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NECO to conduct SSCE in Saudi Arabia



NECO to conduct SSCE in Saudi Arabia

According to a statement by Azeez Sani, the acting director of the information and digital communication department, the announcement came on the back of the accreditation of the Nigeria International School in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The statement said the delegation — led by Yusuf Tanko Sununu, the minister of state for education, and Ibrahim Wushishi, NECO registrar — recently visited the school for accreditation.

During the visit, Sununu urged the management and students of the school to be good representatives of Nigeria across the Gulf States Cooperation Council.

The minister also assessed the facilities such as the examination halls, classrooms, laboratories, library, security architecture, the academic curriculum and syllabus, and the general security of the school.

He added that “it was found worthy of consideration as an international centre for NECO SSCE Internal, and was consequently granted full accreditation”.

On his part, the NECO boss stressed the importance of the accreditation to the school management, adding that the approval is to ensure adequate teaching and learning facilities conducive to examinations.

The delegation also visited the Nigeria House in Jeddah where they met Bello Kazaure, the consular general, and Abdulkadir Maikudi, the school proprietor.

NECO currently has its other international examination centres in Togo, Benin Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Niger, and the Republic of Gabon

Source: Thecable

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Oduduwa University denies campus cult clash



The management of Oduduwa University has debunked a report currently disseminated on social media, linking the institution with cult-related clashes.

As stated in a statement, Oduduwa University has zero tolerance for cultism-related affairs and wishes to inform the public that nothing of such ever happened at any time within the school.

In the statement, the institution stated that contrary to what was trending on social media, ‘our institution has nothing to do with the said story’, The students of Oduduwa University are studious and law-abiding. The management ensures that all hands are on deck to ensure that the institution runs a hitch-free calendar, devoid of any form of distractions and that students’ academic sessions are completed as when due.

The management therefore advises members of the public to shun contrary reports orchestrated by unscrupulous elements within the society trying to dent the good image of the institution. There is no history of cultism nor cultist clashes of any kind at Oduduwa University.

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70,000 application approved as N35b Student Loan Scheme take-off



70,000 application approved as N35b Student Loan Scheme take-off

Another 50,000 applications for approval in 30 days, President Bola Tinubu has approved N35 billion for the take – off of the student loan scheme.

So far, 70, 000 applications have been approved by the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND).

Another 50, 000 applications are currently being evaluated and would be approved within 30 days.

The figures were exclusively obtained by The Nation from sources in NELFUND.

According to the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, NELFUND, Akintunde Sawyerr, the funds will be disbursed based on the timetable and calendars of the academic session of each institution.

He said: “The funds will be disbursed based on the timetable and calendars of the academic session of each institution. The portal for students to apply for the loan opened on May 24, 2024.

“The portal will be permanently open because institutions don’t have a uniform calendar,” Sawyerr added.

No fewer than 1.2 million students are expected to benefit from the cardinal programme of the Tinubu administration.

Applicants are required to provide their Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) letter, National Identification Number (NIN), and Bank Verification Number (BVN).

Students in Federal Government-owned tertiary institutions will be the first batch of beneficiaries of the loan scheme.

Those from state-owned tertiary institutions will benefit from the scheme too.

The agency said it would start receiving applications from students in state-owned tertiary institutions from June 25, 2024.

The loan, which is an equivalent of the tuition fees of the benefitting students, would be paid directly to their institutions.

But stipends would be paid directly to beneficiaries on a monthly basis to assist them buy other things that can make them comfortable while pursuing their education.

The agency is working with 126 tertiary institutions on the scheme.

The source said: “President Bola Tinubu has graciously approved N35bn for the student loan scheme. The funds are awaiting disbursement.

“About 70, 000 applications have been approved by NELFUND management. 50, 000 applications are currently being evaluated. These applications will be approved within 30 days.

“We receive an average of 1,500 applications a day.

“Mr President has provided enough funds to accommodate every Nigerian student who desires the loan.”

President Tinubu on April 3 signed into law the bill on the scheme in line with his electoral promise that no Nigerian student would drop out of school on account of lack of funds.

According to the law, repayment will commence two years after the completion of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme.

The ambitious cardinal programme will be funded with one per cent of the total annual collectable revenue by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).


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Kwara College of Education upgraded to varsity



Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq has approved the transmutation of the College of Education, Ilorin, into the University of Education.

The move, according to the governor, is to ease the take-off and other logistic advantages of the new education varsity.

“The government will continue ongoing efforts to transform the two other colleges and make them more viable in line with current realities’, a statement from the Government House said.

The decision comes a few days after the governor assented to the Kwara State University Teaching Hospital (Establishment) and Kwara State University of Education (Establishment) Bills, effectively birthing a teaching hospital and the University of Education.

The signing held at the Government House in Ilorin, in the presence of Speaker of the House of Assembly Yakubu Salihu; Majority Leader AbdulKadir Magaji; Clerk of the House AbdulKareem Ahmed; and a member of the Committee on the Establishment of the Kwara State University of Education/Special Adviser (Special Duties) Abdulrazaq Jiddah.

Source: The Nation


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FG approves N13b for National Research Fund, multipurpose labs for varsities



President Bola Tinubu has relieved Prof. Aliyu Jauro and Dr. Adeniyi Aremu of their appointments as director-general of the National

President Bola Tinubu has approved N13 billion for the National Research Fund (NRF) and the provision of Central Multipurpose Laboratories in select universities nationwide.

The Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja at the inauguration of the reconstituted TETFund National Research Fund Screening and Monitoring Committee (NRFS&MC) and the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) .

Mamman also received the report of the TETFund ad hoc Committee on Equipment Upgrade in Workshops and Laboratories.

The Minister said the Federal Government was ready to provide equipment for research in the country.

He said: “President Tinubu’s approval of ₦5 billion for NRF and ₦8 billion for Central Multipurpose Laboratories underscores his commitment to advancing research for national development.”

Speaking during the inauguration of key committees, the minister emphasised the importance of enhancing research capacity across various fields.

He highlighted the need to elevate academic publications in Nigeria and reduce reliance on foreign materials through initiatives like the Higher Education Book Development Project.

The Executive Secretary of TETFUND Sonny Echono, praised the expertise of the committees in driving the implementation of the National Research Fund.

He stated: “The NRF has awarded 912 research grants totaling ₦24,021,679,195.88 since its inception in 2009, promoting applied research and innovation in public tertiary institutions.”

The committees were urged to uphold credibility and maintain high standards in their roles to advance research and book publication for national development.

Source: The Nation


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NASS, stakeholders, others back Bill to establish Federal College of Agric Agila




The bill seeking to establish a Federal College of Agriculture in Agila, Benue State has received overwhelming acceptance during a public hearing at the National Assembly.

The public hearing, which attracted stakeholders from various sectors, including education, agriculture and government, saw widespread support for the bill. Speakers praised the initiative, highlighting the potential of the college to address the nation’s agricultural challenges.

The sponsor, Hon. Philip Agbese, who represents Ado/ Okpokwu/ Ogbadibo Federal Constituency, said the proposed institution is critical to the country’s food production and research.

He noted that this is a significant step towards transforming Nigeria’s agricultural sector and unlocking its full potential.

The Deputy spokesman of the House of Representatives said: “Benue State is indeed the food basket of the nation but what many don’t know is that my federal constituency produces a bulk of that food.

“Most of the research institutes have travelled to Agila, in particular for their fieldwork. With this institution, I believe the Federal Government would sustain what we have been doing for this nation. We will continue to feed the nation and in turn, my people will benefit.

“My constituency remains the least developed in the nation despite all its contributions. Hence, I believe this bill is the most critical for this committee.”

The Chairman of the Technical Committee for the institution, Professor Hyacinth Aboh, assured that the community is peaceful and welcoming, blessed with fertile land.

“Agila is well endowed, about 90 per cent of people there are farmers,” he added. “They engage in agriculture because the land is very fertile. The location of Agila is in the southern part of Benue State and shares a boundary with Ebonyi State.

“Agila won’t have any problem with take off as it already has a very big skill acquisition centre. The people of Agila are very peaceful with vast land”.

The Federal College of Agriculture Agila is expected to serve as a hub for agricultural innovation, research, and training.

The proposed institution will provide specialised training for farmers, extension workers, and agricultural educators, enhancing the sector’s human capacity. This will lead to improved agricultural productivity, sustainability, and innovation, driving economic growth and development in the region.

The college will also contribute to Nigeria’s food security, self-sufficiency, and economic diversification. It will enhance the nation’s global competitiveness in agriculture, attracting foreign investment and promoting export-led growth.

For Benue, the college will offer a significant boost to the local economy, creating jobs, stimulating agricultural development, and enhancing the state’s reputation as a hub for agricultural excellence. The state will also benefit from the college’s research and innovation, addressing specific agricultural challenges facing the region.

The community will profit from the college’s outreach programs, which will provide training and support for local farmers, improving their yields and incomes.

The college will also serve as a resource center for agricultural innovation, providing solutions to local agricultural challenges. This will lead to improved livelihoods, reduced poverty, and enhanced well-being for the local population.

The establishment of the Federal College of Agriculture in Benue State is expected to have a ripple effect on the nation’s agricultural sector, driving growth, innovation, and sustainability. The bill’s passage into law is eagerly anticipated, paving the way for the college’s establishment and the realization of its numerous benefits.

Among dignitaries in attendance were former House of Reps member, Hon. Bernard Ochepa; former executive council chairman of Ado, Hon. Chief Otse Otokpa, Elder Ogba Ogorry, Chief Otse Otokpa, Arch Tony Obekpa, Hon (Mrs) Kate Ojogi, and Prince Onwi Obande among others.


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BSc/HND dichotomy: Discrimination against HND holders in workplace wrong — FG



BSc/HND dichotomy: Discrimination against HND holders in workplace wrong — FG

BSc/HND dichotomy, reducing adult illiteracy in Nigeria, curb attacks on schools, combact social vices,
THE Federal Government has faulted prevailing discrimination against holders of Higher National Diploma (HND), in favour of Bachelor’s of Science (BSc) degree holders in the workplace in the country.

Minister of State for Education, Dr Yusuf Sununu speaking a one-day dialogue on the future of HND in Nigerian Educational landscape, said it is wrong to discriminate against a set of people trained with the right skills to perform optimally on the job.

The National Assembly in 2021 passed the “Bill for an Act to Abolish and Prohibit Dichotomy and Discrimination between First Degree and Higher National Diploma in the Same Profession/Field for the Purpose of Employment; and for Related Matters,” and was presented to former president Muhammadu Buhari for assent. Buhari, however, could not sign the bill into law before the end of his tenure.

The bill sought to check the discrimination of polytechnic graduates from their university counterparts in employment and promotion in the workplace.

The bill also sought to end the discrimination that stakeholders in the polytechnics suffer, which for long they sought an end to.

The Minister described the topic of the one-day dialogue as thought-provoking, considering the myriad of challenges being faced by holders of HND in Nigeria, saying one could not run away from the fact that most of the challenges being faced were borne out of the wrong perception of polytechnic education by a society that values paper qualification over and above competence.

Sununu, however, observed that while holders of HND continue to clamour for better deals, he was confident that the government initiative of reforming education would yield the desired result and give all a sense of belonging.

He added this also informed the integration of the National Skills Qualification framework (NSQ) at the last meeting of the National Council on Establishments (NCE) in Bauchi.

The Minister noted that to further demonstrate faith with the national council on education resolution, the office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation has since issued a circular that integrated skills qualifications into the Federal Schemes of Service.

“Besides, the new Performance Management System (PMS) put together by the Office of the Head of the Civil service of the Federation is another step aimed at ensuring that rather than the possession of paper qualification, individual competences are the new parameters for assessment in the workplace,” he stated.

Sununu disclosed that the National Board for Technical Education has also recently taken a step to correct the situation by bringing to national consciousness the need to embrace the global movement for skills acquisition by HND holders who must take one skill based programme to make themselves relevant in the society.

He charged the participants at the dialogue to come up with reasons that will not only change the age-long belief on the allege superiority of other qualifications over HND, but show that Nigeria, more than ever before, needs HND holders for national development.

Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education, Professor Idris Bugaje, speaking in the same vein lamented what he described as unwarranted discrimination against holders of the Higher National Diplomas in Nigeria.

Bugaje said the dialogue was apt as it would foster an opportunity to address pressing issues that had persisted for decades.

Also, the President, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics, Philip Ogunsipe said the discrimination was basically a function of societal acceptance of HND.

Ogunsipe said for the problems to be solved, the discrimination in the bill should be taken care of before being assented into law.

“Once the bill is passed and the discrimination in the HND programme is resolved and finally passed into law, we will not have any challenge with this age-long problem,” he said.

He also explained that the polytechnics sector must think outside the box and find a way of having programmes exclusively run by polytechnics.

He charged the NBTE to strengthen its supervisory role, noting that infrastructures in some polytechnics were in an awful state and needed urgent attention.

“The process of accreditation of programmes should be strengthened to provide the necessary and required manpower for the growth and development of this country. The NBTE must strengthen its supervisory role to do this,” he added.

President, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, Shammah Kpanja said the discrimination is not only on students or academics but affects the sector in its entirety, explaining that if the polytechnics must be attractive, the transition of HND to BTech must be welcomed.

He, therefore, said that the Nigerian Polytechnics must offer BTech strictly for HND students while also noting that the certificate must be specialised.

Source: Tribune

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