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ECE REPORT: “I want to be next Nigerian president from my community after Shagari”-Yusuf + Photos

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By Francesca Iwambe

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5-year old Alamin Sani Yusuf is among the over 120 pupils currently undergoing their Early Child Education at Magaji Abdulahi Early Child-hood Care Development Centre located in Shagari town in Sokoto State.

Yusuf whose confidence has being built through early learning said, he would love to become a president of Nigeria in future told NaijaBlitzNews.com that he would like to become the president of Nigeria in future.

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He said, ‘’I would like to become the next president of Nigeria in future like Shagari when I grow up’’.

Yusuf who spoke with the aid of an interpreter, said that his desire to become president is to help people, his family and make them smile when he becomes president.

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‘’When I become president, I will assist my family, help people and make them happy because I like it when people are happy’’.

Also, 3-year old Amina Bello who is always looking forward to come to school every morning want to be a teacher like her mistress Hannatu Aliyu.

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‘’I like the way she talks and take care of us. I want to be like her when I grow up’’, she said.

Even though there are about 2000 primary schools in sokoto state, about 500 schools in the state have Early Child-hood Care Development Centre.

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The morning circle activities at the Magaji Abdulahi which is usually practised in the morning is a boost to ECE in Sokoto State.

Every morning, the children gather together to enjoy each others’ company and explore their own inner thoughts and emotions under the guidance of a teacher.

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The pupils seat in a circle on the floor. Most of the time, they would stand in uniformity to match the activity in question with an action on the directive of a teacher.

The instructor, Zara’u Modi leads the pupils in a song while they take up response with clapping of hands and body demonstration. They talk and listen to her as she unfolds another drama activity and a lot more.

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Why is early childhood education important?

A newborn baby’s brain is about a quarter of the size of an adult brain. Incredibly, it will double in size by the child’s first birthday and will have completed 90 percent of its growth by age five. During the early childhood years, the brain is making millions of synapses every second. These neural connections allow us to move, think, communicate and comprehend the world around us. To say that this is a critical window of development is an understatement.

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There is a large body of research that suggests a high-quality ECE program can have a positive long-term effect on the lives of children. The National Education Association (NEA) states that research shows children who receive a high-quality education before they turn five enjoy significant medium- and long-term benefits. Children in early childhood education programs are:

“We have a lot of scientific data about brain development at this age, but there is a huge gap between figuring out what young brains need to thrive and actually making policies or funding programs based on that information,” Dr. Negussie said.

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She emphasized the need for more people to understand that children have an impact on everyone — not just parents.

“We forget that kids grow up and become leaders and decision-makers,” she poses. ECE should be at the forefront of political, social, state and federal discussions because every single child deserves a high-quality education, regardless of race, ethnicity or class’’, she added.

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According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) only one in three children have access to Early Child Education (ECE) in Nigeria.

The UN body said that this represent only 36 per cent of the total child population in the country adding that about 10 million children are not enrolled in ECE.

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Speaking during a two-day Media Dialogue on Early Child Education (ECE) in Nigeria, UNICEF Education Specialist, Yetunde Oluwatosin emphasised the need for leaders to prioritise ECE.

Oluwatosin noted that early childhood is a critical period which any country must pay attention to as doing so would improve the economic outcome of the child.

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She said that the period must be consciously built to contribute to the child’s early transformation.

She said: “It has been observed that a large inequalities persist between the poorest children and the richest children’s ECE attendance rate translating to 8 per cent and 87 per cent respectively.

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“Globally, fewer than one in three children ages three to four attend ECE.” In West and Central Africa, only one in four (24 per cent) attend ECE.

“In Nigeria, only one in three children (36 per cent) attend but at least 10 million children are not enrolled.

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“Research has shown that children who attend ECE perform better in academy and have greater earning potential as they grow over the years,” she said.

She further listed factors that affect ECE to include; poor subsector analysis planning and coordination which includes low workforce, poor training and infrastructure, inadequate spending on ECE, low public demand for ECE, insufficient ECE teaching and learning materials and low support for early learning.

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Oluwatosin explained that the challenges of ECE are systemic, especially the education sector analysis in terms of the workforce and strength to get infrastructure.

She said that ECE should be a specialised area that must be planned for.

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She noted that adequate data to drive early learning is critical to achieve progress.

Oluwatosin further stressed the need to strengthen the roles of parents as the first educator of the child saying; “We also need to strengthen the roles of parents as the first educator of the child, provide adequate funding for pre-primary education, build the capacity of teachers and provide adequate curriculum for ECE.“

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On is part, UNICEF Communication Specialist, Dr Geoffrey Njoku, said there was a need to focus on ECE as it is the bedrock of literacy and numeracy everywhere across the globe.

“We want to have children who can code, the world has changed and we need Nigerian children to be at par with their mates across the globe. And so we are here to push that agenda and advocate for improved ECE in Nigeria.”

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Dr Amy Panyi, the country coordinator of the Early Childhood Development Initiative (ECDI), said play-based pre-primary education is the best way children can learn at home or in learning centres.

According to her, the play-based learning process helps children develop their psychosocial skills, build self-confidence and esteem, improve their critical thinking ability, be innovative and exploitative and become creative.

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“As Early Child Educators, you don’t tell a child that you’re wrong because it demoralises them and makes the child lose confidence and ability to be curious about his or her environment.

“Our aim is to let our curriculum at the early stage be refelctive of a play-based learning conducive for child development”, she added.

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Farouk Umar, the director of Early Child Care Development, SUBEB, Sokoto said the state is looking towards addressing some of the challenges of early childhood education.

“The issue of school feeding is done in some schools and there’s a gradual process of doing it to cover the whole state.

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“I’m sure we will continue to expand until all the schools are covered. We were supposed to be here just after 9am because usually they release them for a break around 9am. That’s why if you look at the children now most of them are very hungry, they want to go home because they’re used to going home by this time.

“There’s a need for orientation so that parents and community members are fully informed on the importance of education and in fact, that’s why we have a plan for Basic education in the state.

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“In the last two weeks we have been doing training for five days where we review the plan and we incorporated a lot of sensitization activities under the ECCDE to ensure that more awareness is created in ECCDE centres,” he said.

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BREAKING! Gunmen assassinate Labour Party women leader in Kaduna

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By Francesca Iwambe

The women leader of the Labour Party in the Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State, Mrs Victoria Chimtex has been assassinated by unknown gunmen.

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She was said to have been killed on Monday night by the gunmen who invaded her residence at about 8pm and shot at her.

The victim’s husband was also said to have been shot also and was rushed to the hospital.

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Although the police authorities were yet to confirm the incident, however, the Chairman of the Labour Party in Kaduna, Peter Hassan confirmed that the victim was a very hard working and very ‘Obidient’ women leader of the party in the Kaura Local Government Area.

Hassan disclosed that the gunmen shot the victim several times on her leg and spinal cord which led to her immediate death.

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He also explained that the gunmen rejected the monetary offer made by the husband of the victim for them to spare her life.

On November 18, 2019, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) women leader, Salome Abuh was shot and set ablaze at her residence in the Ofu Local Government Area of Kogi State.

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The Labour Party is gaining mileage among the youths who are majorly rooting for the party’s presidential candidate Peter Obi.

A High Court sitting in Idah, Kogi State in March 2021 subsequently convicted one of the suspects, Ocholi Edicha, to 12 years and six months in prison for culpable homicide.

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Nigeria, Benin Rep embark on sensitisation campaign to foster unity and tackle insecurity +Photos

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The National Boundary Commission, NBC and its Beninese counterpart has embarked on a joint sensitisation campaign geared towards cementing the historical bond that existed between both countries prior to the colonial rule.

The campaign which took place at Kosu Bosu, Baruten Local Government of the Kwara State sector of the Nigeria-Benin International Boundary featured socio-cultural activities such as sporting activities as part of its efforts to promote peaceful co-existence between the dwellers along the international boundary of the two countries.

Director-General of the NBC, Surv. Adamu Adaji noted during the exercise that the lack of a clear-cut demarcation of the boundary between Nigeria and the Republic of Benin has largely contributed to the issues arising from the claims and counter claims by the border communities of both countries.

Adaji posited that the lack of demarcation of the international boundary between Nigeria and the Republic of Benin has led to the problem of insecurity along the border corridors as bad elements have capitalized on the non-clarity of the boundary to perpetuate criminal activities in the communities.

“The height of insecurity in these communities is very worrisome as the problem has become a hydra-headed monster which has proven difficult for the security agents of both countries to intervene because of the fear of crossing into the other’s sovereign territory”

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He also said that this ugly situation has significantly disrupted genuine economic activities amongst the border dwellers adding that the high level of insecurity has caused both countries enormous human and material resources which are the bedrock of sustainable development.

“It is therefore pertinent that both Nigeria and Benin Republic must join hands and rise up to the challenges posed by these criminal elements that threaten the economy, peace, security and stability of both countries”.

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He asserted that to achieve this goal there is the need to need to swiftly address the issue of the recognized boundary that constitute the administrative limits of the two sister nations.

Adaji assured that both the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Benin Republic were not resting on their oars but working assiduously to resolve the issue of the non-clarity of the boundary in order to determine where in lies the administrative limit.

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The Director-General noted that despite the separation of kith and kins in Nigeria and Benin Republic by administrative boundaries done by the colonial masters that the people have continued to relate and interact well through inter-marriages and other social economic activities stressing that we must strive to maintain this cordiality and not allow the inherited boundaries to create barriers amongst our people.

He further maintained that African countries must seek closer ties and cooperation in order to increase opportunity for trade and development as well as form alliance capable of mitigating the negative influence of globalization insisting that African must reduce the weight of its borders. He added that the border communities are considered as gatekeepers to the nation and constitute the building blocks for cooperation.

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The Director-General enjoined the communities to continue to play pivotal roles in ensuring the welfare and protection of the border communities adding “the responsibility of delivering peace and security in our borderlands in not only the responsibility of the Federal agencies but also the local authorities and traditional rulers as well as the youths, women and community leaders.

His counterpart Director-General ABeGIEF, Marcel Baglo said that the artificial boundaries created by the Europeans are traps that has caused setbacks at the border communities.

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Baglo urged the border communities to overlook these traps and be involved in the process of ensuring safety stressing that security is everyone business, and everyone should play a part in alerting the security official when necessary.

He commented the NBC on its continuous efforts in fostering peace and unity between both countries.

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The Emir of Okuta Alhaji Abubakar Idris lauded the initiative of the use of culture and sporting activities to strengthen the bond between Nigeria and Benin Republic.

He said that the two border communities speak the same language, have the same culture and tradition he therefore canvassed that the sensitization programme be extended to the provision of basic amenities and infrastructural development of the communities.

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The Emir stated that border insecurities has threatened both sides of the border and he had severally had to intervene to ensure peace amongst the communities.

The Chairman Baruten Local Government, Hon. Abdurasheed lafia applauded the several interventions of the National Boundary Commission even as he encouraged them not to relent in its efforts until they attain full restoration of peace in the area.

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Just In: Court sends IGP Usman Baba to three months jail

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Kayode Sanni Arewa

The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, has been sentenced to three months improsonment by the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.

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The court presided over by Justice M. O. Olajuwon gave the sentence on Tuesday, November 29, after Baba was found guilty of disobeying a valid court order.

NaijaBlitzNews.com reports that the court held that the IGP should be committed to prison and detained in custody for a period of three months, or until he obeys an order it made since October 21, 2011.

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“If at the end of the three months, the contemnor remains recalcitrant and still refuses to purge his contempt, he shall be committed for another period and until he purges his contempt”, the court held.

The IGP’s committal followed a suit that was filed by a police officer, Mr. Patrick Okoli, who was unlawfully and compulsorily retired from the Nigerian Police Force.

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Justice Olajuwon noted that though the Police Service Commission, PSC, recommended Okoli’s reinstatement into the Police, a decision that was affirmed by the court, the IGP, refused to comply with the order.

The court had also ordered the payment of N10million to the Applicant, being special and general [email protected] for the unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional denial of his rights and privileges as a Senior Officer of the Nigeria Police Force from 1993 till date.

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