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Nigerian university bans students from using smartphones

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By Francesca Iwambe

The management of Bingham University in Nasarawa State has banned students from using smartphones.

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This was disclosed in an Internal Memorandum released by the Registrar of the school, Dr Esther Dyaji.

The university located in Karu, 25 kilometres from Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja, was established in 2005 by the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) as a conventional institution.

“Following repeated abuse in the use of smartphones in contravention of section 5.14 subsection i, ii and iii of the students handbook, the use of smartphone is hereby prohibited with immediate effect. Violators of this would have their phones confiscated and face appropriate sanction,” the memo read.

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A viral video recently captured a student of the school assaulting a fellow student.

In the video, the victim said to be a fresh student was being flogged with a whip by an older student.

The victim’s cousin, Jemima Nnadi, also a fresh student in the school, who shared the video, alleged that such inhuman treatment was being meted out to fresh students like them in the university.

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She further called on the right authorities to duly prosecute the older student caught bullying the younger student.

“This video was sent by my cousin in Bingham University.

“This is what they go through as freshers in the university—bullying. This student should be found and duly prosecuted,” she said.

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Reacting to the development via the micro-blogging platform Twitter, the management of the university said it has since expelled the student caught bullying the fresher.

The tweet reads, “The attention of the management of Bingham University has been drawn to a video on Twitter of a student bullying a fellow student, posted by Jemima Nnadi.

“This has since been reported to the Management and the student has since been expelled in line with the university’s zero-tolerance policy on bullying.”

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Education

2023 UTME : JAMB restrain 817 candidates from registration over infractions

JAMB
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*Orders them to register afresh

By Francesca Iwambe, Abuja

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At least 817 candidates have been restrained by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB)  from registering in the 2023 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) over some identified infractions.

JAMB Registrar Professor Is-haq Oloyede, made the disclosure after separate  meetings with stakeholders in Abuja.

According to the JAMB boss, the registrations were invalidated over some identified infractions bordering on use of strange biometric fingerprints in the registration process.

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He said, some registration officers in the affected 178 Computer Based Test (CBT) centres added one of their fingerprints to complete the registration process for the candidates adding that the 817 students would be given another opportunity to re-register for the exam with the centres bearing the cost.

“For the students who allowed other people to add their fingers to their registration procedure. We found that some of them were only naive, because you will hear them saying my finger was hot,  and the man added his own. And you allowed him to add his own?

“Some of them did it deliberately for impersonation  but we can’t identify those who are genuine from those who are not genuine. We will cancel all of them. All the registrations and we will ask them to re-register.

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” The centres involved, we have just met with them, and they all confessed, nobody is disputing it, even  students that were telling lies, they know we have the technology that won’t allow any lie to be accommodated.

” On their own (CBT owners), they suggested the solution. We will cancel the registrations of those people concerned and we will send a message to them to go back to the very centres  where they were registered and the CBT centres will pay to the board the cost of registration of the candidates.”

Prof Oloyede revealed that allowing a registration officer or any other person to add his or her finger during capturing of a candidate’s biometric data can bring about impersonation in the exam as well as  give such ‘strange’ persons access to change vital details including exam centre.

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“By adding his or her finger to your registration, it means he or her can change all your particulars when you are not there. You know your  finger is what is used to identify you. The person can change your examination centre like say from Lagos to Ibadan, and on the exam day you won’t be able to write the exam.

“That is why we put in place a device that will throw up any strange finger that is not yours and that is why we were able to identify them.

Speaking on the recent suspension of five CBT Centres for selling UTME registration pins above the stipulated price, the JAMB boss said four of the five have been let off the hook.

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He however, said the excess payment would be refunded by the affected CBT centres  to the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) for necessary action.

“Those who sold our pins to candidates beyond the approved limit, we have decided to lift the ban on four of the five after they have explained, and they have given us an apology and they have explained what happened.

“One didn’t not come so we are not lifting the suspension. The four of them, one of them that came, we are still doing investigation (on the centre)….

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” As for those who overcharged, all the candidates who overpaid we are compiling the list. The overpayment will be paid by those vendors and those institutions to the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.

” They will pay the money to them and the law will determine what to do because I don’t believe the money should go back to the candidates, because if you can pay N3,000, N5,000, N6,000 above the cost, you do not deserve any sympathy.

“I believe the money should not go back to them because we told them not to pay but now that they have paid we will recover the money and pay it to the appropriate government agency because if we retain it, they will say JAMB is looking for money, we are not looking for dirty money, we will therefore return the money to the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, so as decides by the law,
they can even take it to a charity home and give it to those in need”, the JAMB boss added.

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Education

TETFund partners IFC, others to improve employability of Nigerian graduates

Tetfund.
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By Francesca Iwambe

The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has initiated a programme across universities in Nigeria to improve the employability of graduates.

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In a statement, the TETFund’s executive secretary, Sonny Echono,
explained that the programme was introduced in collaboration with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and other local partners.

Echono also said the IFC is utilising its employability tool to provide a diagnosis of how well tertiary institutions in Nigeria are implementing employability best practices, adding that the tool will also measure how tertiary institutions are establishing a baseline for employability.

“IFC Vitae is a global first-of-a-kind, survey-based, diagnostic instrument which assesses, processes, structures, and supports employability outcomes for higher education institutions,” he said.

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“The program provides system and institutional-level insights that help identify key intervention areas that will enhance the employability ecosystem and improve graduate employability outcomes.

“One of the key roles of TETFund is to develop an enabling system for young graduates to be part of the active labour market soon after graduation.

“This diagnostic led by the IFC is the first phase of designing an intervention to improve graduate employability outcomes. The program will help improve where higher education institutions in the country are presently in relation to global best practices.”

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Echono said the initiative became imperative in the wake of rising youth unemployment in the country.

“The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has put Nigeria’s unemployment at 33.3%, while youth unemployment in the country is at 42.5% and youth under-employment is 21.0%,” he said.

“Besides, the 2022 Multidimensional Poverty Index recently released by the Bureau reveals that 133 million people in Nigeria are poor, living below the poverty line, which implies that 63% of persons living within Nigeria are multidimensionally poor.”

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The programme is supported by the federal ministry of education and the National Universities Commission (NUC).

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Education

JUST IN: ASUU Advises Students, Others Who To Vote For

ASUU
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Kayode Sanni-Arewa.

The National President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof Emmanuel Osodeke has advised Nigerians to vote for leaders that would priorities education in Nigeria and not those that treat it with disdain.

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Prof Osodeke declared that Nigerians must insist that that future leaders in the country must bring back their children to Nigerian tertiary institutions.

He said the 2023 election offers an opportunity for Nigerians to elect leaders that believe in the country and not those that have plundered “our commonwealth.”

Prof Osodoke who stated this at the weekend at the 14th Ralph Opara Memorial Lecture organised by the National Association of Seadogs( Pyrates Confraternity) with the theme: ‘State of Tertiary Education in Nigeria: Identifying Historical Issues and Misconceptions; Contemplating Solutions’ at the Akin Deko Auditorium, University of Benin , listed six challenges facing education.

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According to him, these includes poor funding, poor recruitment policies, interference from various groups, proliferation of universities, poor remuneration of lecturers and inferiority complex, and urge to send children to foreign universities.

Osodeke who delved into history pointing out the Structural Adjustment Programme foisted on the country by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund said introduction of political consideration into appointment in the Universities is a major drawback.

“Members of Councils including the Pro-Chancellors are supposed to be people who can contribute in terms of knowledge and ability to source funds for the University. Appointment into Governing Council is now based on politics and the creation of jobs for jobless politicians. Today, members of the Governing Councils are more interested in honoraria, jobs for relatives and friends, and the award of contracts.

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It is sad and shameful that the appointment of Vice-Chancellors has become political appointments. The process is now influenced by sentiments, politics, religion, ethnicity, and “son-of-the-soil” syndrome, godfatherism, and regionalism. In the 1970s and 1980s, Vice-Chancellors were appointed without political and tribal considerations; hence Professor Kenneth Dike could be the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan. Today, the appointment of Vice-Chancellors is ethnic-based and in most cases with political Godfather who dictates how the university fund should be managed to the detriment of the Nigerian people.”

He however advocated for fresh thinking in terms of funding, governance and non-interference from political groups and vested interest to allow the University function optimally.

In his welcome address, the NAS Capoon, Mr Abiola Owoaje said the Ralph Opara Memorial Lecture had become a rallying point for deep introspection on national and international issues.

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He disclosed that the choice of the theme reflects “our deep concern for the decadence that tertiary education has become in Nigeria”.

Many of us were schooled in Nigeria when our tertiary institutions were indeed citadels of learning, intellectual fervour flamed, and ideological orientations were anchored on learning and making Nigeria progressively great. Now the situation is pathetic. Our citadels of learning have become breeding grounds for gangsterism, extremist elements and festering criminality. Worse, successive Nigerian Governments have paid lip service to the development of education.

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