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Varsity teachers, stakeholders chart course for teaching

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An ambitious move to reposition the teaching profession for efficient delivery of qualitative education in Nigerian schools has been taken by scholars at the University of Ibadan (UI). It was at a one-day workshop, where scholars and other major players in the education sector gathered to compare notes on how best to evolve the right teaching-learning process in Nigerian schools.

Though, they attributed lack of passion and incentives, as anathema to effective teaching/learning process in the university system, the scholars, however, sought a more functional ways to promote effective teaching and learning in the school system. With the theme: “Effective Teaching, Innovation and Ethics in the Arts and Humanities,” the major focus of the summit was how teaching could be made more functional, interesting and rewarding.

The workshop, organised by nation’s premier university, the University of Ibadan (UI) Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Leaning in conjunction with the Faculty of Arts, was held at the Faculty main auditorium. It was the consensus of participants, who comprised renowned scholars and professionals from higher institutions of learning within and outside Nigeria that there could not be effective teaching and learning in any academic environment unless there is passion in the teachers and learners, coupled with the right incentives propelled by available resources from the institutions.

Appraising the system, the workshop, however, blamed the poor performance of students in their academic pursuit on the lackadaisical attitude of some teachers, who it accused of dereliction in their duties. Besides, participants chided most students for their poor attitude to their studies, insisting that some universities and schools also contributed significantly to students’ poor performance since the required enabling environment and instructional facilities are not provided to aid learning ability.

To them, this is one of the reasons why students in private universities mostly perform better than their colleagues in the government public schools. Scholars, who x-rayed the challenges facing teaching and learning in higher institutions at the workshop include the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics) of the host university, Prof. Yinka Aderinto, who represented the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Idowu Olayinka; Prof. Toyin Falola from the Department of History of University of Texas, United States of America; Prof. Sam Kayode Adekeye, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Redeemers University, Ede, Osun State; Prof. Olusegun Ajiboye, the Registrar, Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) and the Dean of UI Faculty of Arts, Prof. Ademola Dasylva who hosted the summit.

Setting thetoneof theworkshop, Dasylva, said the summit was yet another activity aimed at actualizing the university vision plan. While welcoming participants to the summit, the don, however, alluded to the provisions of “Curriculum and Academic Programmes,” of the university’s Strategic Plan, which states inter alia to ensure that academic programmes are made attractive both in content and delivery to students. Again, to ensure that requirement for the training in pedagogy of all newly appointed academic staff is strictly adhered to, and that facilities are provided for existing academic staff to be exposed to training in pedagogy at the convenience.

“We are going to use the presentations to evolve our own parley to achieve better effective teaching policy in the department. Some of our dysfunctional instructional materials are already undergoing rehabilitation to make teaching/ learning process much effective,” Dasylva added.

The above provisions, the don pointed out, underscored the significance of making content delivery as lecturers more attractive to students through effective teaching and innovation, saying that was the major reason for the important summit. According to him, although visible efforts had been made through various capacity building training sessions, workshops, seminars, conferences on research and innovation organised for young and budding academics, the aspect that has to do with effective teaching which could translate to effective learning had for many years been taken for granted in most of the Faculties and universities.

He expressed worry that there is neither a policy in place nor a standard to serve as an approved template to guide our academics in the Faculty, and therefore noted that it was a rather difficult task to determine if an academic is under-performing or not. The summit, among other objectives, was set out to formulate what will be considered as effective teaching policy and standard which shall guide faculty members towards ensuring attractive and effective teaching methods.

It is to articulate the attributes of a world class university, while the exposure through the summit, as well as the proposed policy will engender, among other things, effective and quality learning among students. In his paper that dwelt on challenges facing teaching/learning process in the country, Prof. Falola spoke on the need for passion and incentives, which to him, override whatever one is taught to be.

Towards this, the scholar, who noted that universities should work out incentive modes to celebrate diligent lecturers, insisted that incentives could not be generated without resources. According to him, in overseas, students are categorised into ‘Tiers of Research School’ based on their levels of academic brilliance. “There is Tier I Research School where only five students are taught and their peculiarities are catered for.

They have Tier II teaching universities, which accommodate much larger number of students. Such could be replicated here in Nigeria, but the needed resources must be available,” he said. Specifically, Falola hinted that provision of infrastructural facilities is not the ultimate to aid teaching-learning process, but also the aesthetics that make up the learning environment.

He said: “There must be aesthetics within the teaching/learning environment. How the school premises appear in terms of beautification determines more the assimilation of students. However, teachers must not close gate to debates with the students because classroom is a democratic space. “A teacher must lead, but not dictate and should not destroy the creativity of students. Achebe was a student in the University of Ibadan, here when he wrote ‘Things Fall Apart’. It meant he was then ahead of some of his lecturers. Wole Soyinka was denied professorial title here because his creative instinct was not appreciated.

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Education

Ipokia Youth holds symposium on ICT entrepreneurship

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The annual Ipokia Youth symposium is set to hold this Saturday with issues about youth entrepreneurship in the Information Technology expected to dominate the discourse.

According to a statement issued by the Chairman of the Central Organising Committee of the symposium, Mr. Ola Agbetokun, the theme of the event is “Reconciling Ipokia Youth with Global Youth Initiative and Techno-Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century”.

Agbetokun said the symposium, which will take place at Ipokia Town Hall, will also be used to present a certificate of recognition to eminent sons and daughters of the town.

“The underlining objective of the symposium is to increase the knowledge base of youths in the dynamic ICT sector; expose them to the opportunities in the sector and how to tap into it.

“The Ipokia Youth Development Council (IPYDC) is concerned with the growing numbers of unemployed youths in our local government and we believe that access to information on how to tap into the opportunities in the ICT sector will make some of our youths to become entrepreneurs in their own way.”

Other expected high points of the annual event include launching of N12million Appeal Funds for the construction of Youth Development Centre, quiz competition and debates amongst Secondary School students, business mentoring sessions.

Notable dignitaries expected to grace the occasion include Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; the Chairman, Ipokia Oba-in-Council, Ambassador Adesola Abolurin; Otunba Akeem Adigun (Socopao); Alhaji Segun Adeosun, Alhaji Taiwo Elegbede¸and Asst. Comptroller of Customs, Bola Adegbite, among others.

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Education

JUST IN: Student killed during protest at Plateau College of Education

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The Management of the College of Education Gindiri, Mangu Local Government of Plateau state has close down academic activities in the School indefinitely, following students protest, which claimed the life of a student and properties worth millions of naira also destroyed.

Investigation revealed that the students had embarked on a protest demanding for the released of the identification card and also cancellation of a National Health Insurance Scheme NHIS Policy which they claimed to have paid to the school, but whenever the approach the school clinic the management still as them to pay another money.

New Telegraph gathered that during the protest, the students on rampage burnt down the school Clinic and also damage several cars belonging to staffs as well as destroyed doors and windows of the Administrative buildings of the institution before the arrival of the security.

Public Relationship officer of the School Mrs Elizabeth Aboreng who spoke New Telegraph on a Telephone call disclose that the students from NCE Two class had protested the released of their ID card by the school management and later took laws into their hands by burning down properties in the institution including the school clinic and Ambulance.

“The Management of the institution has close down the school indefinitely, Because the students of NCE two had issues of Identification Card which was not released to them, but the made the Acting Provost Mr Cornelius Ka-ankuka and he resolved that the ID Card was to be made available today, but surprisingly today the students went on rampage without waiting to collect the ID cards and burn down two ambulances belonging to the school, burn down the clinic and also destroy staffs cars” she said.

However, New Telegraph gathered that in the midst of the protests, one student was alleged to have been hit by a stray bullet and died on the spot.

When contacted, the Plateau State Police command, Public Relations officer, DSP Mathias Tyopev, confirmed the incident and said he is expecting details from the Divisional Police officer of Gindiri, Mangu LGC of the state.

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2018 UTME: Candidates protest exam date, seek postponement

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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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