By Adedapo Adesanya
A joint committee of Private and Voluntary Schools Associations in Kano State has rejected the 25 per cent reduction of third term school fees in the state.
Business Post had earlier reported that the Kano State Ministry of Education directed owners of private schools to henceforth reduce the third term fees by 25 per cent to help parents deal with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, the group expressed worry over the method deployed by the government on the compulsory implementation of the reduction despite the demand for further clarification and justification of the 25 per cent discount requested by the proprietors.
It, equally, used the opportunity to dissociate itself from claims that it had accepted the proposed cut.
Their grouse was made known in a statement released by the joint committee made up of the leadership of Association of Model Islamic Schools (AMIS) represented by Mr Basheer Adamu Aliyu, National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) through Alhaji Muhammad Mallam Adamu and Mrs Fatima Bello for the Independent School Proprietors Association, Kano (ISPAK).
The collective wondered why private school owners would be compelled to bear the brunt of the economic hardship when their members were never considered for any financial assistance or palliative either from the state or Federal Government throughout the seven months lockdown.
According to the statement, “Unfortunately, the Ministry of Education, Kano State made a press release that the government will not reverse its decision of cancelling the third term if the majority of the proprietors refused to comply with the directive on the fees’ reduction.
“As we were meeting on the issue, we were bombarded by another announcement purportedly from the Ministry, claiming that proprietors have agreed to a 25 per cent discount on school fees. We note with concern, the unilateral action by representatives of APSON, who until yesterday were with us in all our meetings and decisions.
“However, we wish to observe that Hajia Maryam Magaji, the National Vice- President of APSON is an employee of the government under SUBEB. In the same vein, Murtala Hussain, the state Vice-Chairman is an Assistant Director with the Kano State Private and Voluntary Institutions Board.
“It is, therefore, surprising that employees of the Ministry of Education are coming out to speak on behalf of the proprietors of private schools.”
While noting the huge negative impact of the seven months’ shutdown and reiterating that any cancellation will only worsen an already bad situation; if there is an overriding public interest, we are ready to cooperate with and support the government,” the statement noted.
As at press time, it is not clear what the Kano State government will do now although the state’s Commissioner for Education, Mr Sanusi Kiru said the ministry would consider the cancellation of the Third Term session if the school proprietors remained adamant to reduce the fees.
JAMB Shifts Registration Deadline, 2021 UTME
By Dipo Olowookere
The registration deadline for the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) has been shifted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).
The Registrar of JAMB, Prof Ishaq Oloyede, disclosed on Saturday that intending candidates for the examination have till May 29 to register.
Addressing reporters after a two-day meeting with stakeholders in Abuja, Mr Oloyede said the deadline was pushed forward due to the challenges faced by candidates.
“Field reports showed a huge improvement in the processes. As of today, 1,134,424 candidates have so far registered.
“Stakeholders undertook on the spot assessment of the CBT centres and discovered lapses which warranted the extension.
“The challenges among others include candidates’ non-compliance with registration requirements, using the wrong format to generate profile code and using multiple phone numbers, among others,” the JAMB boss informed newsmen today.
He said, as a result, the dates for the mock exam and exam proper have been moved shifted forward.
According to him, the 2021 mock earlier scheduled for May 20 would now hold on June 3, while the UTME will now take place from June 19 to July 3.
Mr Oloyede said the exam body will continue to monitor the situation, assuring that logistics to allow the smooth conduct of the exercise have been put in place.
He said JAMB will not tolerate examination malpractices, warning that those caught involved in such would be punished in line with laws of the land.
Registrations for InterswitchSPAK 3.0 Commence
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Registrations for the 2021 edition of a prestigious science competition organised by Interswitch Group called InterswitchSPAK 3.0 have commenced.
With this development, secondary schools can visit the InterswitchSPAK portal, https://www.interswitchspak.com/, to register their best science students in Grade 11 or Senior Secondary 2 (SS2) for the competition. The registration portal will close on Thursday, May 27, 2021.
Each school is required to present its best science students in SSS2 and can register a minimum of six and a maximum of 10 students.
However, for mixed schools, at least two female students must be among the selected students.
Every registered student will participate in the qualifying examination online, from their schools, homes or any convenient space. The top 81 students will proceed to the finale to battle for the crown of Nigeria’s Best Science Student.
For the qualifying examination, there are two choices of days to pick from between Friday, May 28 and Saturday, May 29, 2021, any time between 8am-6pm.
The InterswitchSPAK national science competition is an annual Pan-African contest aimed at re-igniting and incentivizing the study of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects among secondary school students.
The Group Chief Marketing and Communication Officer at Interswitch, Ms Cherry Eromosele, expressed her excitement about the new edition.
She stated that the competition was back, bigger and better after the one-year hiatus occasioned by the disruptive impact of the global pandemic. She also encouraged more girls to participate in this third edition of the on-going registration.
“At Interswitch, we are committed to inculcating knowledge, aptitude and confidence, with a focus on improving the standard of education in Nigeria.
“We are very passionate about encouraging more students, especially girls, to take up STEM subjects. The good news is that we have seen an increase in the number of girls participating in the competition.
“We encourage teachers, school administrators, parents and guardians to ensure their students are registered. I also want to encourage the students to take hold of this opportunity to pursue their dreams. It is our belief that the year ahead will be very exciting,” she stated.
The coveted prize is N12.5 million worth of university scholarship for the top three winners. The first prize winner gets N7.5 million tertiary scholarship spread over 5 years, a laptop and monthly stipends. The second prize is N4 million spread over 3 years and a laptop and the third prize is N1 million for 1 year.
The last edition saw Oyindamola Aje, a 16-year-old student of Jesuit Memorial College, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, emerging as winner, while the duo of 15-year-old Oluwatobi Ojo and Onyekachi Madumere (both of Apt Scholar Universal College, Ogun State) came second and third, respectively.
CRUTECH, FUTO Qualify for NCDMB Science Competition
By Adedapo Adesanya
Cross River State University of Technology (CRUTECH) and the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, (FUTO) will represent the Eastern region at the national level in the upcoming Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board’s Science and Technology Innovation Challenge (STIC).
The two universities progressed to represent the region after beating other schools, namely, Alex Ekweme Federal University, Abakiliki; Niger Delta University, Bayelsa State; and the University of Calabar, at the regional level.
The STIC competition, organized by the NCDMB, is an upshoot of the agency’s interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Speaking, NCDMB Manager, Capacity Building Division, Mr Ama Ikuru, explained that the innovations demonstrated by the schools, will go a long way in helping to domiciled capacity and also improve lives.
Mr Ikuru noted that the board was also supporting vocational secondary schools, in a bid to promote skill acquisitions even at an early age.
He presented certificates of participation and congratulated all the contending universities from the South-South and South-East region, explaining that they were already winners, having gotten to the regional stage of the competition.
The STIC is a novel entrepreneurship development programme of the NDCMB and implemented by Enactus Nigeria, intended to challenge all students of accredited Nigerian tertiary institutions to apply science, technology and innovation to find home-grown solutions to everyday problems across all sectors of the economy.
The programme, according to the organisers, will challenge the next generation of Nigerians to think of innovative ways to apply science and technology to solve the deep problems experienced in every sector of the Nigerian economy.
Winners of the competition will not only get prizes but will gain exposure to industry experts who will mentor them to scale their innovation into business ideas that will remain profitable while providing more jobs and creating wealth.
The blockchain brings new financing options to the business market. For example, Bitcoin Cash casino has adapted to only using cryptocurrency. This way, it makes it easier for their customers to deposit and withdraw in a BCH casino. Entrepreneurs have taken note of this and are looking to invest more in crypto than in fiat markets.
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