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Sex-for-marks: Dont go to lecturers unnecessarily – FG warns female undergraduates

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The Federal Government on Tuesday said it is embarrassed by increased allegations of sexual misconduct in the country’s tertiary institutions.

The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, who made the remark at the formal presentation of Sexual Harassment Policy Document by the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) on Tuesday urged female students to stop going to lecturers unnecessarily.

The unveiling of the document followed the recent British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) sex-for-grades investigation report on some African universities.

Adamu, represented by Mrs Ijeoma Duru, an Assistant Director, Tertiary Education Department in the Ministry, urged students to take their studies seriously to avoid undue exposure to sexual predators.

“The Federal Ministry of Education is embarrassed with the allegations of sex-for-grades in Nigeria’s higher institutions.

“Girls should read their books and be able to defend their certificates and as such, make them less vulnerable to sexual predators.

“They (female students) should stop going to lecturers unnecessarily and also should not harass their lecturers,” NAN quoted him as saying.

The minister added that UNIPORT was the first university in the country to unveil a policy document against sexual harassment on campus.

According to him, the policy will go a long way in addressing the danger of sexual harassment in institutions of learning.

Also speaking, the Vice-Chancellor of UNIPORT, Prof. Ndowa Lale, also stated that the university frowned at sexual misconduct and was taking actionable steps to tackle the menace.

He said the document defined the rules of engagement between lecturers, administrators and students, including visitors to the university.

“The document unambiguously defines what constitutes sexual harassment and the sanctions to be taken against those who wittingly and unwittingly infringe on its provisions in the line of duty.

“Henceforth, lecturers and administrators who do not remember to sow zippers in front of their trousers should be ready to bear the consequences of their amorous liaison with female students.

“Also, students who harass lecturers to award them undeserved grades should equally be ready to face the music if and when they are caught in the act of self-advertisement to their lecturers.

“Similarly, any randy Juliet (female student) who blackmails vulnerable male students or colleagues, and any visitor who believes that UNIPORT is hunting ground for cheap sex would be prosecuted,” he warned.

Lale added that any person accused of sexual misconduct would be presumed guilty until such allegation was proved otherwise, under the established rules of fair hearing.

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Education

Strike looms in Universities over unpaid salaries

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) Ogbomoso chapter on Wednesday issued a ten-day ultimatum to the university management to pay their August, September and October salaries or face industrial crisis.

The ultimatum, TIMELY POST gathered, started on Wednesday, today, and ends on Friday, 15th November, 2019.

The union said it might resort to strike at the expiration of the ultimatum.

It was gathered that academic staff of the University are being owed eleven months pay.

But, Chairman of the union, Biodun Olaniran and Secretary Toyin Abegunrin in a congress resolution made available to TIMELY POST threatened to withhold the Semester results of 2018/2019 academic session until the salaries are paid.

According to the Union, LAUTECH academics deserved to be paid their earned salaries without begging.

It was gathered that the University Vice Chancellor, Professor Michael Ologunde had attributed non-payment of salaries to non-release of subvention to it by the owner states.

ASUU maintained that the welfare of her members remained paramount in her demands and it would do everything at her disposal not to expose her members to undeserved economic hardship.

“The Union gives the University administration till Friday 15th November, 2019 to pay the salaries of August, September and October 2019 failure of which will cause the Union to hold a Congress on Monday 18th November, 2019 where necessary action deemed fit will be taken.

“That rain semester results of 2018/2019 academic session would not be submitted until the said salaries are paid,” it said

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Education

Senate directs UNIMAID to suspend planned fees hike

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The Senate has directed the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) to suspend its recent decision to increase tuition and other fees by more than 400 per cent.

The lawmakers also mandated its Committee on Tertiary Education and TETFUND, to engage the Federal Ministry of Education and stakeholders such as the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), with a view to reaching consensus on a harmonised fee for universities in Nigeria.

The resolutions followed a point of order raised by Abubakar Kyari (APC, Borno North). The senator bemoaned the recent decision by the UNIMAID management to increase the registration and other fees of the school from N25,000 to N129,000, an increase of over 400 per cent.

A document signed by the university’s registrar, Tijani Bukar, said the newly-introduced fees will take effect from the 2019/2020 academic session.

Some students and Civil Society Organisations have kicked against the university’s new directive.

Leading the motion, Mr Kyari said half of the men in North-East Nigeria have no education at all, and this figure rises to over 61 per cent for women.

“It is imperative that schools in the North-East should remain of strategic national interest with overwhelming national security importance,” he said.

The lawmaker said education remains a repellent and potent tool to defeat Boko Haram and also revamp the North East from underdevelopment and poverty. He said 62 per cent of Nigerian children who are not in school live in Northern Nigeria.

“Borno State has the highest number of people that don’t have access to education due to the Boko Haram crisis in particular.”

He, therefore, called on all stakeholders to rise to the occasion to ensure that the fee increment is reversed due to the greater need to propagate empowerment through education at tertiary levels.

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Education

2019 budget: We spent N8 million out of N222 million released – Commission

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The House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora has appealed to the National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-formal Education (NMAC) to utilise the 2019 budget allocation that was released to it.

The committee, chaired by Tolulope Akande-Sadipe (APC-Oyo), made the appeal during the commission’s budget presentation on Monday.

The Executive Secretary of the commission, Abba Haladu, a professor, said out of the approved budget of more than ₦900 million, ₦222 million was made available to the commission in September.

Haladu said out of the ₦222 million released, the commission had only spent ₦8 million on planned projects.

The NMAC boss attributed the low expenditure to the late release of the budget.

“We are being pragmatic; all this may not have been if the budget had been approved and implemented.

“Like I said, next year, it is going to be different. We know that we are going to utilise the money before the end of the year.”

The committee, however, was bemused at the 2020 budget proposal of over ₦1 billion presented by NMAC.

The chairperson of the committee said: “You have spent ₦8 million out of ₦222 million. If you had spent maybe ₦120 million and there is some left, I can relate to that.

“When you look at the percentage of the amount utilised, relative to the release, there is a disconnect, a major issue about process flow. There are processes that should have happened.

“There are issues that have to be looked at with regards to your processes most especially when you said that there were priority projects and that’s why the diaspora project was not featured in 2019 because of those burning issues.

“For better efficiency going forward, something needs to be put in place.”

A member of the committee, Preye Oseke (APC-Bayelsa) also appealed to the leadership of NMAC to fast track the process of implementation of its projects.

“I stand with what madam chair said. You need to deal with your processes.

“Nobody is saying there is any fraud here; when once you make an appropriation and monies are released, you should fast track the processes of getting these projects executed.

“If you have money and the processes are not going well, it affects the entire system and the results you get as an agency will be less,” he said.

(NAN)

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