Girls’ education: World Bank lauds KDSG for taking ownership of AGILE project

The World Bank has commended the Kaduna State Government for taking ownership of its supported Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) project.

The Bank’s Country Director for Nigeria, Mr Shubham Chaudhuri, gave the commendation at the official inauguration of the project in Kaduna on Friday.

Chaudhuri, who was represented virtually by the bank’s Senior Education Specialist, Aisha Garba, also praised Gov. Nasir El-Rufai for the support to ensure the success of the project in the state.

Describing the project as a “huge success” in Kaduna State, Chaudhuri said that supporting women and girls in Nigeria was at the top of the World Bank agenda.

According to him, AGILE is one of the biggest projects in the bank with $1.2 billion.

“This is to demonstrate the commitment of the bank to the development agenda of enhancing education opportunities and empowerment of young girls and women in Nigeria.

“We appreciate the full cooperation and partnership of stakeholders, and we will continue to support the government of Kaduna state in achieving this important agenda.”

Earlier, the National Project Coordinator, Hajiya Amina Haruna, explained that the AGILE project was the initiative of the Federal Government with funding support from the World Bank.

Haruna said that the project aimed to ensure adolescent girls access quality secondary education, through enhanced learning, digital literacy and life skills which empowered and assured better life chances and experience.

She said that the project, which disbursement began in February 2022, was being implemented in Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, Kebbi, Ekiti, Borno and Plateau states, adding that the project would be extended to other states soon.

The national project co-ordinator said that so far, Kaduna State made a giant stride towards the achievement of the project objective and commended the State Project Implementation Unit for the efforts.

She urged the relevant stakeholders to support the implementation of the project for the beneficiaries to reap the full benefits of the project.

Inaugurating the project, Gov. El-Rufai pointed out that the talents of girls were being wasted either by not educating them, getting them out of school, or subjecting them to early marriages.

He explained that his decision to appoint many women in his cabinet as deputy governor, commissioners and head of departments and agencies was not by accident.

According to him, the step was a deliberate effort to inspire young girls to be whoever they aspire to be.

He explained that the AGILE project was specifically designed to encourage and promote girl child education, which he equally described as one of the most successful World Bank financing projects in the state.

On her part, the Commissioner for Education, Hajiya Halima Lawal, said that the project has currently reduced gender disparity in secondary school to less than one per cent.

Lawal, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Haliru Soba, added that the project had equally reduced the distance to the nearest secondary school to less than a kilometre.

She added that enrolment of girls in secondary school had equally improved due to the project.

A virtual presentation of the achievements recorded so far by the State Project Implementation Unit showed that a 779 classrooms were renovated in the state.

The report also indicated that 2,629 Water Sanitation and Hygiene facilities were constructed and rehabilitated in schools, 46,252 sets of furniture provided, while five schools have fully fenced and five currently ongoing.

It also showed that the project equally renovated Government Girls Secondary School Kawo, and renovation of Barewa College Zaria, is ongoing, while 155 new secondary schools will be built.

“The project is establishing safe spaces across 142 schools with girls being trained in leadership, self- agency, nutrition, menstrual hygiene, safeguarding against gender-based violence, reproductive health and climate change and action.

“Also, a total of 6,250 students are currently participating in the project’s digital literacy programme while 35,575 girls have received scholarships.

“AGILE project is also supporting 550 secondary schools with information and communication technology infrastructure and devices for the delivery of digital literacy,” the report indicated.

The Project Coordinator in the state, Hajiya Maryam Dangaji, ascribed the successes recorded so far to teamwork, stakeholders’ collaboration, and the overwhelming support from Gov. El-Rufai and his Executive Council.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Basic education: final year pupils anxious as they await common entrance results

Final year pupils in various primary schools across the country are in full focus as they begin their official end of year exams.

Common entrance and entree en sixième examinations begin this Thursday May 11th 2023 and candidates are doing final touches in group as well as individual studies in order to maximize their chances of succeeding the exams.

“I am Steve, pupil of Class 6 at Government Bilingual Primary school Babadjou Toumaka. I am preparing for my common entrance exams that will take place on Thursday. To succeed, I do revisions in school and at home,” a class 6 pupil told us 24 hours to exam time.

When asked if he is confident he will succeed, Steve tells us he is.

“I am sure I will succeed because I did succeed in the mock exams and the lessons are easy.”

On their part, head teachers and teachers are confident that their pupils will make them proud judging from their performances in the mock exams.

The head teacher of Government Bilingual Practicing School Babadjou Toumaka, says he knows that his pupils will be successful because all instructions given are respected to the letter and the school put in place a preparatory system that also involved the psychological aspects.

“The children are confident of themselves because we made them so. The psychological preparation is there. We tell them that what they will meet during the exam will not be strange. They are things we teach them everyday and in which they score high. To make sure our strategy works out, we do revisions,” Aloysius, head teacher of the school tells us.

“I will estimate a 90% success rate because you know many of our children are from the restive North West and South West regions. These children are traumatized either with the distances they cover each week to reach school or with the environment in which they find themselves. With this we only have to boost them morally and give them full psychological support, ” Aloysius adds.

Teachers on their part are aware of the stakes of the exams and say the instructions given by hierarchy are strictly followed.

“As you can see we are fully engaged in revising the mock exams. We don’t know what the real exam will reserve but we are hopeful that 90% of the lessons we revise will appear in the exams,” declares a class 6 teacher.

The Common Entrance Examinations are taken by final year school pupils in Cameroon as part of selective admissions process into secondary schools.

After the common entrance, the pupils will have a month before they face their final examination: the First School Leaving Certicate.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

Guinness Nigeria, Edo Govt partner on women’s empowerment, vocational education

Guinness Nigeria Plc says it is ready to collaborate with Edo Government for empowerment of women, as well as Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) in schools.

Its Managing Director, John Musunga, made this known on Thursday in Benin, during a courtesy visit to Gov. Godwin Obaseki.

Musunga said that Guinness team in Benin would work with Edo Government on the partnership arrangement for the empowerment of women into its “Plan W” women’s empowerment programme to create more jobs for Edo people.

“You got the right team to address the issue of school TVET, park beautification and logistics. We can craft responses shortly as to what we can do in the medium and long term,” he told Obaseki.

He said that doing business in Edo had been fairly stable, commending the Obaseki-led administration for its infrastructure development.

“For the last six years, we have seen infrastructure development. You have lit up the streets and movement is much easier.

“We did not have disruption in Benin during the election cycle; we were still able to produce and move our goods across the country.

“Our business has been fairly stable in Benin and giving us the confidence to continue to invest here,” Musunga said.

He also intimated the governor about the company’s investment drives as well as corporate social responsibilities in the state.

“We have put in about four million pounds and we will be commissioning our new water treatment plant. It will be ready for full commissioning in the next few weeks.

“The plant treats about 80 per cent of all our effluent water and it is recycled back to a point where you can drink it.

“However, we will only be using it in ancillary functions like cleaning.

“We have the Water for Life programme and have given water to communities in Benin in the last 20 years. We are here to stay,” the managing director said.

He, however, noted that the issue of forex was a challenge to the company’s business investment plan in the country.

In his remarks, Obaseki said his administration was working round the clock to make the state conducive for investors to do business.

“As a government, we are encouraging people to come and do business in the state. We are putting a transport hub together; we are building parks to organise transportation better,” the governor said.

He said his administration was concerned about skills and capacity building, urging the Guinness Benin factory to adopt Western Boys High School as a TVET centre.

“We are emphasising TVET and you have a school opposite your factory which we would like you to adopt.

“We would like to build a TVET centre; we will like kids to go there, train kids who will one day work within your factory as senior engineers.

“We are trying to make our city beautiful and attractive. We are building more parks and greening the city.

“You have a park close to you; we can come up with a design so that you can adopt that space,” Obaseki said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Basic education: common entrance exams at doorsteps

Final year pupils in various primary schools across the country are in full focus as they begin their official end of year exams.

Common entrance and entree en sixième examinations begin this Thursday May 11th 2023 and candidates are doing final touches in group as well as individual studies in order to maximize their chances of succeeding the exams.

“I am Steve, pupil of Class 6 at Government Bilingual Primary school Babadjou Toumaka. I am preparing for my common entrance exams that will take place on Thursday. To succeed, I do revisions in school and at home,” a class 6 pupil told us 24 hours to exam time.

When asked if he is confident he will succeed, Steve tells us he is.

“I am sure I will succeed because I did succeed in the mock exams and the lessons are easy.”

On their part, head teachers and teachers are confident that their pupils will make them proud judging from their performances in the mock exams.

The head teacher of Government Bilingual Practicing School Babadjou Toumaka, says he knows that his pupils will be successful because all instructions given are respected to the letter and the school put in place a preparatory system that also involved the psychological aspects.

“The children are confident of themselves because we made them so. The psychological preparation is there. We tell them that what they will meet during the exam will not be strange. They are things we teach them everyday and in which they score high. To make sure our strategy works out, we do revisions,” Aloysius, head teacher of the school tells us.

“I will estimate a 90% success rate because you know many of our children are from the restive North West and South West regions. These children are traumatized either with the distances they cover each week to reach school or with the environment in which they find themselves. With this we only have to boost them morally and give them full psychological support, ” Aloysius adds.

Teachers on their part are aware of the stakes of the exams and say the instructions given by hierarchy are strictly followed.

“As you can see we are fully engaged in revising the mock exams. We don’t know what the real exam will reserve but we are hopeful that 90% of the lessons we revise will appear in the exams,” declares a class 6 teacher.

The Common Entrance Examinations are taken by final year school pupils in Cameroon as part of selective admissions process into secondary schools.

After the common entrance, the pupils will have a month before they face their final examination: the First School Leaving Certicate.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

Disability is not reason for illiteracy

The govenment of Cameroon, together with the Cameroon Baptist Convention health services say they are determined to make education available for all children living with disabilities.

“We are trying to teach teachers to have inclusive skills so they can attend to both children with disabilities and those without. We have equally donated equipments to the GCE board and to other schools,” Prof Tih Pius Mofe, Director of the CBC health service says.

“We have to think about putting in place strategies that will really transform our educational system. We have about 70 schools for inclusive education and we are working together with the Cameroon Baptist health service to give these children living with disabilities a chance at education just like other children,” Pauline Irene Nguene, Minister of social affairs adds.

“I have noticed that most of these children with disabilities are extremely smart and brilliant. We are calling on parents with children having disabilities to send their kids to school. We are trying our best to ensure that they become something in the society and are not forced to stay back at home while others get trained. It is not their making they were born the way they are. We love them too and want the best for them. I have a child with disability and I love him even three times more than the others. I make him feel extremely special. They need it. They get easily traumatized when they see other children doing what they cannot do,” Sophie Njie a CBC worker and a parent explains.

A campaign has been launched by the Ministry of Social Affairs together with the Cameroon Baptist Convention health services to step up the education of children with these disabilities. This campaign was launched in Yaounde this May 05, 2023. The Minister of social affairs, Pauline Irene Nguene says it is time to move from policy to action. She also urged every parent to send their disabled child to school or let them acquire skills.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

Bamenda: Authorities say impressive on 2023 labour day turn out

Some authorities in the town of Bamenda have saluted the population who turned out to celebrate the 137th edition of International Labour Day in the North West region.

According to them, the turnout in 2023 was quite impressive and a way to note that peace is gradually returning in the crisis-hit region.

The authorities made up of North West Governor, Adolphe Lele L’afrique, the representative of the president of North West Regional Assembly, Hon. Ghejung Awunti and the president of the North West trade unions were speaking Monday, May 1, 2023, immediately after witnessing activities of the day at the Bamenda Commercial Avenue grandstand.

“It is thanks to workers that life is coming back to normalcy in the entire region. I am congratulating all those who took part in the mobilization to make sure that we have these workers here,” Governor Adolphe Lele Lafrique said.

Other authorities like the representative of the North West Regional Assembly president, Awunti added that the huge crowd that turned out is actually thanks to the efforts of the assembly, which is out to work mostly with the people.

“The Regional Assembly represents the people of the region. We stand here with the people including workers who came here to say thank you. This actually is in line with the vision of the president of the Regional Assembly where we are there to listen, learn, and take action for the people,” Ghejung Awunti said.

The president of the North West trade unions association said the turnout was more than that of last year. He congratulated all the associations including bike riders who were present and massively took part in the match pass activities.

This year’s international labor day took place under the theme “Resilience and decent work: acting together in the World of work to improve living conditions and social inclusion”

Some associations and personalities were awarded medals and prizes for their resilience and always working with you population and authorities. The celebration ended with match pass activities by some organizations, institutions, and others.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

Ministry of Education draws attention to teachers

Angolan minister of Education Luísa Grilo Tuesday said that valuing of human capital, with stress to the teachers, represents the Executive’s main challenge.

Luísa Grilo acknowledged this while speaking at the opening ceremony of the sector’s First Consultative Council held in municipality of Luau, eastern Moxico province.

The minister pledged the Executive commitment to continue working toward achieving and overcoming “the great challenges of the sector”, including that of appreciation of human capital, mainly the teachers.

In addition to this challenge, Luísa Grilo also spoke of tackling the problem of educational infrastructures to cater for the children outside the education system.

In her speech, she also spoke of the need to reduce the teacher-student ratio, “urgently” eliminate precarious classrooms and overcome the quality of learning.

She also said that the quality of teaching will be implemented in the review of the curriculum policy and other components, as well as due attention to the management model of the national assessment system and other domains.

As for the meeting, the minister said that she will analyse, among others, the causes and consequences of violence in public and private schools in the country, prevention and mitigation strategies, so that students find a peaceful, familiar and supportive environment at school, where the values of good and healthy coexistence are promoted.

Luísa Grilo said the event serves to promote a reflection on the paths of human resource management, in addition to reinforcing the Executive’s idea of continuing to train staff, so that the duties of primary education teaching staff are guaranteed by qualified teachers.

In turn, the governor of Moxico, Ernesto Muangala, asked the MED for more investment in the region, especially in the construction of technical schools in the interior unicipalities.

The two-day meeting will enable the more than 200 participants to address various issues, such as the national school calendar, expansion of the programme for pre-school and early childhood education, among other matters.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

UNICAL graduates 7,769 students at 35th convocation

The University of Calabar will graduate 7,769 students during its 35th convocation holding on Friday and Saturday.

Prof. Florence Obi, Vice Chancellor of the institution, disclosed on Monday in Calabar while enumerating activities lined up for the week long convocation.

Obi said that Friday was for the award of first degrees, diplomas, masters and post graduate and also induction into UNICAL alumni for those found worthy in character and learning.

She explained that Saturday was scheduled for award of doctorate and honorary degrees to deserving students and awardees.

According to her, Thursday has also been scheduled for the investiture of the 6th Chancellor of the institution, Alhaji Aminu Ado-Bayero, the Emir of Kano.

The Vice Chancellor said that the convocation lecture would be delivered by Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.

She said that the convocation topic is “The Leadership and Followership Question in Nigeria: Imperative or Ethical Re-Orientation.

“For the 35th convocation of our university, we are happy to announce that 11 students made first class, 899 students made second class upper, 3,396 graduated with second class lower, while 721 got third class.

“Also, we have 519 students for doctorate degree, 1,078 for masters and 556 for post graduate diploma and others.

“For our sandwich programme, 162 students made second class upper, while 251 made second class lower,” she said.

The VC also announced that the senate of the university accepted three personalities for the award of honorary doctorate (honoris causa) degrees.

She said they include; Dr Goodluck Jonathan, former President of Nigeria, Mrs Winifred Akpani, Chief Executive Officer of Northwest Petroleum and Ms Tola Johnson, a business woman and an advocate of women and youth empowerment.

She described Jonathan as a humble gentleman who places Nigeria above any other personal consideration, referring to him as a unifying factor in Nigeria, Africa and the world at large.

She commended staff and students of the institution for their support for her administration, adding that the university under her leadership would continue to strive for academic excellence and quality research.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Sudan crisis: Al-Yolawi commends FG for evacuating students

An Abuja Based Islamic Cleric, Yahya Al-Yolawi, has commended the Federal Government for the evacuation and rescuing of Nigerian students trapped by the Sudan crisis.

Al-Yolawi made the commendation while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Abuja on Monday.

” I will like to thank and appreciate efforts made by the Federal Government for the evacuation of our students and youths trapped in Sudan due to the ongoing war.

” However, more needs to be done as it appears some are still stranded and even those carried by buses are still to reach their destination, based on the clips being circulating by the the students themselves.”

Al-Yolawi noted that islam considered life- time of persons as great valuable resources, thus believers were encouraged to be conscious of their action and inaction in life.

” To achieve maximum benefit out of this life, one needs to recognise its importance and organise it wisely.

” If human beings do not waste or abuse life but rather perceive it as a blessing from Allah, they would have every chance and hope for success both in this life and in the hereafter.

” Islam teaches us that your life passes quickly and can never return; it is irreversible. It is also the most precious gift that mankind possesses and can be taken from us at any given moment.”

He urged the youth to utilise their energy for the sake of Allah by seeking knowledge, obtaining halal means of sustenance, and worshipping Allah through acts that he or she might not be able to do later in life.

” When people lose their youth, they find it harder to do certain deeds which were easier to do at a younger age. Youth, here, does not mean the concept of youth where youthfulness finishes after the age of 13 or 19.”

The cleric also advised Muslims to take advantage of their good health before they being overcome with illness or disability.

” What we often don’t realise is that our health is a blessing from Allah. When we are in good health, we take it for granted and don’t always appreciate what we have.

” It is only when we fall sick that we realise what a great blessing we had and how we lost it by not doing as much as we could have done.”

Al-Yolawi also enjoined wealthy muslims to take advantage of their wealth before poverty.

” One day we might have much more than we need, and the next day, we might not have anything.

“One day, a person might have the best of jobs or the best of businesses; yet, the next day, something happens and he does not have the job or the business, and loses all his sources of income.

” So the wise person uses his wealth before he loses it. He invests for his future,” the cleric said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria