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Lecturers warn FG over looming strike in colleges of education

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There is evidently a looming strike in the Colleges of Education across the country.

This development followed the demands by the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) to the Federal government.

COEASU affirmed that if government fails to accede to its various demands it would result to the disruption of academic activities.

The union said the demands are based on the understanding and agreement reached before the suspension of its industrial action in December 2018 after two months.

It said this in a communiqué it issued at the end of its Expanded National Executive Council (ENEC) meeting on September 10 and 11, in Lagos.

The communique which was jointly signed by the President, Nuhu Ogirima, and General Secretary, Taiwo Olayanju, decried the disposition of the Federal Ministry of Education and the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) to the resolution of all the protracted issues.

Ogirima also said the agreement was long overdue and the government need to act on it fast.

The union said it was expecting a meaningful rejigging of the system to ensure the resolution of all lingering issues in contention, following the re-appointment of the minister of education, Adamu Adamu.

The union urged the ministry and the NCCE to take the issues of the colleges seriously to avert the disruption of the COEs calendar by a strike .

(a) Presidential assent to the reviewed Establishment Laws of FCEs and NCCE as passed by the National Assembly;

(b) Executive approval of Dual Mode (NCE and Degree) for Colleges of Education; to check attrition of subscription to teacher education by both students and lecturers;

(c) Non-release of the fifteen billion naira (N15bn) palliative funds pledged by the FGN to revitalize the public COEs;

(d) Non-payment of about two billion five hundred million naira (N2.5bn) Peculiar Earned Academic Allowances (PEAA); and

(e) Review of the policy of out-sourced services and its implication on security in the institutions.

The union also expressed dissatisfaction over the attempt to impose the application of the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPIS) on colleges of education, considering the peculiarities of tertiary institutions.

The academic body said it is not aversed to policies adopted by the government to check corruption and leakages in the schools towards more cost-effective payroll management system.

”COEASU condemned the refusal of FME to direct the enrolment of teachers of Demonstration Schools on the payroll of the institutions as done in the case of a sister tertiary institution with similar policy, ” the communique reads.

The union also described alleged persistent poor handling of staff welfare-related issues in most state colleges of education ”as utterly unacceptable”

”The pathetic situation is evident in the introduction of promotion criteria extraneous to the extant provisions of the conditions of service, ” the communique reads.

The union suspended its last strike in December.

The strike began on October 9 over non-implementation of the union’s agreements with government, especially NEEDS assessment report.

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Education

NOUN introduces new courses

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The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) has introduced 15 new academic programmes in different fields of study.

NOUN’s pro chancellor, Peter Okebukola, a professor, unveiled the new programmes approved by the board of the university on Thursday.

The university’s vice chancellor, Abdalla Adamu, said the open and distance learning institutions is fully prepared for the new programmes.

“We have 22,000 facilitators spread across the country. Their details are online for all our students to contact them at any time for facilitation,” Mr Adamu, a professor, said.

The approved courses are:

B.Sc International Relations

B.A French

B.Sc Development Studies

Master of Law (LL.M)

Read also: How Nigeria pulled out of recession under my watch – Buhari

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Master of International Law and Diplomacy (MILD)

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Law

M.Sc Public Health

Postgraduate Diploma (PGD) Economics

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Mass Communication

Master of Science (M.Sc) Cyber Security

Master of Science (M.Sc) Artificial Intelligence

Master of Science (M.Sc) Management Information System

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Cyber Security

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Artificial Intelligence

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Management Information System

The university board meeting also approved the appointment of Uduma Uduma, of the Department of Philosophy as the new Vice Chancellor(academic) of the university

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Education

Teachers’ Day: Reps celebrate best principal, teacher

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The House of Representatives, Thursday honoured the best Secondary School Principal and best Teacher in the country, urging them not to relent in their efforts to educate the nation.

The Principal, Mr. Puis from Government Senior College, Epe and the teacher, Mrs Agnes Ilunishakin from Oriwu Model College, Ikorodu are both from Lagos State.

TIMELY POST learnt that their recognition came on the heels of World Teachers’ Day celebration.

Briefing Journalists, Hon. Babajimi Benson from Lagos State who sponsored the motion for their recognition said that the educationists were selected by the National Union of Teachers (NUT).

In the motion earlier, the lawmaker noted that despite their contributions to the nations education sector, teachers in Nigeria remained the less paid.

He said: “The House notes that this year’s World Teachers’ Day (WTD) or International Teachers’ Day was celebrated on October 5, 2019, with the theme – “Young Teachers: The future of the Profession and was aimed at proffering ideas to attract and keep young persons in the profession;

“Aware that the celebration of teachers followed the United Nation’s Declaration in 1994 for the recognition of the World Teachers Day (WTD) or International Teachers Day to celebrate teachers around the World for their efforts towards shaping the minds of several children and the society at large even though they remain unsung heroes and heroines whose contributions to the society are underappreciated;

“Also aware that the United Nation’s in developing the thematic areas of concentration for the Sustainable Development Goal 4 Quality Education, recognizes the role of teachers as being key to the achievement of its Education by 2030 Agenda;

“Observes that the Federal Government, in marking the day, instituted the President’s Teachers and Schools Excellence Award to show appreciation for the immense contributions of teachers to nation-building;

“Worried that despite the contributions of Teachers to societal development, teachers in Nigeria are overworked and remain among the worst paid in the world, with poor welfare package and teaching environment;

“Also worried that currently none of the E9 countries (Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria and Pakistan) other than Nigeria, allocates less than 20 per cent of its annual budget to education”.

Also commending the teachers, some lawmakers which included the Hon. Ndudi Elumelu and Hon. Nkiru Onyejiocha asked them to remain steadfast.

On his own, the Speaker of the House, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila thanked the teachers for their efforts and commitments.

“We thank them for your commitment to education, your students. You are higher achievers. Teaching is the noblest of all profession. Continue with what you are doing. We wish you the best. We will make sure that the prayer of the motion which is enhancing the budget is education is assured.

Adopting the motion, the House urged the urged the Federal Government to improve on the welfare and support schemes for teachers, especially in the area of training, using the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) approach in addressing education policy and curriculum choices in schools in order to improve competitiveness in science and technology development.
It also urged the government to employ more teachers to address the issue of inadequate staffing and low productivity within the education sector and also increase budgetary allocation to the Education sector in the 2020 appropriation bill so as to equip teachers with the requisite training and adequate facilities in the schools.

The House mandated its Committees on Tertiary Education and Services and Basic Education and Service to ensure implementation.

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Education

2020 UTME: No NIN, no JAMB – NIMC warns candidates

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The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has advised all 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) candidates not yet enrolled for the National Identification Number (NIN) to visit any NIMC office nationwide and enrol.

Mr Chuks Onyepunuka, the Information Technology/Identity Database Officer, NIMC gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.

According to Onyepunuka, NIN is mandatory for the UTME examination, hence obtaining the NIN qualifies candidates for its registration.

In June, the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) stated that starting from year 2020, UTME/Direct Entry candidates will register for its examinations with their NIN to solve the challenges of multiple registration.

The National Identity Management Commission and partners are to harmonise data of candidates for the UTME to reduce cost of registration and check underage registration.

NAN gathered that the agreed age for UTME registration is 15 years as a result, nobody who is below 15 years is qualified for its registration.

The information officer said that the commission had over 1,000 enrolment centres across the country.

“The commission has already got the approval of Federal Executive Council to ensure that private and government agencies that are already capturing data should capture to the standard set by NIMC so that we can duplicate those data.

“So, with the private and other government agencies into the picture, we ensure that we have more than 10,000 centres so that every ward in Nigeria will have an enrolment centre,” he said.

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