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Items filtered by date: July 2017

Nobel peace laureate Malala Yousafzai on Monday called for a “state of emergency for education” in Nigeria, as she visited the country and met some of the Chibok schoolgirls whose cause she championed.

The 20-year-old global education campaigner made the suggestion at a meeting with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo at the presidential villa in Abuja.



Nigeria has some 10.5 million children out of school — the most in the world — and 60 percent of them are girls, according to the UN children’s fund, Unicef.

Many of them are in the country’s northeast, where the Boko Haram insurgency has devastated education in the last nine years, damaging or destroying classrooms and schools.



Yousafzai, who was shot and nearly killed by the Taliban in her native Pakistan in 2012 for insisting girls should go to school, told reporters: “I highlighted a few issues.



“The first was to ask the government to declare a state of emergency for education because the education of the Nigerian girls and boys is really important.



“The federal government, state government and local government should all be united for this. Secondly, the spending should be made public and thirdly, the Child Rights Act should be implemented in all states.”



Yousafzai said there was a “positive response” to the suggestion from Osinbajo, who has been standing in for President Muhammadu Buhari since he left on open-ended medical leave in early May.



The most high-profile symbols of the attack on girls’ education are the more than 200 students who were abducted by Boko Haram Islamists from their school in the remote town of Chibok in April 2014.



Yousafzai, who was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 2014, joined politicians, celebrities and campaigners from around the world to support the online #BringBackOurGirls movement to demand their release.



On a previous visit to Nigeria in July 2014, she urged the then-president Goodluck Jonathan to meet the girls’ parents.



On the first anniversary, she called the missing girls “my brave sisters” and wrote in an open letter that she could not wait to meet and hug them. “You are my heroes,” she said.



A total of 106 of the kidnapped girls have been released, rescued or escaped after more than three years in captivity, while 113 are still being held.



Yousafzai said she was “very happy” to see some of the girls, who are staying at a government-run facility in Abuja.



“I’m really excited to see them going back to their homes and to their families and continuing their education,” she added.



“But I hope the other girls who are still under abduction of Boko Haram are released.”


Source: Vanguard

Published in News Letter News

FOR years, concerned stakeholders in the sector have consistently queried the steady decline in performance of candidates that sat for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). Many blamed students, teachers, parents, schools and WAEC.



However, since 2015, there appears to have been steady improvements in candidates’ performances, as many candidates had scored five credits and above in English Language and Mathematics, which are the basic prerequisites for university admission.



WASSCE results in the past three years revealed an upward direction in the percentage of performances of candidates. In 2014, 31.28 per cent of the candidates scored five credits and above.



In 2015, the performance was 38.68 per cent, while in 2016, it jumped to 52.97 per cent. In 2017, performance rose to 59.22 per cent, the highest in a decade.



The Head, National Office (HNO), Nigeria, of the West African Examinations Council, Mr. Olu Adenipekun, listed some factors that led to the significant improvements in the results.



He said that when WAEC Nigeria, hosted the 65th Annual Council Meeting in Abuja from March 20 to 24, 2017, WAEC’s highest policy-making organ, which consists of 32 members, reviewed the Council’s policies and operations.



According to him, in a bid to further engage candidates and bridge the communication gap between them and WAEC, the Council in Nigeria on May 4, 2017 via a public/private partnership arrangement, launched an electronic information sharing and dissemination platform, called Candidates Interactive System (CIS) or WAECKONNECT.



He said it was a talk back portal designed to allow the Council interact with candidates for the WASSCE diets before, during and after the examination.





Interactive medium



While stressing the importance of this interactive medium between WAEC and candidates, he urged registered candidates for different diets of WASSCE to avail themselves of the immense opportunities the platform is capable of providing.



He noted that, with the upgrade of the Council’s ICT facilities, particularly, the recently commissioned HP Converged System – a Private Cloud, the capability of the Council’s ICT has now been enhanced.



According to him, with the progressive review of the processes and procedures backed by the determination of the entire work force of the Council in Nigeria to serve the Nigerian child better and faster, the early release of results of the WASSCE for 2017 was made possible.



The HNO said that one of the major highlights of the meeting was the approval granted to member countries to conduct WASSCE for Private Candidates, twice in a year.



“The Nigeria National Office of the Council has concluded arrangements to commence the conduct of the additional diet of the WASSCE for Private Candidates from January/February, 2018,” he said. You will recall that WAEC on Monday released the May/June WASSCE results, withholding results of 13.79 per cent candidates as 59.22 per cent passed English Language and Mathematics.



Speaking at a press briefing held at its corporate office, Yaba, Lagos, Adenipekun said the performance recorded this year improved over the 2015 and 2016 WASSCE results.



Justifying the relative success of candidates in 2017, Adenipekun noted that the percentage pass of WASSCE results for school candidates in 2015 and 2016 were 38.68 per cent and 52.97 per cent, respectively.

He said: “A total of 923,486 (Nine hundred and twenty- three thousand, four hundred and eighty-six) candidates, representing 59.22 per cent, obtained minimum of credits in five subjects and above, including English Language and Mathematics.”



According to him, the results of 214,952 (Two hundred and fourteen thousand, nine hundred and fifty-two) candidates, representing 13.79 per cent of the total candidature for the examination are being withheld in connection with various reported cases of examination malpractice.



He explained that the cases of examination malpractice are being investigated, adding that reports of the investigations will be presented to the appropriate committee of the Council in due course for consideration.

He disclosed that a total of 1,559,162 (One million, five hundred and fifty-nine thousand, one hundred and sixty-two) candidates sat for the examination.



He said: “Out of the total number of candidates that sat for the examination, 1,471,151 (One million, four hundred and seventy-one thousand, one hundred and fifty-one) candidates, representing 94.36 per cent have their results fully processed and released, while 95,734 (Ninety-five thousand, seven hundred and thirty-four) candidates, representing 5.64 per cent have a few of their subjects still being processed due to errors traceable to the candidates in the course of registration or writing the examination. Such errors are being corrected by the Council to enable the affected candidates get their results fully processed and released subsequently.”


In the analysis of the results, he said: “Of the total number of candidates that sat for the examination, 1,490,356 (one million, four hundred and ninety thousand, three hundred and fifty-six) candidates, representing 95.59 per cent obtained credits and above in two subjects. 1,436,024 (one million, four hundred and thirty-six thousand, twenty-four) candidates, representing 92.44 per cent obtained credits and above in three subjects.



Correction of errors



“1,357,193 (one million, three hundred and fifty-seven thousand, one hundred and ninety-three) candidates, representing 87.05 per cent obtained credits and above in four subjects. 1,243,772 (one million, two hundred and forty-three thousand, seven hundred and seventy-two) candidates, representing 79.77 per cent obtained credits and above in five subjects. 1,084,214 (one million, eighty-four thousand, two hundred and fourteen) candidates, representing 69.54 per cent obtained credits and above in six subjects.”



Source: Vanguard

Published in News Letter News

The Federal Government has ordered the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) to separate Christian Religious Knowledge and Islamic Religious Knowledge in the basic education curriculum.


Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, gave the order yesterday in Abuja, at the meeting of Ministers of Education with education stakeholders from six geo-political zones and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).


The meeting attended by the commissioners for Education from various states of the federation was part of the ongoing efforts to strengthen the partnership within the three tiers of government in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals 4 (SDG4).


The minister noted that Nigeria has selected the Goal 4 of the SDGs, which emphasises inclusive and quality education for all and promotion of lifelong learning, for implementation in view of the importance of education as a fulcrum to national development.


Adamu, who was represented by the Minister of State for Education, Professor Anthony Anwukah, said the directive to separate the subjects becomes imperative in view of the various complaints by Nigerians, especially the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) that has been vociferous about the issue.


He noted that the collapse of the subjects was not done by the current administration as it was an effort by the last administration of President Goodluck Jonathan to reduce the number of subjects offered by pupils and students in schools.

According to him, “There is this controversy over the merger of CRK and IRK in the school curriculum. There were complaints by parents that children were overloaded with so many subjects and the recommendation then was to merge one or two subjects. Unfortunately, water and oil were merged together and it is not working.”

The minister also noted in his keynote address the commitment of the Federal Government to revamping the education sector and appealed to the state governments as well as relevant stakeholders to support the federal government’s effort.

He noted that the federal government was aware that in the journey towards achieving the Education 2030 Agenda, key issues including the phenomenon of out-of-school children, insecurity in and around the schools and infrastructure decay must be addressed.

The minister said there was also the need to have credible and reliable data, and how to address the challenge of poor teacher quality as well as teacher gaps, low carrying capacity in tertiary institutions, and poor learning outcomes.

He said: “We recognise that the task of revamping the education sector is challenging, the ministry of education cannot do it alone. Our task is to coordinate national efforts to meet our national goals and objectives.”




Published in News Letter News

THE enrolment of children in school at an early age has been described as one of the major ways of bringing out the best in them.

Making this assertion in Lagos during the graduation ceremony of Chessington Montesorri School, Agege, Lagos, the proprietress, Mrs. Folashade Koiku, said that young pupils would contribute immensely to the development of the country if introduced to education early.

While urging parents to do all they could to invest more in their children’s academics, Koiku called on government to put the right infrastructure in place so as to boost the quality of education in the country.

She said, “Children need to be exposed to education early enough so that their potentials can be fully harnessed.

“For example, if you leave a child to grow up in the forest, he will never speak the human language no matter how old he or she is.

But if you attach that same child to a human family, with time they will learn and understand how to speak like them too. This type of positive development is what education does to a child if brought in contact with it quite early.

“Although private school owners are doing their best to lift the standard of education in the country, there is an urgent need for the federal, state and local governments to step in and put the required structures in place to further improve the quality, especially for the benefit of the little children who are tomorrow’s leaders.”

Source: Punch



Published in News Letter News


One third of dementia cases could be prevented with some basic lifestyle changes and better education during childhood, researchers have found.

The nine factors which damage the brain notably include hearing loss, obesity and smoking, according to the study published in The Lancet on Thursday.

Nearly 50 million people around the world suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s, according to the latest estimates.

This figure could balloon to 132 million by 2050.
Dementia, which is caused by physical changes in the brain, leads to memory loss and hampers other mental abilities.

“Our results suggest that around 35 percent of dementia is attributable to a combination of the following nine risk factors: education to a maximum of age 11-12 years, mid-life hypertension, mid-life obesity, hearing loss, late-life depression, diabetes, physical inactivity, smoking, and social isolation,” the study said.

Researchers found if people stayed in school until the age of 15, the benefits of education and socialisation would help reduce the cases of dementia by eight percent.

“Although dementia is diagnosed in later life, the brain changes usually begin to develop years before,” said lead author Professor Gill Livingston, from University College London.

“Acting now will vastly improve life for people with dementia and their families and, in doing so, will transform the future of society.”

The researchers said maintaining good hearing between the ages of 45 and 65 reduces the number of cases by nine percent.

Quitting smoking could reduce the number of cases by five percent, it said.

Other factors contributing to the risk include depression (four percent), physical inactivity (three percent), social isolation (two percent), high blood pressure (two percent), obesity (one percent) and type 2 diabetes (one percent).

The study said the global cost of dementia in 2015 was estimated to be $818bn, and that this figure would continue to rise.

It said nearly 85 percent of these costs were “related to family and social, rather than medical, care”.

The researchers noted, however, that the study was limited.

“We have not incorporated other potential risk factors, such as diet, alcohol, living near major roads, or sleep, which could be relevant,” it said.

“Therefore, the potentially preventable fraction of dementia might be underestimated in our figures.”




Published in News Letter News

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) said on Saturday that there would be no rescheduling of examination for candidates who reported late for the mop-up examination. JAMB Registrar, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, said this while reacting to complaints by candidates sitting for the mop-up examination at the board’s Computer-Based Centre (CBT) in Bwari, FCT.


Oloyede, who led  some staff members on the supervision of the exercise, said the exam was a supplementary Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) being conducted in 170 centres across the country.


JAMB-CBT-Centre He said 85, 000 candidates slated for the mop-up exam were notified through text messages and warned those who came late that the board would not reschedule the exam.


“There is nothing you can do … we placed adverts in newspapers, sent e-mails and text messages and if you did not get it, it means that you were not invited for the exam.


“A bulk Short Message Service (SMS) was equally sent to your telephone numbers that you provided during the registration.


“We will not reschedule the exam for people who came late,” Oloyede said. On complaints about system failure, Oloyede explained that the computers had been programmed to work under a specific time frame and urged candidates to engage the computers regularly to avoid disruption.


According to him, if a candidate sits down in the exam hall doing nothing, the computer is likely to shut down because there is a time frame for its usage.


“If you do not use it, it will go off. When you sit and you are not doing anything within that time frame, we also monitor from our system to ensure you that candidates are not cheating,” The 85, 000 candidates of the 1.7 million enrolled for the 2017 UTME had registered late for the exam and also had some challenges with the exam.


The mop-up examination which held in two sessions lasted for two hours from 7.00 a.m. to 9.00 a.m.  



Source: Vanguardngr


Published in News Letter News

"A hen drinks water while it raises its head upward."

- Vira (Democratic Republic of the Congo -- DRC) Proverb



Background, Meaning and Everyday Use of the Proverb:

The Kivira language or Vira is a Bantu language spoken by the Bavira people currently living in Uvira town near Lake Tanganyika in the Southern Kivu Province in the eastern

 part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It is a tonal language and forms the base for one group called Zob, a Bantu group that came from the Luba Empire in Katanga. According to the history a group of immigrants split into two: one headed to Mountain Mitumba and the other one followed Lake Tanganyika. Then the two immigrant groups met again in Southern Kivu province and settled in Fizi and Uvira.


In the 17th century these people were divided by the Belgium administration into several small groups. These groups are known today as Bavira and Bahololo. Those who later crossed the lake are now known as Bagoma and Bajiji and are found today in Kigoma and Ujiji, Tanzania. All these people spoke the same language.


In the later 18th century during King Mukumuka Muluta’s reign (1898-1932) a war broke between the Bavira and Bafulero due to the highland of Sange. Many people lost their lives. To resolve this dispute between this two communities the Bavira named Benelenge to lead them while the Bafulero were led by Bahamba. The Belgium colony imposed a political marriage between the Bafulero and the Bavira.





This marriage was between the daughter of the King of the Bafulero “Mukogabo” and the King of the Bavira “Makumika Muluta” so Muluta became the son in law of Mukogoba. The two interchanged their language. That is why even today so many Bavira speak Kifulero more than their own language Kivira. That is the reason why the elites from the Bavira advocate the use of Kivira language in all their ritual ceremonies such as birth, marriage, circumcision and death. Both the Bavira and the Bafulero keep cattle and also farm.










To many people today “thank you” are two words that are very hard to pronounce. This Vira proverb teaches us how we should always remember the Supreme God who lives in Heaven by thanking God for everything that God has done and continues to do for us.



Abuja – The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has urged GCE candidates to endeavour to collect their certificates within four years of writing the examination as any delay beyond that will attract custody fee.


Mr Demianus Ojijeogu, the Head of Public Affairs Department, WAEC, Nigeria disclosed this in a telephone interview on Thursday in Abuja.


WASSEC candidate The West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for private candidates, commonly referred to as WAEC GCE, is usually taken in November/December every year.


Ojijeogu said: “ the normal charge for the certificate is N3, 500 and only payable by those whose certificates were issued between zero and four years.


“But from five to nine years is N8, 500; 10 to 14 years N13, 500; 15 to 19 years N18, 500 while 20 years and above will be charged N23, 500. “ These charges are for custody fee; for keeping the certificates for so long because it occupies space in our office.


It will also serve as a deterrent to others. “ I don’t know the reason why people will sit for exams and their certificates are ready yet they will not come for collection.


What was the essence of the certificate in the first place?’’ He also said that requirements for collection of the GCE certificates within Nigeria were an application letter, sworn affidavit from the High Court, online result print- out, one passport-size photograph, photo card and identity card.



Source: Vanguard



Published in News Letter News
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