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I’ll reduce number of out-of-school children — Gov. Bello



Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello has restated the  commitment of his Administration to drastically reduce the number of Out-of-School children in the state.

The governor gave the assurance at the inauguration of the “National Identification and Enrolment Drive and Campaign on Out-of-School Children,” by the Federal Ministry of Education (FMoE), in Lokoja.

Represented by the state’s Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Hon. Wemi Jones, the governor stressed that he had taken education as number one priority in the thematic areas of focus under his New Direction Administration.

According to him, the government sees education as the only channel through which we can emancipate our people on a sustainable basis.

He reassured of his determination not to spare a kobo to making sure that education was totally revamped in Kogi.

“This is why the national identification and enrolment drive and campaign on out-of-school children by the Federal Ministry of Education is very paramount to us in the state.

“We have envisioned this ahead of time, and we have taken steps towards ensuring that we do not get caught in the web,” he said.

He noted that from the statistics available, Kogi has the least out-of-school children among the 19 Northern States of Nigeria, due to the particular attention his government had placed on issue of education in Kogi.

He said he had assented the Kogi State Education Law 2020, which had made it to become a crime in Kogi for any child of school age to be found outside the school during the official school hours.

“When such a child is spotted he/she will be arrested until the parents of that child come forth to explain why the child is not in school.

“Presently, Kogi is running 20 per cent budgetary allocation to education, and by 2022 we shall be running allocation of 30 per cent to education which is above the 26 per cent recommended by UNESCO,” he said.

He, therefore, restated the commitment of the State Government to drastically reduce the number of Out-of-School children in the state to a bare minimum.

He thanked the FMoE for the laudable initiative, assuring that the state would continue to partner with them by giving the necessary support in ensuring that education is completely transformed in the state.

In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, FMoE, Arc. Sonny Echono, said the Minister of Education, the idea of enrolling all school age children seems like an uphill task but assured that with joint efforts the challenge is surmountable.

Represented by Mr Mohammed Sidi-Ali, Deputy Director, FMoE Headquarters, Abuja, Echono, reaffirmed the determination of the federal ministry to ensure that out-of-school were returned to school, thereby reducing the number to its barest minimum.

“The ministry is set to carry out an identification of school age children that are not in school and to ensure their enrolment in schools nearest their homes as well as provide them with some basic school materials.

“The ministry believes that such children who enroll in school will remain, complete and transit to higher levels, when the enabling environment is created for learning,” Echono said.

He urged stakeholders to ensure that children especially those indigent children within their communities were offered support and sponsored in their different vocations to achieve a better and safer community for all.

The materials distributed to the children include: school bags, socks, sandals, uniforms and other stationeries.


Aliu Toluwani bags Future Awards nomination in education



Founder of Upsurge Foundation formerly called Upsurge Global,  Aliu Toluwani Victor, has been nominated for the prestigious Future Africa Award under the Education category.

Known for his impactful work in EdTech and digital education, Toluwani has dedicated himself to fostering global leaders through youth empowerment and entrepreneurship.

As a current Global Youth Ambassador at Theirworld, Toluwani has been at the forefront of innovative initiatives such as the National Leadership Summit and Royal Leadership Fellowship. His commitment to advancing education is evident in his efforts, having successfully trained over 5,000 students across 30 secondary and tertiary institutions, promoting EdTech and design thinking for community development.

Toluwani’s initiatives, including the groundbreaking “Aliu Empowerment Program” that granted tuition-free scholarships to over 40 students and the skill development powerhouse “Regal Tech Academy” which has equipped hundreds of students with tech skills across Africa, have made a substantial impact on education.

Toluwani organised the African Royal Leadership Fellowship in Kigali, Rwanda, hosting fellows from 5 African countries. This event not only showcased his commitment to global youth empowerment but also highlighted his dedication to fostering positive change on a continental scale. Collaborating with esteemed organizations such as Sterling One Foundation, JCI Rwanda, United Nations Association of Nigeria, and The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust UK, Toluwani is a beacon of inspiration for young people worldwide.

His nomination for the Future Africa Award in the Education category is a testament to his unwavering dedication to advancing education through technology. The Future Africa Award, recognised by Forbes International as the “most important youth awards,” acknowledges individuals making significant contributions to society. Toluwani’s nomination highlights the impact of his work and the transformative role he plays in shaping the future of education in Africa.

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Lead City Voices rewards students with over N50,000 cash prize at annual debate



Lead City Voices, a student association in Lead City University has rewarded students with cash prizes worth over N50,000 at its annual debate.

The 8th inter-faculty debate competition had its theme as: “Nigeria Educational crisis: Is it Government, Students, Parents, Teachers, Curriculum the cause?”

Representatives from Lead City’s faculty of communication and information sciences, Faculty of  Education, Faculty of management and social sciences, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Pharmacy, Environmental design & management, Engineering, Natural & Applied Sciences, College of Medicine participated in the debate.

In the grand finale, Faculty of Natural and Applied sciences ended with 140 points for supporting the notion given, Faculty of Law had a total of 145 points, Faculty of Management and social sciences garnered a total of 150 points to beat Faculty of Law.

The Faculty of Management and social sciences emerged as the overall winner with a congratulatory cash prize of N25,000 award certificate and Lead City Voices magazine and journal.

The dexterity of the Faculty of Law earned them the second position and a cash prize of N15,000 with an award certificate alongside Lead City Voices magazine and journal.

The eloquent and well crafted speech of the Faculty of Natural and Applied sciences made them emerge as the 3rd position with a cash prize of N10,000, award certificate, Lead City Voices Magazine and journal.

Commenting, the President of Leadcity Voices President, Ogunola Victor disclosed that the first round of the debate, which held on 21 November, 2023 afforded speakers from the participating Faculties five minutes each, while the chief speakers had an additional minute to summarise their points.

He added that participants were placed in two groups, with each having a topic to support or oppose accordingly.

Also speaking, the Vice-Chancellor Prof. Kabiru Adeyemo represented by the University’s Head of Marketing, Dr (Mrs) A. Deborah, praised LCV for organising the debate which will help students think critically as well as proffer tangible contributions to issues of worldwide importance.

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Ogun Assembly urges tertiary institutions to reduce fees



The Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Olakunle Oluomo, has appealed to tertiary institutions owned by the Ogun State Government to reduce fees payable by students.

Oluomo asked them to reconsider the plight of indigent parents by doing a downward review of the recently hiked tuition fees.

It was gathered that students of Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun and those of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, recently took to the streets to protest the hike in fees by the learning institutions.

During plenary on Wednesday, the Minority Leader and lawmaker representing Odogbolu State Constituency, Lukman Adeleye, called the Assembly’s attention to the sudden rise in fees and the protests that greeted the development.

Adeleye, earlier in his presentation, recounted the recent mass protest by the students of Tai Solarin University of Education, pleading that the Assembly wade into the matter to ensure a reduction of the hiked fees.

Reacting, Oluomo acknowledged the adverse effects of the economic challenges being faced by parents currently.

The Speaker noted that it was “important for the Heads of the tertiary institutions to show more compassion and empathy by allowing the new fees to wear human faces so as not to put the students at a disadvantage.”

He explained that though the institutions might have the compelling need to increase their fees to meet their pressing needs, given the high rate of inflation, the fees should be affordable.

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