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Hike in School Fees: Lawan meets regulatory Agencies in Education Sector

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Senate President Ahmad Lawan
Senate President Ahmad Lawan
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The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan on Tuesday held a meeting with heads of regulatory agencies in education sector to douse the brewing tension over an alleged hike in registration fees in some tertiary Institutions.

In attendance at the meeting were the Executive Secretary of the National University Commission(NUC), Professor Abubakar Rasheed, Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Colleges of Education(NCCE), Professor Paulinus Chijoke Okwelle and Hajia Bilkisu Salihijo Ahmad representing the National Board for Technical Education( NBTE).

In his opening remarks, the Senate President told his guests that he convened the meeting as a follow-up to an earlier engagement which he had last week with the Coalition of Northern Groups – Students’ Wing which brought a complaint of a plan by some tertiary institutions to hike registration fees.

“We felt that we actually owe it a duty to listen to our students and of course also hear from you because we need to establish beyond reasonable doubt what the situation is,” Lawan said.

The Senate President cautioned that “whatever situations we find ourselves, we must not do anything that will jeopardise the position of our students particularly at a time that is so difficult.

“We understand that our tertiary Institutions have need for more resources but we equally understand that our students are mostly from very poor background and we must do everything possible to protect those who are so vulnerable.

“The finances for their education must never be hurdles between them and actualising their dreams. So we have to find out how this situation is and we take the appropriate measures.

“Because you represent the supervising bodies for our tertiary Institutions, we felt that we should start with you, listen to you and then we can now find a way out of this.”

He assured the students that the National Assembly and indeed the government would always work to protect and support them to continue with their education.

Responding on behalf of his other colleagues, the NUC Executive Secretary, Professor Rasheed commended the Senate President for his timely intervention.

“Your concern is shared by all of us. It will, at this point, be difficult to know exactly which Universities are violating or not. But after this meeting, we shall consult all the Universities with a template to complete and tell us exactly what charges they have.

“We shall advertise. If we are misled, we shall be able to get to know. We understand that the Universities cannot be forced to charge uniform fees across the country because they have different demands and they come from different situations.

“Possibly a University in Lagos or Port harcourt may charge slightly more than Universities in some rural areas. But there should be a base line.

“One University cannot charge 20,000 naira while the other charges 150,000 naira to Nigerian students where tuition has been free since 1978 at the undergraduate level.

“We are happy that you have now raised this alarm on time and I will go back immediately, consult Vice Chancellors and if possible we shall bring them to a meeting to discuss whatever resolution we arrive at, at the end of this meeting,” Professor Rasheed said.

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Education

COE Ilesa Upgrade to University Status: Oyetola sets up Implementation Committee

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Osun State Governor Gboyega Oyetola
Osun State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola
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Profs Olu Aina, Labo Popoola, others make list

As a follow-up to the actualisation of the upgrade of the College of Education, COE, Ilesa to a full-fledged university, Governor Adegboyega Oyetola has set up an 11-man Implementation Committee.

The Committee, headed by a foremost educationist, Prof. Olu Aina, is expected to, among other things, develop academic brief and physical master plan for the new university.

In a statement signed by Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Ismail Omipidan, the governor noted that the Committee, which would be formally inaugurated very soon, will also engage the State House of Assembly towards the  enactment of the law establishing the new university and the National University Commission, NUC, to facilitate speedy approval and formulate the internal charter of the proposed university to accommodate the participation of other key stakeholders, especially the Ijesa community, corporate entities, in the governance of the institution via a Special Purpose Vehicle among others.

Members of the Committee according to the statement also include a former Health Minister, Prof. Isaac Adewole;  a former Vice Chancellor of Osun State University, Prof. Labo Popoola, a former Vice Chancellor of Tai Solarin University, Prof. Yemisi Obilade;  and founder, Lead University, Ibadan, Prof. Jide Owoeye.

Other members of the Committee are the Managing Director,  Saroafrica International, Mr. Olakanmi Rasheed Sarumi; Associate Prof. Wasiu Oyedokun; the Chief of Staff to Governor Oyetola, Dr. Charles ‘Diji Akinola; Osun Commissioner for Education, Folorunso Bamisayemi; Osun Finance Commissioner, Bola Oyebamiji;  and Osun Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Femi Akande.

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SANWO-OLU COMMENDED AS NUC FULLY ACCREDITS 31 LASU COURSES

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Gate of Lagos State University
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Vice-Chancellor Says 96 % Accreditation Success Is Unprecedented

Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has been commended for bringing sustainable reforms to the State’s education sector as exemplified by the excellent performance of the Lagos State University (LASU) in the recently released National Universities Commission (NUC) Comprehensive Accreditation Exercise for the year 2021.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Tokunbo Wahab, gave the commendation while reacting to the NUC accreditation exercise for the Y2021 where LASU achieved 96 percent accreditation success, noting that the reforms embarked upon by Mr. Governor are fast yielding positive results.

Wahab explained that the Sanwo-Olu administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S development agenda is the fastest and most effective strategy for achieving transformational governance in the current democratic experience.

He emphasised that the State government’s huge investment in education, the third pillar of the T.H.E.M.E.S agenda, has repositioned its education sector in becoming a model for the country.

“Out of the 37 courses of the Lagos State University (LASU) presented by the University Authority for accreditation before NUC during the October/November 2021 NUC Academic Programmes Accreditation Exercise for Nigerian Universities, 31 of those courses got NUC’s full accreditation status”, he stated.

Also speaking, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello, said such an excellent feat is unprecedented in the University’s 40 years of existence, adding that the letter of notification of results from NUC stated that 31 out of the 37 courses presented before the Commission by LASU received an excellent grade of 96.0%, while four courses are still under interim accreditation status.

In her words: “LASU’s courses that had NUC full accreditation according to the NUC notification letter are Accounting, Banking and Finance, Business Administration, Local Government and Development Studies”.

“Others include Arabic Studies, Christian Religious Studies, English Language, Islamic Studies, Yoruba Language, Music, Nursing Science, Psychology and Pharmacology as well as all the 14 courses in the Faculty of Education, Law, Mathematics and Physics”, she added.

Prof. Olatunji-Bello stated that the four courses still under interim accreditation status are Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering, Common and Islamic Law, Theatre Arts and Philosophy.

The Vice-Chancellor noted that the University had witnessed progressive development since the inception of the Sanwo-Olu administration, pointing out that LASU programmes run smoothly without any interruption because the Governor adequately funds the growth of education while also prioritising the welfare of staff and students in policy formulation.

In the same vein, the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Special Adviser on Education, Mr. Adeniran Kasali, urged the management of LASU to reciprocate the State Government’s continued funding of the University by working harder and ensuring that the institution maintains its status as the best State University in the country and one of the first 500 in the world.

Also speaking, the President-Elect of LASU Students Union Government, Adeoye Moses, a 300-Level Student in the Theatre Arts Department, attributed the success of the accreditation to the State Government’s continued funding of tertiary education and the appointment of a hardworking educationist as the 9th Vice-Chancellor of the University, in the person of Mrs. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello.

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Sex-for-marks: UniAbuja dismisses 2 professors

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Education
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The Vice-Chancellor, University of Abuja, Prof. Abdul-Rasheed Na-Allah, says two professors of the institution had been dismissed for sexual harassment offence.

The VC told the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in New York that the university had introduced a policy on sex abuse on campus, which had been published.

Mr Na-Allah, who was on a two–day visit to the U.S., to meet with the University of Abuja Alumni Association, USA chapter, to solicit support for the institution, said, ”female students needed to be protected.”

According to him, the institution is committed to high moral standards and will not tolerate any act of misconduct perpetrated by its staff against students.

“I have dismissed two professors since I became the vice- chancellor. It tells you how we are serious about the issue of sexual harassment.

“We are collaborating with some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), to make sure that it is not only us that are addressing this issue, but we have a strong partnership.

“We cannot allow the lives of our students to be destroyed, because most of the abuses destroy the lives of their victims.’’
The vice-chancellor said: ”it was sad to see some lecturers, who are supposed to be protecting the female students, becoming one of their problems.

“This a problem of universities in Nigeria, not only University of Abuja alone.

“But UniAbuja is pursuing it with vigour, because, we know this is one of the issues to address to make our university one of the best in Nigeria.

“As I speak now, there are several investigations ongoing by a committee set up, addressing the problem,’’ he told NAN.

The VC said that the university was working round the clock to make sure the institution become number one in Nigeria, adding that ”the best way is to improve on academics of the student.

“We are trying to provide all the facilities that the students need, for instance, the smart classrooms, internet facilities on campus and other areas.’’

Mr Na-Allah further said that the Centre for Distance Learning (CDL), in the university was among the best in Nigeria, adding that Nigerians in diaspora could take programmes anywhere in the world from the centre virtually.

“People from everywhere in the world are students from first degree up to PhD level at the CDL. Things are easier now; you can even do your defense on zoom.

“We have created a virtual classroom system and we are working with the National University Commission (NUC), to see that its policies are reversed in such a way to support virtual system.

“We are collaborating with the University of Arizona, U.S, because it has a large virtual system and we are exploring relationship for online programmes with the university,’’ he said.

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