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FG backs NOUN’s plan to expand to African countries

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The Federal Government has given its nod to the plan by the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) to extend academic proficiency to other African regions.

The Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah disclosed this when he met with the President and Board members of the African Council for Distant Education (ACDE).

Anwukah, who thanked the team for the visit and commended them for the progress made so far in ACDE, assured the visitors that the ministry would provide the necessary support towards NOUN’s out-reach to other African regions, as well as sending a representative to the forth-coming Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Assembly proposed to hold in Mozambique in May, 2018 Earlier, in his remarks, the President of ACDE, Prof. Abdelraouf Ahmed Abbas Elbadawi expressed gratitude to the ministry for taking a major decision to host the maiden African Council for Distance Education (ACDE) Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency (QAAA) in 2009 at the National Open University of Nigeria.

This he said had climaxed into the production of a toolkit made available in all main African languages.

On his part, the Vice-Chancellor of NOUN, Prof. Abdalla Adamu described the institution as the best in all ramifications; even as he pointed out that it has the largest number of students drawn from African countries.

Adamu noted that NOUN has a leading role in academic excellence and has taken pains to offer excellent services to its students, saying: “It is only natural that the NOUN takes the lead in creating the African focus while solving African problems in an African context.”

The vice-chancellor further recalled that against all odds, a young woman from one of the Internally Displaced People’s (IDPs) camps in Adamawa State recently graduated with a First Class Honours from the university. He also informed the Minister of State for Education that NOUN has been involved in the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Assembly’s regional activities.

The visiting team included the Sudannese Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Ibrahim Bushra Ali; Secretary, Academic Affairs, Open University of Sudan, Prof. Mohamed Abbo Emem; the Director African Council for Distance Education, Quality Assurance & Accreditation Agency, Prof. Nebath Tanglang and the ACDE Executive Director, Prof. Rotimi Ogidan.

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Education

UNILAG VC secures release of detained union leaders

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  • As varsity matriculates 9,204 students

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe has secured the release of the detained former Chairmen of the institution’s chapter of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (SSANU), Comrades Joseph Adefolalu and Adekola Adetomiwa, who were on Thursday arrested by the police.

The VC, accompanied by the leadership of the university’s chapter of the non-academic staff unions, visited the office of the Department of State Security (DSS) along CMD Road, Shangisha, to bail the union leaders, who were on Thursday transferred to the office from the Ikeja Division of the State Criminal Investigation Department.

Earlier, addressing the protesting workers in front of the institution’s Governing Council Chamber, Ogundipe expressed regret that the national strike had been allowed to degenerate to the level it is on the campus, saying even against the dictate of his office, he had gone on air to declare support for the striking workers.

The workers, who had assembled in their hundreds on the campus to protest the arrest of their leaders, accused the university management of harassing them since December 4, 2017, when the national strike was declared.

But, the union members did not disrupt the ongoing matriculation ceremony of the new intakes, where a total of 9,204 fresh undergraduate and postgraduate students were successfully matriculated.

The management of the university had earlier met with the leadership of the unions including the Chairmen of the university’s chapters of National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) and the Non Academic Staff Union (NASU), Comrade Sulaiman Lawal and Kehinde Ajibade, among others, to address the crisis.

The VC said; “Dialogue will always be the way out of every crisis because we would always have cause to interact again. There is no other university that has shown support to the striking unions better than UNILAG, yet we are the one that suffers more attack from you. I can assure you that once we leave here, we will go to the Police Station together and ensure that our workers are released.

“If anyone says I ordered the arrest, let me make it clear that I do not have such power but I must add that no one is above the law, including me. On this campus, 120 electrical fuses were removed from the powerhouse on Monday, January 8, and that does not speak well of the unions. We must always reach compromise on difficult issues. We have kept on appealing to the Federal Government to resolve this matter as soon as possible and I am sure very soon, it will be over.”

The meeting between the unions and the management was attended by the leadership of the Police in the area including the Area Commander.

The union leaders appreciated the university management for the middle ground reached and pledged their support in the efforts to reposition the university for good.

It would be recalled that both Adefolalu and Adekola had on Thursday morning at about 1.30am been arrested in their homes by the Police from the Ikeja Division of the State Criminal Investigation Department.

The unions had blamed the development on the ongoing national strike declared by the Joint Action Committee of the non-academic staff in the universities nationwide, alleging that the decision to arrest the leaders may be in anticipation of likely disruption of the matriculation ceremony, which held today (Friday).

 

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Education

Strike: UNILAG postpones convocation indefinitely

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Following the refusal of the non-academic staff unions in the nation’s universities to call off their two-month-old industrial action, and the threats by the unions’ chapters at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) Akoka, to disrupt the planned 50th convocation ceremonies scheduled to hold between February 19 and 22, the institution’s management has postponed the ceremonies indefinitely.

In a statement issued by the university and signed by the Principal Assistant Registrar (Information), Mrs. Taiwo Oloyede, a new date would be announced for the ceremonies soon.

Though Oloyede did not give reasons for the abrupt postponement, New Telegraph learnt the striking workers comprising members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), had threatened to disrupt the convocation ceremonies over what they described as the neglect they suffer in the hands of government.

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Education

UNIBEN Recalls Five Rusticated Students

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The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), Professor Faraday Orunmwense, has announced the recall of five rusticated students of the university.
 
He described as untrue the allegation that the Chancellor of the University of Benin, His Highness, Muhammad Sanusi II, Sarkin Kano, was behind the increase in the university accommodation fees
.
 
Prof. Orumwense said that none of the students were rusticated for protesting against increase in the University accommodation charges,  instead some of them were rusticated, after due process was observed, for attempting to disrupt the University’s 47th Founder’s Day and 43rd Convocation ceremonies.
 
He said after the increment, the students were too hasty in protesting the increment without exhausting the appropriate mechanism of the University for addressing students’ concerns.
 
According to Orumwense, “It is difficult to understand why the Students’ Union would call a protest within 24 hours of receiving the assurances of the Pro-chancellor and Chairman of Council, who, upon receiving the students’ protest letter, assured them that he would speedily look into the matter of slight increase in charges and review of accommodation charges which at any rate is optional”.
 
He said, “Management holds the views of students’ representatives in very high esteem and have always shown willingness to dialogue with our esteemed students. Nevertheless, Management would not tolerate a situation where a few individuals would deploy the Students’ Union engagement mechanisms for the furtherance of illegitimate purposes¨.
However, Prof Orumwense, who described the students as ¨our children¨, said management has decided to pardon them after several pleadings from members of the public.”
 
“Having considered the appeal (in writing) by the rusticated students, the Students’ Unions; and the intervention of well meaning stakeholders, Management has decided to recall the rusticated students back to campus to face their studies.
 
“And to be absolutely clear, the claim that the Chancellor of the University of Benin, His Highness, Muhammad Sanusi II, (CON) Sarkin Kano is responsible for, or involved in any way in, determining the new charges, is completely untrue. For the avoidance of doubt, the Governing Council of a University, headed by a Pro-Chancellor, is solely responsible for the financial operation of a University and not the Chancellor.”
 
“We wish to use this medium to advise well-meaning stakeholders to disregard this baseless and uninformed assertion, which was designed to embarrass our well-respected Chancellor, His Highness, Muhammad Sanusi II, (CON) Sarkin Kano during the 47th Founder’s Day and 43rd Convocation Ceremonies¨ he said.

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