Ajimobi pledges to further improve education standard

Education

The Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, has vowed to do everything within his power to further improve the quality of education in the State.

Ajimobi made the pledge on Tuesday during the official inauguration of a N50 Billion Education Trust Fund (ETF), held at the International Conference Centre of the University of Ibadan to galvanize support from stakeholders to revamp the sector.

Though the governor said his administration had achieved unprecedented leaps in the sector, he noted that more needs to be done to get education where it ought to be.

“It is a deliberate effort to make education the task of all of us. We need to provide quality education and we must realize that providing quality education is not for the government alone. It has to involve all stakeholders, especially the private sector,” the governor said.

While stressing the need to be more serious about educating the youth, the governor submitted that the rich nations of the world are in recent times shifting attention from natural resources to human capital development to build the future of their people and the economy.

He said Nigeria could not be an exception, adding that Oyo was thinking outside the box to improve the quality of education n the state.

The chairman of the trust fund and president of Lagos State Chamber of Commerce, Onikepo Akande, thanked the state House of Assembly for speeding up the process of creating a legal framework for its operation.

She said she was optimistic of positive response from all the stakeholders in the project, adding that its success will have a direct impact on the state’s education sector.

The ETF, according to documents, was, among other things, created to provide finance to supplement the provision of education at all levels by the state government.

The organizers pledged to ensure accountability and transparency in its implementation.

At the end of the programme, the state was able to raised some money, while hinting that it would go after all the invited guests, who couldn’t make it to the event, for their contributions.

University of Ibadan demands special funding status

University of Ibadan

Top echelons in the management of the University of Ibadan took turns to demand a special funding status from the Federal Government on Friday, arguing that such is necessary for the university to maintain its place in the nation’s educational sector.

Led by the University’s Chancellor and Sultan of Sokoto, Abubakar Sa’ad, the canvassers included the Pro-Chancellor, Joshua Waklek and the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Idowu Olayinka.

They all made the case during the 69th Foundation Day of the university, which climaxed its five-day graduation ceremony for the year 2017.

The programme held at the International Conference Centre, had eminent Nigerians, including the former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the Minister of State for Education, Anthony Anwukah, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to the Sultan, for the university to maintain its premier status, there is need for the federal government to jerk up its subvention.

This, he said, would avail it the opportunity to also come up with innovations that would help propel development in the university education system in Nigeria.

In his own word, Vice Chancellor cited, among his reasons for a special funding status, the need to recruit younger academic staff to fill the vacuum created by the exit of some professors, who have reached the stipulated retirement age and had to quit.

A total of 402 candidates from various disciplines were awarded the Doctor of Philosophy degrees, while one other bagged Doctor of Medicine.

Honorary doctorate degrees were also conferred on four Nigerians whose interventions have touched the university and mankind.

They include a foremost linguist, Emeritus Prof Ayo Bamigbose; former presidential Special Adviser on Petroleum, Dr Emmanuel Egbogah; seventh vice chancellor of the university. Prof Bankole Oyediran; and Chairman, Dubri Oil, and pioneer chairman, University of Ibadan Research Foundation, Dr. Chevalier Itsueli.

President Buhari, in his address delivered by Anwukah, pledged commitment to the federal government’s obligations to the universities under its watch to assist then performed at the optimum.

How curricula review can better Nigeria’s democracy, by Varsity don

Curricula

A professor of religious studies, Simeon Ilesanmi, has recommended a complete overhaul of curricula in the Nigerian university education as the only way products of the ivory tower would make better and informed citizens.
The don gave the charge while delivering the 2017 Convocation Lecture of the University of Ibadan at its Trenchard Hall on Wednesday.
He expressed displeasure over the situation in which academic programmes are structured in manners that only restrict students to a specific line of knowledge, arguing that the essence of university education is to produce citizens needed for the advancement of a society.
“We must recognise plainly that all education is education for citizenship. What we teach, how we we teach it, and whom we teach it to necessarily describe a vision of society and of the types of individuals we want to prepare for that society.
“Values do not merely infiltrate education from the outside, as ideological add-ons, but are constitutive of the very practice of teaching,” he said.
In the lecture entitled “Appraising the National Covenant: Faith, Public Reason, and the Search for Ethical Integrity in Nigeria’s Democracy”, the scholar opined that the Nigeria university system, more than any other sector, has a critical role to play to help the nation in making her adventure in democratic governance fruitful and rewarding.
Ilesanmi, a teacher at the Wake Forest University in the United States, however, said the current nature of the curricula guiding teachings in the Nigerian universities would not support this mission.
“It is more important now than ever for universities to break the stronghold of specialisation, especially on undergraduate curricula, and to educate students with an awareness of what is required to produce an informed citizenry.
“If we want to see and live in a Nigeria flavoured with the open flow of ideas, goods and people; transparent government adhering to the rule of law; respect for diversity: tolerance of difference; concern for vulnerable members of society; independent judiciary; and a free press, this is where the foundation should be laid, the university, by introducing students, regardless of their majors, to the text, ideas, and norms of deliberative argumentation that gave rise to liberal-democratic politics,” he submitted.
The chairman of the occasion and former Vice Chancellor of the university, Emeritus Professor Ayo Banjo, described the lecture as illuminating, adding that its delivery has given the attendees ‘a lot to ruminate about.
The Vice Chancellor, Professor Idowu Olayinka, also said the annual convocation lecture series was an opportunity for the premier university to keep adding value to the Nigerian scholarship environment through quality and robust intellectual engagements.

University of Leeds offers free online training on diseases awareness

Online Training

A free online training that unravels everything about diseases affecting the human system is on offer by the University of Leeds, England.

Entitled ‘The Causes of Human Diseases, the programme is segmented into five courses that looks at sciences behind causes of human diseases.

“The program focuses on different types of human disease like infectious, cardiovascular and genetic diseases and cancer and explores how social determinants, nutrition and environmental factors influence our health, the university said while introducing the training programme.

Besides being available for prospective learners on all computer devices (desktop, tablet and mobile), one other unique feature of the training programme is that the five courses can be taken in any order and at any time of the day.

“When you complete all five courses in the program and obtain a Certificate of Achievement for each, you will be eligible to join a final assessment course that leads to the award of 10 credits from the University of Leeds”.

You can enroll here

Buhari backs proposed Kaduna teachers’ sacking

Dapchi

President Muhammadu Buhari has applauded the decision of Kaduna State Governor Nasir el-Rufai to sack 21,780 primary school teachers who failed competency test conducted by the state government recently.

The president expressed his backing at a special retreat of the Federal Executive Council on the challenges facing the education sector in Nigeria on Monday.

Themed: “Education in Nigeria: Challenges and prospect”, the programme was organized as an open debate on how to improve education in the country.

Buhari described as very serious ‘a situation when teachers cannot pass the examination they are supposed to teach the children to pass’.

“It is a very tragic situation we are in and this our gathering, to me, is one of the most important in this administration,” he said, applauding the Kaduna State governor for taking the bold step in tackling the decadence in the education sector in his state.

The governor’s decision has received mixed reactions since it was announced penultimate week.

President Buhari noted that the summit was crucial to his government’s desire to improve the lot of Nigerians through provision of quality and functional education at all levels, saying no nation could progress beyond the standard of its education.

“Today, it is those who acquire the most qualitative education, equipped with requisite skills and training, and empowered with practical know-how that are leading the rest.

“We cannot afford to continue lagging behind. Education is our Launchpad to a more successful, more productive and more prosperous future.

“This administration is committed to revitalizing our education system and making it more responsive and globally competitive,” he said.

Register for free Social media marketing training

Social Media

An extensive online training on how to market yourself, your products and grow your business effectively through the social media is underway for free.

The course is made available by Boston University through edX.org , an online learning destination and MOOC provider, and was formally commenced on Monday, November 6, 2017.

Though, it is scheduled to run for six weeks, learners are expected to sacrifice 3-5 hours each week to explore the course schedule and participate in other engagements for the week.

An Associate Professor of Marketing and Department Chair at the Questrom School of Business at Boston University, United States, Barbara Bickart, will teach the online course.

Bickart, who will be assisted by other resource persons, is an expert in marketing and has researched on the impact of communication on consumers’ judgement and decision-making processes in the context of social media.

“Specifically, we’ll examine (a) how social media can be used to listen to consumers and monitor their behavior; (b) how to develop and deliver content that engages consumers and is strategically integrated across platforms; and (c) how to track the effectiveness of these efforts. Finally, we’ll explore how to manage both the internal and external dimensions of social media engagement. We view these issues from a strategic and a practical perspective, rather than a technical or platform perspective.  Throughout the course we will focus on 1) linking strategy and tactics and 2) measuring results,” the organizers said in the introductory part of the course.

You can click here for more details and registration

Free course: How science affects your sexuality

Course

The Australian University of Newcastle is lining up a team of experts in the fields of biological science, health, sociology, anthropology classic and history to bring awareness to interested people on the interconnection of sex, sexuality and science and how the relationships have affected human existence.

The free course, which formally commenced on Wednesday, November 8, 2017, will last five weeks in which participants will have the opportunity to set aside 2-3 hours at his/her convenience to take the module for each week.

According to the organizers, the questions the course seeks to answer in specifics include: ‘How are advances in reproductive science impacting fertility, society, and ultimately, the long-term future of our species?’ and ‘ What are the social factors that influence the choices we make about reproduction?’

“The course will examine how sperm and eggs (gametes) are made; how fertilisation is achieved; and successful pregnancy initiated, maintained and completed at birth. These developmental principles will be studied alongside social factors such as the construct of family, education, poverty, and sexuality. The course will also look at how Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs) combine with these factors to dramatically affect the reproductive choices people make,” they further stated.

A team of ten scholars scheduled to take the course prepared by professors, research fellows and researchers across relevant academic and professional fields will be led by a world leader in reproductive biology research, Laureate Professor John Aitken.

For more details and registration for the free course, click here

No plans to increase tuition – OAU

OAU

The management of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile Ife has refuted the allegations that it was planning to increase payable fees in the next academic session.

According to a statement from the university’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Abiodun Olanrewaju, on Monday, the institution never tinkered with such idea, describing the rumour as ‘unfounded and terribly mischievous’.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the University Management wishes to inform the general public, particularly our Students, their parents and, or guardians, that Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, is a Federal Government Institution with well-structured administrative organ. It is, therefore, not possible to change the fees structure without discussion at the various levels.

The release also admonished students of the university to shun all acts capable of truncating the ongoing second semester as it expressed disappointment over ‘unethical and embarrassing developments within the Students Union’.

“Students are hereby strongly advised to shun the rumours and they should remain law-abiding and go about their studies without indulging in any act that can truncate the smooth running of the second semester.

“Accordingly, the management wishes to emphatically state that it will not condone any act of lawlessness, vandalism or brigandage from any student or group of students; and will not hesitate to invoke sanctions on any erring student who, either by actions or utterances, have violated their matriculation oaths,” the statement read.

De-emphasize on government funding, don tells varsity administrators

University Funding

A retired university teacher, Dr. Michael Omolayole, has called on the managements of government-owned universities across Nigeria to shift attention to other sources aside subventions from their principal to reduce tension associated with shortage of funds.

He gave the charge at the University of Ibadan during a lecture to commemorate the 50th matriculation anniversary of the ‘Class of 67’ of the institution.

In the lecture entitled “Funding Nigerian Universities and University Autonomy”, Omolayole called for reduction in government funding to the universities, arguing that such would give room for exploring other means of sustaining them.

The former don, who was also a foundation student of the premier university, argued that being financially independent will guarantee autonomy in the universities.

“There are some alternative means used by other countries of the world to fund their universities effectively. One is to make the funding of universities a major election campaign issues just as environmental issues, immigration issues, human right issues feature prominently in an election campaign. Since investment in education is most highly desirable, the funding of education should easily be a campaign issue.

“The less the amount of fund from the Federal Government, the less will be the amount of interference from Abuja. When this trend gathers momentum, a new thinking of new administration structure is likely to follow.

“Currently, the idea of university autonomy emphasizes the right of the academia to determine what is taught and how it is taught in the University. In this connection, the autonomy of Senate is supreme. The University Community, however, is not governed by the Senate, but by the Governing Council of the University where there are many powerful non-senate members,” he said.

Among the sources suggested are University Endowment fund, review of payable fees and charges, philanthropist donations, benefactions and inheritances among others.

Omolayole, however, called good management in the universities, saying lack of it can spell doom for te ivory tower.

As part of its contribution to the development of its alma mater, the unveiled a monument tagged “Box of Knowledge” erected at about 100 metres to the school main gate.

 

I’ll be fair to all, FUNAAB VC assures

FUNAAB

The Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Professor Felix Kolawole Salako has pledged fairness to all members of the university community in the discharge of his duties.

He made the pledge shortly after the formal handing-over ceremony to commence his five-year term, held at the Vice Chancellor’s Conference Room of the university on Wednesday.

The new VC received the instrument of office from his embattled predecessor, Professor Ololade Enikuomehin, in the presence of Principal Officers and top members of staff.

Professor Salako, a Soil Scientist, said justice and fairplay will be the watchword of his administration, adding that he would show greater interest in the productivity of professors within the university.

While emphasizing peaceful co-existence among management, staff and students of the university, he noted that his regime reward diligence and efficiency.

“Excellence cannot be compromised. Stakeholders must also join hands to provide an excellent administration.

“I have the responsibility of the Vice-Chancellor to protect the interest of the University. I have the responsibility to ensure that staff are comfortable. That staff have what is due to them. That students have what is due to them,” he said.

He pleaded for the cooperation of all members of the community to make a success of the administration in the interest of all, warning that he would not allow infraction of rules and regulation of the university in any form.