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Students Furious Over Conditional Suspension of ASUU Strike

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NANS Sunday Ashefon

By Ahmed Rahma

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) seems not to be happy with the suspension of the nine-month-old strike called off by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Wednesday.

This is because the students said the conditional suspension of the industrial action looks like a slap and insult on them and they have threatened to embark on a mass protest if their lecturers ever try to down tool again.

While briefing the media, the president of NANS, Mr Sunday Asefon, said his members are furious that their lecturers wasted their (students) precious time for nine months all because of their (ASUU) demands.

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He described this as not only embarrassing but ridiculous, noting that, “It is a slap on us for ASUU to say they are calling off the strike conditionally.”

“If they call it off conditionally, we will also put on hold our plan to engage the federal government and ASUU on mass action.

“But if they also resume their strike, we will also go to the streets, if that is the only language they understand, we will speak it to them,” he threatened.

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On Wednesday, the national president of ASUU, Mr Biodun Ogunyemi, had said the union would resume the industrial action if the government fails to meet their demands after the strike was called off “conditionally” effective Thursday, December 24, 2020.

“Never again should we have a repeat of this strike and stakeholders must make commitments to ensure that this ugly scenario does not repeat itself,” the NANS president said.

He urged the federal government to be “committed to fulfilling its agreement with ASUU while ASUU must be wary to go on strike. ASUU must seek to exhaust every window of alternative resolution before deciding on industrial actions.”

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“Future negotiations must involve students representative as we believe this will bring a sense of urgency to the table as the parties will be compelled to understand that students across the country are the grass when the elephants of ASUU and FG fight,” Mr Asefon advised.

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

Oyeleye Unveils Every Beginner’s Chess Book with 215 Puzzles

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Oyeleye Every Beginner's Chess Book

By Dipo Olowookere

A book aimed to deepen the understanding of chess among youngsters and professionals has been launched by an International Chess Federation (FIDE) licensed Chess in School Instructor, Mr Olawale Oyeleye.

The book titled Every Beginner’s Chess Book with 215 Puzzles was unveiled at a virtual event recently to chess players, organisers, arbiters, coaches and corporate Nigerian.

The author of the book said at the unveiling that he was inspired to write the book when he noticed that young chess players in Nigeria and Africa lacked materials to learn more about the board game.

According to him, he nursed the idea for nine years before coming up with Every Beginner’s Chess Book with 215 Puzzles, expressing confidence that the book will benefit the readers because of the extensive research he did.

“I took time to research on the essentials of what is needed for beginners and today, we have a book which is full of illustrations to make the teaching of chess in schools and in clubs easy for youngsters,” he said.

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Also speaking at the launch, the Director of TheJohnFawole Award and Bruvchessmedia, Fawole John Oyeyemi, commended the author for the piece, recommending its adoption as teaching material in schools.

“Chess books written by Nigerian authors are few. Mr Oyeleye has given us a book that speaks to the basics of the board game.

“You have done something great in the chess world. This book should be adopted by schools for their chess learning programmes.

With this book, Mr Oyeleye had moved chess a step further and it would also become a popular board game in Nigeria,” he said.

On her part, the ex-president of the Chess Players Association of Nigeria (CPAN), Ms Ayokanmi Ajayi, praised Mr Oyeleye for his immense contribution to the game in Nigeria, saying, “You have pushed forward the frontiers of chess with the text. This is a proper chess book to educate the Nigerian child. It is affordable and easy to understand.”

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A member of the FIDE Athlete Commission and Chairman of ACC Players Commission, International Master Odion Aikhoje, commended the author for putting together a laudable book on chess.

He said the positive mindset of the author motivated him to see the project through despite the trying times that we are in as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The book is dedicated to explaining the game of chess and talking about the benefits of chess. Previously encountered chess books are technical books but the extra illustration by the author can make one know more about the game.

The book helps to visualize and calculate the moves on the board and this piece of work will help develop players. A properly presented book will aid the learning of the game,” he stated.

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The President of Togo Chess Federation and former secretary to FIDE, Enyonam Noel Fumey, said the book is a marvel and he wishes that all Nigerian educational authors will use it as an introduction to the game.

He charged the writer of the book to ensure that the work is translated into French so that Francophone-speaking countries can also benefit from it.

Mr Oyeleye, who is married to Mrs Caroline Adedoyin, is also the author of Levels 1-6 Chess Workbooks powered by Pedachess Educational Services Ltd.

He is an Accountant, National Arbiter, Tournament Director, Chess Trainer, Journalist, Public Relation Officer for CPAN since 2017 till date.

He was awarded the Arbiter of the year in 2016, 2017, and 2018 respectively, and awarded the Tournament Director of the year 2018.

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Education

Nexford University Raises $10.8m for Education Accessibility

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Nexford University

By Adedapo Adesanya

Nexford University, an online learning platform that offers next-generation learning experiences, has secured a $10.8 million Series A fund.

The funding round was led by Dubai-based VC Global Ventures and other investors including Future Africa’s new thematic fund (focused on education), angel investors, family offices and unnamed VCs from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Dubai, Switzerland, Qatar, Nigeria, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.

The latest round brings the total funds raised by the company to $15.3 million, following a $4.5 million seed funding gotten in 2019.

The online school offers undergraduate degrees in business administration; 360° marketing; Artificial Intelligence & automation; building a tech startup; business analytics; business in emerging markets; digital transformation; e-commerce; and product management.

Its graduate degrees are business administration, advanced AI, e-commerce, hyperconnectivity, sustainability, and world business. Students study at their own pace once they get admitted into the school

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The tuition structure is different from traditional universities. Its accredited degrees cost between $3,000 to $4,000 paid in monthly instalments.

In Nigeria, for instance, an MBA costs about $160 a month, while a bachelor’s degree costs $80 a month. The faster a learner graduates, the less they pay.

Nexford University has learners from 70 countries, with Nigeria being its biggest market. The school also has blue-chip partnerships with Microsoft, LinkedIn Learning, and IBM to provide access to tools, courses, and programs to improve the learning experience.

Speaking on the development, Mr Fadl Al Tarzi, CEO of Nexford University, “In 2021, it is not acceptable for less than 10 per cent of the world population to have a college degree, or for student debt in the US to be over $1.6 trillion. Now, with additional funding, we can invest in the technology and teams required to address these challenges.”

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Adding his input, Mr Iyin Aboyeji, Future Africa’s founder and general partner, called the company a game-changer for higher education in Africa because it focused on the future of learning.

“During the pandemic, while many universities in Nigeria were shut down due to labour disputes, Nexford was already delivering an innovative and affordable new model of online higher education designed for a skills-based economy,” Mr Aboyeji said.

On his part, Mr Noor Sweid, general partner at Global Ventures said, “We are thrilled to partner with Fadl and the Nexford team on their journey toward expanding access to universal quality higher education in emerging markets.”

Launched in 2019 by Mr Fadl Al Tarzi, Nexford University is filling affordability and relevance gaps by providing access to quality and affordable education.

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Nexford University is a Washington-based, tech-enabled institution that leverages machine learning and Artificial Intelligence to create a data and skills-driven curriculum.

The university was founded on the beliefs that a lack of education is the root cause of most world challenges and that people should be able to access economic opportunities irrespective of physical location.

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Education

Baptist Girls Academy Wins CIIN Quiz Competition

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Baptist Girls Academy

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Baptist Girls Academy defeated four other schools to clinch the 2021 edition of the Secondary Schools Quiz Competition organised by the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN).

The second position was taken by Reagan Memorial while International School Lagos, came third, with Baptist Academy and Gideon International School taking the fourth fifth positions respectively.

Speaking on the competition, the President/Chairman of CIIN, Mr Muftau Oyegunle, said the quiz competition was borne out of the organisation’s desire to enlighten and introduce young minds to the amazing world of insurance.

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He explained that the initiative is also aimed at promoting the significance of underwriting in humans’ daily lives, community development, poverty elimination, economic advancement and world peace.

“Insurance ensures that we have adequate safety nets against the misfortunes of life by providing compensation for its customers that enable them to survive the adversities of life.

“Hence, insurance provides us with a means of protecting ourselves and our families from unexpected but possible financial losses while also enhancing the capacity to build wealth,” Mr Oyegunle said.

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He charged the students to consider insurance as a choice of career as the industry could do with the brightest minds the country has to offer.

“This competition is designed to create awareness amongst you, the young adults, who we consider the future of our industry, about the importance of insurance as a service and the career opportunities it offers to students like you.

“It is my belief that whatever you have learnt in preparation for the competition shall impact your lives positively. Similarly, the knowledge and information you receive here today would assist you in your carrier choice,” he said.

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The insurance expert expressed hope that the students would maximize the opportunities which the competition provides and make insurance their course of first choice when going into the university.

He submitted that the competition was not all about winning but also about having fun while learning more about the sector.

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