By Sodeinde Temidayo David
The federal government has announced plans to increase the number of National Home Grown School Feeding Programme beneficiaries in Borno State to 600,000.
This was made known by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Ms Sadiya Umar Farouq, at a high-level engagement session with the Governor of Borno State, Mr Babagana Zulum and some other officials of the state government.
Ms Umar Farouq said the school feeding programme, which provides one free meal to over nine million pupils in primary schools across the nation, will soon be increased to cater for more children as soon as the ongoing enumeration exercise was concluded nationwide.
According to her, the government has commenced deployment of interventions within the scheme to address the identified gaps.
The nationwide enumeration exercise is with the objective of verifying the existing data, upgrading the quality of data, and updating records to accommodate the scaling up of the program with an additional five million beneficiaries as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We have directives from Mr President to add 5 million more pupils to the school feeding program,” she said.
From the outcome of the meeting in Borno State, plans have been set to provide funds to the state’s selected vendors and aggregators to feed 109,022 pupils and provide employment for 1554 cooks in 473 schools. With this initiative, hundreds of jobs will be created and serve as a source of income for people,” Ms Farouq added.
The Minister also revealed that the Borno State National Social Investments Programmes (NSIP) has actively sent in a request to increase the population of pupils on the program to 600,000.
From her statement, this is in progress and once it concludes the ongoing verification exercise in Borno State, there would be an update record.
The Minister also solicited continued sensitization of communities and individuals, on the importance of the program and the need for it to be safeguarded from all forms of corrupt practices by those who have been entrusted to prepare the meals, supply the food items, and even coordinate the activities.
In his response, the Governor, who was represented by his deputy, Mr Umar Usman Kadafur, thanked President Buhari for the various intervention projects currently ongoing in Borno state.
Mr Kadafur promised to align with the federal government’s policy of alleviating poverty in the country.
The deputy governor also assured that adequate resources will be provided for proper monitoring of various actors engaged by the state to ensure full compliance with guidelines and responsibilities.
Oyo TESCOM Boss Urges Students to Shun Exam Malpractice
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Executive Chairman of the Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) in Oyo State, Mr Akinade Alamu, has cautioned students, especially candidates sitting for the ongoing school-based West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) nationwide, to shun all forms of malpractice.
Mr Alamu made this warning during an inspection of schools in the state, noting that the state government wishes students in the state well in the ongoing examination, reiterating the Oyo State government’s commitment to promoting education in the state.
Also, the Secretary to the State Government of Oyo State, Mrs Olubamiwo Adeosun, has commended some young awardees for their brilliant performances at the just concluded Mathematics competition held in Kano State.
Business Post gathered that eight students of primary, junior and senior secondary schools in the state with various awards for their outstanding performances at the just concluded 2021 Nigeria National Mathematics and Olympiad competition were rewarded last Thursday.
At the awards ceremony held in Ibadan, the senior government official noted that the students, who represented Oyo State at the competition, have set unprecedented records and kept the flag of the state flying.
At the competition, Oladunni Success and Olarinde Pleasant won the first prize in the Primary category respectively.
Also, Ibrahim Muhammed, Ajamu Caleb, won second positions for the junior category, while Adeeko Toluwanimi and Aina Samuel won second positions in the senior category respectively.
In addition, Oladunni Success and Adeeko Toluwani won the second position in the Written Olympiad Competition for the primary and senior category, with Aina Boluwatife won the third position in the junior category.
Mrs Adeosun, who noted that the Oyo State Government recognises the students as champions, said, “Oyo State young ambassadors performed excellently well by winning through all categories of the Mathematics competition.
“Several schools in the 36 states of Nigeria participated in the competition, where the Oyo state representatives gained ascendancy over their counterparts from other states.”
While Mrs Adeosun appreciated the parents and principals of schools for their support, she commended the students and encouraged them to maintain the spirit of hard work in their future endeavours.
The SSG also reiterated Oyo State Government’s commitment to training teachers to improve the learning outcome in schools and to continue sponsoring educational programmes in the state.
The Oyo State scribe noted that before the emergence of the present administration, Oyo State was rated number 27 among thirty-six states of the federation in external examination.
She, however, said that as a result of the good interventions and commitment of the present administration, Oyo State was now rated number 11, hoping for better excellent performance in the education sector.
Lagos Monarch Asks Government to Increase Funding to Education
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Adeboruwa of Igbogbo, Lagos State, Oba Semiudeen Orimadegun Kasali, has appealed to the government to increase funding to education so as to develop the nation.
The Lagos monarch said this when he addressed newsmen over the weekend in Oyo State when he was honoured alongside some members of the University of Ibadan Alumni Association (UIAA), Oyo State branch.
The lawyer-turned traditional ruler also said apart from the government, parents, guardians and corporate organisations have roles to play if the educational sector must be better.
“I support the call for the government to increase funding for education and there is an internationally acceptable standard and we would urge the government to do more in that regard. I will continue to be an ambassador of the call that a large chunk of our budget should be allocated to education so that we can have an improved educational standard in the country.
“But, we know that government cannot do it alone, for instance, in my own little capacity in my domain, I have utilized every opportunity to mobilise resources for an improved education through construction of classrooms, award of scholarships to indigent students and we will continue to organise lectures to educate our wards on the dangers of joining bad companies and dangers of gangsterism in all ways,” Mr Kasali said.
The ceremony, which precisely took place on Saturday, September 11, 2021, in Ibadan, was held to recognise the old students for their various contributions to their field of endeavours.
Other recipients also echoed the thoughts of the monarch as they agreed that quality education would secure the future of Nigeria.
The Director of Program Operations, Children Community Services, New York, United States of America, Mr Rafiu Afolabi Laguda, in his submission, said parents need to train up their children to be independent, especially in their actions and decisions, lamenting that many students fell to the trap of joining cultism as a result of peer pressure.
Mr Laguda, a youth mentor and coach, who was honoured with the Worthy Ambassador Award, said getting the best of the country’s educational sector requires a collaborative effort from the government, parents, corporate organisations, and every other relevant stakeholder.
“The government is trying, parents need to support. When you talk about institutions abroad, it is not only government that is funding them. It is a collaborative effort.
“But in Nigeria, we tend to leave a bulk on the table of the government and we think that government is the superman to do everything and address all the problems.
“Parents, corporate institutions, government, all of us have roles to play in the educational development of our country.
‘On cultism and hooliganism, these are social vices driven by peer pressure. We all had the option and choice to join a cult group but we did not when we were in school,” he said.
“I know many youths who are well trained from home but who missed it when they got into campus. Parents must train up their children to be independent and learn to take independent decisions.
“Let them be accountable for whatever decision they take so that they know the task and responsibility ahead, let them know that they are always responsible for their actions and decisions,” Mr Laguda added.
In her remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Oyo State Ministry of Women Affairs, Community Development, Social and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs Christianah Abioye, described the honour as a rude shock as she was not aware that her efforts in the fields of social work were being monitored.
She assured that the Worthy Ambassador Award conferred on her will help her expand the scope of her work and facilitate opportunities for more youths, less privileged and vulnerable to be impacted through synergy with the UIAA and members of the community.
Mrs Abioye noted that government cannot handle all the issues facing the society alone but that some people have left everything in the hands of the government, adding “but it is not so. We need to come out as parents, elderly ones, brothers and sisters, teachers, neighbours, colleagues, we need to do it together. We need to change society.
“We need to let the children who are not finding it easy know that it is a matter of patience and time while also encouraging them to concentrate on their studies and or vocation and let them know that they will through that part achieve a lot more for themselves and the society at large,” she stated.
Other awardees at the event included the Sabiganna of Iganna, Oyo State, Oba Salau Azeez (Royal Ambassador Award), Dotun Sanusi (Outstanding Alumnus Award 2021) and Dr Fola Akinosun (Commendable Philanthropist Award), amongst others.
Akwa Ibom to Establish College of Science and Technology
By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel
The Akwa Ibom State government has announced plans to establish a college of science and technology with the collaboration of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) in the areas of personnel training and manpower development.
The Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, said this on Monday while receiving a delegation from UNILAG, his Alma Mata, led by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe.
According to the Governor, the college will run as an intermediary programme to prepare students for science and bridge the gap of effective science learning preceding tertiary education.
Speaking at the meeting, which was held at the Government House in Uyo, he said that the state was ready to carry out collaborative programs and entrepreneurial courses packaged to establish students after their school year.
This will see the rearrangement of the curriculum of education generally and that of Akwa Ibom State University (AKSU).
“So, we are trying to rejig the curricular, we want to bridge a gap of intermediary education the way you see in other places, so we are thinking of establishing a College of Science and Technology that will serve as an intermediate programme that will prepare people to come into science
“Because in most cases students leave secondary school and gain admissions into the University, and most secondary schools don’t have the same standards, so we are trying to bridge that gap and it is an area we need a whole lot of assistance,” Mr Emmanuel disclosed.
Soliciting collaborative efforts, the Governor added, “We want collaboration with you in our tertiary institution AKSU. I’m sure the Commissioner for Education with Vice-Chancellor of AKSU will make a presentation at the exco very soon in these areas we want collaboration especially in the area of training our people, lecturers and a whole lot, this is because the original vision of that institution was to specialize in science and technology.”
Mr Emmanuel further disclosed that preparations were in top gear to formalize empowerment programs at the skills acquisition centre established by the state government to create job opportunities for Youths.
He then called on the University of Lagos to partner with the state in areas of manpower development and entrepreneurial courses in the centre.
In response, Professor Ogundipe lauded the efforts of the Akwa Ibom government in areas of industrialization and power and expressed readiness to partner with the state.
He said, “We are bringing on board two major things, we are ready to collaborate with you concerning the young university, just like the Borno State University that we are going to train their lecturers and some of their lectures who had to do PhD we will be able to assist them because of the collaboration we have with other tertiary institution outside the country it will be easy for them to do their research work.
“The second thing is a collaboration with the government in areas of studies, you want to test your feasibility, and we will do it.”
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