ASUU threatens industrial action over non-payment of members’ salaries
June 20, 2021
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has threatened to embark on an industrial action if the 13 months’ salaries of over 1,000 of its members across the country were not paid.
Dr. Lazarus Maigoro, Chairman, University of Jos chapter of the union, who stated this in a statement on Saturday, in Jos, added that the Federal Government had also withheld the check-off dues of the affected members.
He accused Ahmed Idris, the Accountant General of Federation (AGF), for systematically denying the lecturers their remuneration, even after government and the union had reached an agreement on non-victimisation of its members following their last strike.
The chairman alleged that the affected members were being threatened to either enrol into the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) platform, or have their salaries withheld.
He explained that despite the directives of President Muhammadu Buhari, that members of the union be paid their full remuneration, the AGF had denied the affected union members their pay, in complete violation of the terms of the agreement signed between the union and government.
Maigoro said that the office of the AGF had continued to feed the public and some sections of government with false reasons over the matter, such as incorrect BVN numbers, incorrectly spelt names and their sequential arrangement, among others.
He, however, added that such excuses were not tenable, because the bursary departments of their various institutions had submitted the names severally to the authorities, but the problem had continued to persist.
“ASUU wants to bring to the attention of the Nigerian public the deliberate, systematic and unpatriotic actions of the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, on the future of education in Nigeria.
” Idris, from all intent and purposes, is bent on withholding the salaries of over 1,000 members of ASUU spread across the country, with more than 100 of such lecturers being members of our branch at the University of Jos.
“This is simply because they participated in the last strike and refused to enrol in the much discredited IPPIS, despite the non-victimisation clause signed in the Memorandum of Action (MoA) that led to the suspension of the strike in December 2020.
“Despite the directive given by Mr President to pay the salaries of all lecturers, the AGF has refused to pay their salaries, for periods ranging from four to thirteen months, respectively.
”More worrisome is the fact that while the AGF is refusing to pay the salaries, his staff are busy calling the affected lecturers and insisting they have to register with IPPIS before they are paid; some are even asked to forfeit a part of their salaries in order to be paid. So, it is very clear that this is a deliberate act on the part of the AGF and his staff.
“Many of our members at the University of Jos have not been paid salaries from February 2020 to date. How they are expected to go to the classroom and teach beats my imagination.
“It is not news, that our union have vowed to fight back at any cost in order to salvage our colleagues from his tyranny and unpatriotic act against not just ASUU members, but the future of education in Nigeria and so, if nothing is urgently done, we will be forced to take action,” Maigoro said.
“The union has gotten to a stage where it may be forced to take drastic measures to save the lives and families of its members because their despair is also our collective despair.
Maigoro also said that the inability of government to pay other allowances, such as sabbatical, visiting, part time and contract staff was also destroying the university system in the country.
“Apart from the refusal to pay the salaries of our members, the lack of payment of allowances of sabbatical, visiting, part-time, contract staff is further killing the federal universities in Nigeria, and this is all because of IPPIS.
“We hope that whatever decision the union takes, will not be misconstrued by the Nigerian public, especially seeing the seeming silence of the public and the government over the complete violation of our 2020 MoA,” he said
Maigoro called on President Buhari to wade into the matter, in order to save the affected members, as well as the future of education in Nigeria.
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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