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Student Loan: Nelfund gets 30,000 successful applicants, announces date to commence 2nd phase

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Nigerian govt gets 30,000 successful applicants

Nigerian government says about 30,000 students have successfully applied for its loan scheme barely seven days after the portal was launched on 24th May, 2024.

Akintunde Sawyerr, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund, disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday while giving an update on the scheme.

Sawyerr explained that the about 30,000 students who have successfully applied are currently undergoing approval evaluation.

The MD revealed that applications will be opened for state higher institutions to apply for the loan on 25th June 2024.

According to him, the scheme goes beyond providing financial assistance to students to equipping youths with employable skills.

He announced that NELFUND will commence a launch of comprehensive skills acquisition skills in various vocational and technical fields.

“Beyond financial assistance, NELFUND recognizes the profound importance of equipping our youth with practical, market-relevant skills.

“Six months from today, we will launch a comprehensive skills acquisition program, providing training in various vocational and technical fields.

“This program is designed to prepare students to meet the demands of the modern job market, fostering entrepreneurship and innovation among our young people.

“Sixty thousand are those who have registered on the platform. About 30,000 have successfully applied for the loan but that does not mean the 30,000 have been approved. Up until this point, nobody has been given the loan. Now is the time for evaluation.

“The overwhelming response serves as a testament to the critical need for financial assistance among our student population, and we remain committed to addressing this urgent demand,” he said.

Recall that President Bola Tinubu signed the Access to Higher Education Act, 2023, into law to provide Nigerian students with financial assistance.

Source: Daily Post

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Education

Kwara College of Education upgraded to varsity

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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

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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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Education

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

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NASS

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

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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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Lagos Governor Sanwo-olu Gifts LASU’s best graduating student N10 Million

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Lagos Governor Sanwo-olu Gifts LASU’s Best Graduating Student N10 Million

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-olu has gifted Olaniyi Mubaraq, the overall best-graduating student of Lagos State University (LASU), with a sum of N10 million.

The governor made the announcement at the grand finale of LASU’s 27th convocation ceremony, on Thursday, June 6.

The governor had arrived at the university at 12:38 pm.

The rewarded student, Olaniyi Mubaraq, graduated from the Department of Accounting Education. He graduated with a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 4.98

Source: Politics Nigeria

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Education

Reps seek review of curriculum for primary and secondary schools

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The House of Representatives has further rescheduled its resumption date earlier slated for Tuesday, April 23 by one week.

The House of Representatives on Thursday, June 6, asked the federal ministry of education in conjunction with state ministries of education to conduct a comprehensive review of the curriculum across primary, secondary, and tertiary institutions in the country to improve the education standard.

The House said the reviewed curriculum should align with evolving global market demands, emphasising skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, digital literacy, and adaptability.

Adopting a motion on notice sponsored by Hon. Bamidele Salam, the House also asked the Ministry of Education to integrate practical applications, promote critical thinking and innovation, and enhance digital literacy.

It said the Ministry should nurture essential soft skills like communications, teamwork, and interpersonal skills and address resource disparities, and ensure equitable access to qualified teachers, updated learning materials, and proper infrastructure.

In addition, the House asked the ministry to incorporate a global perspective, broadening the curriculum to encompass international issues and fostering global citizenship.

Leading the debate on the motion, Hon. Bamidele Salam said Nigeria’s traditional curriculum, for primary and secondary schools, faces challenges compared to advanced nations, while it equips students with knowledge.

He said the current curriculum “prioritizes rote learning over practical skills like critical thinking and problem-solving, which are very crucial in the current labour market, the curriculum might have a stronger focus on national subjects, potentially limiting exposure to global perspectives necessary to navigate the interconnected world”.

He said further that Nigeria faces challenges in aligning its educational curriculum with advanced countries, traditionally, the Nigerian curriculum has emphasized rote memorization and standardized testing, and while this approach lays a strong foundation in core subjects, it often falls short in.

He stressed that in developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills, advanced economies prioritize fostering analytical abilities and encouraging students to approach challenges with innovative solutions.

In addition, he said in equipping graduates with industry-relevant skills, the curriculum in developed nations often integrates practical training and exposure to real-world scenarios, preparing students for the specific demands of the job market.

While stressing the need to embrace technological advancements, Hon. Salam said integrating technology effectively into the learning process is crucial for success in today’s world. This area might require significant improvement in resource allocation and teacher training in Nigeria compared to its more technologically advanced counterparts.

He maintained that while the world is in flux, skills needed to thrive are constantly evolving, demanding a critical evaluation of current educational systems, the traditional curriculum may not adequately equip graduates for the dynamic labour market to bridge this gap, a comprehensive review of educational programmes at all levels is essential.

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He suggested that the review should focus on aligning learning outcomes with the demands of the contemporary world, fostering critical thinking innovation, and equipping students with tools lost to navigate an increasingly digital landscape, to ensure the education system remains relevant and empowers individuals to succeed in the ever-changing world;

He expressed concern that the curriculum prioritizes theoretical knowledge and rote memorization over equipping students with the practical skills increasingly demanded by the globalized job market, this could leave Nigerian graduates unprepared for the realities of workplace expectations.

He said the Nigerian curriculum, compared to advanced countries, lacks sufficient technology integration, hindering the digital literacy skills necessary to thrive in a tech-driven world.

He said the rigid curriculum structure limits student exploration and overlooks global perspectives, potentially hindering graduates’ adaptability and competitiveness in the interconnected world.

Source: The nation

 

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