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Sex-for-marks: UniAbuja dismisses 2 professors

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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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Education

Education: Reps To Make N170bn Provision For ASUU In 2023 Budget

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Federal House of Representatives
House of Representatives at plenary
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The House of Representatives is making arrangements for a N170 billion fund for the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in the 2023 budget.

Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, disclosed this in a statement on Monday, saying the move will provide a level of increment in the welfare package of university lecturers.

According to him, efforts were ongoing to find lasting solutions to all the issues raised by ASUU. He stated that the budget included an additional N300 billion revitalization fund to improve the infrastructure and operations of the federal universities.

“We are currently working on the 2023 Appropriations Bill, which includes the sum of one hundred and seventy billion naira (N170,000,000,000.00) to provide a level of increment in the welfare package of university lecturers,” the statement read.

“The Bill also includes an additional three hundred billion naira (N300,000,000,000.00) in revitalization funds to improve the infrastructure and operations of federal universities.”

The Speaker explained that President Muhammadu is interested in looking into the latest issues and concerns raised by the varsity teachers.

The ‘no work no pay’ policy embarked on by the Federal Government during the period of strike, Gbajabiamila said, is premised on the law.

He said the decision is based on the government’s legitimate interest in preventing moral hazard and discouraging disruptive industrial actions.

“Nonetheless, interventions have been made to explore the possibility of partial payments to the lecturers. We look forward to a favourable consideration by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR who has manifested his desire to what is prudent and necessary to resolve all outstanding issues.

“Implementing meaningful change takes time, especially when appropriations and modifications to systems such as IPPIS are required.

“Therefore, I urge all parties to be patient and grant each other the presumption of goodwill to the extent necessary to achieve our shared objectives. This is not a time for political brinkmanship.

“There is no more pressing objective than to preclude the possibility of further disruptions to the academic calendar of the universities. We must prevent this possibility by all means, as these disruptions risk the promise and potential of our nation’s youth,” he added

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Education: Appeal Court Orders ASUU To Resume Work Immediately

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The Court of Appeal, Abuja, has ordered members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to resume work with immediate effect.

The appellate court gave the order in a ruling on an application by the ASUU seeking permission for it to appeal against the order of the National Industrial Court which asked the striking lecturers to resume duty.

The Court also granted ASUU “conditional leave to appeal the order of the Industrial Court, while insisting that ASUU must obey the order of the lower court with effect from today, October 7.

The 3-man panel led by Justice Hamman Barka, said for ASUU to file it’s notice of appeal within 7 days, it must show evidence that it’s members have resumed work immediately.

The panel held that failure to adhere to the order, will make the appeal incompetent before Court of Appeal.

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World Teachers’ Day: Atiku Calls for Improved Investment in Education

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Atiku Abubakar
PDP Presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar
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World Teachers’ Day: Atiku Calls for Improved Investment in Education

*Decries Prolonged ASUU Strike, Owing of Teachers’ Salaries

Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party and former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar has reiterated the call on government at all levels to place improved attention to the management of the education sector in the country.

The former Vice President made this remark in commemoration of World Teachers’ Day, which is celebrated yearly on the 5th of October.

Atiku, who spoke during the commissioning of the S.H.E Initiative office in Abuja on Wednesday, said that it was regrettable that education is not getting the proper attention it deserves from all stakeholders.

The Security Health and Education (S.H.E) Initiative is the brainchild of Atiku’s wife, Hajiya Titi Amina Abubakar.

According to the former Vice President, the poor management of the education sector, which is manifested in poor remuneration of teachers and the attendant consequence of prolonged industrial strike action by teachers, cannot engender the kind of progress and development that we desire as a country.

Atiku said further that, “with the increasing expansion of the poverty line across all age demographics, the smartest direction to go is to invest in education. When people are educated, it becomes a lot easier for them to create wealth and make personal decisions that will promote a good lifestyle for their families and the society.

“The current practice whereby education takes the last rung of our investment priorities is not only self-sabotaging, it is indeed a threat to national security.

“Most of the challenges that face us today in the name of security issues are concerns that started from illiteracy and later grew to economic disempowerment, which soon grew into national security concerns.”

He said that notwithstanding the poor working conditions of teachers in many states, they have continued to contribute their quota to nation building.

The Waziri of Adamawa reminded that as globally attested to “No Nation can grow higher than the quality of its education system and no education system can grow higher than the quality of its teachers”.

To this end, he affirmed that progress and development may continue to elude us as a nation unless and until we have trained and well-motivated teachers.

He described as unacceptable a situation where some states owe teachers’ salaries for months, noting that it is counterproductive for our development initiatives.

He expressed a firm commitment to address the plight of teachers and indeed of the entire education sector working in collaboration with the state governments if elected as president in next year’s election.

Also speaking at the event, wife of the former Vice President, Hajiya Abubakar noted that the S.H.E Initiative is borne out of a genuine concern to reverse the trend of the ugly socio-economic realities in Nigeria that has pushed many people, especially women to the receiving end of economic hardship.

“Through the vehicle of the S.H.E Initiative, Nigerian women will be setting the agenda to reverse the spiral decline in their socio-economic lives, as well as that of youth and people living with disabilities”, she said.

Hajiya Abubakar, who is also the founder of the Women Trafficking and Child Labour Eradication Foundation (WOTCLEF), encourages all Nigerians of goodwill to join in her campaign in driving home the objectives of the initiative.

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