By Kayode Awojobi
Just like the popular saying goes, there is a time for everything under heaven. This is the current reality in the history of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH).
The history of the ownership of the institution is taking a new and radical turn. The ‘parents’ of the university, Oyo and Osun States, have decided to ‘divorce’ one another.
As we all know, the dual ownership of the university by the two states can be said to have caused more harm than good for the students. The brouhaha in the management of the institution has made the students of the university to waste unnecessary years while trying to pursue an undergraduate programme in the school.
The desire for academic excellence has been truncated by both the national unions and the local unions within the institution all pointing to the imbalance in the vested interest within the institution.
Recently, the Governor of Oyo State, Engr Seyi Makinde, paid a courtesy visit to the Governor of Osun State, Gboyega Oyetola. He stated that the division from the joint ownership of LAUTECH will meaningful progress to the school.
According to him, “the agreement reached by the two states is a win-win situation for the two states as there was no winner, neither was there vanquish. The agreement reached is mainly for the betterment of the institution and that of the students at large.
“The eventual ceding of the institution to Oyo State will not bring about the division of both states as predicted by some people; rather, it would unite the two states much more.
“As sister states, we have been together for a very long time and the issue of separation of ownership of LAUTECH will not bring division.”
On the part of Governor Oyetola, he commended the committee set up by the two states for a job well done and for coming at a resolution which will benefit the institution and the students at large.
In his words, “I believed that Oyo State will take the university to higher ground without any bias in performing her responsibilities to both students of the university and the entire staff from either of the States.”
He added that the agreement reached by both states was in the interest of all the stakeholders that have to do with LAUTECH in order to avoid the incessant crisis that become a recurring decimal in the history of the institution.
The two Governors equally commended the role of the National Universities Commission (NUC) for its support and cooperation towards finding a lasting solution to the issue of LAUTECH.
The committees from the two states were equally commended for a good job well done, working assiduously within a year putting the interest of the students and the workforce of LAUTECH at heart.
However, the institution should be very profitable considering the subvention from the states ab initio. Also, the school has a sizeable population of students much more than any thriving private university in Nigeria. The institution has been run by various administrators that have worked independently of the master plan of the institution.
It is believed that with the final takeover of Oyo State, the government will pay lots of attention to ensure that the university becomes a thing of pride to the state.
The ball is largely in the court of Oyo State, would LAUTECH return to her heydays when it brought great academic medals to the state? Time will tell.
Nigeria to Host International Conference on 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).
Oyo Threatens to 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.
Katsina Has 775,000 Out-of-School Children—SUBEB Director
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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