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Vice President’s wife harps on qualitative education beyond acquisition of degrees

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The wife of the Vice President Dalapo Osinbajo has underscored the need for quality education that goes beyond the classroom work, to grooming the younger generation on the culture of how to live.
Mrs Osinbajo indicated that education is not only to have the degrees; first degree, masters and doctorate but to be that person who is kind, who is caring, and who is dependable.
Speaking yesterday at a talk show at the Aretean School in Abuja, where she was a guest, Mrs Osinbajo said there is nothing more precious than children adding that when properly groomed they will become tomorrow leaders.
“I made up my mind that I wasn’t going to read from any speech I was going to speak from my heart. There is nothing more precious than children and so these children in 10 to 20 years time just like they sang in the school song that they are shinning stars, they are shining stars now and  they will continue to shine 
“Why I am particularly touched and moved to be here is because of the need for education that is being met
“The Aretean has shown that education goes beyond English and Mathematics and Science education, it is more than what you know, education is how to live and so I trust and believe that in this place not only the students but also the teachers and the staff will imbibe  honesty, loyalty, integrity, hardwork, Godliness, goodness, kindness, courtesy and all those things that underguard every good thing that are required in the society and for.
“The second reason is because education is not only to have the degrees; the first degree, masters and the doctorate but to be that person who is kind, who is caring, and who is dependable, this is true education.
“The other reason I like to be here is because every person is precious, if only we knew they lied to us when they told us we are not good enough, when they told us we can’t make it, when they told us we can’t make it, when they told us who ever did good in your background when they told us we couldn’t do it. 
“But I have come to tell you today that you will, you can and you are shinning stars. All the things that they have spoken about me, I used to go to some  difficult places in Lagos and speak to those who have left home that they are precious people. 
“They really are. It is just that they have lived a life with the believe that no one will ever love you, you can never make it, the only message I took to them was the message of Love. That is what I bring to you today. You will make it beyond your widest immagination.”

Meanwhile, the pupils of the Aretean School, Garki Abuja paid glowing tribute to Mrs Osinbajo, in their welcome message to the august visitor.

According to the pupils they said her birth and early childhood with Chief Obafemi Awolowo, one of the most celebrated politicians in the history of Nigeria made her learn so much about focus, humility and sacrifice for humanity. 

“As a result of this experience, she grew up to become a celebrated humanitarian we all love today. 

“Mrs. Osinbajo is the founder of 16 different Non-Governmental Organizations which she has used to touch the lives of many women and young children. One of her most celebrated works was her engagement and active participation towards the emancipation of many “street boys” in a notorious part of Lagos. 

Her encounter with these children was chronicled in her famous book, “They call me Mama”, adding that Mrs. Osinbajo is also the Executive Director and founder of ‘Women’s Helping Hand Initiative’, a vocal organisation on women’s rights.

“The organisation, which was founded in 2006, has greatly imparted the lives of women in the areas of empowerment, mentoring, equality in the society, aids and rehabilitation. 

According to them, in 2007, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo teamed up with her husband, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, to set up Orderly Society Trust “to provide better education for children in public schools as well as to promote initiatives that support the rule of law; transparency and sccountability; patriotism and respect for civic obligation and etiquette”. 

The pupils described her as “a benevolent philanthropist, an excellent leader, an outstanding woman of excellence, a subtle yet resounding voice of change and a mother to humanity”.

Proprietress of ARETEAN School, Mrs Uloma Rochas Nwosu while expressing her appreciation to Mrs. Osinbajo said the idea behind the school is the recognition of the increasing gap between Nigerian leadership and its people and the increasing lack of confidence between them because people constantly seeking better education outside the shores of this great nation.

“So, we decided to create a very comfortable environment that encourages our children to come back here and seek education so that they can imbibe our culture, foster the idea of patriotism, (love of country) to breed better leaders that understand our people.

“Once we provide that we will have better leaders for the country. If you look at the western world like the USA, UK, etc these people stay in their countries, educate themselves for their content. 

“As Nigerians, we seek education elsewhere. So, there is a disconnect. The idea of Aretean is to breed  scholars that will lead the country in the future. That is why we pride ourselves as the emerging IV Living school that tends to train the next generation of leaders.

She expressed the hope that in the next five, ten years the Aretean will grow in numbers hoped to have their secondary section;.

“We intend to affiliate with very top universities here in Nigeria. It is beyond academics; it’s about culture of tolerance, respect for others.

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Education

14-year-old student wins Majesty Academy, NMC Mathematics competition in Kogi

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By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

MASTER Divine Oguche, 14-year-old student of Living Faith Academy, Lokoja, has emerged overall winner of the maiden Majesty International Academy Mathematics competition organised in collaboration with the National Mathematics Center (NMC), Abuja.

The Mathematics competition hosted by Majesty College, Lokoja, was themed; “Building Confidence, Embracing Mathematics with Enthusiasm.”

Oguche who clinched the star prize of N500,000, a Refrigerator, a Pressing Iron and an electric heater was followed by the first runner up, Ismail Wildan, with a prize of N300,000, a pressing iron and an electric kettle.

The second runner-up, Egede Chris, got N200,000, a pressing iron and an electric kettle as 10 students who participated in the final lap of the competition got N20,000 and N10,000 each as consolation prizes while other participants got Certificates of Attendance.

Principal of Majesty College, Prof. Emmanuel Ohize, in his speech, said the competition was aimed at building interest and spurring the Nigerian child to study and develop love for Mathematics.

Prof. Ohize noted that the competition which was in three stages, had 33 Students drilled in objective questions out of which 23 were weeded leaving 10 students to contest in the second stage, the theoretical part.

He said that five students further dropped as they failed to proceed to the final stage leaving Divine Oguche, Ismail Wildan and Egede Chris to win the first, second and third positions respectively.

Prof. Ohize noted that the study of Mathematics remains critical to science and technological advancements of the nation, adding that the competition was the modest contribution of Majesty International Academy to the enhancement of teaching and learning of the subject.

According to him, Mathematics transcends race, culture and geographical boundaries, saying that it is crucial and remained the major determinant of the students’ academic progression.

He commended the Management of National Mathematics Center for the cordial relationship that culminated in the successful hosting of the competition as well as management team, staff and students of the College for their sacrifices.

The Principal commended the overall winner, Master Divine Oguche, who had previously won similar competitions hosted by the college and charged him not to relent in his quest for excellence in the world of mathematics saying that the sky could only be his starting point.

The Managing Director, Majesty West Africa Limited, owners of Majesty International College, Alhaji Muhammad Aleru, commended the participating schools and students for their commitment in prioritizing the study of Mathematics.

Alhaji Muhammad Aleru assured that Management of the College would continue to encourage and support the teaching and learning of Mathematics in view of its importance to the growth and development of Nigeria.

Ass. Prof. Solomon Ojo, Head, Olympiad Unit of National Mathematics Center (NMC), acknowledged the brilliant performance of the participants and stressed that the nation had what it takes to emerge as a science and technology giant in the sub-Saharan Africa.

He opined that given the needed support, Mathematics could be used to tame the hydra-dreaded monster of corruption facing the country.

“If majority of this young generation embraces Mathematics, the society will be relieved of corruption and other evils as it has capacity to reconstruct the people to know how to avert manipulations by unscrupulous elements.

Amidst tears of Joy, the star Prize Winner, Master Divine Oguche expressed gratitude to his parents, Management and Staff of Living Faith Academy and Majesty International College for the opportunity to participate in the competition. (Ends)

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Obi laments over Nigeria’s weakening economy that has impoverished the academia

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Peter Obi
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***As a professor pleads to be made special Assistant to reps member

The presidential flagbearer for Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 general election, Peter Obi has expressed concern over the deplorable State of the economy that will make a professor in Nigerian university prefer to be an aide to a lawmaker rather than continue to lecture in the Ivory towers.
This is coming against the background of an uncanny encounter he had with a University Professor in Nsukka on Wednesday that made him to ponder over the pitiable state of his affairs as a University Professor for 14 years.
The university don even sought Obi’s intervention to land a more lucrative job of serving as Special Assistant to a federal legislator.
Obi’s mission in Nnsukka was to campaign for a Labour Party Rep member involved in a court-declared bye-election when he ran into an old friend and a Professor with the pathetic story that mirrors the plight of virtually all working class in the nation’s Tertiary institutions in the country. 
Sharing the touchy story in his X handle platform,  Obi wrote “My two key assignments in Nsukka,  Enugu state on Wednesday as significant as they were, got consumed in my chance but emotional encounter with an old friend and University mate now a Professor in the institution. 
“My mission in Nsukka was for two important events. First, was to visit and assess a dilapidated health center, and second, to campaign for one of the federal legislators, Hon Dennis Agbo, contesting to represent Udenu/Igbo Eze North Federal Constituency in the forthcoming bye-election on Saturday.”
He expressed the confidence that legislator is committed to the good of his people.
However, while in Nsukka, he met one of those brilliant fellows  he knew while he was a student at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in the 80s who graduated with a first class and became a lecturer in the institution. 
“When I later visited the University as the then Governor of Anambra State, he proudly announced to me that he was already a professor and I rejoiced with him.
 “I met him again in Nsukka on Wednesday, but our exchange of pleasantries resulted in very pathetic tales about his general welfare. I noticed in his look and mien that all his happiness of being a professor had vanished.
He began his story by telling me that he felt like he wasted all his years lecturing.
“He dragged his arousing pity story into his current remuneration as a professor. 
According to him his salary as of January 31, 2010, which is 14 years ago remains the same to date, having reached the pinnacle of his career.
 “The only significant difference is that while the money was worth something in 2010, today the same amount is worth nothing.
“The Professor recalled how he was able to buy a Toyota Corolla from his savings, something that is not possible again today. I asked for his salary today, he said about N400,000. 
“He broke my heart when he requested that I put in words for him so that Hon Dennis Agbo can appoint him as Special Adviser when he wins. The reason for the bizarre request that shocked me was that he would earn more and receive more perks as an SA than as Prof.
“Touched by this and applying my finance background  I decided to do some comparative analysis.
“By January 31, 2010, the salary of a Nigerian University Professor was about N400,000. With the then prevalent exchange rate of N150.10 per dollar, the salary amounted to about $2665.
“Fourteen years later, on January 31, 2024, the salary of a University Professor remains about N400,000. With the prevailing exchange rate of N1,510 per dollar, the same salary now amounts to about $265.

“So after putting in 14 years of hard work,  having attained the zenith of his academic career, a Nigerian University Professor now earns 10% of what he earned 14 years ago – this is only possible in Nigeria.
‘A few years ago, a Toyota Corolla cost N4.8 million, so his annual salary without any expenditure on any other item, amounting to about N4.8 million, could buy a Toyota Corolla.
“Today, the same Toyota Corolla costs about N52 million which is more than 10 years of his salary without expenditure, to be able to buy one, after having attained the highest point one can achieve in academia.
“Considering the critical role education plays in the development of a nation, and the low human development index, HDI, we are currently at, we require as many hands and a committed workforce as we can get in that sector. But can we get such, when the earnings of our professors are going backward relatively?
“Sadly, we are in the same country where the government can use an amount enough to buy 3 Toyota Corollas, to buy personal SUVs for the legislators, whose annual earnings amount to several times that of the university professor and can now afford to pay the professor more than he can earn from lecturing in a premier university in Nigeria. 
“How does one then remain earnestly committed to contributing to the critical development of the nation?
He therefore advocated for dismantling of the criminality to create a functional society where people’s talents, efforts, and sacrifices will match up with their opportunities in life.

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Education

Group Provides Uniforms, Enrolls 300 Out of Sch. Children in JIgawa

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By Ahmed Rufa’i, Dutse

Civil Society Action Collation on Education for All (CSACEFA), a non governmental organization has enrolled 300 Out of School Children in primary school in Dutse, JIgawa state.

Speaking while enrolling the pupils at Fagoji special primary school, the programme manager of CSACEFA, Malam Mustapha Yakubu said it is part of the effort to reduce the number of Out of School Children in the state.

Malam Yakubu explained that “The 300 children comprised of 150 males and 150 females that were mobilised from different parts of Dutse local government area”.

According to him “The 150 males children were street beggars while the 150 females were street hawkers that are either orphans or less privileged children who were not in to school and now enrolled”.

He stated that the United Nations Children Emergency Funds (UNICEF) through the organization has supported the children with a set of uniform each, school bags, sandals, books and writing materials.

Yakubu stated further stated that the gesture is part of the programme jointly being carried out between the JIgawa through ministry of Women affairs and UNICEF through CSACEFA for reducing the number of Out of School Children in the state.

The project manager maintained that “parts of CSACEFA activities is also a public enlightenment campaign to Almajiris and Girls children hawkers on the importance of their enrollment in to school for minimum of universal basic education.

“To this end we went round some local Arabic schools and villages where we met with their local Malams, parents and guardians and convinced them to accepted to sent their Almajiris and girl child to schools for modern education”.

He added that due to the move they have succeeded in enrolling 300 of them. Indicating that they also provided them with uniform and writing materials to be in the schools”.

Malam Yakubu pointed out that, “during our tour, we also selected some teenagers from among the male and females to be ttrain in some local trade and hand skill that is locally marketable such as cap making, head weavings etc to be made in the comfort of their homes without going to hawk”.

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