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Lagos Shuts Down Substandard Schools

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Lagos government

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The Lagos State Government has reiterated its commitment to offering the best education for pupils of private and public primary and secondary schools in a conducive and secure environment through zero tolerance for unsafe, substandard institutions that flout State policy on child safety and protection.

The Director-General, Office of Education Quality Assurance, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Mrs Ronke Soyombo, disclosed this during enforcement an exercise to seal off Multi-Vision School located within the State Education District 1.

Mrs Soyombo disclosed that government is determined to ensure a high standard, quality education and safeguard of pupils across schools in the State, noting that the enforcement exercise was to ensure strict compliance with the State Ministry of Education’s approved guidelines for operating schools in a safe environment.

The Director-General further stated that the management of the school ignored an earlier warning to relocate from its location under high tension electric cables which constitutes a threat to the lives of learners and violates the operational standard set by the government.

According to her, “the State government will not permit the operation of schools with inadequate classrooms; school compound use for religious purposes; schools located within residential buildings and under high tension wires and those with structural defect, dirty and unkempt environment”.

“The vision of OEQA is strictly to continue to set the pace for educational excellence with integrity, transparency and mutual respect in the discharge of its statutory responsibilities”, she added.

The Director-General, however, advised owners of schools where closure and relocation notices had been served to desist from removing the said notices, warning that such act attracts strict sanctions and prosecution by the State government.

While imploring parents to stop patronising substandard private schools because of the inherent danger, Soyombo encouraged prospective and aspiring school owners to visit the Office of Education Quality Assurance website for guidelines in setting up a school in order to avoid operating below the set operational standards.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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Education

Contestants to Win N7m in MTN Spelling Bee Contest

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MTN Spelling Bee Contest

By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel

Over N7 million in cash prizes, laptops, phones and mPulse goody bags would be won at the 2021 mPulse Spelling Bee organised by telecommunications company, MTN Nigeria.

The contest, which is opened for primary and secondary students in Nigeria, comprises three rounds as the first round is currently being run alongside the ongoing registration.

The acting General Manager, Consumer Marketing, MTN Nigeria, Mr Idowu Adesokan, noted that the deadline for the registration has been extended to Sunday, October 24.

“We took the mPulse Spelling Bee competition online to advance digital literacy and guarantee safe participation from students across Nigeria regardless of their location.

“We believe that every child qualified to participate should have the opportunity to and our extension of the deadline accommodates and encourages this,” he explained.

According to Mr Adesokan, the first 1,000 students who come out with the highest scores in the first round will then proceed to the second round.

Explaining the healthy and competitive nature of the challenge, he stated, “Students have the opportunity to compete in this online competition from anywhere in Nigeria, with a chance to win cash prizes, laptops, smartphones and many more gifts for themselves; while their teachers who supported them in preparing to get rewarded with cash prizes and devices too.”

To participate, students across the country in Primary and secondary schools must be within the age bracket of 9 to 15 years.

He said that interested participants can still register in the MTN Spelling Bee contest on the website (https://mpulse.mtnonline.com/).

However, to do this, they need to migrate to a current and active mPulse plan which can be done by sending impulse text to 344 or dialling 3441# on their MTN line.

The grand finale of the previous edition, which took place virtually on Saturday, December 12, 2020, saw the emergence of Snow George, an SS3 student of Starville School, Abuja who received a scholarship grant worth N2 million, a laptop, and a smartphone among other gifts.

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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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