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FG reiterates determination to confront adult illiteracy



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By Gistflash News

Sept 7, 2021

The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, has reiterated Federal Government’s commitment to confronting adult illiteracy with the same zeal in handling out-of-school children.

Adamu disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday, at a news conference in commemoration of the 2021 International Literacy Day (ILD).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in Nov. 1966, the UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) proclaimed Sept. 8, of every year as the ILD.

The day was set aside to draw global attention to the status of literacy and lifelong learning, as well as highlight the linkage between literacy and the development of individuals and nations.

The 2021 theme for the ILD is tagged “Literacy for a human-centred recovery: Narrowing the digital divide”.

Adamu noted that confronting adult illiteracy and paying attention to out-of-school children were  comprehensive approaches towards resolving the challenges faced by the country.

He said that there was also a need to maximise the opportunities provided by ICT resources including radio, television, mobile phones, computers and internet to bring literacy and numeracy closer to people.

He said that in terms of the digital divide for instance; globally, nearly half of the world population (51.2 per cent), including many non-literate adults, did not have access to Internet in 2018.

According to him, as our country desires to resolve its developmental challenges, every citizen needs to have a wide set of knowledge, skills and competences, including literacy, numeracy and digital competency at a proficiency level.

“Developing, sustaining and enhancing literacy skills is a lifelong and community-wide endeavour, requiring a strong commitment from the society as a whole.

“Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 calls on countries to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

“Specifically, SDG Target 4.6 requires that by 2030, member states should ensure that all youths and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy.

“The aim is that by 2030, all young people and adults across the world should have achieved relevant and recognised proficiency levels in functional literacy and numeracy skills,” he said.

The minister added that these skills must be equivalent to levels achieved at successful completion of basic education.

Adamu, however, urged stakeholders to complement government’s efforts in the fight against illiteracy.

Also, the Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, advised the Federal Government to come up with diverse solutions for distance, face-to-face and hybrid learning for literacy.

Azoulay, who was represented by Mr Mammadou Sow, UNESCO Regional Education advisors, also called for equitable and inclusive access to technology-enabled literacy programmes to be integrated into learning of reading and writing skills and digital skills.

She added that there was also a need for the country to develop a national framework that would provide sound financial  structure for literacy education.

She also called for the adoption of an appropriate type of technology to support the good teaching approach, learning content, assessment and certification.

“The current shift to digital teaching and learning has further widened the inequlaities to the detriment of the non-formal education sub-sector.

“This shift has also highlighted the persistent digital divide in terms of connectivity, infrastructure, and the ability to engage with technology.

“According to the International Telecommunications Union, nearly half of the world’s people (3.7 billion) do not use the Internet, many of whom are in least developed countries, and urban-rural disparities and gender gaps continue to be present.

“In sub-Saharan Africa, only 7.7 percent were estimated to have a computer at home. Household internet access in the region is still limited with a rate of approximately 22 per cent,” she added.

She, however, called for actions to facilitate literacy teaching and lifelong learning among youths and adults.



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SMEDAN introduces Entrepreneurship as a subject to primary, secondary schools



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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.



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Zulum wields big stick, suspends Ramat Poly Rector, others



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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.



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Dettol to introduce hygiene education curriculum in Lagos schools



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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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