Teachers to soon bear Distinguished like senators – Don
By Gistflash News
June 30, 2021
Prof. Steve Nwokeocha of Sociology of Education, University of Calabar says plans are underway for teachers to bear the title “Distinguished” as borne by senators.
Nwokeocha, who is Executive Director, Academics, Africa Federation of Teaching Regulatory Authorities, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday.
He said that beyond the title Distinguished, teachers would also bear Beginner, Proficient and Mentor, adding that there were four stages.
According to him, it has been globally agreed for countries to come up with titles to reward excellence in the teaching profession as obtained in professions like Law and Medicine.
He said that the development, called “Career Path” simply referred to the stages that a teacher would pass through from point of entry to retirement.
Nwokeocha added that the decision was taken at the global level in view of the huge contribution the teaching profession had made with regard to human capital development and other forms of development.
“These are not salary grade levels stages but professional stages. The type you have in Law, where someone rises from being a lawyer to a Senior Advocate.
“It is the type you have in Medicine where someone rises from being a House Officer to being a Consultant.
“So, teaching is inventing its own stages that will ensure that teachers are adequately focused and prepared to progress professionally to a point we can call the person Distinguished.
“We have created four stages. The first one is Beginner, second is Proficient, Mentor and Distinguished.
“So, a time will come when you hear someone is Distinguished it is not only a senator, that person must be a teacher. This concept is not limited to Nigeria. It is global,” he said.
On concerns that the title Distinguished may cause confusion since senators were already bearing it, the don said, “the senators did not give birth to the word and there is no law that makes it their exclusive reserve.
“UNESCO has a global framework on this and many countries in Africa including Nigeria chose Distinguished.”
On argument in some quarters that the title of Doctor or Professor would suffice, he said, “it is not everybody that is a doctor because it is an academic qualification and professor is the highest rank in teaching.
“With the career path, what qualifies one is minimum qualification in teaching and other requirements.
“To qualify for the titles, there is professional standard, that the level of performance expected of teachers along the four stages.
“To be a Distinguished for instance, you must have worked for 15 to 20 years and accessed based on a higher level of competency.”
Nwokeocha, who is a member of the Executive Council of the World Body Regulating Teaching, said the move was to ensure that teachers were differentiated based on their skills, competencies, abilities and experiences.
He said that training of stakeholders in that regard had begun, adding that all state coordinators of the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) recently held a two-day workshop in Abuja on Career Path.
Nwokeocha said, “we were able to drive home this very noble idea to state coordinators of TRCN at the grassroots level.
“This is so that this message gets to the people that need it most, teachers throughout the 774 local government areas of Nigeria.”
He said that TRCN, the regulatory body in the teaching profession, had the mandate to award the titles.
In a separate interview, the Registrar of TRCN, Prof. Josiah Ajiboye, said the council was already working with relevant stakeholders to bring that to fruition.
Ajiboye said, “the TRCN is prepared to implement the new Teachers Career Path Policy.
“Presently, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folashade Yemi-Esan has set up an implementation committee with the Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono as Chairman.
“Other things the committee is saddled with, is the implementation of the President approved welfare package for Nigerian teachers, using the Career policy as one of the implementation templates.”
Ajiboye said that TRCN would work with stakeholders including state governments and Federal Capital Territory (FCT)for effective implementation.
He stressed that as soon as the Minister of Education, National Council on Education and National Council on Establishment approved the policy, TRCN would swing into action.
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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