The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), says it will provide no fewer than 200,000 bed spaces for students in various tertiary institutions in the country.
Mr Kashim Ibrahim-Imam, Chairman, TETFund Board of Trustees disclosed this in Abuja at the 2020 Board Retreat for Research Grants.
The retreat has as theme: “Consolidating TETFund as a Model Intervention Agency for Nigeria’s Knowledge Economy”.
Ibrahim-Imam said the board was concerned with the issues of lack of adequate accommodation spaces and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in different tertiary institutions in the country.
“I am very particular about two critical areas, which is also of great concern to me and the Board of Trustees.
“These include the issue of accommodation and ICT, in spite various interventions by TETFund, our tertiary institutions still have inadequate lecture theatres, research laboratories, hostels and ICT facilities.
“In the area of accommodation, it is a known fact that the number of bed spaces in our tertiary institutions is only 10 to 15 per cent of the students population.
“For example, the University of Abuja has a thousand bed spaces for thirty thousand students. Also, University of Calabar has two thousand bed spaces for fifty five thousand students. These amount to 3.3 per cent and 3.7 per cent respectively.
“So, in the course of my tenure, I will ensure that we encourage the universities, polytechnics and colleges of education to go into public private partnership arrangement that at the end of the day, they will sign agreement that will transfer the ownership of the campuses from the private developer to the universities authorities,” he said.
The chairman said that TETFund planned to wire up all the tertiary institutions with ICT that would facilitate e-learning.
“If these were desirable or luxury before, then it has become essential due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so we hope that this will encourage e-learning, e-libraries and if possible conduct e-examinations, as you cannot have meaningful researches anywhere, if you cannot log on to the internet,” he said.
Speaking, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, Executive Secretary, TETFund, said that the Fund recently established 12 Centres of Excellence, among others, within the country to promote research in various tertiary institutions across the country.
He added that two universities in each geo-political zones were selected and the agency was working on having additional centres in other universities 2021 while polytechnics and colleges of education will have theirs in the following years.
Edited By: Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Acting Education Secretary, Mr Umar Marafa, has inaugurated an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) centre at the Department of Quality Assurance to enable it collect, organise and manage school records.
At the handing over ceremony of the ICT centre provided by Mercy Multi Dimensional Project International in Abuja on Wednesday, Marafa lauded the gestures of the organisation saying it will contribute to the advancement of education sector.
He noted that the centre would be used to enhance the capacity of the department in managing the data generated by schools effectively.
Also, Malam Salihu Yahaya, Director, Department of Quality Assurance, said the project was designed to provide schools with the rationale for electronic management of the records.
He added that it would also provide access to a software which the department found compatible with its operational requirements.
” The centre is expected to enhance the department’s capacity on communication and dissemination of information to schools and supervision of school records by the department remotely.
” It will also verify accreditation status of schools, categorise schools and verify the financial status of schools in relation to payment of dues, among others.”
Yahaya noted that the project would offer the department seamless access to school data in conformity with envisaged 21st century government’s digital economy.
He added that the portal would require schools to register free on the platform www.dqaonline.com.
Also speaking, Mr Godwin Ikutor, Project Director, Mercy Multi Dimensional Project International Limited, commended the partnership between his organisation and the department.
He said that it would help improve the quality of education in FCT and Nigeria as a whole.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the project, which is at no cost to government, involved the provision of 10 computer systems, furniture, one printer, 10 mobile devices and internet services.
Others are provision of laptops for some selected public schools and manpower training for department staff.
Edited By: Angela Okisor and Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)
A don, Dr Oluwatosin Adeniyi, has advocated for better conditions of service to retain the best and the brightest doctorate degree holders in the universities across the country.
Adeniyi, of the Department of Economics, University of Ibadan, stated this in a virtual seminar, entitled “PhD Thesis Writing in Economics or Finance”, held in Ibadan on Sunday.
According to her, there is a huge deficit of PhD holders who can supervise doctoral students in Nigerian universities, owing to the conditions of service that are not favourable to them and in tandem with the present economic reality.
“More importantly, as the government works in partnership with all stakeholders to fill this lacuna, urgent attention needs to be paid to the conditions of service of the thousands of PhD holders who are working tirelessly to enhance both teaching and research capacities in the universities.
“This is because hiring PhD holders is one thing but building system-wide mechanisms for their retention is by far more important.
“As long as academic salaries remain relatively low and the infrastructure to support teaching and research activities in comatose, retaining the best and the brightest within Nigeria may be a pipe dream,” the don said.
Adeniyi said PhD holders were already burdened with supervision, adding that working to sustain teaching and research was not encouraging.
She noted that most universities in the country had dearth of PhD holders with specialisation in such disciplines as Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Science, Law and Architecture, among others.
The don stated that the substantial gap in the proportions of doctorate degree holders needed for certain courses accounted for why many universities were facing accreditation problems for their courses.
According to her, the deficit, coupled with the lower number of women with doctorate degrees partly accounts for the low levels of socio-economic and political development of the country.
“All over the world, higher education system is recognised as a major contributor to national development.
“In most advanced countries, substantial portions of national budgets are allocated to the education sector in order to facilitate teaching and research activities in universities and other research-based institutions.
“PhD programmes represent the highest echelon of academic training and the global distribution of graduates from doctoral programmes is a mirror of the disparities in the levels of economic, political and social development across countries.
“In other words, North America, Western Europe and other Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries outside these two regions have a disproportionately higher number of PhD holders.
“For the developing world however, countries like China, India and South Africa are the only comparators, albeit at the lower end of the spectrum,” she said.
Adeniyi noted deficiencies in the number of PhD holders and gender bias attained more troubling status as far as the Nigerian academic system was concerned.
“The gender bias against women is also a reality that requires scrutiny and needs structural reforms,” Adeniyi said.
Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq
Not fewer than 1,024 youths in Ekiti/Isin/Irepodun/Oke-Ero Federal Constituency of Kwara have applied for Ajuloopin Digital Empowerment Programme 2020 (ADEP2020) within three days of opening the registration portal.
Ajuloopin disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Ilorin.
NAN recalls that the lawmaker last week announced plans to train 200 people in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and E-Commerce in the constituency.
He said the training was part of activities marking his first anniversary as a federal lawmaker.
According to Ajuloopin, the portal to register for the training has since been closed because it was not necessary to accommodate more than the targeted number.
“I asked them to close the link because we already had above 1,024 applicantions within three days. I have no plan to suffer my constituents, we have to work within our limited resources.
“The programme is in phases; once we are done with this, we will look at how we can improve and plan for another phase,” Ajuloopin assured.
He said the emerging trend of economic prosperity and competitiveness of great nations were now shrouded around Internet, digital skills and know-how.
This, according to him, emphasises the realisation that a community and people that desire to be truly empowered, prosperous and competitive in today’s world must acquire the requisite skills.
“The youths must as a matter of strategic effort and purposefulness, acquire the relevant digital, Internet skills and knowledge of today; for the sake of her today and tomorrow,” he said.
The lawmaker noted that digital and ICT skills remained undoubtedly the most relevant tools of empowerment in today’s world, especially for the youths in various communities.
He said: “As a visionary leader with utmost love and unalloyed commitment to the economic sustainability of my constituency, and in furtherance of my various interventions I deemed it fit to embark on this project.”
Ajuloopin explained that every successful candidate for the training would each have gadgets given to them, registered against their names so that they would not use the tools for any other purpose.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)
The Phone and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria (PAPDAN), on Friday commended the Lagos State Government for providing Free WiFi and access roads in the Computer village.
Mr Ifeanyi Akubue, President, PAPDAN, made the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria , in Lagos.
Akubue said that Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu had been able to provide free WiFi and repaired access roads to Computer village within one year of his administration.
He said that the free WiFi at the Information and Communication Technology (ICT), hub was a promise kept, adding that the governor was generally doing well in Lagos State.
“During the governor’s campaign at the hub, he made a promise that there would be a free WiFi so that Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) can have access to the internet.
“He made a promise and he has kept it at least that is a stepping stone for more to come.
“One year as the governor, he is not doing badly because even the access roads in the Computer village and roads in some part of Lagos State have been repaired,’’ he said.
Akubue said that the Computer village had benefitted a lot from Sanwo-Olu’s administration and he had fulfilled his promise to look into the challenges of the hub.
“We are ready to support him in terms of paying our taxes and rates because we love him and he acts like one with a target to achieve for the state,” he said.
Also speaking, Mr Godfrey Nwosu, former PAPDAN President, said that the governor was a man with good purpose and intent to move the state forward.
Nwosu said that much more was expected from the governor in terms of technology in the Computer village.
According to him, the governor should also look at the possibility of providing funds through loans to MSMEs at the hubs.
Nwosu said that the business community was very hopeful that more would be done in the Computer village based on its economic strength.
NAN reports that Computer village in Lagos is the biggest ICT market in West Africa.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Donald Ugwu (NAN)
Botswana-teachers-encouraged-to-embrace-ICT-amid-COVID-19-pandemic/">Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi on Friday reminded teachers of the need to embraceBotswana-teachers-encouraged-to-embrace-ICT-amid-COVID-19-pandemic/"> Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for information dissemination and social interaction.
In his message marking the occasion of theBotswana-teachers-encouraged-to-embrace-ICT-amid-COVID-19-pandemic/"> National Teachers' Day, which is celebrated annually on the firstBotswana-teachers-encouraged-to-embrace-ICT-amid-COVID-19-pandemic/"> Friday of June in Botswana, Masisi described the occasion as "auspicious" that recognizes the contribution of teachers to the socio-economic development of Botswana.
"I want to remind you (teachers) that there is need to embraceBotswana-teachers-encouraged-to-embrace-ICT-amid-COVID-19-pandemic/"> Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for information dissemination and social interaction, especially in these difficult times caused by theBotswana-teachers-encouraged-to-embrace-ICT-amid-COVID-19-pandemic/"> COVID-19 pandemic," said Masisi.
Botswana closed schools on March 20 this year, as a precautionary measure to contain the spread and transmission of the deadly global pandemic. The closure of schools forced teachers to turn to technology in order to continue teaching remotely during the times of social distancing.
Although schools reopened last week in a phased approach, Masisi said "we have had to introspect on how we do things and identify new methods of delivering education to ensure the realizations and aspirations of theBotswana-teachers-encouraged-to-embrace-ICT-amid-COVID-19-pandemic/"> United Nations Sustainable Development Goal on Quality Education."
Under the new normal, Masisi said teachers will need to be innovative and flexible by ensuring that curriculum delivery and syllabus coverage is completed in the most efficient and effective manner, he said.
"Measures such as e-learning, flip school, the double shift model and flexible lesson schedules should be explored to provide the best learning platforms and environment for our children," Masisi said.
Botswana-teachers-encouraged-to-embrace-ICT-amid-COVID-19-pandemic/">According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's latest statistics, Botswana has one of the highest literacy rates not just in Africa but across the world, at over 86 percent for people aged 15 years and above.
The Lagos State Government says it has re-invigorated its e-governance operations, with the innovation of its Campus Network Upgrade for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
The Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mr Hakeem Fahm, said this at the 2020 Ministerial Press Briefing, commemorating one year in office of the Sanwo-Olu-led administration.
Fahm said that the Campus Network Upgrade was an enterprise infrastructure that connected thousands of computers from all MDAs within and around the secretariat for e-governance operations.
He said that the government was fully committed to deploying Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for the greater good of the state and the country.
The commissioner said that the upgrade optimised the current network to reliably and securely support new and existing applications and devices.
He said that the main objective of the optimisation was to increase network availability, performance and security of the LASG Campus Enterprise Network, while at the same time stabilising its ICT environment for a smarter Lagos.
Fahm said that the improved online solution innovated the First Ever Virtual Meeting held by the Lagos State Executive Council in the history of governance in the state and in Nigeria.
He said that the meeting was held via Zoom, a free High Definition (HD) meeting application with video and screen sharing for up to 100 people.
”The Central Billing System ensures facilitation and proper reconciliation of all payments and collections across all revenue generating MDAs in the state.
”The system increases revenue profile of the state and blocks leakages by harmonising bills generation and invoices creation.
Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)
The Federal Government has approved the reorganization of the Nigeria Police with the creation of an additional department, five Zonal Commands and granting of full autonomy to the Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB).
He said the Federal Government also approved the decentralization of the Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigations Department (FCIID).
Mba said the approvals were part of efforts to address the threats posed by the dynamics of crimes and full implementation of the Community Policing initiative in the country.
According to him, by this re-organization, the FIB, which was previously a section under the FCIID, is now a full fledged department of the Force to be headed by a Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG).
He said with the new arrangement, the force now had eight departments and each headed by a DIG.
Mba said the departments are: Finance and Administration, Operations, Logistics and Supply, Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID), Training and Development, Research and Planning, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Force Intelligence Department.
He said with approval for the decentralization of the FCID, two additional offices would be established in Enugu and Gombe States.
The FPRO said the Enugu office would take care of investigations of major crimes emanating from the South-East and South-South geo-political zones while the office in Gombe would take care of the North-East geo-political zone.
Mba said the creation of five new Zonal Command Headquarters in addition to the existing 12 brought the Zonal Command Headquarters to a total of 17 in the country.
“The five new Zonal Commands are: Akure, for Ondo/Ekiti; Awka for Enugu/Anambra/Ebonyi; Yenagoa for Bayelsa/Rivers; Maiduguri for Yobe/Borno and Katsina for Katsina/Kaduna.
He said the Inspector General of Police (I-G) Mr Mohammed Adamu, commended President Muhammadu Buhari, who is also the Chairman of the Nigeria Police Council for the approval.
The I-G said the reorganization would further bring policing closer to the people, improve response time to incidents across the country and promote efficiency in service delivery.
Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)
The Kaduna State University (KASU) says it has expanded its current online lectures to cover all departments in postgraduate and the undergraduate programmes to keep the students learning while on Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown.
The university’s Director of Academic Planning, Dr Salisu Tahir, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Kaduna on Monday.
Tahir said that the university’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) team had recommended the use of Zoom platform for postgraduate lectures and Google Class for the undergraduate lectures.
He said that the university had begun a week-long training for the academic staff to effectively adopt the user-friendly platforms to teach the students.
He added that the directorate of academic planning had developed a module to enable the lecturers to simplify their lecture notes and make them detailed for the students to comprehend.
“The reading materials would be uploaded online for the students to access via a platform developed by the ICT unit of the university.
“Also, because of the challenges in accessing internet data, lectures will be conducted strictly within a limited time possible.
“For classes that require demonstration and some form of activity, we have encouraged the lecturers, particularly those in sciences and medical sciences, to do so in form of video or audio.
“This will be delivered to the students through the social media, where they can watch or listen, including some web links to some relevant learning resources, where students can make comments or ask questions,” he added.
NAN recalls that the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Muhammad Yanko, had on April 17, announced the begining of online lectures for the postgraduate students and promised to extend same to the undergraduates.
“This is in response to the directive of the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu and Gov. Nasir El-Rufai to all schools to commence e-learning to keep students academically busy throughout the lockdown period.
“This will significantly complement the conventional classroom teaching and enable us to keep up with the academic calendar that has been disrupted by COVID-19 pandemic,” Tanko said.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Ejike Obeta (NAN)
The African Centre for Educational Development (CLEDA Africa) has urged Federal and State Governments to adopt proactive measures to enhance deployment of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in education for effective service delivery.
Mr Daniels Akpan, Executive Director of the organisation, made the call in a telephone interview with the Nigeria News Agency , on Sunday in Kaduna.
Akpan, who is also the Co-Chair, African Education Forum, spoke in reaction to the shutdown of academic activities in the country to curb the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.
He said the development would impact negatively on the pupils, teachers, students and lecturers, pointing out that most schools were at the verge of examinations when they were closed.
The director noted that pupils and students were currently idling at home, following the stay at home order, adding that the trend would create a major setback in the progress of education in the country.
He added that so far, about 1.5 billion students, representing 87.1 per cent of learners in 165 countries across the world had been affected by the closure of schools.
According to him, while technology is being deployed in developed countries to bridge the gap, learners in Nigeria and most African countries are idling at home.
“Nigeria’s education system has no adequate provisions for the use of technology and other innovations to keep students learning during emergencies and prevent academic activities from coming to a standstill.
“This disturbing situation will have been averted if the utilisation of ICT in education delivery in the country has been massive.
“Therefore, there is the need for the Federal and State governments to begin massive deployment of innovations and technology infrastructure in education delivery system in the country.
“Teachers must also be trained on how to use technology, which is cost efficient in the delivery of instruction to students wherever they are, either at school or home,” he said.
Akpan advised the government to take advantage of the opportunities presented by ICT for distance learning to take place, especially in the face of social distancing.
He said the smart move would mitigate future occurrence of a total shutdown of education activities in the country.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Rabiu Sani Ali