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Senate Passes Bill Ending HND/BSC Discrimination

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HND/BSC Discrimination

By Adedapo Adesanya

A bill to abolish the discrimination between holders of Higher National Diploma (HND) and Bachelor of Science (BSc) has been passed by the Senate.

The landmark bill was passed on Wednesday and the president of the upper chamber of the parliament, Mr Ahmad Lawan, said this will serve as a motivation to HND holders from polytechnics and monotechnics.

“This particular (HND discrimination) issue has been on the front burner for a long time.

“I recall that in the House (of Representatives) between 2003 and 2007, this was one bill that was so important and it is a way of encouraging our polytechnic graduates.

“This should not take away the kind of training they give but should be a motivation for our polytechnic graduates,” he said.

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The bill, sponsored by Mr Ayo Akinyelure, proposed to resolve the controversy over wage disparity and gross discrimination against HND holders in the public and private sectors of the economy.

It also sought to promote Nigeria’s technological advancement by encouraging many qualified candidates to pursue polytechnic and technological studies.

Mr Akinyelure said the discrimination against HND holders threatens to ruin the nation’s core policy thrust of evolving a technological and scientifically based society.

He said findings had proved that some polytechnic graduates were, in some cases, better on the field than their university counterparts.

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“A government employment policy that places degree holders ahead of HND holders without recourse to the skill and ability of the HND holders, thereof, does more harm than good to the nation’s development plans,” Mr Akinyelure said.

Some senators, however, argued that rather than seeking to abolish the dichotomy, efforts should be made to transform all polytechnics into degree-awarding institutions.

The bill scaled the third reading on Wednesday after the lawmakers received and considered the report of the Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions submitted by Mr Ahmad Kaita, which contained six clauses.

Mr Kaita said the bill, when signed by the President, will give polytechnic graduates confidence and impact the country’s economy, positively.

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The lawmakers, thereafter, did a clause-by-clause consideration of the bill in the Committee of the Whole, after which it was passed.

The bill passage is sequel to the adoption of a report by the Senate Joint Committee on Establishment and Public Service Matters and Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND.

Presenting the report, Committee Chairman, Mr Ibrahim Shekarau, said the bill would help free HND holders from stagnation in public and private sectors and ensure balanced treatment for them with their university counterparts.

The bill is expected to be sent to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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Education

Wikipedia Trains Nigerian Institute of Journalism Students

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Nigerian Institute of Journalism Students Wikipedia

By Adedapo Adesanya, Kemi Makinde

As part of efforts to boost Wikipedia knowledge among students in Nigeria, the Wikipedia Foundation recently trained students at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Ogba, Lagos on how to use and improve the online resource platform.

Launched in 2017, the Wikimedia User Group Nigeria is seeking to capitalise on the growing Internet access in Nigeria and the country’s high school-age population to help boost the accessibility and knowledge contribution on the Wikipedia platform.

Taking the training to NIJ, the club engaged the students on the basics of Wikipedia writing, editing, and how to improve the open resource website.

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Speaking on the event, the President of the club, Mr Olushola Olaniyan, said, “We have established Wikimedia Clubs among Nigerian institutions such as the University of Ibadan to create social groups of Nigerian students about free knowledge.

Nigerian Institute of Journalism Students Wikipedia1

“We have established partnerships with two media houses to broadcast Wikipedia-related programs on-air, eg Black Face Radio and WFM91.7.

“Bringing it here to the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), we want students to know about Wikipedia and able to write and edit pages.”

On his part, the programme facilitator at the institute, Mr Akinlolu Ojo, said it was a welcomed development that the club was established in the school where journalists were trained.

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He explained that journalists were charged with disseminating information and checking for misinformation and Wikipedia as a platform built on the truth is essential that the programme is taught to future journalists.

“We breed future journalists here, and it would be a huge disservice if we don’t take our students through this training. Wikipedia has always proven to be a credible platform and by having people whose profession is built on credibility contributing to it, it is a win-win situation,” he said.

The Governor of the Wiki Club at NIJ, Mr Henry Godwin, described the initiative as “commendable,” stressing that, “Any effort geared at pushing the boundaries of ignorance further away ought to be applauded.”

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Nigerian Institute of Journalism Students Wikipedia2

Another participant at the programme, Mr Pelumi Bolawa Solomon, expressed his appreciation saying “Wikipedia Nigeria has not only accorded me the opportunity to write for the largest online encyclopedia, but has improved my research ability, and given me the opportunities to do more investigations in order to rightly inform the general audience”.

Adding his input, Mr Emmanuel Ashemiriogwa said it was a very interactive and educative two-day class that exposed him to the basics of wiki editing. He says it is value-adding.

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Education

Geodrill Donates to Equip Achimota School’s Science Lab Complex

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Geodrill Achimota School

As part of its commitment to support access to quality education in Ghana, a foremost stakeholder in the mining industry, Geodrill, has made a donation for equipping a science laboratory complex at Achimota School.

The firm, through its CEO, Mr David Harper, presented a cheque of GHS150,000 to the Old Achimotan Association (OAA) at a ceremony held on June 14.

Mr Harper emphasised the importance of education to the students present and he expressed his hope that their education at Achimota School, and particularly in science, would set them on the path to successful adult careers and to contribute meaningfully to the development of Ghana.

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He revealed a longstanding association with the school where he used to play cricket, encouraging other companies to take their ESG obligations seriously and support worthy institutions to fulfil their mission.

Receiving the cheque, the President of the OAA and former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Ernest Aryeetey, said the science lab was constructed with the support of corporate sponsors, who contributed about one-third of the total cost and the remainder from Achimota alumni.

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The OAA and Achimota were still hopeful of receiving further contributions from other companies to sustainably fund the provision of science education and other programmes for the benefit of the students.

Geodrill, a leading drilling exploration company to the mining sector, is committed to being a socially responsible company that actively promotes social causes such as the education of Ghanaian youth. The support for the laboratory complex is yet another purposeful outcomes-based Geodrill ESG initiative.

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Education

JAMB Generates N5.9bn from 2021 UTME, Direct Entry Forms

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JAMB

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has generated N5,887,628,900.00 from the sale of forms for the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and Direct Entry (DE) examination to admission seekers into the nation’s tertiary institutions.

The cumulative figure was contained in the Financial Inflow column of the board’s weekly bulletin of April and May editions of 2021.

The registration for the exams started on April 10 nationwide and ended on May 29, this year with the exception of few candidates with special cases, who were given an extension of time to register.

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The breakdown showed that 1,338,687 candidates registered for the UTME while 75,328 registered for the DE exam this year.

The examinations commenced on Saturday, June 19 and will end on Monday, July 5 in over 777 computer-based test centres nationwide.

The figures from the board’s bulletin showed that it generated N2,045,497,450.00 in the first few weeks when the sales of registration instruments opened to UTME applicants on April 10.

From the April 27 edition of the bulletin, the board said it raked in N739,050,000.00 from the sales of e-pins.

A weekly breakdown of the figures from the May 3 edition of the bulletin showed that the board generated N663,250,000.00 from selling e-registration pins.

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In the May 10 edition, the figures showed that the board generated N682,200,000.00 revenue from sales of registration instruments for the examination.

According to the figures from the bulletin of May 17, edition, the board raked in N833,800,000.00 from the sales of e-registration pins.

Also, between May 23 and 31 edition, the board generated N810,131,450.00 and N113,700,000.00 from sales of e-registration pins.

Following Professor Ishaq Oloyede’s appointment as Registrar/Chief Executive of the body in August 2016, as part of its transparency and accountability goals, the board has been making returns in billions into the federation account.

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In 2019, the board generated N5 billion from the conduct of UTME but remitted N3 billion to the coffers of the federal government after the government asked the board to invest N2 billion to enhance its operations.

Its highest remittance so far was in 2018 when it remitted N7.8 billion revenue generated from the conduct of 2018 UTME to the coffers of the federal government.

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