By Haruna G. Suleiman
That fake report on who becomes Editor-in-Chief of NAN
On Wednesday evening, a fake report was published by “Whirlwind News”, an online medium, with the title: “Rumble in NAN: Staff kick over move to replace Igbo with northerner as Editor-in-Chief”.
In the report, it was alleged that a move to “hoist” a northerner as Editor-in-Chief of NAN was threatening to disrupt operations of the organisation.
The report claimed that staff were resisting the move.
It said that petitions were already flying with some going to the information ministry and workers threatening a show down if a “Hausa man” was given the job.
It also alleged that “a Yoruba man, who is the MD” has reneged on his earlier position supporting the Igboman.
Ordinary, we should not worry about such a useless report because no one was quoted and no effort was even made to balance the fraudulent claims, but as a union, we believe it is necessary to react so that no one will be misled by the lies.
There are four unions in NAN – AUPTRE, NUJ, RATAWU and SASSCO -. So, the first thing we all did was to find out whether any of the unions gave the story. We found that no one did.
We also sought to find out whether anyone was approached for any interview on the story. There, too, we found that no one was approached. We concluded, thereafter, that the story is simply a figment of its writers` imagination with the sole goal of deceiving readers into thinking that there was a succession crisis in NAN.
What we know is that the current Editor-in-Chief will retire later this month. We also know that an examination was conducted for those qualified and the board has not announced anyone yet. But what is certain is that two deputy directors were promoted to directors. We are told that It is from these two that the EIC will emerge.
But we are surprised that more than two weeks before the retirement of the incumbent, reports are being circulated as to who is the favourite though we are aware that of the six that sat the exams, the first and second were promoted.
We are told that some people have written petitions to the board. Some have gone to the minister. We believe that people have the right to complain. As unions, we have no reason to interfere in this because that is not part of our mandate. We believe that such interference is not even in the best interest of our members because the issue affects the bosses who belong to the unions.
Interfering in the matter will be complicated because we are supposed to strive to protect the interest of everyone. So, who shall we support in this matter without hurting our mandate of protecting every member’s interest?
We have discussed this issue extensively at our meetings and even took the matter to the MD who told us that the matter was already before the ministry. We have also tried to shoot down efforts to introduce tribal, regional and tribal dimensions to the matter and have satisfactorily tried to educate each other on the dangers of allowing such sentiments to creep into the issue.
As workers in a federal government agency, we are supposed to be promoting unity and not the other way round.
Clearly, the fake story was planted by desperate people who, perhaps, found that they had no case when they took their complaints to the ministry or board.
They may have, thus, decided to bring sentiments into the matter, hence their resort to “Igbo” and “Hausa” to whip up dangerous sentiments and breed confusion.
We want to state categorically that no union in NAN is considering a strike over the issue of EIC or any other issue for that matter. The story is fake and should be ignored.
Management should investigate the source of this story and treat its authors and sponsors as saboteurs deserving sanctions that could include sack for trying to cause industrial disharmony and tribal war in a peaceful organisation like NAN.
Finally, we want the “story” to be seen and treated as what it is – a fake information planted by desperate individuals seeking to deploy dangerous statements to get what they do not deserve. To such people, our message is clear – the NAN unions are only committed to improved working conditions and are not available to be used for selfish interest.
Haruna G. Suleiman is a labour leader and Chairman of AUPCTRE Union in NAN
National Library boss highlights gains of ISBN online registration
By Gistflash News
July 22, 2021
The Chief Executive Officer, National Library of Nigeria (NLN), Prof. Lenrie Aina, has advised publishers to embrace online registration of the International Standard Book Number (ISBN).
Aina made the call on Thursday in Enugu, while addressing participants at a workshop for publishers from Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu.
He said the two-day workshop was designed to train and guide publishers on how to obtain ISBN online.
According to him, it is an innovation by NLN to make the process of obtaining the number less cumbersome and stressful.
“We want to use the event to reawaken their consciousness.
“We also want to refresh their memories on the advantages of compliance with legal deposits obligations, observance of the international standards for publishing and the disadvantages of non-compliance,” Aina said.
He further said a review of the handbook on legal deposit and publishing standards would highlight the key point presented as information to publishers and authors.
Also, the Head of Enugu branch of NLN, Mrs Rachael Nebo, said the workshop was organised to sensitise publishers, authors, researchers, librarians and other stakeholders on best international standards.
Nebo described this year’s event as unique with the National Library going digital.
“As the world has gone digital, we are joining on what is happening so that it can be easier for the publishers to obtain ISBN from the comfort of their homes.
“We also gather here to discuss issues relating to adherence to publishing standard aimed at preserving the cultural heritage of the nation,” she said.
Nebo said the workshop had been rewarding since it was introduced in Enugu in 2017, considering the increase in ISBN registration.
She said the 2021 NLN workshop, which started in Katsina State, had taken place in six zones with their catchment states.
“We have eight zones mapped out for this sensitisation and participants are drawn from them.
“They will be taught and trained on the use of the newly deployed ISNB Processing App,” she further said.
In a goodwill message, the National President, Nigeria Publishers Association, Mr Uchenna Anioke, advised that the registration be made both manual and online.
According to him, the adoption of dual application is necessary due to the nature of the internet network in the country.
“Banks, for example, sometimes will tell you there is no network or you experience situations where the ATM does not work.
“We do not want publishers to experience the same old stress trying to register online,” he said.
He commended NLN for organising the programme and urged the participants to take the lectures seriously.
A publisher, Mr Kenneth Chukwu, said the online application would be beneficial to them and thanked the Chief Librarian and NLN for the initiative.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that day one of the workshop dwelt on a review of legal deposit handbook, while day two was a demonstration of the online ISBN application.
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.
Out-of-School Children: Nigeria has the highest number in sub-Saharan Africa – Minister
By Gistflash News
June 29, 2021
The Minister of State, Education, Mr Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, said that Nigeria has the highest number of Out-of-School Children in sub-Saharan Africa.
Nwajiuba stated this during the inauguration of “Better Education Service Delivery For All (BESDA)”, in Katsina on Monday.
He announced that Nigeria has an estimated 10,193,918 children out school.
According to him, the current challenges affecting the Nigerian Education system has left much to be desired, saying that the system is characterised by high illiteracy level, infrastructural decay and deficits.
“We have inadequate number of qualified teachers, inadequate infrastructural facilities/resources and poor funding,” he added.
Nwajiuba congratulated the Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, on his giant stride to reposition education in the state.
He said this is a clear demonstration of leadership quality and personal commitment to education as well as the passion to revitalize the educational sector in order to develop the abundant human capital of the state.
The minister stated that BESDA focuses on 17 states in the country, including all 13 states of the North-West and North-East geo-political zones, Niger, Oyo, Ebonyi and Rivers also included.
In his remarks, Gov. Masari commended the federal ministry of education and the universal basic education commission for their foresight and commitment in coming up with laudable programmes for the development of the education sector in particular and the development of Society in general.
The programme started in 2018.
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