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New University union emerges, seeks registration as ASUU splits

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The Ministry of Labour and Employment has confirmed receipt of an application for the registration of a new university union, Congress of University Academics (CONUA), to be formed out of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

Chris Ngige, the minister, in a telephone interview on Sunday, said that the ministry had in April received the application from CONUA to be registered as a new union in the university.

He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the application was awaiting deliberation as stipulated by Trade Union laws.

According to him, a committee will be set up to define modalities before it will be approved.

“They have not been registered yet. Their application is in the ministry. It has not been treated.

“We are still looking at their application. I asked a committee to look into it, when we look at the committee’s report, we will know what to do.

“They submitted it even before I left office initially, they submitted the application in April,” he said.

On whether CONUA would not duplicate the functions of ASUU, Mr Ngige said that would be the duty of a committee set up on the matter to reveal.

The National Coordinator of CONUA, Niyi Ismaheel, said on Sunday in Abuja that CONUA had a sole purpose of redefining unionism and restore peace and stability in the universities in Nigeria.

NAN recalls that Mr Ismaheel, while addressing journalists at the end of its first National Stakeholders’ Forum at the Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU Ile-Ife, said the union was formed with the goal to formulate a new approach of engagement in addressing the welfare of its members.

According to him, the union will help put to an end unnecessary delays in the academic calendar of Nigerian students, following frequent strikes.

“The Union, which started in OAU now has Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Federal University, Oye Ekiti, Federal University, Lokoja and Kwara State University, Molete as members.

“The union is putting necessary documentation in place for official recognition by the university management and the government,” he said.

As at the time of filing this report, ASUU President, Biodun Ogunyemi had not responded to calls placed to his phones.

(NAN)

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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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