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2018 UTME: Candidates protest exam date, seek postponement



Human and vehicular movements along Bariga-Akoka road, Lagos, were, this afternoon, impeded when hundreds of candidates, who have registered to sit the 2018 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) staged a protest over what they described as the inconsiderate stance of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) by fixing the examination for March.

The candidates carried placards with various inscriptions such as; “Admissions are yet to close, why conducting another UTME now?”; “JAMB isn’t for revenue generation, stop milking our parents,” “2017 UTME held in May, why March in 2018?” “2018 admissions not transparent,” among others.

They said many of them who had hoped to be admitted by various institutions during the 2017/2018 academic calendar year just found out this week that they were not admitted and that less than one month cannot be enough to prepare for another examination.

But JAMB has justified the decision to hold the examination between March 9 and 17, noting that it was a decision jointly taken by other examination bodies to avoid clash of timetables and to ensure that all admissions are concluded by August every year for smooth academic system.

The examination body, however, advised the 245,000 candidates billed to take part in its Monday Mock test to visit the website to reprint their slips and prepare adequately for the examination.

Addressing the press during the protest, the National President of the Association of Tutorial School Operators (ATSO), Mr. Dotun Sodunke, who led the candidates to the streets, said if allowed to hold as scheduled Nigeria would experience another round of mass failure.

He said if JAMB was not only concerned about generating revenue for the government it would consider the candidates in fixing the date for the examination, saying it is obvious that there was no way the candidates would complete the UTME syllabus under one month.

Sodunke added that institutions like the University of Benin, Yaba College of Technology, among others, still released admission list on Wednesday, and that the students who had applied to such institutions but are yet to be admitted would not concentrate on preparation for another examination.

He said; “The new head of JAMB needs to be called to order. He should not be carried away by the euphoria of revenue generation. The future of this country depends on these children. JAMB is sure that if you conduct the exam early, many candidates would fail, and they would come back to register again next year. This is so because their children don’t school here.

“Admissions are yet to be concluded, yet you are fixing date for another one. Who does that? The introduction of the Central Admission Processing System (CAPS) is also a fraud. You would be admitted on JAMB portal and on CAPS page it would deny you admission. Everything is done in secrecy as we don’t even know which schools are organizing post-UTME and which ones are not. Every institution is doing what it wants. Things must not go on like this.”

However, the Head of the Press and Public Relations Unit of JAMB, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, explained that there was yet no basis for the postponement being sought by the candidates, saying the date had been fixed as early as December, 2017, and that it was made public.

Benjamin said; “We need to place the interest of this country above selfish interest. The candidates are not the ones staging protest but the tutorial centres operators, and parents must intervene to rein them in. They are doing this because they want to keep the candidates at their centres till May so that they can get more money from them. Things are not done that way.

“JAMB is not alone in this business. All stakeholders in Nigeria’s education sector have realised that our calendar must be organised and firm as we experience abroad, and it must start somewhere. Even if heaven will fall, the new government wants to ensure that academic calendar starts every August, and that is why all admissions will be concluded by August this year. So if these candidates are affected, we apologise to them, it is for their good and the good of the nation.”

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13 candidates jostle for Kwara college’s provost position



At least 13 candidates are pushing for the next Provost of Kwara State College of Education, Ilorin, following the expiration of the tenure of the incumbent Provost, Dr. Saka Opobiyi on April 1.
To appoint a new provost for the college, a five-member Selection Board raised by the authorities of the institution, as specified by the College Edict, last week conducted oral and written interviews for the aspirants.
With the conclusion of the interview sessions, the Governing Council is expected to announce the shortlisted candidate for the job in the next few weeks, who will succeed the outgoing provost.

It was learnt that four of the applicants are members of academic staff of the college, while the remaining nine are lecturers from other institutions.
Among those interviewed to succeed the outgoing provost in the college are the Deputy Provost (Administration), Dr. Mukaila Bola Taiwo; Dean School of Basic and Remedial Studies, Dr. Nimota Ojibara; Deans School of Science, Mr. Bolakale Adebimpe and Director, Computer Information Technology Centre (CITC), Mr. Jimoh Ahmed Ayinla.
Other candidates are from the University of Ilorin and the Kwara State University (KWASU). They are Dr. Abubakar Laaro from KWASU; the immediate past Sub-Dean at UNILORIN, Dr. Abdulkareem Yusuf, Dr. Dosumu and Dr. Abdulmalik, respectively.

Already, internal politics has set in with some members of staff expressing interest in various candidates.
For instance, New Telegraph learnt that both members of academic and non-academic staff of the institution are rooting for the current Director of CITC, Mr. Jimoh Ahmed Ayinla, one of their own to succeed the outgoing provost, based on his track records.

According to sources, Ayinla was said to have the backing of his colleagues.
Ayinla had served the college community as the Chairman of the college Loan Committee and currently the President of the college Cooperative Union. He was said to have performed excellently well in both the interview conducted by the college selection board.
Another factor that put the internal candidate in good stead is the stand of the college’s chapter of the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), which the leadership position as far back as 2010, was that lecturers from the colleges should be appointed as provost.

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FG pledges support for 2018 World Report




The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu has promised the full participation of the Federal Government at the launch of the 2018 World Development Report (WDR18), which is focused on education.
The report, which has as its main research finding: “Schooling not the same as Learning,” is scheduled for launch by the World Bank later this year in Abuja.
The Minister disclosed this when the World Bank Executive Director overseeing Angola, Nigeria and South Africa, Mrs. Bongi Kunene and her team paid him a courtesy visit.
Adamu, who expressed delighted in hosting the delegation, noted that the World Bank Yearly Report of an in-depth research work which features a topic of central importance to global development, is for the first time devoted entirely to education.

He added that the global financial institution was also the first institution to have asked for the Ministerial Action Plan Report, even while it was still in its draft form “and here again the World Development Report has come to give a further push.”

According to Kunene, the launch will feature rich discussions around the implications of the report for education quality in Nigeria and the strategies to improve it; presentation of the report with a follow-up presentation of the state of education in Nigeria.

In attendance at the meeting were the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Rasheed; Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, and the Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Dr. Abdullahi Bafa.

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IMT: Corruption allegations rattle institute



  • Enugu House of Assembly wades into controversies

For the management and students of the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu, one of the foremost monotechnics in the country, this is not the best of times for the institution riddled with series of controversies.
The institution, which has produced prominent Nigerians who are shakers and movers in the public and private sectors of the nation’s economy, had in the recent past been enmeshed in one controversy or the other.
Piqued by this development, the state House of Assembly was said to have waded into the matter to rescue the institution and give it a new direction.
In a fresh controversy, the management was accused of charging compulsory hostel accommodation fee of N40,000 for new students, whether such accommodation is provided or not.
In fact, as part of the House’s oversight functions, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Edward Ubosi, had on January 30 mandated the Chairman, House Committee on Education, Hon. Matthew Ugwueze, to investigate the various allegations levelled against the management of the state-owned monotechnic, especially the compulsory N40,000 hostel fee.
However, the six-member Committee set up by the House on February 27, to investigate the N40,000 hostel fee had since given the management, led by the Rector, Prof. Augustine Nweze a clean bill of health.
But, following the rejection of the report of the House Committee on Education, chaired by Hon. Ugwueze, for its failure to indict anyone, or the management, or the consultant handling the ICT project, the Speaker was forced to constitute an Ad-hoc Committee, headed by Hon. Chinedu Nwamba, representing Nsukka East with three weeks to look into the matter and report back to the House.
Following the crisis facing the institution, it has in the past few years failed to access the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) allocations, which led to some abandoned projects on campus for which the institution is current confronted with the challenge of acute shortage of facilities.
Part of the terms of reference of the Committee, which has as members Hon. Matthias Ekweremadu and Hon. Emeka Ogbuabor, representing Aninri and Isi-Uzo Constituencies respectively, was to probe into the activities of the consultant handling ICT project, the Blue Tag Technology, as well as the N64 million refunded and who paid what.
Meanwhile, the ad-hoc committee, which wondered why the N64 million refunded was not captured in the earlier report, however said: “We have to clear certain things in order not to mislead the public.”
Indeed, the institution had persistently come under attack over corruption allegations, resulting to invitation of the Rector and other management staff to the Enugu zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
This was as stakeholders bemoaned the development and lamented that IMT once rated as the best in the country due to its high quality programmes and graduates, has deteriorated uncontrollably.
The incumbent Rector, Prof. Nweze, who took over from Prof. Mike Iloeje in June 2016, was said to have inherited various crisis ranging from high level of corruption, maladministration to allegation of sale of unapproved textbooks and handouts, leakage of examination question papers, as well as awarding of undeserved marks to students.
It was also reported that lecturers go to classes at will, while sexual harassment of female students and staff was rife in the institution.
Against this background, Nweze on assumption of office as IMT helmsman was said to have sternly warned members of staff that such misdemeanor would no longer be tolerated under his watch.
Specifically, at a retreat organised by the management in August 2017 for the staff, heads of departments/units on how to chart a new direction for the institution, the Rector informed members of staff and lecturers that the days of impunity were over, and warned that anyone caught involving in any of such infractions would be summarily dismissed from the institution and prosecuted.
In his riot acts, the Rector, however, cautioned that lecturers, who failed to turn in their students’ results on the specified time, would have their salaries withheld.
Nweze said at the retreat: “The worst crime in IMT is to leak question papers before any examination and such member of staff will be dismissed with ignominy. Going forward, any form of leakage would be frowned over. You have to submit your result sheets within one month after the semester examinations.
“We will not hesitate to withhold your salary if you do not submit your result on time. We have thus saved about N10 million through salary seizure from lecturers for not submitting their semester results on time.”
Nweze, who also warned that selling of handouts, had been outlawed in the institution, noted that a list of lecturers selling illegal handouts had already been compiled by the committee set up by his administration for that purpose.
The Rector further explained why he was so particular about stamping out corruption of any kind at IMT, for which according to him, he has become a frequent visitor to the EFCC over corruption and fraud allegedly committed in the institution.
“I have been invited by EFCC nine times,” he lamented, saying enough is enough of such nonsense.
Reeling out, what he described as code of conduct for the staff, the Rector outlawed the selling of books by lecturers directly to students, but through the school’s bookshops, and must be the textbooks approved by the school management.
However, despite the Rector’s outburst against corruption and other forms of sharp practices, the menace has not been completely stamped out from the institution as members of staff ordered to refund the monies extorted from the students were yet to refund such while the Rector seemed not to have done anything about it.
The committee raised by the Rector to investigate the sales of unapproved textbooks and other academic materials by the lecturers was said to have indicted some lecturers across all the departments.
The lecturers were said to refund about N1 million made through illegal sales of unapproved textbooks to students.
In view of this, some lecturers said to be infuriated by alleged silence of the Rector in handling the issue of corruption in the institution following his new approach to forgive all the erring lecturers, when in actual fact he fired two lecturers for allegedly leaking examination question papers.

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