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Mmesoma: JAMB to sanitise nation’s public examination sector

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The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says the report of the Commission of Inquiry set up by the Anambra State Government, as demanded by some Nigerians to look into the Mmesoma saga, has vindicated the board.

This is disclosed in a statement made available to newsmen by the the board’s Acting Director, Public Affairs and Protocol, Dr Fabian Benjamin in Abuja on Saturday.

Benjamin said that the report had further reinforced the position of the board that its system is not and cannot be compromised.

”It is to be noted that the board has built a reputation in terms of the conduct of credible examinations over the years and cannot afford to fail the nation at this critical juncture of its development.

”Therefore, we will not despair in spite of the painful realisation that some Nigerians would do anything to cast aspersions on the good name of the board.

”However, in spite of all the posturing of its detractors, the board remains resolute and uncompromising in its commitment to give Nigeria the best as far as credible and fair assessment is concerned,” he said.

Benjamin said the board is more than ever, determined to continue to forge ahead unmindful of the shenanigan of those who desire its fall.

”For the benefit of those who are still doubting the capacity of Ms. Mmesoma to commit this egregious crime and those who are pushing the narrative that the girl is just 16-years-old even against all available data that indicate her age as an adult of 19 years, Ms. Mmesoma has owned up to committing the heinous infraction.

” This infraction was carefully crafted to destroy the very foundation of one of the nation’s agencies charged with the critical role of apportioning the limited educational resource of the nation based on fairness equity and integrity.

”It is, therefore, highly regrettable that some Nigerians, who do not believe in the strength and resourcefulness of their nation’s institutions, would latch on to any opportunity to pull the board down to their level of perfidy,” he added.

He called on Nigerians to learn from this as well as appreciate the genuine efforts of their critical national institutions to chart the course of national rebirth.

According to him, this attitude of attacking everything that makes the nation proud even by people who should know better is disheartening.

”The flip side of this is to infer that some ethnic jingoists had perhaps been elevated to public office and recognition beyond their mental and emotional capacity.

“The board would continue to be guided by the principles of inclusiveness and fairness as demonstrated by its seamless and unprompted deployment of a dedicated software called the Central Admission Processing System (CAPS).

”This, not only eliminates human interference in the admission process, but also engenders equity, fairness, transparency to all as we do not know tribe or religion,” he said.

He assured the public of the unwavering commitment of the board to upholding sanctity of the fabric of the nation’s educational system.

He appealed to well-meaning Nigerians, who may wish to support and encourage healthy competition by awarding scholarships and other honours to deserving candidates not to be discouraged.

He urged them to always endeavour to verify from the board any claim put forward by candidates.

He, therefore, warned candidates to stay away from fraudulent Apps that promise to enhance their scores as the end result will always be anguish and misery.

”The Mmesoma case should serve as an eye-opener especially to those who hold the view that anything goes in Nigeria.

”Ours is a great agency with great potential, which requires everybody’s collective and patriotic support as no nation develops beyond the wishes and trust of its people.

”The board, on its part, will continue to appreciate the unalloyed support of those who even risked being attacked by the social media mob to stand on the side of truth.

”To those who have sent apologies after seeing the truth, we call on them to continue to believe in the capacity of the board to deliver.

”We commend Anambra State Government for its patriotic and unbiased posture all through the period of the national challenge.
‘:Let us all put our hands together to build the Nigeria of our dreams as we congratulate Miss Kamsiyochukwu Nkechinyere Umeh as the best scorer in the 2023 UTME exercise.

Education

180 bag first class as BUK graduates 11,000 students

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By Aminu Garko, Kano

The Bayero University Kano (BUK) says it has concluded arrangements to graduate 11,000 students during its 38th staggered convocation.

The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Sagir Abbas, said this at a pre-convocation news conference on Monday in Kano.

Abbas said during the ceremony 180 Bachelor degree students would graduate with first class honours, 3, 770 students graduating in the Masters Degrees class, and 370 bagging PhD.

He explained that the institution’s staggered convocation was meant to ensure that every student feels the impact of his graduation.

“We are presenting honorary doctorate degrees to the Deputy Senate President, Barau Jibrin and the President of the African Development Bank, Dr Akinwunmi Adeshina, as part of their support to the university.”

He also said that Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, would deliver the graduation lecture entitled: ‘The Role of Private Sector in Building a Sustainable Economy in Nigeria.’

“We also recorded a breakthrough in the E-Motive at the Centre of Excellence, Africa Centre of Excellence – Population and Policies, ACE-PAP. It saved 60 percent of pregnant women that delivered.

“We have plans to start Open and Distance learning from the beginning of next year, 2025, and the university is making serious inroads in other innovative scientific research sectors,” he said.

 

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ASUU urges FG to honour agreement

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has appealed to the Federal Government to honour and implement the agreement the union entered with the government to forestall industrial action.

ASUU Coordinator in charge of Kano Zone, Mr Abdulqadir Muhammad stated this at a news conference at the end of a zonal meeting on Wednesday in Kano.

He said the issues included renegotiation of the Federal Government – ASUU 2009 agreement, reached when the exchange rate to the U.S. dollar was N146 as against the current N1,900.

Muhammad said the exchange rate has eroded its salaries by 90 per cent.

He lamented that the federal government was adamant to sign the draft agreement reached with the union after the composition of new leadership of the negotiation committee.

“Therefore, the union calls on the President Bola Tinubu to immediately set in motion the process of upward-reviewing and signing of the Nimi Briggs Committee’s renegotiated draft agreement as a mark of goodwill, and to forestall industrial crisis and restore hope for Nigeria’s public universities,” he said.

Muhammad, however, confirmed that members of the union had received partial payment of their seven months withheld salaries, and stressed the need to ensure full payment of the remaining balance.

The union, he said, also urged the Kaduna government to pay the five months withheld salaries of Kaduna State University.

While calling for payment of the Earned Academic Allowances and promotion arrears abandoned after agreement, Muhammad condemned the dissolution of the Governing Councils of public universities, adding the action contravened Universities Miscellaneous Acts and respective university laws.

He further advocated review of the Nigeria University Commission (NUC) Act, to check proliferation of universities in the country without adequate provision for funding.

On the state of the nation, the union decried the spate of insecurity, poverty, unemployment, rising cost of living, displacement and destitution in the country.

“ASUU uses this opportunity to call on all patriots in the media, civil society, labour movement and student groups to supports its altruistic struggle to reposition Nigerian public universities.

“Finally, the zone urges President Bola Tinubu to faithfully implement the contents of the agreement it freely signed with the unions through collective bargaining”.

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Education

FCTA denies school fees increment in public boarding schools

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The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) says there is no increment of school fees in public boarding schools in the federal capital.

Dr Danlami Hayyo, Mandate Secretary, Education Secretariat, FCTA, made the clarification in an interview with newsmen, in Abuja on Thursday.

NAN recalls that some parents had claimed that the FCT Administration increased school fees for students in FCT public boarding schools.

They claimed that the fee was increased from between N29,000 and N32,000 to N47,000, a development they claimed had forced some parents to withdraw their children from boarding schools to day schools.

Reacting, Hayyo said, “This is not true; this is not true.

“The Minister of FCT, Mr Nyesom Wike, had even approved the increase in the feeding allowances for boarding schools due to rising cost of food items.

“Look at the situation, how much is a bag of rice in the last two years and how much is a bag or rice currently? He asked.”

The mandate secretary also denied the claim that some parents have withdrawn their children from public boarding schools in the FCT.

According to him, FCT public boarding schools are positioned to provide quality education at affordable cost and within the means of parents.

“I don’t think there is someone that will remove his children or his son from public school as a result of the feeding cost; I doubt much.”

He added that the quality of education in public schools was very encouraging, stressing that the best student in the 2023 West African Examination Council was from a public school.

He also said that students from public schools won more trophies from debates, quizzes and other academic and sports competitions in 2023 than private schools.

“In fact, in Abuja, so many parents are removing their children from private schools to public schools because of the quality of education the public schools provide.

“There is a high number of enrolments in public schools in Abuja currently and we are trying to bridge the infrastructural gap to accommodate more pupils and students,” he said.

Hayyo said that FCTA has concluded plans to inaugurate the schools recently rehabilitated, while plans are underway for the construction of new ones.

NAN recalls that the mandate secretary had on Jan. 30 announced Wike’s approval of N30.9 billion for massive public school rehabilitation projects in the federal capital.

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