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Foundation Donates N2m to UNICAL for Potholes

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UNICAL Potholes

By Ahmed Rahma

An educational foundation, Teacher Essien Ita Ita Educational Foundation (TEIIEF), has donated N2 million to the University of Calabar (UNICAL) to fix the potholes in the institution.

The foundation, which presented the institution with the cheque during the weekend, said it was part of the activities to mark the second year remembrance of the demise of Mrs Temitope Ekpenyong Ita, wife of Mr Ekpenyong Ita, a former Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS) and son of the late teacher, Esien Ita, who died March 13, 2019.

The cheque was given to the institution’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Florence Obi.

Speaking, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the foundation, Mr Gersh Henshaw, said the organisation was poised to contribute its quota towards the development of the institution hence the donation, which he said is meant for fixing potholes in the school to ease movement of vehicles on campus.

According to him, the foundation, a non-profit organisation, was set up for such purposes, adding that under the trust fund, scholarships would also be offered to indigent students in tertiary institutions.

He further said the foundation was looking forward to exploring other areas of partnership with the institution for mutual benefits.

He expressed confidence in the ability of Prof. Obi to turn the tide for the good of the institution and urged her not to hesitate to call on the Foundation whenever the need arises.

Responding, the Vice Chancellor thanked the organisation for the kind gesture and assured that the money would be put to good use.

Proif Obi described Ekpenyong Ita, who is also an alumni of UNICAL and son of the late legendary teacher, as a “dependable friend” of the institution adding that posterity will be kind to him for his philanthropic gesture towards the institution and the society at large.

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

Nigeria to Host International Conference on School Safety

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School Safety

By Sodeinde Temidayo David

The fourth edition of the International Conference on Safe School Declaration (ICSSD) will hold in Nigeria, the federal government has confirmed.

This is the first time the event will take place in Africa and it is coming at a time Nigeria is working tirelessly to tackle the incessant kidnapping of schoolchildren by terrorists in the northern part of the country.

It was gathered that other 112 members of the group will converge on Nigeria for the event to exchange experiences, learning, and present their strategies, progress, as well as challenges in making the commitment to safe education a reality for all children in conflict situations.

The Minister of State for Education, Mr Adamu Adamu, disclosed on Sunday, October 17 that the conference will build on previous events by galvanizing support for the Safe Schools Declaration (SSD) and monitoring UN member states’ progress in carrying out the declarations commitments to better protect learners and learning institutions.

The conference tagged Ensuring Safe Education for All: From Commitment to Practice will commence on October 25 and finish on October 27, 2021.

According to the Minister, the programme will also serve to maintain and amplify the momentum of the SSD and its commitment to making safe education for all a reality.

It will also be used to strengthen implementation of the declaration by sharing good practice in implementing key commitments in the declaration, inspire other states to adopt the practice within their own context and forge global cooperation in the protection of education and deterring military use of schools and universities by bringing together education, defence, and foreign affairs ministries.

In addition, the confab on school safety will also be a forum for multilateral and civil society organizations to discuss prevention and response measures, and Identifying actions that governments can take to better achieve accountability for attacks on education and justice for the victims by building and strengthening international and national legal mechanisms.

He said Nigeria is co-hosting the conference with the African Union Commission (AUC), the governments of Argentina, Norway, and Spain, as well as the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA).

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Education

Oyo Threatens to Revoke Unexecuted Contracts

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Revoke Unexecuted Contracts

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The Oyo State Government has threatened to revoke unexecuted contracts on renovation and construction projects under its 2012-2018 UBEC/SUBEB Intervention Project from defaulting contractors in the state.

This threat was made on Thursday by the Executive Chairman of the Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board, Dr Nureni Adeniran.

Speaking with the 22 contractors in Ibadan, the state capital, Mr Adeniran this action may likely be taken under the breach of contract terms.

He noted that many of the contracts, including those awarded by the previous administration had been dragging since 2018, adding that this is in contravention of the time frame of the contractual agreement which stipulated two weeks for completion of borehole and a maximum of 24 weeks for completion of model schools.

Mr Adeniran said the board would not hesitate to apply appropriate sanctions against these defaulting contractors, who have failed to meet project specifications in the execution of UBEC/SUBEB jobs in the state.

He added that the contractors may answer queries from the anti-graft body, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), after the November 2021 deadline, adding that they also risk being blacklisted by UBEC for further contracts of UBEC/SUBEB nationwide.

“The message here is clear, the job has taken too long, your failure to deliver on the agreed dates is affecting the wellbeing of our children, we will reverse the contract,” he said.

“We have issued several warnings, this is about the third time. We need to revoke the contract and give those that will do the job. The guideline is clear and we are not going to compromise,” he warned.

The SUBEB boss, who was at the meeting in the company of the management staff of the Board, queried the rationale behind the contractors’ refusal to deliver results, despite the mobilization fee Government had given them.

The educationist noted that as part of concerted efforts to enforce standards, as well as ensure that there are only appropriate executions of projects, the board in 2019 did not revoke their contracts, despite the fact that they were issued by the former administration.

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Education

Katsina Has 775,000 Out-of-School Children—SUBEB Director

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Out-of-School Children

By Sodeinde Temidayo David

The United Nations Children’s Funds (UNICEF) in collaboration with the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) has commenced a new campaign on the rising number of out-of-school children in Katsina State.

The campaign tagged Back to School and Behavioural Change, is with the aim to prevent the threat that could be caused if there is a high number of children who would lack a formal education.

The scheme, which is targeted at returning over 200,000 out-of-school children, including Al-Majirai to schools in 2021, is supported by the UNICEF and sponsored by Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

Speaking at the unveiling of the programme, the State Commissioner for Education, Mr Badamasi Lawal, noted that the outbreak of COVID-19 and banditry had triggered the number of out-of-school children in the state, particularly in Kafur and Kankara Local Government Areas.

According to statistics released by the State SUBEB Director, Social Mobilisation, Mr Abdulmalik Bello, the state has 775,000 out-of-school children across the 34 local government areas of the state as a result of banditry and COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Lawal further expressed that with the new flagship, the back to school campaign would reduce the number of out-of-school children across the 34 Local Government Areas of the state.

The state commissioner recalled that the state government, under the leadership of Governor Aminu Bello Masari, had prioritised the education sector hence the employment of 10,000 teachers, prompt payment of teachers’ salary and timely provision of instructional materials to schools.

He, therefore, tasked traditional and religious leaders in the state to support the state government’s effort of uplifting the education sector by ensuring the enrolment, retention and completion of school by all children irrespective of gender affiliations.

On his part, the SUBEB Executive Chairman, Mr Lawal Buhari Daura, applauded UNICEF for supporting the state government in curtailing the number of out-of-school children and other educational challenges afflicting the state.

Following this development, UNICEF reaffirmed the goal to reach the most disadvantaged children and adolescents, and to protect the rights of every child, and to advocate for the protection of children’s rights, helping to meet their basic needs, and giving them a fair chance to reach their full potential.

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