ABU to introduce courses on irrigation agronomy
By Gistflash News
July 14, 2021
The Division of Agricultural Colleges of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, is to introduce courses on irrigation agronomy to improve all-year-crops production.
Prof. Musa Mahadi, the Director of the Division, who made this known in an interaction with newsmen in Zaria on Wednesday, said that this was to enhance food security in the country.
According to Mahadi, irrigation agronomy means crop production with artificial supply of water.
He said the courses had become imperative considering the population explosion vis-à-vis climate threats to the rain-fed agriculture widely practised in Nigeria.
The director said the courses would be at the National and Higher Diploma levels to expose students to the technologies of irrigation farming to avert food shortage.
He noted that food production had been decreasing while population was on the increase, adding that this necessitated the need to look for other ways to improve food production.
Mahadi restated the institute’s commitment to providing more trained middle level manpower for the agricultural sector to augment government efforts at achieving food security.
He, however, appealed to government to scale-up its interventions in agriculture with additional inputs for modern farming to strengthen agricultural mechanisation initiatives and encourage modern farming.
According to him, this is one of the ways to encourage the youth to embrace agriculture and reduce unemployment in the country.
Mahadi noted that most of the soil in the country was deficient in nutrients hence the need for application of fertilisers, stressing that fertilisers were becoming too costly and unaffordable to most farmers.
He added that small holder farmers who produce the majority of farm produce in the country could not buy fertilisers due to high prices.
The don, therefore, urged government to come up with policies that would aid farmers to get the commodity at subsidised rate.
Mahadi said that it was imperative for the government at all levels to leverage technology to beef up agricultural production to prevent food scarcity as envisaged by some experts.
“The issue is that Nigeria has all the resources but a large part of agricultural land was not cultivated in the country due to lack of modern machinery for such services.
“For instance, the ox drawn plough is being used to till the land, but government should provide new policies for the supply of new farm machineries and technologies to farmers through the reactivation of tractor hiring scheme.
“It will go a long way in expanding farmlands used in food production,’’ Mahadi said.
He commended the Federal Government’s Anchor Borrowers Scheme, but advised that checks be introduced to ensure that the intervention reached the target group, not “political farmers’’.
SMEDAN introduces Entrepreneurship as a subject to primary, secondary schools
By Gistflash News
Sept 22, 2021
The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) began a capacity building workshop on entrepreneurship for primary and secondary schools teachers in Bayelsa on Wednesday.
Its South-South Coordinator, Mr Egbuna Iloba, said the agency was introducing entrepreneurship to primary and secondary schools across Nigeria under the National Schools Entrepreneurship Programme known as “Mind Shift’’.
He represented SMEDAN’s Director-General, Dr Dikko Radda, at the opening of the workshop.
Iloba said that the agency was collaborating with states’ Ministries of Education to prepare teachers to teach entrepreneurship as a subject.
He said inculcating entrepreneurship into schools curricula from the basic level was fundamental to redirecting the mind set of school leavers and graduates from being job seekers to entrepreneurs.
This would enable them to seize available opportunities to solve problems and create jobs, he added.
“Children are expected to unleash their innate wealth-creating potentialities by exploiting opportunities that abound in their respective communities as well as engage themselves in productive economic endeavours while in elementary school.
“What we are doing at this stage is to enhance the capacity of teachers who will in turn prepare pupils and students and convert them into entrepreneurs.
“In addition, after the training, schools are expected to create entrepreneurship clubs and schools enterprises.
“The clubs will compete for laurels at the regional and national levels where cash prizes will be given to the best three schools that will represent the country at global youth entrepreneurship events outside the country in 2022,’’ Iloba said.
In his remarks, Director in charge of Secondary Education in Bayelsa, Rev. Jacob Osusu, urged teachers to take advantage of the opportunity to pioneer the programme and lay a solid foundation for youths.
He represented Mr Gentle Emela, Bayelsa’s Commissioner for Education at the occasion.
Osusu also urged teachers to look beyond the immediate benefit of the workshop to embrace entrepreneurship and propagate same to their pupils and students.
He noted that the benefits of the training were life-long and would also prepare them for retirement life after the classroom.
Mr Tiamiu Ibrahim, a SMEDAN resource person at the workshop explained that the curriculum had 12 modules and was developed by the agency and the state’s Ministry of Education which is expected to take the programme to all schools in the state.
Mrs Lilian Kakiri, a participant and Head Teacher at Ebisam Group of Schools, Yenagoa, applauded the policy for involving private and public schools and hoped that it would contribute to tackling youth unemployment.
Also Mr David Singabelle, a teacher at Government Model School, Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa said the programme was long overdue and would lay a foundation for refocusing the school system beyond issuing certificates.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that100 teachers drawn from private and public schools in the eight local government areas of Bayelsa are participating in the three-day workshop.
Zulum wields big stick, suspends Ramat Poly Rector, others
By Gistflash News
Sept 21, 2021
Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno has suspended the Rector of Ramat Polytechnic, Dr Modu Kyari and other management staff of the institution.
Zulum wielded the big stick when he paid a surprise visit to the institution on Tuesday in Maiduguri.
He expressed disappointment with the condition of things in the polytechnic, where he served as rector from 2011 to 2015.
“As far as I am concerned, this polytechnic is dead, nothing is working.
“The workshops are not in existence, the mechanical workshop is not working, the agricultural workshop is not working, likewise the entrepreneurship centre is not working.
“The school is facing myriads of problems, ranging from lack of funding and commitment.
“As a former student and rector of this polytechnic, I have moral stakes in it and will not allow this institution to rot during my era as Governor of Borno State,” Zulum vowed.
He directed the Commissioner of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Babagana Mallumbe to take over the affairs of the institution for the next six months.
The governor also directed the ministry to put all the workshops and laboratories in the polytechnic back to proper use, as soon as possible.
Zulum further ordered the Ministry of Water Resources to drill two deep boreholes and carry out reticulation of the water to address the dearth of potable water in the institution, to prevent spread of waterborne diseases.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the governor later addressed students of the polytechnic, where he assured that the payment of their scholarship grant would commence soon.
Dettol to introduce hygiene education curriculum in Lagos schools
By Gistflash News
Sept 20, 2021
Dettol Nigeria says it will be introducing hygiene education curriculum in Lagos schools to encourage good hygiene among students and their families.
The General Manager, Reckitt Sub-Saharan Africa, Mr Akbar Ali Shah, made this known in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos.
He said that the initiative was part of the 2021 Dettol School Hygiene Education Programme, a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 initiative under the Dettol Clean Naija campaign.
Shah said that the campaign was aimed at creating awareness, educating and encouraging primary school students to inculcate hygienic practices in their daily lives.
He said that the Dettol School Hygiene stakeholders’ workshop was held last Thursday to intimate the Lagos State education sector on the 2021 programme vision and implementation.
According to him, the 2021 edition will feature the specially developed Hygiene Curriculum created by the Dettol international team, consisting of comics and worksheets that aims to convey the hygiene message to pupils in a fun and engaging manner.
The general manager said that the programme would also involve impact assessment, using scientific measurement tools to determine the impact of its hygiene education on the students, their teachers and parents.
He said that Dettol had partnered with the Lagos State office on SDGs, Dean Initiative, World’s Largest Lesson, and Slum and Rural Health Initiative (SRHIN) to help drive the programme implementation and adoption.
“With Dettol, our purpose is to protect life by making good hygiene simple to adopt. Since 2015, we have directly reached over five million primary school children in Nigeria with our hygiene education.
“However, with the need for an intensified hygiene consciousness due to COVID-19, we are evolving from a model where we had just a one-off contact with the students, to one where there would be repeated interactions based on lessons from the hygiene vurriculum.
“Our aim is to emphasise on the need to enable a sanitised environment and to create the importance of water, hygiene and sanitation in preventing the spread of infections amongst children,’’ he said.
Shah commended its partnership with the Lagos State Office on the SDGs, Dean Initiative, World’s Largest Lesson and SRHIN.
Mr Lekan Fatodu, Senior Special Assistant to the Lagos State Governor on SDG, commended Dettol Nigeria for its efforts to ensure the overall well-being of pupils.
He urged stakeholders and school executives to help ensure the success of the Dettol initiative.
The Chairman, Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Mr Wahab Alawiye-King, said that the state government would collaborate with Dettol Nigeria to ensure workability of the hygiene curriculum.
Alawiye-King said that the Dettol School Hygiene Education Programme would tackle the challenge of making the schools Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)-friendly.
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