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Presidential Aspirant, Kachikwu, carpets FG over indifference to ASUU strike

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Presidential aspirant and Media Entrepreneur, Dumebi Kachikwu, on Thursday, took a swipe at the Federal Government over its lackadaisical attitude towards the dwindling fortunes in university education in the country.

Kachikwu who is the Chairman of Roots Television Nigeria, in a statement by his media office in Abuja, said it is high time President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration wakes up to its responsibilities and obligations to the youths by doing the needful to reinvigorate education in Nigeria.

According to him, such a move, which demands urgent deployment of massive resources coupled with innovative and progressive policies, would save millions of Nigerian students whose lives, hopes and destinies are being mortgaged by the innumerable strikes embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities and other academic and non-academic unions in federal government-owned tertiary institutions.

Lecturers in Nigerian public universities had on February 14, 2022 declared a month’s warning strike over what they termed Federal Government insincerity in implementing agreements reached with the union.

The young and dynamic presidential aspirant lamented that the cumulative downtime for academic activities due to ASUU strikes put at over three years since 1999, had led to unnecessary waste of youthful energies and assets which could have tremendously revved up national development if properly harnessed and put to use.

Kachikwu said: “This is why Nigerians presently yearn for a government that will build the youths and not the current crop of indifference leaders destroying them.

“This is why one of my first priorities, if voted in as President in 2023, would be to fix our education system from primary to tertiary without sparing resources.

“By then, strikes will no longer be attractive because public institutions will be fully revamped and the age old yearnings of lecturers and management would be realised through massive funding to provide conducive environment for learning, eliminate insecurity, provision of cutting-edge teaching aids and equipment and ensuring adequate welfare for teaching and non-teaching staff.

“Education is an investment and no amount of effort and financial resources can be too much in providing non-stop education for our upcoming, vibrant and talented youths, who definitely will lead this country tomorrow.

“Those in authorities today are handling the issue of tertiary education with levity partly because they are privileged to have the resources to acquire higher education for their children and wards in foreign countries.

“However, the truth is that the foreign-trained children of the rich are a tiny fraction when compared to millions of students in public universities who have no such privileges.

“It is my firm view that efforts at revamping the economy, stabilising the polity, curbing insecurity and providing needed infrastructure, among others, will remain a pipe dream, if the actions, policies and indifference of the Federal Government now denying a critical mass of Nigerians higher education is not immediately arrested and redressed.

“We need to constantly train and retrain our youths to make them fit and proper to assume leadership roles which is critical to continuous national development and this is why I Want To Serve.”

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Education

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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Education

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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Education

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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