rauf Aregbesola as a true democrat whose position as Governor has heralded unprecedented development in the state.

Oba Adegoke said the present administration has given due recognition to the development of the state particularly Ipetumodu, stressing that the ancient town has witnessed uncommon transformation.

According to the traditional ruler, the present administration has truly defined what government, governance and leadership are all about as this could be attested to by the developments witnessed so far.

“Since the creation of Osun, no government has kept to its electioneering campaign promises as being done by the present administration.
“We have seen true “Omoluabi”‎ ethos in all Aregbesola has done particularly in his commitment to promises made to the people of the state.‎

“This government has done so much for us and we really appreciate it because no government has ever been conscious of development as this government has demonstrated”, Oba Adegoke emphasised.‎

In his welcome address, the Commissioner for Education, Mr Wasiu Kolawole Omotunde-Young commended Governor Aregbesola for being committed to fight against educational decadence.

He said the present administration has not only given education a deserved attention but always making it the true bedrock of development.‎

The state education commissioner further explained that the school is designed as part of efforts to eradicate decadence in the education sector.

“This state-of-the-art government elementary school is designed and constructed to be a first class school aimed to eradicate decadence in the education sector.

“Our government has commissioned many of this school and we will still commission more as we are committed to the quality and functional education in the state”. He stressed.‎

In his remarks, the Chairman House Committee on Education in the State House of Assembly, Hon. Folorunso bamisayemi lauded Governor Aregbesola for his giant strides in all sectors of the economy particularly in the education sector.

Hon. Bamisayemi said the entire members of the state House of Assembly are proud to have Governor Aregbesola as his administration has brought all round development to the state.

The Chairman House Committee on Education expressed confidence in the present administration saying the House is proud that Governor Aregbesola judiciously utilized the loans which the House approved.

According to him, the administration of Governor Aregbesola has brought so much development to the state in terms of infrastructure, particularly of roads and schools.

“Aregbesola has shown high sense of prudency and transparency in the management of the state’s resources particularly on the money which the state borrowed.

“To us as legislators, we strongly believed that if the state did not borrow at the time it borrowed, many of these projects would have been impossible now, considering the exchange rate.

“As at the time we approved the loan, the exchange rate of naira to dollar was about, 150 dollar to 170 dollar but today exchange rate is about 350 dollar to 400 dollar, telling us that the state might not be able to either borrow at all or do as much as it did. With the benefit of hindsight, the loan has paid for itself”, he added.

ASUP Threatens To Begin Strike Nov. 13

The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) says it will embark on an indefinite strike with effect from Monday, Nov. 13, unless the Federal Government pays its 2016 shortfalls and all outstanding arrears.

The National President of the Union, Mr Usman Dutse gave the strike notice while briefing newsmen on the outcome of ASUP National Executive Council Emergency meeting in Abuja on Monday.

He said the union would sustain the strike until the demands of the union are met or an implementable memorandum of action was agreed on.

“Our union is constrained to lament that our sector is on the verge of collapse and needs all the emergency attention it urgently deserves .”

He said the union had engaged government on the poor state of the polytechnics, adding that government had set up a committee that produced a report but nothing was done about it.

He said that in 2014, N6.5 billion was earmarked to resuscitate the poor state of polytechnics but it was reviewed to N8 billion because of the prevailing economic realities.

According to him, no step had been taken to release a dime to enhance the quality of the polytechnics system.

Dutse noted that the delay and indifference to the passage of the bill was viewed as a ploy to fester chaos and continued crises in the sector.

According to him, the bill passed public hearing in Dec. 2016 but the bill died with the 6th and the 7th assemblies and current effort was threatened as it was stagnated in the Senate since the public hearing in Dec. 2016.

“Passage of the bill will solve majority of the contending issues in the sector, reduce conflicts by improving on the efficiency and ultimately bring the sector in tune with global best practices.”

He said that in December 2015 members of the Union experienced shortfall due to cuts in personnel released, saying that government also withdrawn allowance which was part of its salaries.

He noted that only five institutions out of 25 had received repayment of its 2016 shortfalls, saying that governing councils compounded the situation by siphoning resources of institutions for their luxury.

According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari had approved N 290billion for the payment of shortfalls but our members are seriously suffering because the fund was not released.

“We are calling on government to fast track the process so that our members can get their salaries.

“We wish to remind government at all levels and Nigerians that we cannot be complacent in strategic annihilation of the sector that feeds and caters for millions of youths and families, ” he said.

He, therefore, called on Nigerians to prevail on the government to do the needful and avoid the imminent shutdown of the sector indefinitely.

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