Tag Archives: education

UNILAG Crisis: Babalakin resign as Pro-Chancellor.

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The University of Lagos Pro-Chancellor Wale Babalakin (SAN), has resigned following an alleged disagreement with the Nigerian Government on the visitation panel sent to the university.

“I would like to thank the President of the Federal of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari for giving me the opportunity to serve as the Pro-Chancellor of the University of Lagos (the “University”) from May 2017 till date,” Babalakin said in his resignation letter addressed to minister for education Adamu Ada

“I am also grateful that I was considered fit to be the Chairman of the Federal Government Negotiation Team on the Agreement reached with university unions in 2009, from 6th January 2017 till date. I equally want to thank you sir, for your role in recommending me to the President.”


#Newsworthy…

As school resumes: Sept. 14 resumption, only for final year students – Lagos Gov. [Nigeria]

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The Lagos state government has announced that only final-year students will be resuming when tertiary institutions reopen next Monday in the state.

Tokunbo Wahab, Special Adviser on Education to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, stated this.

Wahab said, “Basically, we are at a point where scientifically we’ve been proven to have flattened the curve. And it invariably means that we are not as exposed as we used to be some five, four, three months back.

So, consequently, we have to find a way to bring our lives back to normal. And in doing that, education is very critical to whatever we are going to do.

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“In the past few weeks, we’ve been putting in place measures and facilities that will enable our children come back to school.

“Even at that, what we seek to do from next week is to start a phased reopening of our tertiary institutions.

“On the 14th we have announced that our tertiary institutions are going to open to our students for the first time after six months.”

Wahab said the students have been having their lectures online all along and “they are going to come on campus to have their revision one-on-one and then they can now have their exams and their projects.”

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“For our tertiary (institutions) from on the 14th, we are going to start with the final-year students across our tertiary institutions. With those final-year students, we are sure that they are older, they are more mature, and they are going to meet up with the protocol as put in place by the institutions based on the regulations of the NCDC (Nigeria Centre for Disease Control).

“After we have phased them out, maybe after their exams, then, those in the penultimate year will come on campus. So, we are not going to put all our students on campus at the same time.

“For our secondary, from on the 21st, they are also going to have a phased resumption.” Wahab concluded.

Recall with Noble Reporters Media that Schools in the country had been shut in March as part of measures to curb the spread of the deadly covid-19 disease.


#Newsworthy…

As school resumes: Teacher in Senegal crowdfunds school rebuild

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Schoolteacher Mamadou Junior Diakhaté is on a mission to rebuild a school in Senegal in time for students to pass their exams to enter high school.

The teacher nicknamed “Junior” used his social media accounts to crowdfund the rebuild and has raised about 3,000 euros.

The institution was shut due to the coronavirus pandemic in March and only pupils who were sitting the tests could partially return in June, coinciding with the heavy rain period.

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“This school must host students on September 14th for exams and look at the state of the classrooms. So we came to give a hand,” said Diakhaté.

“With the money we buy equipment, then we publish on social media the invoices, everything the money was use for. We show before and after photos and regular updates. So people trust us because they see that their donation is used for something and not used for other purposes .”-

Thanks to his popular Twitter page, he has raised about 3,000 euros. But he says one headteacher accused him of playing politics.

But many other schools in the country are in the same state. He’s received about 40 requests from schools in similar conditions.


#Newsworthy…

As school resumes: Public schools suffer reduction as kids move to Private.

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By the time the school year ended this spring, Clara Obermeier knew remote learning was not a good option for her two children.

Her 13-year-old daughter had grown withdrawn after going months without seeing her friends. Her 11-year-old son had struggled academically, and due to a Zoom glitch, was frequently blocked from the virtual breakout rooms where the rest of his classmates were assigned to work in small groups. And neither Obermeier, an engineer, nor her husband, an active-duty officer in the U.S. Coast Guard, have jobs that will allow them to work from home full-time this fall.

“I waited and waited to figure out what the plan was from the school system,” Obermeier says. On July 21, Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland announced that the district would offer virtual-only instruction at least through January. “At that point, we were like, OK, this is definitely not going to work out for us,” she says.

So Obermeier pulled her children from the public school district and enrolled them in St. Bartholomew School, a private Catholic school in Bethesda, Md., that charges $13,600 in tuition and is planning to bring all students back to campus by Sept. 21 after a phased reopening beginning Sept. 8.

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Such decisions are playing out across the country ahead of the first day of school, as districts announce reopening plans and individual families craft ad-hoc solutions in preparation for what will be, at best, an unusual school schedule. But the solutions available to wealthier families — from private schools to pricey learning pods — have highlighted the ways the pandemic is exacerbating educational inequities. While many students struggled through the spring to access the most basic remote learning opportunities, often without home Internet service and computers, others had the benefit of private tutors or all-day virtual instruction provided by their schools.

“Schools are highly unequal. But the ability of families to provide education is even more unequal,” says Richard Kahlenberg, director of K-12 equity at The Century Foundation, a progressive think tank.

That’s a fact acknowledged even by parents who can afford private tutoring or private school for their children, and who struggle with the question of how to help their own kids without exacerbating educational inequity. Mayssoun Bydon, the managing partner at the Institute for Higher Learning, which offers test prep and admissions consulting, expects the coming school year to reveal an educational divide “like we’ve never seen before.” And yet, Bydon hired a private tutor for her own son, who attends a private school. “I felt like I couldn’t afford to just fail him personally,” she says.

Fall reopening plans vary widely among schools. About half of the country’s public school districts are planning on full in-person instruction, but 41% of the highest-poverty districts are beginning the year with entirely remote learning, according to an analysis by the Center on Reinventing Public Education. That means many of the students who are most likely to need the academic, social and emotional support of in-person instruction won’t receive it.

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As of late July, 40% of private schools were planning on full in-person reopening, 19% were preparing for entirely virtual instruction, and 41% were offering a mix of both, according to a survey by the National Association of Independent Schools, which represents 1,600 private schools across the U.S.

Many of the private schools that are planning to bring students back for in-person learning have the advantage of small class sizes and large outdoor spaces that make social distancing easier, in addition to endowments and donations that have made it possible to upgrade air filtration systems, revamp nurses’ offices, set up tented classrooms outside, secure COVID-19 testing and hire more staff.

“Schools are highly unequal. But the ability of families to provide education is even more unequal.”

In Brooklyn, Poly Prep Country Day School— a 166-year-old private school where families pay as much as $53,000 in tuition and fees — will reopen for in-person learning on Sept. 8, setting up 70 “socially distanced tents” across its 25-acre campus. Younger students will be divided into pods that will be kept separate from one another, and the average lower-school class size has shrunk to 12 students. The school will require a negative COVID-19 test for everyone returning to school, and one family’s anonymous donation will cover testing costs for faculty.

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At Boston Trinity Academy, a pop-up on the school’s website asks visitors for patience “as we are experiencing an unusually high number of applications.” Compared to a typical summer, the small Christian school saw a 40% increase in applications this summer, mostly from public school families. But social distancing requirements led the school to cap some classes at nine or 12 students, limiting how many new students they can accept. Admissions Director Bisi Oloko said the school’s seventh grade was full, but two students transferring there from other schools were willing to repeat sixth grade to get a spot at Boston Trinity. Boston Public Schools, a district that serves more than 53,000 students across 125 schools, will begin the year remotely until Oct. 1, when the district plans to begin a hybrid model. Boston Trinity Academy, which enrolls about 230 students at a tuition rate of $20,700, will begin classes in person on Sept. 8, with about 10% of students choosing a virtual option instead.

“There are disgruntled parents out there,” says Headmaster Frank Guerra. “There are people who felt like their school systems let them down, and their kids were almost like on a three-month vacation, and that’s devastating.”

That’s why, for parents who can afford it, private schools with unique reopening plans have become an attractive solution.

Roxana Reid, founder of the New York City educational consulting firm Smart City Kids Inc, saw a “ridiculous uptick” in business beginning in June, as she heard from families looking to transfer from public to private schools. Bydon, of the Institute for Higher Learning, has seen a 38% increase in her business since March as parents seek private tutors or ask the company to develop personal curricula for their children.

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The experience has left Bydon worried about the growing divide between students at elite private schools and those at underfunded public schools.

“We’re going to end up with a real educational divide between the haves and the have-nots and without a way to reverse it,” Bydon says. “Who’s going to fail are the kids who don’t have the money.”

But Bydon, who lives in New York City, can also relate to her clients who have sought out expensive help for their kids. When schools shut down in March, her son was in kindergarten and had just been learning to read, so she hired a private tutor to make sure he didn’t fall behind. “Nobody imagined that there was going to be another full academic year of this,” she says.

In Vienna, Va., Colleen Ganjian withdrew her daughter from Fairfax County Public Schools after the district announced it would begin the school year remotely, enrolling her in a private Catholic school instead.

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“I just want her to have consistency,” says Ganjian, an educational consultant and founder of DC College Counseling. “The bottom line is I am so busy. I own a business, and I can’t be that person. I can’t provide her with the consistency that she needs. That’s kind of why I feel I needed to look for an alternative.”

On Aug. 26, she dropped her daughter off at her new school “bright and early” for the first day of third grade, in person and wearing a mask. “I think she was excited to just get out of the house,” Ganjian says.

Exacerbating inequity
The role of private schools has become a hot button issue within the contentious debate over whether it’s safe to send kids back to class. President Donald Trump has called on public schools to fully reopen in person, and if they don’t, he said school funding “should follow students so parents can send their child to the private, charter, religious or home school of their choice.” Education Secretary Betsy DeVos issued a rule for more coronavirus relief funding to be directed to private schools, prompting lawsuits from states and school districts in response.

On July 31, Montgomery County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles issued an order directing all non-public schools to remain closed for in-person instruction until at least Oct. 1, saying “at this point the data does not suggest that in-person instruction is safe for students or teachers.” That prompted backlash from private school parents. Many of them signed petitions, arguing that private and parochial schools should be allowed to develop plans in line with CDC and state guidance “without arbitrary and capricious interference from county officials.”

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Obermeier was one of several parents who sued the county to reverse Gayles’s decision. The lawsuit argued that private schools had spent time and “millions of dollars” to ensure safe environments for children and staff, and it accused Gayles of being driven more by concerns over equity than public health.

“It appears to be a political response, an answer to complaints by some public school parents about ‘why their schools are closed and private schools are not,’” the lawsuit stated.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, issued an executive order overruling the county’s directive, giving school districts and private schools across the state the authority to decide when and how to reopen. (An attorney representing the parents said their lawsuit has not been dismissed but that they’re focusing on “promoting collaboration between Montgomery County and nonpublic schools.”) While all public school districts in Maryland are beginning the year virtually, Hogan encouraged schools to reopen in person, announcing on Aug. 27 that all districts had met state benchmarks to offer some in-person instruction.

In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, announced that any school—public or private— in a county on the state’s coronavirus watchlist cannot reopen in-person. But schools can apply for waivers to reopen early for kindergarten through sixth grade. Informal surveys by the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) found that “most CAIS schools that include grades K-6 are keen to re-open on campus” and many have applied for waivers. The association said it believes that “on-campus schooling is better for kids than distance learning, provided it can be done safely.”

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It’s not yet clear whether families are withdrawing from public schools in significant numbers. A survey by the National Association of Independent Schools conducted in August found that 51% of private schools either maintained or grew enrollment for the coming school year, and 58% reported a “larger than average” number of admission inquiries from families in other types of schools — a category that could include traditional public schools, charter schools and parochial schools. Some private schools have also faced financial challenges during the pandemic, reporting a drop in international student enrollment and fewer fundraising opportunities. More than 100 private schools — mostly private Catholic schools — have permanently closed this year because of pandemic-related challenges, according to the libertarian Cato Institute.

Education experts warn that moving children from public to private schools would have a negative effect on public schools in the long run.

“I can’t say that I fault individual parents for doing what they think is best for their own kids. But the secession of upper middle class families from public school to private school is very bad for the country and for educational equality,” Kahlenberg says.

And the very thing that is drawing some parents to private schools is also cause for concern among private school teachers. While teachers’ unions have opposed plans for in-person learning, threatening to strike if teachers and other school staff aren’t protected, most private school teachers are not unionized and have less leverage to object to their schools’ plans.

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As of Aug. 30, nearly 3,000 teachers and other employees at more than 350 private schools had signed two anonymous petitions, calling for their schools to pursue virtual-only instruction to protect students’ and educators’ health. In interviews with Media (known to Noble Reporters Media), several private school teachers said they are worried about the virus spreading when in-person classes begin but fear retaliation for raising concerns about school plans.

“There may be fears around enrollment numbers dropping that are driving people to be back on campus, fears around losing families who are paying pretty enormous tuitions,” said a teacher who organized one of the petitions and who requested anonymity for fear of being fired. “At schools that can offer a robust, successful remote program, it feels irresponsible not to take that route. Our hearts go out to underfunded public schools that do not have the luxury of making this choice that many private schools can make.”

That’s something that Erica Turner has been thinking about a lot, as both a parent and an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studies racism and inequity in educational policy. She recently published a guide for Equity in Pandemic Schooling, intended to be a resource for communities and families as they make plans for the coming school year.

When families abandon public schools and turn to private options, Turner wrote, “they undermine the schools upon which less privileged families depend,” making it harder for other students, especially low-income children of color, to get good educations. The guide encourages parents to advocate for more school funding from Congress, demand the resources to make remote learning accessible for all students—including those who are homeless or have disabilities—and keep their own children enrolled in public schools.

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Obermeier, the mother in Maryland, says the issue of equity weighed heavily on her when she decided to pull her kids from public school. “It was hard to think that, ‘OK I can solve it for myself,” while many others in the district would be left without a solution, she says.

As an immigrant from Ecuador, she also worries that the challenges of this school year will disproportionately affect low-income families or immigrants who don’t speak English and who can’t easily help their children learn at home. “To me, the most equitable thing to have done was to open the schools and give priority to precisely the kids who need it,” she says.

But as more school districts fail to reopen, families will continue to find individual, if inequitable, solutions.

“In the end, we just have to make sure we have our priorities straight,” Obermeier says, “and for us right now, it’s stability and the least amount of disruption for our kids.”


#Newsworthy…

As school resumes: Universities in Senegal reopening

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Senegal’s universities began reopening their doors on Tuesday after being closed for five months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

At the county’s largest university, Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar, the 78,000 students were split into three groups.

Some will attend classes in person on rotation with others who will do online classes.

Senegal has eight universities but other institutions will open later in the week.

They must now adhere to COVID-19 safety rules, which include social distancing measures.

There have been over 13,500 coronavirus cases in the country with more than 250 deaths, according to data from The World Health Organization.


#Newsworthy…

Katsina State Transportation University To Be Ready By Sept. 2021 – FG

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The Federal Government on Saturday said the Transportation University being constructed in Daura, Katsina State, will be ready by September 2021.

Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, made the disclosure in Katsina during an inspection of the project.

The $50m project is a corporate social responsibility project of CCECC, the Chinese company handling the nation’s rail project.

Mr Amaechi explained that the Chinese company just got approval from the Katsina State Government as proper construction commences next month.

The Minister added that the CCECC will provide the manpower and technical skills for five years before the federal government will be able to take over.

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The groundbreaking ceremony of the university was done by President Muhammadu Buhari in December 2019, but the coronavirus pandemic stalled efforts on the project.

FILE: President Muhammadu Buhari (centre) was part of the groundbreaking ceremony of the University in December 2019.

A Courtesy Call
Mr Amaechi visited Katsina on Saturday with a team of consultants to pay a courtesy call to Governor Aminu Masari.

The Minister thanked the Governor for his support in making the project see the light of day.

In his response, Governor Masari thanked the Federal Government for the decision to establish the Transport University in Daura.

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According to the governor, opportunities that come with education are limitless.

He assured the Minister of his administration’s commitment to making sure that the State remains hospitable to the project’s success.

Located in Sandamu Local Government Area in Daura Emirate, the specialised university will help the country build a retinue of competent railway engineers who can maintain and improve on the country’s new rail infrastructure, Mr Amaechi has said.

Amaechi also noted that about 150 Nigerians are presently studying in China through University scholarships paid for by CCECC


#Newsworthy…

As school resumes: Sanwo olu announces resumption dates for Lagos schools

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– 6:08 PM –

After months of being shut down, schools in Lagos are set to re-open in September, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu revealed on Saturday.

The Governor, in a regular briefing on the state’s COVID-19 status, said tertiary institutions in the state will re-open from September 14.

Primary and secondary schools are also tentatively scheduled to re-open from September 21.

“This decision is not cast in stone and is subject to review of our ongoing modelling and what procedure comes out from the Ministry of Health,” Sanwo-Olu said.

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– 6:12 PM – 

The Governor explained that the decision was based on indications that the pandemic has peaked in the state, as the number of new cases continues to steadily decline.

Sanwo-Olu reiterated that restaurants are now permitted to open for in-dining services in the state, although they must continue to ensure spaces are only filled up to 50 percent capacity at all times.

On the re-opening of event centres, bars, night clubs, beaches, cinemas, the Governor said a review will be done in September to decide whether to allow a re-opening of such public spaces.

Responding to a question on whether the Federal Government’s 10 pm curfew still holds in Lagos, Sanwo-Olu replied in the affirmative.

“These are challenging times for all of us,” he said.

#Newsworthy…

Edo gets $75m world bank loan for education sector revamp – Obaseki.

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The World Bank has approved a $75 million facility to support the Edo State government’s effort at revamping its education sector.

Governor Godwin Obaseki disclosed this on Thursday during a visit to Usen in Ovia South-West Local Government Area of the state for his re-election campaign rally.

He noted that the Board of the World Bank gave the approval on Wednesday, saying it was in recognition of the successes recorded by his administration in the education sector.

“I am very glad to inform you that our efforts in revamping education in Edo State and Nigeria have now been richly rewarded.

“Yesterday, the Board of the World Bank approved a $75 million facility for the revamping of education in Edo State,” the governor told a crowd of supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the rally.

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According to Governor, education is very important and the state government has begun working to reposition and re-enact the sector, starting with the basic education.

He added, “What that means is that over the next three years, we will have about N40 billion to utilise in changing the face of education in Edo and Nigeria.

“This is because of the fantastic work which members of our team have undertaken in the past few years to show the world what we can do with our educational system.”

The governor gave an assurance that the loan would be utilised to change the face of education in the state for the next three years.

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He believes the intervention fund will help to expand the existing Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (EdoBEST) programme from the basic education level to the secondary level, as well as reset tertiary education system in the state on the path of progress.

Governor Obaseki commended his cabinet members for the successes recorded in the education sector, stressing that he was not afraid of signing Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) whenever the need arise following the progress made so far.

“It will interest you to know that this facility will help us at the secondary school level to do what we have started doing at the basic education level so that by the time a child has gone through five years of learning, that child will be exposed not only to learning and literacy but also to a vocation.

“This is the last time in our history that our education system will produce ‘Agberos’,” the governor stated.


#Newsworthy…

As school resumes: 6-year-old and above to wear masks in Spain.

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Children above the age of six in Spain will be required to wear face masks at school at all times, the government said Thursday, as it seeks to restart lessons despite a surge in coronavirus infections.

“The use of masks will be mandatory in general from the age of six, even if social distance is maintained,” Education Minister Isabel Celaa told a news conference ahead of schools’ reopening next month.

Spain’s 17 regional governments, which are responsible for health care and education, have in recent days outlined a patchwork of different measures, leading critics to charge there was a lack of coordination.

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The northern region of Cantabria’s requirement for children as young as three to wear masks sparked particular controversy.

As well as mask-wearing, pupils will also have to maintain a social distance of 1.5 metres (five feet) from each other, Celaa said, except for young children who will be allowed to mix only with their classmates but not with outsiders.

Other measures include requiring children to wash their hands at least five times a day, regularly ventilating classrooms and taking pupils’ temperature.

The goal is for children return to schools instead of having online lessons as they did at the end of the last school term due to the pandemic.

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“We aim for all students to be present,” Celaa said.

Spain’s schools shut in mid-March when the country imposed a strict three-month lockdown to curb the spread of the virus and have not re-opened since.

New cases are growing at one of the fastest rates in Europe and debate has raged in Spain over how to protect children from infection in schools.

Some parents say they will refuse to send their children back to class because they fear it won’t be safe.

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The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Spain, a nation of around 47 million people, surpassed 400,000 this week. Nearly 29,000 people have died, one of the world’s highest tolls.

Against this backdrop, local authorities have toughened measures to curb the spread of the virus. Madrid city hall announced Thursday that public swimming pools would close on September 1 and parks will be closed at night.

The Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, which include holiday hotspots Ibiza and Mallorca, announced Wednesday that beaches would be shut at night.

With nightclubs and bars closed across Spain, many young people have taken to gathering and drinking in parks and on beaches at night.


#Newsworthy…

As school resumes: Britain reverse face mask policy.

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The government has reversed policy on wearing facemasks in schools in England, sparking fresh criticism about its handling of the coronavirus outbreak.

Ministers had insisted face coverings were not necessary when children go back to school from next week after nearly six months out of the classroom amid concern about a rise in infections.

But in new guidance late Tuesday, the British government advised that secondary school students and staff should wear face coverings in corridors and communal areas.

The change is being seen as another U-turn, just weeks after ministers were forced to scrap the use of an algorithm which gave 17- and 18-year-olds lower-than-expected exam grades.

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Teaching unions have been calling for English schools to follow guidance in Scotland, which has a separate education system, that requires pupils to cover their nose and mouth between lessons.

But while welcoming the change, critics including the main opposition Labour party said ministers had shirked their responsibility by leaving enforcement to individual schools.

Labour’s education spokeswoman Kate Green slammed a “half-baked U-turn”. “The government should have given clear guidance and a plan to deliver it,” she said.

Under-fire Education Secretary Gavin Williamson had insisted masks were not required in schools and Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office said there was no plan to review the policy.

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But Williamson, widely blamed for the furore over exam results, on Wednesday said the government would now follow World Health Organization advice for children aged 12 and over to wear masks.

“Outside of local lockdown areas face coverings won’t be required in schools, though schools will have the flexibility to introduce measures if they believe it is right in their specific circumstances,” he said on Wednesday.

In this file photo taken on April 12, 2020. A handout image released by 10 Downing Street, shows Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he delivers a television address after returning to 10 Downing Street after being discharged from St Thomas’ Hospital, in central London on April 12, 2020. Pippa FOWLES / 10 Downing Street / AFP.

“I hope these steps will provide parents, pupils and teachers with further reassurance.”

Some 41,500 people have died in the coronavirus outbreak in Britain — the worst death toll in Europe — and the government response to the pandemic has been criticised.

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Ministers were accused of not reacting quickly enough, failing to ensure enough protective equipment for frontline health and social care workers, and over the testing regime.

London reversed policy on the wearing of facemasks in shops in England after initially saying they were not necessary, and was forced to backtrack on a planned reopening of primary schools in July.

Education is a devolved issue for regional governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Older students in Northern Ireland will be asked to wear face coverings outside classrooms from next week. The Welsh Assembly in Cardiff is due to make its decision on Wednesday.


#Newsworthy…

UNILAG crisis: Court strikes out all cases.

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The National Industrial Court sitting in Lagos has struck out two cases in respect of the crisis rocking the University of Lagos (UNILAG).

Justice Jeremiah Essien struck out the suits on Tuesday following the formal withdrawal of the applications filed by lawyers in relation to the crisis.

One of the suits was filed by Professor Olutoyin Ogundipe to challenge his removal as the vice-chancellor by the Governing Council under the chairmanship of Dr. Wale Babalakin – a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).

The other suit was filed by the Senate of the university to challenge Professor Ogundipe’s removal and his replacement with Professor Theophilus Soyombo by the governing council.

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In the first case, Professor Ogundipe’s lawyers, Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), and Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), told the court that their client had filed a notice of discontinuance.

The lawyers also drew the attention of the court to certain news reports in the media which falsely indicated that the court sat on Friday last week and refused an ex-parte application filed by Professor Ogundipe.

Justice Essien dismissed the news and said that since he did not sit on the case formally, such a report must be part of the fake news menace currently plaguing the nation.

Professor Taiwo Osipitan (SAN), who represented the university’s Senate, also applied for the withdrawal of the suit filed by the Senate.

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There was no objection to the withdrawal of both suits by Mr Tola Oshobi (SAN), who represented Dr Babalakin in both cases.

Following the applications for withdrawal, Justice Essien struck out the suits.

He encouraged authorities of the institution to resolve the raging controversy amicably, stressing that such was not good for the image of a university.

The judge also said he was glad that the parties elected to withdraw the suit, thereby saving him from having to make pronouncements.


#Newsworthy…

As school resumes: NIDCOM issue warning to Parents

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The Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has warned parents against sending their children to schools in Northern Cyprus.

This follows several incessant and mysterious killing of Nigerians in the country.

Dabiri-Erewa stated this on Monday when she received a delegation at her office, led by Justice Amina Bello, mother of a Nigerian student, Ibrahim Khaleel, who was allegedly killed in that country.

She called on parents to be weary of sending their wards to Northern Cyprus as the country is not recognized by the United Nations except the Republic of Turkey, adding that Nigeria has no diplomatic ties with that country.

The NIDCOM boss, however, insisted that the country should be blacklisted given the preponderance of Nigerian students who have died mysteriously in that country without any prosecution or compensation whatsoever.

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“The time has come for us to blacklist all these Universities in Northern Cyprus and advise our students from seeking any form of admission there as it portends danger to their life and future”.

Read Full Statement Below:

*DEATH OF IBRAHIM KHALEEL BELLO: NIDCOM DEMANDS JUSTICE, URGES STUDENTS TO AVOID NORTHERN CYPRUS UNIVERSITIES

Abuja, Aug. 24, 2020 .
Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) has demanded that justice must be served accordingly on the sudden death of a 25-year old Nigerian student in Northern Cyprus, Mr Ibrahim Khaleel Bello and others killed in such mysterious circumstances in the country.

She made this passionate plea following a petition by Hon. Justice Amina Ahmad Bello, a Judge in Kaduna state High Court on the mysterious and , inexplicable death of her son, a third-year civil Engineering Degree student of Girne American University in Girne (Kyrenia), Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus ( TRNC) via Mersin 10, Turkey in Abuja on Monday.

Dabiri-Erewa called on parents to be weary of sending their wards to Northern Cyprus as the country is not recognized by the United Nations except the Republic of Turkey, adding that Nigeria has no diplomatic ties with that country.

She insisted that the Country should be blacklisted given the preponderance of Nigerian Students who have died mysteriously in that country without any prosecution or compensation whatsoever.

She assured the delegation led by Justice Bello, that NIDCOM will work with the Ministry of Justice, Nigerian Mission in Turkey and other relevant agencies to ensure justice is done , saying “ the death of Ibrahim khaleel Bello should be a tipping point to end the continuous killings of Nigerian students in that Country.”

Dabiri-Erewa reiterated her appeals to Nigerian parents to desist in sending their children to Northern Cyprus for any studies as most of the courses are not accredited and they end up killing the children., many of them unreported .

” The time has come for us to blacklist all these Universities in Northern Cyprus and advise our students from seeking any form of admission there as it portends danger to their life and future”, she said.

She added that the office of the Attorney General of the Federation has already reported the matter to Interpol for further investigation.

Earlier in an emotion-laden voice, Justice Amina Ahmad Bello, mother of the deceased, said her insistence on justice was not only for her son but also other Nigerian Students who have died mysteriously in the Girne American University Girne (Kyrenia), and other Universities in Northern Cyprus.

She narrated how her son was allegedly murdered and covered up by the authorities in Northern Cyprus as welll as the University authorities claiming it was a suicide mission having fallen from a seven-storey building.

She insisted that the report be investigated and all those found culpable be prosecuted as there was nothing to show that her son committed suicide.

Justice Bello said hours before her son was killed, she spoke with him, and he was expressing fears on his safety in the University environment.

” I don’t believe it was an accident or a suicide as I went to Cyprus barely 24 hours it happened and got to the mortuary where there was no scratch or wound on his body.

” I suspected foul play that my son was killed as the school was non- challant in breaking the news to me on my arrival there”

Justice Bello said hours before the boy died, he sent her a WhatsApp message that ” Mama, Please I want to come back home. Wallahi if i stay here, I will just die here without anybody batting an eyelash. I just need to come back home. Mama please try to understand that this isn’t a place for me”.

She alleged that it is possible some of the killed Nigerian students’ vital organs were harvested as her son’s stomach was opened and sutured when the corpse was finally released.

The late Ibrahim Khaleel Bello was among about 100 Nigerians killed and murdered in mysterious circumstances from 2016 to 2020 without prosecuting any of the assailants.

Other victims include, Kennedy Taomwabwa Dede, 28, student of Eastern Mediterranean University and was killed on Feb. 1, 2018, Walshak Augustine Ngok, a student of Marine Engineering at Near East University, murdered on April 19, 2019.

Others were Gabriel Soriwei, a first-year student of Electrical Electronics of Cyprus International University, Nicosia, Osabanjo Adeola Owoyale, 33, went missing and found dead on July 1, 2019.

The list includes Augustine Wallies killed on April 19, 2019, Stanley Eteimo, 28 years, Hassan Babatunde, 28, murdered, Temitayo Adigun, killed, Kubiat Abasi Abraham Okon, 24, killed, Oziegbe Gospower Airekugose and Olasubomi Ope among others not reported.

Signed
Gabriel Odu,
Media, Public Relations and Protocol Unit,
NIDCOM ok


#Newsworthy…

UNILAG crisis: Alumni reverse suit tackling Ogundipe’s romoval as VC.

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The Senate of the University of Lagos has filed a notice of discontinuance of a suit challenging the sack of Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe as Vice-Chancellor of the institution.

The notice of discontinuance dated August 24, 2020, was filed through the lawyer of the university’s senate, Professor Taiwo Osipitan, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).

In the suit filed before the National Industrial Court, the university’s senate had kicked against Ogundipe’s sacking by the Governing Council of the institution and his subsequent replacement with Professor Theophilus Soyombo, as acting vice-chancellor.

Apart from the governing council, the senate had listed its now suspended Pro-Chancellor, Dr Wale Babalakin (SAN); the Registrar, Mr Oladejo Azeez; Professor Soyombo and Professor Ogundipe as defendants in the suit.

It also asked the court to declare that Professor Ogundipe’s purported removal by the Governing Council vide an August 12, 2020 letter did not follow due process and was null and void.

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The Senate had asked the court to restrain Professor Soyombo from parading himself as the acting vice-chancellor of UNILAG.

However, Professor Osipitan explained that the decision of the senate to withdraw the suit followed the ‘latest developments’ on the issue.

On Friday last week, President Muhammadu Buhari had suspended both Dr Babalakin and Professor Ogundipe.

The President also reversed Professor Soyombo’s appointment as acting the acting vice-chancellor of the university.

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Three days later, the university’s Senate elected Professor Folasade Ogunsola as the acting vice-chancellor of UNILAG – the first female to hold such a position in the institution.

Professor Ogunsola, who was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC) of Development Services, contested the position along with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Management Services.

Of the 167 senate members who voted in the exercise, Professor Ogunsola garnered 135 votes as against the DVC Management Services who polled 31 votes, while one voided vote was recorded.

She is expected to act in the new role until the outcome of the Special Visitation Panel set up by the President.


#Newsworthy…

As school resumes: Please bear with us – Minister Emeka

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The Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba wants students to exercise more patience as Nigeria mulls the reopening of schools after months of forced closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nwajiuba who praised the students for their patience since schools were shut down in the country, gave an assurance that the Federal Ministry of Education is working with stakeholders for the safe reopening of the education centres.

“I urge our students who have actually exercised a lot of patience along with their parents … I urge you to bear with us a little bit more. The rioting needs to stop; there is nothing to riot about,” the minister stated during Monday’s briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.

Nwajiuba disclosed that there have been moves to safely reopen schools, noting that the guidelines for such have been given to higher institutions, with a number of them already expressing their commitment to adhere to the protocols.

He expressed confidence that relevant authorities would soon give a nod to the resumption of classes.

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“We don’t want to bandy around dates,” he said, “We remain positive.”

According to the Minister, the Federal Government is also in negotiation with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), reiterating that every player in the education sector is engaged on the reopening of schools.

“The PTF profiles for us a national response and everyone can tee off from there,” he added.

As part of measures to contain the spread of the pandemic in the country, the Federal Ministry of Education on March 19, 2020, ordered the immediate closure of tertiary institutions, secondary as well as primary schools nationwide.


#Newsworthy..

UNILAG crisis: Prof. Folasade Ogunsola retains seat as Acting VC elect.

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Senate members of the University of Lagos on Monday elected Professor Folasade Ogunsola as the acting Vice-Chancellor of the school.

Until her election, she was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Development Services.

She was also the provost of the College of Medicine, University of Lagos.

Professor Ogunsola’s research areas have been centered on the regulation and management of viral diseases, particularly HIV.

She is the principal investigator at AIDS Prevention Initiative in Nigeria (APIN) at the University of Lagos and has been the chairman of the Infection Control Committee of Lagos University Teaching Hospital.

Furthermore, she is the chairman of the National Association of Colleges of Medicine in Nigeria.

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Professor Ogunsola is expected to act in the new role until the outcome of the Special Visitation Panel set up by the President, Muhammadu Buhari.

Step Aside
This election follows the Federal Government’s directive that the University’s Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Wale Babalakin, and Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, recuse themselves from official duties, pending the outcome of the panel.

The Federal Government gave the directive last Friday in a press statement signed by the Federal Ministry of Education spokesman, Ben Goong.

It states, “Government also directs the Senate of the University of Lagos to immediately convene to nominate an acting Vice-Chancellor from amongst its members for confirmation by the Governing Council,” the statement added.

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Babalakin’s Governing Council had, on August 12, sacked Ogundipe as Vice-Chancellor over alleged financial misappropriation and misconduct.

Ogundipe, however, rejected the Council’s decision, saying the University’s due process had not been followed.

The University’s Senate, alumni, and labour unions also put out statements saying the due process had not been followed.

But Babalakin, in several media reactions, insisted that due process had been complied with in terminating Ogundipe’s appointment.

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The Presidential Panel, made up of seven members, is expected to determine whether the required steps were taken by the Council in sacking Ogundipe.

They are also expected “to make appropriate recommendations including sanctions for all those found culpable” in the investigation, which is expected to last for two weeks.

The panel will be inaugurated by the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, on August 26.

Members of the panel include Professor Tukur Sa’ad (Chairman), Barrister Victor Onuoha, Professor Ikenna Onyido, Professor Ekanem Braide, Professor Adamu K. Usman, Chief Jimoh Bankole and Barrister Grace Ekanem (Secretary).


#Newsworthy…

UNILAG crisis: Recuse yourselves from official duties – FG orders Babalakin and Ogundipe.

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– 09:55 PM –

The Federal Government on Friday directed the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council of the University of Lagos, Wale Babalakin, and Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe to recuse themselves from official duties, pending the outcome of the Special Visitation Panel set up by the President.

The information was announced in a press statement signed by the Federal Ministry of Education spokesman, Ben Goong.

More details to follow . . .

– 10:00 PM – Don't engage in further official duties - FG to UNILAG's Babalakin and Ogundipe

Babalakin’s Governing Council had, on August 12, sacked Ogundipe as Vice-Chancellor over alleged financial misappropriation and misconduct.

Ogundipe, however, rejected the Council’s decision, saying the University’s due process had not been followed.

The University’s Senate, alumni, and labour unions also put out statements saying the due process had not been followed.

But Babalakin, in several media reactions, insisted that due process had been complied with in terminating Ogundipe’s appointment.

#Newsworthy…