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FG reviews National school Feeding program upwards, now N100 per plate



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**Humanitarian Ministry moves to build 60 Model School Kitchens

The Federal Government has reviewed upward the National Home Grown School Feeding Program meals from N70 to N100 per plate per child.

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Umar Farouq made the disclosure at the Commemoration of the 7th Africa School Feeding Day held in at Transcorp Hilton Abuja on Tuesday.
The special adviser to the minister on media Nneka Ikem Anibeze in a statement indicated that Umar Farouq was full of gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for the increment.
She added that it came at a time when all hands were on deck to ensure that all public primary school pupils 1-3 are enrolled in the program.

“I will like to seize the opportunity to commend His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, for the recent approval granted by the Federal Government of Nigeria for the upward review of the daily cost of feeding from N70 to N100 per meal per child, which comes along with increased monitoring and tighter regulations. “This is coming at a time when there is an urgent need to ensure that our children are not left behind in the development process, especially in the wake of the devastation caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic to the stability of millions of Households here in Nigeria.

“That is precisely why in 2020, as part of the government’s efforts to cushion the effects of the pandemic, the Ministry provided dry take home rations to targeted households of pupils on the program in Lagos and Ogun States, and the FCT. This is in line with our mission and mandate to ensure that all Nigerians in need are heard, seen and included”.

The Minister also disclosed that series of initiatives were already being deployed to enhance effective programme delivery.

“We are currently working on a policy framework for the program, and will also be rolling out quality assurance structures, along with the introduction of the concept of School Kitchens in 60 model schools across the Nation.
“These School Kitchens are designed to serve as models, as well as training and skills building centers for cooks and other vendors of the programme”.

The minister also said that arrangements were underway to provide two free meals for Out-Of-School Children from the NHGSFP scheme as it rolls out the Alternate School Program (ASP) soon.

She thanked the Nutrition Society of Nigeria and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for providing the required regulatory oversight and monitoring compliance on hygiene, food safety and meal quality standards.
“The Ministry is also working closely with the World Food Programme (WFP), which is providing technical support, capacity building and policy guidance in the implementation of the NHGSFP.”

Earlier, the National Coordinator, National Social Investment Programs Dr Umar Bindir noted that the School Feeding Programme introduced in 2016 has impacted on school children through a significant increase in school enrolment and attendance and improvement in the nutrition and health status of beneficiary pupils.

The programme currently has a total of 9,881,773 million enrolled children in over 53,000 schools, of which 4.1 million pupils have so far been verified and captured on the NHGSFP Database, in line with the Ministry’s ongoing efforts at establishing a verifiable database of beneficiaries across all of its programmes and interventions

Other speakers at the commemoration of the Africa School Feeding Day include the National Cordinator and Chief Executive Officer at New Partnership for Africa’s Development, NEPAD Nigeria Princess Gloria Akobundu, the Representative the Nassarawa state Governor, NEPAD’s Nutrition and Food Systems Project Manager Kefilwe Rhoba Moalisi and other stakeholders.

The theme for this year’s edition of the Africa Day of School Feeding is ‘Nutrition and human capital development in Africa through increased investment in home grown school feeding’.

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Don urges teachers to learn, deploy AI tools in teaching




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By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

Professor Kehinde Victoria Fatokun, a Professor of Science Education, has called on teachers to adapt to changes, learn and deploy Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools in the teaching profession.

Prof. Fatokun made the call at the 18th Inaugural Lecture series of the Federal University Lokoja (FUL) as part of her advocacy for resourceful teaching and productive learning.

The Inaugural Lecture had the topic: “Transforming Chemistry Instructional Practices: Navigating through Resolving Learning Intricacies and Integration of Innovative Pedagogy.”

She said that the world was evolving as methods and procedures continue to change with innovations and technological breakthroughs adding that the teaching profession should also adopt new technologies including the Artificial intelligence tools.

The Professor of Science Education called for the development of intensive research and knowledge transfer culture, permeating all teaching and learning activities.

She said that the development of appropriate skills in students should be paramount and learning should be made appealing to them, in order to produce competent graduates.

Prof. Fatokun stressed that Educational research findings on current pedagogical issues should not be ‘kept in the shelf’ but be made available to the ‘implementer’ in an applicable manner for solving most of the instructional challenges they often encounter.

The former HoD, Department of Science Education, Anchor University, Lagos, tasked Curriculum developers and Authors to strive at tackling issues of “difficult concepts” during curriculum reviews with the application of novel approaches.

She suggested that emphasis should be placed on simplifying instruction to demystify misconceptions while there should be flexibility in adapting the curriculum content to the global trend.

“Published books should be clear, simple to understand and all ambiguity that create additional learning concerns should be removed”, she urged.

She however urged the FUL Management team to organize workshops for all teaching staff with the aim of familiarizing them with innovations in teaching especially the use of modern techniques and learning technologies for their pedagogical skill development.

She charged the Quality assurance directorate to ensure proper monitoring of academics through specific metrics to ensure quality teaching.

Prof. Fatokun charged students to be intentional about learning, not just cramming and passing examinations adding that conscious effort should be made henceforth to ensure understanding and retention to aid the application of the knowledge gained.

Speaking earlier, the
Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Olayemi Akinwumi noted that the Inaugural Lecture series of the University had become “a beacon of intellectual discourse and academic excellence, showcasing the groundbreaking research and innovative thinking of our academic Staff.”

He described the Lecture topic, “Transforming Chemistry Instructional Practices: Navigating through Resolving Learning Intricacies and Integration of Innovative Pedagogy,” as both timely and apt.

The Vice-Chancellor noted that in navigating the complexities of modern education, the need to evolve teaching methodologies that would better address the diverse learning needs of students had never been more pressing.

“In the rapidly changing landscape of higher education, the integration of innovative pedagogy is crucial for preparing our students to meet the demands of the future”, he said.

The Vice-Chancellor who declared the Lecturer as “Discharged and Acquitted” after the delivery, described the 18th Inaugural Lecture as much a celebration of Prof. Fatokun’s achievements as it is “a testament to her collective contributions.” (Ends)

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Inculcate critical thinking, Inspire, guide your Students – Poland Ambassador tasks teachers




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By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

Ambassador of Poland to Nigeria, Her Excellency, Ambassador Joanna Tarnawska has called on teachers to encourage critical thinking, inspire and guide their students or listeners to become innovative problem solvers.

Tarnawska made the call as a Guest Lecturer at the 6th Distinguished Public Lecture of Federal University Lokoja titled: “How to Effectively Pass Knowledge and Inspire Students in the Contemporary World.”

The Guest Lecturer said gone are the days when teachers were seen as encyclopedia and repository of knowledge. saying, “A teacher is not an encyclopedia anymore, a teacher is a book mark, a beacon who points to the relevant paragraph.”

Tarnawska stressed that teachers must be well grounded and knowledgeable in their respective disciplines, and urged them to guide, teach on how best to gather information and get the gist.

She said, “Know your subject matter and be ready to deepen your knowledge continuously, Know your audience, adapt your language and content to the listeners.

The Envoy said that with the influx and abundance of information with the world turned a global village, it is important to know the authentic from the fake and safekeep facts, especially now that everything can be checked online.

“Encourage questions, building an atmosphere of trust will be helpful to achieve this. Modern lessons should not only be teacher centered, Keep a balance and make time for student centered lessons.

“Never ask the question, “Do you understand?”, instead, ask questions to check your students understanding, always give practical examples,
be engaging and make sure your listeners are following you”, she said.

Speaking earlier in his address, Prof. Olayemi Akinwumi, Vice-Chancellor of Federal University Lokoja, commended Ambassador Joanna Tarnawska for the promptness with which she accepted to deliver the Distinguished Public Lecture.

Prof. Akinwumi noted that the topic of the lecture, “How to Effectively Pass Knowledge and Inspire Students in the Contemporary World” is not just timely but imperative.

He said, “In an era marked by rapid technological advancements, societal transformations, and global interconnectedness, the role of education transcends mere dissemination of facts.

“It therefore behoves upon us to instill in our students a hunger for knowledge, a love for learning, and a sense of purpose that extends beyond classroom boundaries.”

The Professor of History said as Vice-Chancellor of the esteemed institution, he was keenly aware of the profound impact that effective teaching and inspirational mentorship can have on the lives of our students.

Akinwumi urged all stakeholders to reflect on how we can collectively shape the future of Education, and recommit to the noble pursuit of empowering the next generation of leaders and innovators.

He enjoined all to embrace the spirit of collaboration, innovation, and lifelong learning as we listen to the lecture together. (Ends)

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22 NTIC students to participate in 3-day NMC’s Olympaid Camp




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The National Mathematical Centre (NMC) has selected 22 students of the Nigerian Tulip International Colleges (NTIC) to participate in a 3-day Olympiad Camp.

The Olympiad competition covers subjects such as Mathematics, Science, Arts, Music, Literature, History, Culture, Information Communication Technology among others.

The Managing Director NTIC, Feyzullah Bilgin, in a statement on Tuesday said, “In a remarkable display of academic prowess, 22 students from Nigerian Tulip International Colleges in Nigeria have been handpicked by the prestigious National Mathematical Centre (NMC) to participate in a rigorous 3-day Olympiad Camp.

“The selection of these bright minds not only highlights their exceptional mathematical abilities but also underscores the dedication and commitment they have shown towards their education.”

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