Government at all levels must wake up to take urgent action targeted at reducing the current population of Out-Of-School-Children in the country recently estimated at 20million, the Presidential Candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Dumebi Kachikwu, has said.
It would be recalled that last week, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), in partnership with Global Education Monitoring Report, had indicated that the number of out-of-school children in Nigeria had risen to 20 million.
Kachikwu spoke in a goodwill message to mark the International Literacy Day (ILD) 2022 globally celebrated on September 8, annually.
This year’s ILD is being celebrated worldwide under the theme: “Transforming Literacy Learning Spaces.”
He also challenged the Federal, States, Local Governments and private education providers to to up the ante in their efforts to create safe learning spaces in the country in view of the destructive effects of the activities of criminal elements on the advancement of literacy in the country.
Kachukwu further called on all stakeholders in the education sector to use the opportunity afforded by the global celebration to rethink the fundamental importance of literacy learning spaces to build resilience and ensure quality, equitable, and inclusive education for all in Nigeria.
He lamented that some criminal elements in the country having sworn to halt western education had been visiting untold mayhem and violent attacks on educational institutions in some parts of the country leading to killings and massive abduction of school pupils and students.
The Presidential touch bearer decried a situation where some of the victims of abduction in schools are still languishing in the enclaves of their captors.
Kachikwu said: “This is unacceptable! The primary function of government remains the security and welfare of its people. Therefore, the Federal Government has no choice but to ensure that all victims of school abductions are freed and safely reunited with their families.
“Nigeria cannot achieve high level literacy if schools don’t have the requisite security and conducive environment necessary for learning.”
He listed some of the factors militating against literacy in the country to include poor funding, lack of appropriate training, retraining and motivation for teachers, sex predators, insecurity and other cultural and religious practices.
“Both the federal and some state governments had at one time or the other in recent times ordered closure of educational institutions in some parts of the country due to threats of attacks by bandits and insurgents.
“Unless the prevailing insecurity is revered and the issues of poor remuneration, decaying infrastructure and lack of motivation for teachers are tackled frontally, education in Nigeria will continue to suffer hiccups.
“The government need not be reminded that it has all it takes to address these challenges and ensure that education which is the harbinger of literacy continue to flourish in Nigeria,” Kachikwu said.
He however called on Nigerians to take advantage of the forthcoming general elections to vote in competent leaders with the requisite zeal and drive to revamp the nation’s education sector as well as other critical socio-economic sectors that would improve the livelihoods of the masses.
International Literacy Day was founded by proclamation of The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, in 1966 “to remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights.”
Don Advocates Govt Funding Of Research In Universities For Economic, Social Devt.
By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.
University Don, Prof. Benjamin Mopah Dauda, has called on the Federal and State Governments to provide adequate funding for research in universities in the country to accelerate the nation’s economic and social development.
Dauda, a Professor of Polymer Chemistry and Technology at Federal University Lokoja (FUL) made the call in his Inaugural Lecture titled, “Polymer: Material Driving Technological Advancement”, on Wednesday in Lokoja.
At the lecture which is the 15th in the FUL Inaugural Lecture Series, the Polymer expert said Nigerian professors and scholars had the know-how to evolve innovations to address the nation’s economic and social challenges.
“Government must fund research in universities for economic and social development. We have the knowhow and we can synergize with colleagues in other fields to proffer solutions”, he said.
The University Don also called on the authorities of the Federal University Lokoja to develop Post Graduate (PG) programmes that would provoke researches that can address economic and social challenges of the Country.
He said that it would be such that “every year of the PG programme, students must publish at least one paper in reputable journal or Conference proceeding such that at the end of Masters or PhD programmes their work will be a compilation of these publications.”
Prof. Dauda who is also the Dean, Faculty of Sciences and Head of Department (HOD), Department of Industrial Chemistry in FUL, urged companies to partner with Universities to help solve processing problems and improve quality of their products.
“To this end, Nigerian Companies producing for global market should have their own Research and Documentation (R&D) units where they employ researchers to conduct research that will help improve processing and quality of products”, he said.
On the use of polymer in everyday life, the Professor of Polymer said the world is in the polymer age and every effort must be made to advance the technology of polymer to help the economy.
According to him, Humans use a staggering one million plastic bottles every minute adding that the plastic bottles and lots of other containers and casings are products of polymer.
“The vehicle of Information Technology (IT) and the Internet is the “Personal Computer”, more than 70% of which is Polymer. The science and technology of polymers must therefore tag along with developments in IT.
“Such industries as in IT, Transportation, Aerospace, Music, Textiles, Medical, Construction, Packaging, etc. are totally dependent on polymers.
“Chemistry forms the basis and starting point of Polymer Science but it also depends on other scientific study-areas such as physics, engineering and manufacturing”, he said.
On crude oil spillage and devastating effect on human, aquatic lives and revenue, Prof. Dauda called for more investigation and research into oil-sorbent that would address the menace.
According to him, investigation is required to explore the complex interplay between the newly developed oil-sorbent and other environmental parameters to obtain useful information on oil spill treatment in real situations.
He said that the Oil sector provides 95 per cent of Nigeria’s foreign exchange and 80 per cent of its budgetary revenue adding that annually, a total number of 16,476 spills occur and approximately three million barrels spilled into the environment in Nigeria.
Earlier in his welcome address, Prof. Olayemi Akinwumi,
Vice-Chancellor (VC) Federal University Lokoja (FUL), said that in our ever-evolving world, the importance of materials science and its impact on technological advancement could not be overstated.
The VC noted that Mopah-Dauda’s extensive knowledge, dedication, and pioneering research in the field of Polymer Chemistry and Technology have not only contributed significantly to the academic community but have also played a pivotal role in shaping the technological landscape of our society. (Ends)
Increased quest for UK education: UK schools’ principals to visit Nigeria in October
Nigeria is set to play host to Principals and Leaders of certain schools in London who are expected in Lagos next month due to increased quest for education in the United Kingdom by Nigerians.
The event codenamed, “UK Boarding Schools Week,” will take place in Lagos from 13-15 October at The Wheatbaker Hotel in Ikoyi, Lagos.
According to a statement issued to newsmen by the organisers, Mark Brooks Education in association with the UK’s Department for Business and Trade, activities lined up for the event includes, reception, seminar, and exhibition.
The first event will be a networking reception from 6pm – 8pm on Friday for visiting heads to meet school leaders and parents.
On Saturday, there will be a 30-minute seminar from education specialists on ‘Helping Teenagers to Thrive’
The entire programme would be concluded on Sunday 15th with a a new event ‘Lagos to London’.
Mark summed up the objective behind the summit and what it was expected to achieve.
He said:” It will create an opportunity for prospective parents to find out more and even sit entrance tests and interviews to beat the rush for places.
“An overseas education is increasingly popular for Nigerian families for a variety of reasons, an international experience, academic and sporting excellence, and a greater chance to secure a top university place.”
Some of the Principals equally revealed educational facilities and attendant advantages for prospective students.
According to Stuart Ansell, COO at Box Hill School, apart from strong academic results, the institution also ” deliver fantastic pastoral care and a ‘home away from home’ for boarding students.”
Henrietta Lightwood from Cardiff Sixth Form College disclosed that academic achievement is another reason for choosing UK school. West African students add tremendously to the community and gain “offers from world’s best universities.”
Sarah Matthews, Head at Truro High School for Girls, who is coming on the education summit for the first time said she looks “forward to spending more time in West Africa where I always receive such a warm welcome.”
She also spoke in glowing terms about her school.
“We offer a safe and affordable learning environment where girls thrive.”
Stuart Higgins of the Hereford Cathedral School said she was “delighted to be representing the school.”
“Awarded ‘great for music’ by a national publication, the school has strong Christian ethos and “offers a wide range of sporting opportunities.”
Some of the top schools in the UK to be part of the Boarding Schools Week include, Abbey College Cambridge, Bishop’s Stortford College, Bromsgrove School, among others.
Akpabio declares support for Obot in quest to break Guinness World record for longest reading aloud marathon
The Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio has declared support for an Akwa Ibom man, Mr John Obot in his official attempt to break the Guinness World Record for longest reading aloud marathon.
In a letter he sent to the Teacher, titled: “A note to encourage you” Senator Akpabio expressed his hope that Mr Obot would have the stamina and focus to reach his target of 145 hours to beat a previous record of 124 hours set in September 2022 by a Kyrgyzstan, Rysbai Isakov, in Bursa, Turkey.
According to the Senate President: “I am thrilled by your quest. This is especially true because you have chosen to seek global laurels on a road less travelled and in a state we have benefitted from the audacious and uncommon free and compulsory education started by my administration.
“You have shown courage. You have displayed the resourcefulness of our forebears and focus of the Akwa Ibom man in our recent history. Your dedication to this cause you believe in is unrivaled.
“I am to encourage you by reminding you that only those who stay the course eventually win the race.
“Keep up the quest, and never give up. Bring your light to shine on others who may have shown genuine interest but lack the courage to take the first step. Go ahead to inspire them and lead them through the courageous path – the only path that leads to victory.
“Keep it up, John. Your place in the Guinness Book of World Records for the 145 hours reading aloud marathon is assured on the content of your character, resilience and a spirit that never gives up,” Akpabio said.
Senator Akpabio said the quest by Obot to break the Guinness World Record will encourage other Nigerian youths to engage their energies in productive ventures rather than crime and other vices.
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