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30% of Private School Owners in Nigeria Bankrupt—NAPPS

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Private School Owners

By Ahmed Rahma

A day after the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) declared that schools were not drivers of the pandemic, the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) has called on the federal governments to reopen schools.

During the virtual meeting with stakeholders and journalists on Thursday, the association said the consequence of shutting schools down was more grievous than the effects of the deadly virus.

While lamenting the effect of the school closure on owners, the association said no fewer than 30 per cent of its members went bankrupt with some putting up their schools for sale.

Speaking, the president of NAPPS, Mr Yomi Otubela, said, “We all heard what UNICEF said a few days ago that schools are not drivers of the pandemic and that keeping the schools locked would do more damage to the society in general than the pandemic we are all fighting.

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“I can say unequivocally that schools are better structured to manage their pupils and students.

“In big cities like Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kano and others, schools come to the rescue of parents by helping them keep their children safe.

“In NAPPS, our members have put all the necessary facilities in place to comply with the directives of the PTF on COVID-19 and the NCDC.

“While we appreciate the efforts of the government to keep schools safe, we have done a number of things and we suggest the same for public schools.

“One of which is that there should be strict adherence and enforcement of the safety protocols. Wearing of face masks, use of alcohol-based hand sanitiser, daily reading of body temperature of people, physical distancing.

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“Not admitting any sick person into school premises, provision of isolation room in every school in the case of anybody falling sick while in school among others.

“Public schools that have large student population should adopt staggered resumption and lesser number of teaching hours.

“We also suggest that monitoring teams should go round all schools to ensure compliance and we even want parents to be part of such teams, their children we take care of are also our children, ” he said.

The president, who noted that the palliatives promised by the government last year under the Survival Fund barely scratched the surface, stated that, “Almost all members ran into financial difficulties. People owing financial institutions and others.

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“I can say close to 30 per cent of our members ran bankrupt. Many put up their schools for sale. We are still collating what our members lost.

“What the government promised to assist us with, that is through the Survival Fund, has not been forthcoming as expected. What some members got is barely able to scratch the surface, we are still waiting,” he stated.

Mr Otubela opined that there should be a balance between keeping alive and sustaining people’s sources of livelihood.

Ahmed Rahma is a journalist with great interest in arts and craft. She is also a foodie who loves new ideas. She loves to travel and would love to visit other African countries someday. She is a sucker for historical movies and afrobeat.

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Education

Geodrill Donates to Equip Achimota School’s Science Lab Complex

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Geodrill Achimota School

As part of its commitment to support access to quality education in Ghana, a foremost stakeholder in the mining industry, Geodrill, has made a donation for equipping a science laboratory complex at Achimota School.

The firm, through its CEO, Mr David Harper, presented a cheque of GHS150,000 to the Old Achimotan Association (OAA) at a ceremony held on June 14.

Mr Harper emphasised the importance of education to the students present and he expressed his hope that their education at Achimota School, and particularly in science, would set them on the path to successful adult careers and to contribute meaningfully to the development of Ghana.

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He revealed a longstanding association with the school where he used to play cricket, encouraging other companies to take their ESG obligations seriously and support worthy institutions to fulfil their mission.

Receiving the cheque, the President of the OAA and former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Ernest Aryeetey, said the science lab was constructed with the support of corporate sponsors, who contributed about one-third of the total cost and the remainder from Achimota alumni.

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The OAA and Achimota were still hopeful of receiving further contributions from other companies to sustainably fund the provision of science education and other programmes for the benefit of the students.

Geodrill, a leading drilling exploration company to the mining sector, is committed to being a socially responsible company that actively promotes social causes such as the education of Ghanaian youth. The support for the laboratory complex is yet another purposeful outcomes-based Geodrill ESG initiative.

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Education

JAMB Generates N5.9bn from 2021 UTME, Direct Entry Forms

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JAMB

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has generated N5,887,628,900.00 from the sale of forms for the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and Direct Entry (DE) examination to admission seekers into the nation’s tertiary institutions.

The cumulative figure was contained in the Financial Inflow column of the board’s weekly bulletin of April and May editions of 2021.

The registration for the exams started on April 10 nationwide and ended on May 29, this year with the exception of few candidates with special cases, who were given an extension of time to register.

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The breakdown showed that 1,338,687 candidates registered for the UTME while 75,328 registered for the DE exam this year.

The examinations commenced on Saturday, June 19 and will end on Monday, July 5 in over 777 computer-based test centres nationwide.

The figures from the board’s bulletin showed that it generated N2,045,497,450.00 in the first few weeks when the sales of registration instruments opened to UTME applicants on April 10.

From the April 27 edition of the bulletin, the board said it raked in N739,050,000.00 from the sales of e-pins.

A weekly breakdown of the figures from the May 3 edition of the bulletin showed that the board generated N663,250,000.00 from selling e-registration pins.

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In the May 10 edition, the figures showed that the board generated N682,200,000.00 revenue from sales of registration instruments for the examination.

According to the figures from the bulletin of May 17, edition, the board raked in N833,800,000.00 from the sales of e-registration pins.

Also, between May 23 and 31 edition, the board generated N810,131,450.00 and N113,700,000.00 from sales of e-registration pins.

Following Professor Ishaq Oloyede’s appointment as Registrar/Chief Executive of the body in August 2016, as part of its transparency and accountability goals, the board has been making returns in billions into the federation account.

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In 2019, the board generated N5 billion from the conduct of UTME but remitted N3 billion to the coffers of the federal government after the government asked the board to invest N2 billion to enhance its operations.

Its highest remittance so far was in 2018 when it remitted N7.8 billion revenue generated from the conduct of 2018 UTME to the coffers of the federal government.

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Education

Oyeleye Unveils Every Beginner’s Chess Book with 215 Puzzles

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Oyeleye Every Beginner's Chess Book

By Dipo Olowookere

A book aimed to deepen the understanding of chess among youngsters and professionals has been launched by an International Chess Federation (FIDE) licensed Chess in School Instructor, Mr Olawale Oyeleye.

The book titled Every Beginner’s Chess Book with 215 Puzzles was unveiled at a virtual event recently to chess players, organisers, arbiters, coaches and corporate Nigerian.

The author of the book said at the unveiling that he was inspired to write the book when he noticed that young chess players in Nigeria and Africa lacked materials to learn more about the board game.

According to him, he nursed the idea for nine years before coming up with Every Beginner’s Chess Book with 215 Puzzles, expressing confidence that the book will benefit the readers because of the extensive research he did.

“I took time to research on the essentials of what is needed for beginners and today, we have a book which is full of illustrations to make the teaching of chess in schools and in clubs easy for youngsters,” he said.

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Also speaking at the launch, the Director of TheJohnFawole Award and Bruvchessmedia, Fawole John Oyeyemi, commended the author for the piece, recommending its adoption as teaching material in schools.

“Chess books written by Nigerian authors are few. Mr Oyeleye has given us a book that speaks to the basics of the board game.

“You have done something great in the chess world. This book should be adopted by schools for their chess learning programmes.

With this book, Mr Oyeleye had moved chess a step further and it would also become a popular board game in Nigeria,” he said.

On her part, the ex-president of the Chess Players Association of Nigeria (CPAN), Ms Ayokanmi Ajayi, praised Mr Oyeleye for his immense contribution to the game in Nigeria, saying, “You have pushed forward the frontiers of chess with the text. This is a proper chess book to educate the Nigerian child. It is affordable and easy to understand.”

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A member of the FIDE Athlete Commission and Chairman of ACC Players Commission, International Master Odion Aikhoje, commended the author for putting together a laudable book on chess.

He said the positive mindset of the author motivated him to see the project through despite the trying times that we are in as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The book is dedicated to explaining the game of chess and talking about the benefits of chess. Previously encountered chess books are technical books but the extra illustration by the author can make one know more about the game.

The book helps to visualize and calculate the moves on the board and this piece of work will help develop players. A properly presented book will aid the learning of the game,” he stated.

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The President of Togo Chess Federation and former secretary to FIDE, Enyonam Noel Fumey, said the book is a marvel and he wishes that all Nigerian educational authors will use it as an introduction to the game.

He charged the writer of the book to ensure that the work is translated into French so that Francophone-speaking countries can also benefit from it.

Mr Oyeleye, who is married to Mrs Caroline Adedoyin, is also the author of Levels 1-6 Chess Workbooks powered by Pedachess Educational Services Ltd.

He is an Accountant, National Arbiter, Tournament Director, Chess Trainer, Journalist, Public Relation Officer for CPAN since 2017 till date.

He was awarded the Arbiter of the year in 2016, 2017, and 2018 respectively, and awarded the Tournament Director of the year 2018.

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