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264m Children Worldwide are not in School – UNESCO

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UNESCO removes Liverpool from World Heritage List

Some 264 million school-age children and young people worldwide were not in education in 2015, the United Nations culture and education agency (UNESCO) said on Tuesday.

The agency, in a progress report on the UN’s development goals for education, said that after a decline in the early 2000s, out-of-school rates have started to stagnate.

“Worldwide, there was a completion rate of 83 per cent for primary education, falling to 45 per cent for upper secondary schooling,’’ the agency said.

The agency meanwhile quoted household survey data from 128 countries for the 2010 to 2015 period.

There were 40 countries where fewer than one in four young people had completed secondary education, but only 14 where no less than 90 per cent had done so.

UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova, however, called for more government accountability.

The report noted that while 82 per cent of national constitutions mention a right to education, only 55 per cent of countries make that right enforceable in the courts.

“Governments are the primary duty bearers for the right to education, yet this right is not justifiable or capable of being the basis for a court case in almost half of countries, and the primary course of action for those with a complaint is lost,’’ Bokova wrote.

While calling for accountability at all levels, the report said accountability measures for schools needed to be flexible and carefully designed.

“Schools may adjust to performance-based accountability systems in negative ways, gaming the system and avoiding sanctions to the exclusion of longer-term reforms,’’ the agency warned.

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Education

UNIBEN Shut Down Indefinitely Over Students’ Protest

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UNIBEN Shut Down Indefinitely Over Students’ Protest

…As Students protest power outage 2 weeks before first Semester exams

The authorities of the University of Benin on Thursday shut down academic activities in the institution indefinitely.

The university in a statement by its Public Relations Officer, Dr Benedicta Ehanire, attributed the decision to the refusal of the students to shift grounds on their demands.

The Newsmen recall that the students on Wednesday took to the streets, blocking the ever-busy Benin-Ore Highway to protest weeks of power outages on campus.

The students, who had two weeks until their first-semester examination, said the situation was severely affecting their preparation.

The students also called for a downward review of transport fares by the UNIBEN shuttle service, which was increased with effect from July 1.

It was reported that the university was thrown into a blackout by the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) following the inability to reach an agreement over contentious electricity billings.

The monthly bill was said to have jumped from about N80 million to between N200 and N280 million, forcing the university to resort to power generators as well as rationalisation of power on the two campuses and hostels.

When a news correspondent spoke with the protesting students amidst heavy rainfall, they were hellbent on continuing the rampage unless their demands were met.

But in the notice of closure made available to newsmen, Ehanire described the students’ demand for a 24-hour  supply of electricity as unrealistic.

“Following the insistence of students of the University of Benin to shift grounds on their demands for twenty-four hours supply of electricity and more, considered unrealistic by the University’s Senate, the University has shut down academic activities indefinitely.

“Students are to vacate the hostels immediately while all the relevant units of the University are to take note and comply.

“However, non-teaching staff and staff on essential duties are not affected by the shutdown,” said the university’s spokesperson.

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Smouldering: ASUU Urges FG To Honour Agreements, Memoranda

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Smouldering: ASUU Urges FG To Honour Agreements, Memoranda

…ASUU urges FG to honour agreements, memoranda

The Academic Staff Union of Universities ( ASUU), Kano zone, has called on the Federal Government to address all the outstanding issues in the agreements and memoranda they signed with the union to ensure industrial harmony in Nigeria.

The call was made by the Zonal Coordinator, Mr Abdulqadir Muhammad, during a news briefing at the end of a zonal meeting comprising the seven universities in the zone on Thursday in Kano.

He explained that the issues include renegotiation of the Federal Government – ASUU 2009 agreement and funding for the revitalization of public universities for global reckoning, and respect for university autonomy, among others.

According to him, the non-signing of the draft renegotiated agreement has led to widespread discontent and declining morale among their members, resulting in brain drain

“Therefore, ASUU Kano zone calls on the President Bola Tinubu-led administration to respect the provisions of the International Labour Organization(ILO) convention, to which Nigeria is a signatory.”

He also called for the release of funds for the payment of salary arrears, Earned Academic Allowances (EAA)  and withheld salary.

On university autonomy, the union called on the Kano State Government to immediately reinstate the arbitrarily dissolved governing council of the two state-owned universities.

ASUU Kano zone further called on the state governments to take a queue from the presidential directive resulting from court ruling to exempt tertiary institutions from IPPIS and stop illegal enrollment of their members into related platforms.

On the state of the nation, ASUU expressed worry over recurring insecurity, poverty, unemployment, rising cost of living, livelihood displacement, and heightened destitution in the country.

They also called on the government to urgently review the Nigeria University Commission, (NUC) Act to check the proliferation of universities in the country without adequate provision for funding.

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Education

Afolabi Foundation To Award 2000 Scholarship In 2024, Donates Furniture To Abia School

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Afolabi Foundation To Award 2000 Scholarship In 2024, Donates Furniture To Abia School

The Ajoke Ayisat Afolabi Foundation (AAAF), the philanthropic arm of SIFAX Group, has set a target of awarding a scholarship to 2,000 indigent students nationwide in 2024.

Foluke Ademokun, Executive Coordinator, AAAF, while speaking on the activities of the non-governmental organisation in the first quarter of this year, noted that the driving force behind this initiative was to support indigent parents and tackle the menace of out-of-school children.

She said: “We are focused on helping the government reduce the number of out-of-school children, so in our way, we have provided a platform where we source and pay for school fees of indigent students across Nigeria so they can access quality education, despite the financial circumstance of their parents or guardians and we have been doing this since the inception of the Foundation about 15 years ago. Thousands of underprivileged children have benefitted from the Foundation.

“In the first quarter of 2024, we have paid for over 237 students in Lagos and Zaria and we are optimistic that before the end of the year, we should reach more than 2,000 students. The Foundation also plans to equip the students with in-demand skills, promote life-long learning opportunities, and reduce inequalities in access to quality education.”

Ademokun further said the foundation also extended support to Umunna Comprehensive Secondary School, Umuosu in Isiala Ngwa North Local Government Area of Abia State with the donation of 3-in-1 desks and seats to foster a good learning environment that would impact the student’s overall learning experience and success.

 “When we visited the school and we saw that the environment was not conducive for learning especially the tables and desks used by the students, we knew that an intervention was necessary to make the school attractive for the students, this was why we initiated this donation of new desks and seats. We believe that the students will be motivated and better engaged with the new desks and seats”, she noted.

Other projects executed by the Foundation and SIFAX Group in the first quarter of the year, according to Ademokun, include the provision of daily meals for indigents in Zaria, donation of foodstuffs to over 1,000 Lagos residents, free medical outreaches in Lagos and Ogun states, digital training for market women in Lagos, distribution of energy-efficient stoves to women in Abia state, and start-up grants to women in Zaria, Kaduna state. 

While commenting on the various projects, Basil Agboarumi, Executive Director, Corporate and Governmental Affairs, SIFAX Group noted that the Group was committed to investing in the underprivileged Nigerians through its various intervention projects aimed at improving their quality of life.

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