Category Archives: Education

Education targets home managers, their kids and teenage learners in Enugu and the South East Region. It is also technology-driven.

Ugwuanyi apoints new ESUT VC from UNN

Gov Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State apoints a new VC from UNN to head the Enugu State University of Science and Technology, ESUT.

Government announced today that Prof Aloysius-Michaels Nnabugwu Okolie will lead the 41-year old ESUT.

Okolie is a professor of Political Science and International Relations at the nearby University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN).

His appointment took effect yesterday, Monday, 4 April 2022, Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Simon Ortuanya, said.

An unending leadership succession crisis hitherto engulfed ESUT, thereby forcing government to appoint a VC that overstayed his temporay appointment.

Prof Charles Eze, appointed VC in acting role in May 2020, stayed on for two years, violating extant rules.

Obaervers hope that outsourcing a new VC stems the perennial internal battles among ESUT professors campaigning for the position.

Prof Okolie is from Awgu town in Enugu State, according to the government statement.

He was Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences and Chair of the local ASUU chapter at UNN, Ortuanya said.

Last year, Enugu Government equally tapped Okolie to Chair the Governing Council of Enugu State College of Education, (Technical).

The statement extolled the many academic and management experiences that make Okolie a good fit for the job.

“He is a renowned international Scholar and Researcher with over one hundred and eight (108) publications to his credit.

“Professor Okolie belongs to several national and international scholarly and professional Associations and has served in several national and international Committees.

Additionally, Okolie also trained in the management of higher institutions, according to the Government Secretary.

Ugwuanyi apoints new ESUT VC from UNN

Publishers indict education ministries over book reviews

The Nigerian Publishers Association (NPA) indict state ministries of education over abuse of book review exercises.

NPA complained about high cost of Book Review Exercises by States and federal agencies in charge of educational curricula nationwide.

NPA President and Chairman in Council, Dr. Uchenna Cyril Anioke, said in a statement that this is an unfair extra burden.

“It’s on record that some Ministries came out boldly to say that the exercise is another way to generate revenue.

“This is sad, considering the huge taxes publishers pay to the government and levies paid in the course of getting books to the end users.”

Dr. Anioke said the exercise is to evaluate and assess quality and standard of educational materials for pupils and students.

It also aimed at providing our teeming students with up-to-date books.

“This should be devoid of revenue generation,” he said.

A great burden

The NPA Chair said his Association members had been paying hugely for this exercise in recent years.

This was not the practice in the past when publishers paid a lump sum for the exercise.

Currently, publishers pay per title running to millions of Naira per exercise per company in each State.

“Additionally, the agencies demand submission of huge number of books involved free of charge.

“Sadly, adding huge review fees to the already precarious publishing business compounds publishers’ problems and affects prices charged on books.

“This would also affect pupils and students’ accessibility to books and inhibit governments’ educational goals.”

Anioke therefore appealed to Education Minister Mallam Adamu Adamu to intervene and curb the excesses of the agencies.

“This, undoubtedly, would assist in providing good quality and affordable books to teeming Nigerian students, Dr. Anioke said.

Publishers indict education ministries over book reviews

Pastor Ogbueli lights a candle at UNN


Pastor Ogbueli lights a candle at the UNN leaving Prof. Bennett C. Nwanguma to wonder how it will be when others join to emulate the man of God.

Pastor Ogbueli lights a candle at UNN

“One often wonders what massive difference it would make if the over 60 generations of UNN alumni were to light candles like Mr Ogbueli just did, rather than just cursing the darkness at UNN”

UNN alumnus and founding pastor of Dominion City International Church, Pastor David Ogbueli has pledged to fund the refurbishing of toilet facilities at the Alvan Ikoku Hostel. He will also build a ten-bed specialist ward at the Medical Centre to which he donated diagnostic equipment and hospital beds during a recent visit.

The visit of an alumnus or alumna to the alma mater can be likened to the visit of a grown man or woman to an aged parent in the village. Even when the parent does not make any specific request, children rarely leave their aged parents empty handed on such occasions. This is because they know their aged parents are often in need of one thing or the other. Thus, in addition to whatever goodies the visiting child may take along, it is customary for the child to find an excuse to also present some money to the parents. This could be for medication or for kola to entertain visitors.

This scenario of a caring child visiting an aged parent played out recently when Pastor David Ogbueli, the founding Pastor of Dominion City International Church returned to his alma mater – the University of Nigeria. Pastor Ogbueli, who graduated from the university in 1987 with an Honours Degree in Chemistry, was in Nsukka to officiate at a programme organized by the Nsukka Chapter of Dominion City International Church which he founded in 1996. To the delight of everyone, especially the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Charles Igwe, and the Dean of Student Affairs, Professor Edwin Omeje, Pastor Ogbueli brought with him a bag full of goodies and pledged to bring more to his beloved alma mater.

Prior to the visit, Mr Ogbueli, like other alumni, had obviously read about the disturbing state of infrastructure, especially the state of the toilets in the student hostels, at the university. He may also have watched video recordings depicting the states of these and other facilities on social media. He went further to inquire about the state of the University Medical Centre so as to ascertain how to help make a difference and change the narrative coming out of his alma mater.

In his words, he wanted to “intervene in areas that would have a direct impact on the lives and welfare of students and staff of the university”. From the feedback he received, he sent his engineers to go ahead of him to meet with the University authorities to confirm the state of the toilets in the hostels and to identify the pressing needs at the University Medical Centre.

On this home-coming trip to his alma mater, Pastor Ogbueli donated a variety of state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment and hospital beds for use at the Medical Centre, and further pledged to provide additional support to improve the efficiency of the Medical Centre. In addition, he undertook to fund the refurbishing of the toilet facilities at Alvan Ikoku Hostel of the University. This is not a mean undertaking, considering that Alvan Ikoku Hostel – which is one of the Franco Hostels – is a massive three – storey complex that accommodates up to 500 students.

It is noteworthy that Pastor Ogbueli’s intervention at UNN was largely unsolicited. His actions complied with the words of an ancient Chinese proverb, which is often misattributed to Eleanor Roosevelt: “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” Or, as I prefer to put it, “it is not always enough for us to curse the darkness, we should all endeavor to light a candle”. Thus, it occurred to Mr Ogbueli that having heard about or seen the darkness at his alma mater, he had a responsibility to light a candle.

By this gesture, Mr Ogbueli stood out as an exemplary and distinguished alumnus of the University of Nigeria. One often wonders what massive difference it would make if the over 60 generations of UNN alumni were to light candles like Mr Ogbueli just did, rather than just cursing the darkness at UNN. Remarkably, Pastor Ogbueli did not stop at these gifts. He pledged to reach out to other alumni to get them to commit to rebuilding their university.

As a matter of fact, the state of infrastructure at UNN and other federal institutions of her generation can be attributed to the perennial problem of underfunding over a period when these institutions recorded astronomical increases in the number of students. As a consequence, most of the facilities, for example, those in the hostels, are oversubscribed, resulting in frequent breakdowns, coupled with the expected age-induced deterioration. The refusal of students to pay the commercial or fair rates for bed spaces over the years continues to limit the ability of the management to effect necessary repairs in the hostels.

Pastor Ogbueli lights a candle at UNN

For the record, Pastor Ogbueli is not the only alumnus of the University of Nigeria to make a donation or to offer assistance to the University in recent times. In truth, a good number of alumni and alumnae have done so in the past and many more have shown a willingness to do so. For example, alumni of the Faculties of Law and Engineering, Medicine and the Departments of Economics came together recently and are currently funding various projects in their faculties and department, respectively. This write-up has, however, been provoked by Pastor Ogbueli’s unique approach, especially at a time when all sorts of audio and video clips and write-ups on the state of infrastructure at the university have been circulating for all the wrong reasons. It is my hope that Mr Ogbueli’s exemplary response would also encourage other alumni to go beyond just cursing the darkness to seek to light a candle at UNN. There’s no better time to do so than now. May this candle and other candles lit by Pastor Ogbueli and other like-minded alumni shine bright, Amen.

Professor Nwanguma is an alumnus of the University of Nigeria and the Chairman of Senate Ceremonials Committee of the University.

Pastor Ogbueli lights a candle at UNN

Bachelor’s degree may be irrelevant right now

In this article, Jachimma Anikwe explores why your average bachelor’s degree may be irrelevant right now in today’s world.

Will a bachelor degree become irrelevant? The conventional wisdom has always been that a four-year degree will lead to a more successful career. However, that may be changing as more employers are focusing on skills over education.

Continue reading Bachelor’s degree may be irrelevant right now

Anambra’s education worries

Ralph Anyacho identifies paucity of teaching staff for primary and high schools as two one of Anambra’s biggest education worries.

A number of issues are giving parents worries over the management of schools in Anambra state. Citizens of the state living outside of it who breeze in and fly out would think that all is well. But all is not well.

The Christmas/ new year mass home return is usually a time for stock taking. At one of the town hall meetings by my community two separate important guests interrupted proceedings.One was the principal of the community secondary school in the town. She came with tears practically dropping from her eyes, lamenting the lack of teaching staff. She appealed for support of the community to fix practically every thing, ranging from collapsing roofs, to no power supply, rickety school bus, stressing low morale among students resulting from lack of teachers in key subject areas. As she left the place in high hope trusting that her cries have not fallen on deaf ears, another guest this time came from the community primary school. Unlike the principal whom the roof is collapsing over her head, the primary school has one of the best structures anywhere in the state. Their big trouble is lack of teachers. There are only two teachers on government payroll. The rest of the teachers are being paid by the PTA of the school at N10,000 per month. And have come to the meeting to request for financial support to help the PTA defray the eight month salary arrears owed the teachers.

These two critical issues question the modus operandi of running schools in the state and the quality of education available especially in the rural areas. What is the partnership arrangement between the State and the Churches? Is any party reneging on the agreement? The above mentioned situation can not be tenable in a state competing for space among a comity of technologically driven states.

Something must be done and urgently too.

Anambra’s education worries

Girls consistently beating boys in WASC Exams

Girls that score five credits including English and Math are consistently beating boys in the major WASCE examinations.

Marvelous Nigerian school girls have shown this gender strength over the past five years.

This trend in girl child gender triumph has been consistent between 2018 and 2020 when the West African Examination Council (WAEC) released the statistics.

The numbers are remarkable because more boys than girls write the examination each year.

This year, 2021, WAEC however failed to disclose the gender performance.

Nevertheless, the trend over the past three years is as follows:

YEAR5-CREDITSBOYSGIRLS
2018786,01649.57%50.43%
20191,020,51949.77%50.23%
20201,003,66849.53%50.47%

The senior West African School Certificate Examination (WASCE) is conducted by the West African Examination Council.

It is an internationally recognized exit examination for high school students, with a standard accepted worldwide for university admissions.

There is an overall performance improvement across board in recent years.

Except for 2018 when the percentage of students with the required 5-credit pass (including math and English) fell by 9 points, there has been a steady improvement.

WAEC reverts to June-July Calendar in 2022

WAEC will revert to the June-July schedule for writing the examination in 2022, head of WAEC National Office, Patrick Areghan says.

He disclosed on Monday that Nigeria’s education authorities requested for the arrangement.

The worldwide pandemic, Covid-19 caught the world flatfooted in February 2020, leading to disruption of the schedule.

Students eventually wrote the 2020 WASCE in August and the results were released in November same year.

The 2021 examination eventually followed a similar pattern as it was written between August and September.

The examination body also served notice that it will increase the examination fees for WASCE candidates in 2022.

This increase affects private candidates with registration fee jacked up to N18,000.00 from N13,950.00

Coming competition for university spaces

These disruptions also affected the university calendar, as freshmen are still being accepted in some schools.

Over 1.20 million candidates made the cut and have now lined up for limited spaces in the 2021-2022 school session.

Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says 1.42million candidates are seeking university admission in 2021. The number that wrote WASCE this year is slightly higher at 1.56m.

However, less than 12% of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) candidates scored 200 points and above in the common entrance exam.

Many universities lowered their cut-off marks for admission, in acknowledgement of the poor results.

The results, however, makes it easier for students who do well in post-UTME university assessments to gain admission this year.

Girls consistently beating boys in WASC Exams

No Saturday schooling in Anambra, says spokesperson

There is no plan to introduce Saturday schooling for pupils in Anambra State, a government spokesperson said this morning.

Information Commissioner, Chief C. Don Adinuba, told Enugu Metro that government neither envisaged nor authorised Saturday schooling.

The authorities are investigating the source of the circular widely quoted by news outlets, he said.

Adinuba also noted that the circular in question was unsigned which makes it an unofficial document.

“We don’t know from where it came,” he said.

The Commissioner’s statement however implied that the idea was mooted but rejected by education authorities.

“The Ministry of Basic Education advised against the circular,” he told Enugu Metro.

The memo quoted by several outlets claimed that classes commence on 30 October 2021 in Anambra schools.

This was to be a stopgap to give students maximum 5-day school workload after losing Mondays to a forced sit-in.

Education managers in the Southeast region deplore the violent disruptions in the school calendar by rogue elements.

These elements frighten residents of the Southeast to stay indoors every Monday for fear of assault and bodily harm.

Although the leadership of IPOB announced a ban on the sit-at-home order, assault incidents and destruction of property are however reported on Mondays.

The forced no-work Mondays also takes a toll on economic activities in the Southeast region.

No Saturday schooling in Anambra

Southeast Governors abandon N8.7billion grants in Abuja?

Southeast Governors abandon N8.7billion Universal Basic Education (UBE) matching grants to help them develop their primary and junior secondary schools.

Ebonyi and Imo faithfully matched and collected their grants, but other states have accumulated arrears, some dating back to 2015.

As at July 2019, UBEC rated Enugu (N3.4B) is worst foot-dragger in accessing the grants, followed by Abia (N2.9B) and Anambra (N1.1B).

Federal authorities have annually budgeted huge UBE grants, waiting for states to match the amounts allocated to them before collection.

The funds allow governors to inject between N1B and N3B annually into the basic education system.

The governors’ unwillingness to access UBE funds accounts reflects in the degradation of infrastructure and quality of instruction in schools.

In addition to free formal basic education, UBE grants enable states and local governments erect buildings to separate junior and senior high schools.

The funds also assist installation and teaching of computer literacy as well as continuous professional development of teachers.

Above all, UBE monitors the school system to ensure that there is uniform and qualitative basic education throughout Nigeria.

Purpose of the Grants

The Obasanjo administration introduced the programme in 1999 to check school dropout and improve primary and junior high school enrollment.

The idea at the time was to assist states and local governments provide uniform and quality basic education throughout Nigeria.

The UBE programme was therefore designed to guarantee access to nine years of free and compulsory formal education for Nigerian children.

Consequently, primary and junior secondary education became officially free and compulsory for all children of school-going age.

The programme’s  lofty objectives include reduction in school dropout, and improved literacy, numeracy, life skills and values for Nigerian children.

However, UBE has not gained traction based on results.

UNICEF, for instance, estimates that 10.5 million Nigeria children are not in school.

This drop-out figure is considered scandalous because it represents 20 percent of total out-of-school children throughout the world.

Southeast Governors abandon N8.7billion grants in Abuja?


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House passes Enugu University of Education Bill

Enugu State House of Assembly passes into law the bill to establish an Enugu University of Education at Ihe in Awgu LGA.

House Leader, Rt. Hon. Ikechukwu Ezugwu, introduced the Bill this morning for a third and final reading.

Speaker Edward Uchenna Ubosi put the question to the members and it was unanimously passed.

The Enugu State University of Education Ihe is the brainchild of State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.

The Executive Bill, now passed, will go back to the Governor for his assent to become law.

A crowd of interested stakeholders, including indigenes of the host community, witnessed the House deliberations and passage of the bill today 10 August.

They were full of praises for the Governor, the Speaker and leader, as well as the two representatives from Awgu, Hon. Jane Eneh and Johnson Chukwuobasi.

The Governor said he wanted a specialist institution that would train high level teaching manpower at all levels in the State.

The State Government had initially announced that the Enugu College of Education would be relocated to Ihe.

However, the Enugu State Executive Council, on the prompting of the Governor, approved a new and independent university of Education for the Ihe site.

Governor Ugwuanyi said that the move to upgrade the school to a full-fledged University is “to fully serve the training needs of teachers in the state and beyond.”

The proposed permanent site is on the old 17-hectare Teacher Training College, Ihe, and an adjoining 110 hectares of land voluntarily donated by the host community.

The University is already under construction. Governor Ugwuanyi performed the ground breaking ceremony and laid the cornerstone for a giant administrative building on 9 April 2019.

In solidarity, Ihe Shikeaguma Foundation, an international NGO sponsored by indigenes of host community, has also started the construction of another N300m academic complex at the site.

3 University Admission Strategies that work

Check out the following 3 Federal University Admission Strategies that work for South east candidates seeking admission this year.

Right now, many candidates who wrote this year’s JAMB-UME exam are weighing their options to get into school.

In all cases, everyone knows that their best bet is to get into a federal university.

Well, not everyone. Many ignorant students whose parents are not rich still opt for State Universities as first choice of school.

They do not know tha federal universities are better.They provide the cheapest form of education, in addition to maintaining top class standard.

Admission Strategies to Keep in Mind

The three strategies are tailored to the students’ academic ability. They follow four priciples:

  • If you’re sure about scoring top marks in WASCE and UME, shoot for universities that do not have catchment areas.
  • If not, generally stay away from federal universities that do not have your state of origin as a catchment area.
  • In other words, only apply to federal universities with Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo as catchment areas.
  • However, you can try for admission in any federal university if your parents or relations are encouraged by a principal officer of the university to apply.

Here are the three major options to consider.

  1. If a candidate scores 300+ in UME, is confident of nicking six A1s and Bs in relevant WAEC subjects, this candidate can choose to compete in xxx universities that have no catchment areas.
  2. For candidates not sure of posting fantastic WASCE results but have secured the cut-off mark for this year in UME, the best option is to switch to a university that has her state as a catchment area.
  3. If the candidate is desperate and does not want to compete for admission based on merit, he can go for discretionary admission based on a VIP recommendation.

3 Recommended Admission Strategies

Here are the options available:

A. Federal Universities Without Catchment Areas (for the most brilliant students to try)

  1. The University of Ibadan (UI)
  2. University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT)
  3. The University of Abuja (UNIABUJA)
  4. Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike (MOUAU)
  5. Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi (FUAM)
  6. The Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB)
  7. Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun (FUPRE)

B. Federal Universities with Catchments Areas for South east candidates to try)

  1. Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK): Anambra, Abia, Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi, and Imo candidates
  2. Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO): Imo, Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Rivers, and Enugu candidates.
  3. University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN): Enugu, Abia, Anambra, Bayelsa, Cross-River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Enugu, Imo, and Rivers candidates.

C. Universities that accept discretionary lists from VIPs.

All federal universities accept recommendations by top federal officials. Thus, universities with catchment areas accept recommendations from top state government and university officials from the catchment states, and so forth.

CONCLUSION
Do not just jump into choosing a state university if your sponsors cannot afford it. Consequently, always try these 3 federal university admission strategies first.