Stakeholders in Northwest geo-political zone have attributed the current spate of moral decadence among school children to the failure of relevant stakeholders to play the mentorship role expected of them.
Responding to a News Agency of Nigeria survey on the issue, they said although moral training of children was a collective responsibility, parents were to blame substantially over the current situation.
They pointed out that parents, teachers, community members and religious leaders had roles to play inculcating good morals in children at home, school environment and places of worship.
Mr Zakari Mohammed, Director Higher Education, Kaduna State Ministry of Education, said that the first point of inculcating morality in a child, was the home.
Mohammed said that it was the primary responsibility of parents to mentor their children and when the child reached school age, teachers were expected to participate.
He said parents owed it a duty to find ways of monitoring activities and behaviour of their children while in school so as to detect and correct areas of concern.
He explained that the disturbing incidences of immoral behaviour among school children showed that there was vacuum somewhere, adding that parents were not doing enough.
“To some extent, some parents have relinquished their responsibilities of moral upbringing to teachers, who had to be playing the roles of ensuring academic advancement, as well as moulding the character of children.
“Every school has Parent Teachers’ Association (PTAs) and School Based Management Committees (SBMCs), which have critical roles to play.
“While the PTAs comprise the parents and teachers, the SBMCs comprise the parents, teachers and community members, and these stakeholders meet to address issues affecting the school system”, he said.
Mr Haruna Danjuma, National President, National Association of Parent Teacher Association, also said that some parents lacked the needed morals to give to their children, thereby leaving the responsibility to teachers.
He stressed the need for parents to wake up to their responsibilities and pay attention to raising the moral standard of their children who were to be the leaders of tomorrow.
Mr Garba Garkuwa, SBMC Chairman, Sabon Gari Local Government Area, Kaduna State, also argued that teachers were supposed to be like parents to the children under their care, and should discipline them when they misbehaved.
“But under the current realities, no teacher can afford to touch anybody’s child in the name of discipline because some parents could mobilise thugs to attack the teacher.
“The parents are discouraging teachers from playing their role of disciplining and counseling the children while in school to keep them in line, and at home, the parents are never there for the children”,he said.
He added that the bond that kept family members together years ago, had broken completely, lamenting that parents had transferred their primary responsibility of parental care to teachers and house-helps.
On her part, Mrs Hadiza Umar, Executive Director, Hope for Communities and Children Initiative (H4CC), an NGO, equally stressed the need for community involvement in parenting.
Umar said that teachers were doing their best, but stressed that parents and communities needed to do more, saying that deviant behaviour of a child, if unchecked, could affect other children in the community.
“Teachers are doing their best but sometimes children come to school with all kinds of issues from their homes, hence the need for psycho-social counseling to children with poor moral upbringing.
“Once you notice a deviant behaviour, bring it to the attention of the parent so that action will be taken before it gets out of hand”, she said.
Meanwhile, Kano State Coordinator of National Human Rights Commission,Mr Shehu Abdullahi, has called on government to provide legal framework and policies on handling children within and outside the home.
He told NAN in Kano that with such arrangement, the moral upbringing of children might be guaranteed.
He emphasised that parents were major stakeholders in ensuring the proper moulding of their wards, adding that the community and schools were only supposed to complement.
On her part, a parent in Kano, Mrs Feyisayo Robinson, said the moulding of a child starts from the day of birth.
“Parents must critically assess the type of the school their children attend, otherwise what ever efforts made at home will be reversed in school,” she said.
Another parent, Mr Lawal Muhammed, stressed the need to moderate the time and type of films being watched by children at home.
“Most parents comfortably sit with their children to watch contents meant for adults only, and this later boomerangs when the kids manifest what they see,” Muhammed said.
A psychologist, Dr Abba Musa, explained that the whole issue of parenting depended on the level of understanding by parents and the child psychology.
According to him, most parents do not understand the psychology of their own children because of distance they have created.
“A lot of parents do not pay attention to the psychological needs of their children, and the gap created gives room for deviant behaviour without the parents realising”, he explained.
He appealed to parents to study their children and spend time with them in order to draw them close and regulate their behaviour at early stage.
On his part, an educationist in Kebbi, Muhammad Jibo, observed that most parents had failed woefully in their responsibilities of nurturing their children to become worthy characters in the society.
“You cannot get what you did not give; the outcome of bad parenting is nothing but the bad attitude and behaviour you see in children,” he said.
Jibo, a lecturer with Department of Education, Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto, identified parenting as the process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social and intellectual development of a child, from infancy to adulthood.
The educationist said healthy parent involvement and intervention in child’s day-to-day life lays a solid foundation for better social and academic skills, something most parents lacked today.
A parent in Birnin Kebbi, Malam Musa Dogara, lamented that some parents had failed in their duties, hence the challenge of moral bankruptcy that was manifesting in the manner small children displayed their nudity.
“With the current atmosphere, especially on social media, I advise parents to take up the challenge of shaping and moulding their children to be good ambassadors of their respective homes,” he advised.
In Sokoto, Mrs Kulu Nuhu, former Director in charge of Children, Sokoto State Ministry for Women and Children Affairs, suggested that religious centres should also play the role of social services centres.
She said such places should be more of Reformation Centres or hubs for discussing issues bedeviling the society, just as she described the recent unwholesome conduct of students of some institutions in Lagos, as proceeds of neglect and poor parenting.
In her contribution, the Permanent Secretary, Sokoto State Ministry for Women and Children Affairs, Mrs A’isha Dantsoho, suggested the introduction of pre- marriage counseling for intending couples to address the issue of proper upbringing of children.
She said such proactive measure would enable the ‘future parents’ have a clear idea of what society expected of them in the area of moulding the character of their future kids.
In Katsina and Zamfara States, respondents observed that parents had abdicated their responsibility of imparting moral values on their children, expecting school teachers to shoulder such responsibility.
A retired School Principal in Katsina State, Malam Kabiru Umar, said that the responsibility of proper child-upbringing should not lie on the shoulders of teachers.
“The responsibility of mentoring children to behave well and become useful members of the society is that of parents; the role of teachers is purely complementary”, he said.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the CTF Education Secretariat are partnering to provide appropriate information on sexual and reproductive health to address HIV and AIDS. unintended pregnancies in adolescents.
Mr Mamadou Lamine-Sow, Program Specialist and Head of Education Sector, UNESCO Regional Office in Abuja, said during an orientation session for School Management Committees (SBMCs) and the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) on HIV Family Life Education in Abuja on Tuesday that age-appropriate information was essential for improving well-being.
Lamine-Sow said the session was made possible through the Our Lives, Our Future (O3) program to strengthen and support the delivery of quality HIV family life education (FLHE) that would empower adolescents and young people.
He added that "we all know how important Nigeria's FLHE is in preparing young people for safe, productive and fulfilling lives in a world where HIV and AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancies, gender-based violence and gender inequality continue to pose serious risks to their well-being.
He therefore urged parents and SBMCs to understand, support and become involved in providing FLHE with factual information and to equip them with the life skills necessary to enable them to overcome life challenges.
He noted that “these would develop their skills and confidence to engage their children and children in accurate, non-judgmental conversations about sexual and reproductive health needs.
“It will support teachers in delivering FLHE at the classroom level; and - ensure that schools and community environments are free from gender-based violence, safe, healthy and inclusive for all learners.
UNESCO National Program Officer Ms. Ngozi Amanze said: “FLHE plays a central role in preparing young people for safe, productive and fulfilling lives in a world where HIV and AIDS, STIs, unintended pregnancies and gender-based violence continue to pose serious risks. to their well-being.
“We all know that schools offer important opportunities to reach large numbers of young people with comprehensive information on sexual and reproductive health before they become active.
“It also provides a safe and supportive learning environment, the tools and materials necessary to provide young people with high quality life skills training. "
According to her, 150 members of the PTA and SBMC will attend the orientation session.
Mr Solomon Johnson, representing the FCT-Education Secretariat, said the orientation session would equip parents, teachers and SBMC on FLHE, aimed at reducing the incidences of unplanned pregnancies and STDs.
Johnson therefore urged parents to play a fundamental role in providing quality sexual and reproductive health education to their children for long-term results.
Likewise, Dr Lydia Giginna, Director of Educational Support Services, Federal Ministry of Education, representing Chime, stressed the need for increased efforts to equip adolescents with the skills to improve health and performance. well-being.
In addition, Mr. Adebayo James, representing SBMC in the FCT, congratulated the organizers of the orientation session, which he said would expose the participants to FLHE.
Mr. Umar Zubairu, representative of PTA, FCT, urged the organizers to make the training an ongoing process, as well as to disseminate it to others.
By Emmanuel Mayah and Esme Lowe (UK)
Foreign military aggression, gun-boat diplomacy, trade war and lately; exportation of strife in the form of insurgency and terrorism are not the only ways to attack the political fortune of a sovereign nation. Another, and perhaps the most insidious, is covert attack on the country’s currency. In this case the naira.
Barely one month after Godwin Emefiele assumed office on June 4, 2014 as Central Bank Governor, the first proxy attack – under his watch – on Nigeria’s Foreign Reserve happened. The United States, beginning July 2014, terminated importation of oil from Nigeria whose primary source of dollar inflows was crude export. Nigeria was not at war with the US but the naira was ultimately taking a beating.
Jeff Zients, at the time White House Director of the US National Economic Council, said the cessation of oil imports from Nigeria arose from a significant rise in US oil production.
The reduction of US oil importation to zero marked the first time since 1973 that the US did not import oil from Nigeria. Until the dramatic reversal Nigeria was still among US’s top 5 oil suppliers – a factor significant to its status as Africa’s largest economy. At the peak of their trade relationship, Nigeria was exporting 1.3 million barrels per day to the United States.
The Deutsche Bank, apparently snorting at America’s official excuse for the unforeseen, drastic and total freeze of oil imports from Nigeria, suggested a possible political connotation. Though Nigeria’s high quality crude – easily processed into higher octane gasoline – was always the preferred choice to American refiners, Middle East producers such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait continue to pump crude oil of a lower quality that US Refiners continue to buy even in the wake of massive shale output.
The freeze suggested an agenda to strangulate Nigeria’s oil exports and to dry up its forex.
While the US’ foray into shale oil production may had on the surface justified the termination of oil transactions with Nigeria, it could not explain America’s continued importations from other oil producing nations, including OPEC members like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and non-OPEC suppliers like Canada.
At the same time the US completely halted oil imports from Nigeria, it increased its crude oil importations from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Canada. Additional economic actions strangulating the naira followed in the succeeding years.
From zero oil import from Nigeria, the US went on to export its own oil to countries that had been traditional buyers of Nigerian crude. Using new technologies such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing or fracking, the surge in US’ shale output turned America into the world’s top crude producer who deliberately began to put the Nigerian oil under pressure in Europe and Asia.
Traders and shipping data showed how the US flooded the European market with what one energy trader described as “a sea of cheap U.S. oil.”
Data from Refinitiv Eikon show that after Washington lifted a 40-year ban on exports of U.S. oil in 2015, shipments to Europe hit an all-time high of 25 million barrels in March 2019 from just 2 million barrels in February 2016. This encouraged European refiners to driving a hard bargain, offering lesser prices for Nigerian crude.
Determined to offset the impact of the US actions, Nigeria began lifting exports towards Asia. According to Platts, a specialized information service for the oil industry, Nigerian oil sales to Asia’s four largest oil importers – China, Japan, India and South Korea – rose more than 40 per cent under the Muhammadu Buhari government. Steady demands for Nigeria oil from India whose economy has been growing and also from Indonesia helped to checkmate European refiners from dragging market price much lower.
But U.S. oil is also heading to India, where it is increasingly competing with Nigerian crude. Indian Oil Corp, the country’s top refiner, signed its first annual deal to buy U.S. oil in February 2019, paying about $1.5 billion for 60,000 barrels a day up to March 2020.
As Nigeria continued to lose its favourite oil export destinations to the United States, the Crude Oil Export Destination Report of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in 2017 showed that China, Peru, and Japan have totally stopped importing crude oil from Nigeria.
Data from Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed that other countries like The Netherlands, United Kingdom (UK), Italy and Switzerland were also importing from the US. Though the Buhari administration was able to steer new imports to the US, Nigeria’s exports of crude and petroleum products to the United States plunged from 36.4 million barrels in July 2010 to just 5.6 million barrels in January 2019, according to the EIA.
In monetary terms, Nigeria’s forex pipelines from America, Europe and Asia were either completely turned off or coming in trickles.
Since the first quarter of 2020, Nigeria has faced an exchange rate crisis triggered by the drop in oil prices. With oil prices down, pressure on Nigeria’s exchange rate grew. So also did pressure on the CBN Governor.
Indeed, the job of the Central Bank Governor of Nigeria is no different from that of the weatherman who must constantly watch out for and device responses to hurricane, cyclone, monsoon rain, tsunami and even drought. It is a clock work.
Reserve Assets Management
Reserve assets also called foreign exchange reserves or external reserves are regarded as the health meter of a country. They are those external assets that are readily available to and controlled by a country’s monetary authorities to support and maintain confidence in the policies for monetary and exchange rate management including the capacity to intervene in support of the national currency.
Nigeria’s forex reserves are assets such as foreign currencies; old coin or bullion; treasury bills (with a maturity period not exceeding one year) issued by the government of any country outside Nigeria whose currency is freely convertible; securities of, or guarantees by, a government of any country outside Nigeria whose currency is freely convertible; securities of, or guarantees by international financial institutions; Nigeria’s Gold Tranche in the International Monetary Fund (IMF); allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDR) made to Nigeria by the IMF; and investment by way of loans or debenture in an investment bank or development financial institutions within or outside Nigeria for a maximum period of five years.
The CBN maintains these reserves to balance the country’s payments, help influence the foreign exchange rate, and support confidence in financial markets. They are essentially the bank’s back-up funds that can be used in case of emergency. In essence, foreign reserves give the government the confidence and resilience to withstand shocks if a country’s currency crashes or devalues.
In the last six years of volatility in the global oil sector, Nigeria’s foreign reserves have made headline either by moving upwards or downwards. The CBN is the war room where the governor marshals responses to safeguard the international value of the naira.
Through interventions in the foreign exchange market, the CBN governor has severally deflected financial ill-winds and limiting external vulnerability by maintaining foreign currency liquidity to absorb shocks during times of crisis or when access to borrowing was curtailed. Clinical in approach, he has had at critical moment demonstrated confidence to the international community that Nigeria is always able to meet its external obligations.
Covid-19, China Slowdown and Rebalancing
The Corona virus proved to be an existential threat not only to the ordinary man but to big nations and the smaller ones tied to their economic apron strings. China’s slowdown in the wake of the pandemic had a telling effect on developing countries including Nigeria. In October this year third-quarter data revealed that the Chinese economy slowed to its lowest pace in a year.
Calculations based on UN COMTRADE show that Nigeria export 99.9 of its intermediate goods to China. For the CBN Governor, China’s slowing economy has delivered a sick child in need of a cure. Like the weatherman, season by season, it is one precarious weather conditions after another to be predicted and to be contained.
Naira defence measures under the Emefiele regime
In the past years various foreign exchange policies have been introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria to strengthen the naira.
In a move to achieve exchange rate stability and preserve the country’s forex reserves, the CBN in 2015 reviewed downwards the spending limit on the usage of naira-denominated debit cards for transactions abroad. The apex bank said the limit had been reduced from $150,000 to $50,000 per person annually, while a daily cash withdrawal per person was pegged at $300.
In June 2015, the CBN announced that it was stopping the supply of forex to 41 items that could easily be produced in Nigeria, a development that brought about the forex exclusion policy.
The implication of the policy was that importers of items on the forex restriction list could no longer get forex directly from the windows created by the apex bank to bring the products into the country.
Nigeria’s food import receipt, for example, has always been a cause of concern. In 2020 alone, the country imported $534m worth of refined sugar from Spain, Brazil, France and India, and $2.5bn worth of dairy milk from the Netherlands, UK, US, Australia, and others, to power its value chain for everything from evaporated milk, pasteurized milk, to yoghurt, cheese, chocolate etcetera.
According to the CBN, “The implementation of this policy will conserve foreign reserves as well as facilitate the resurrection of domestic industries and improve employment generation.”
In July 2020 the CBN restricted access for the importation of maize through the official CBN forex window. It hinged its decision on the need ‘to increase local production, stimulate a rapid economic recovery, safeguard rural livelihoods and increase jobs which were lost as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.’
In August of the same year Emefiele removed buying agents/companies or any third party from accessing its SMIS forex window through FORM M forex purchases. Authorized Dealers were directed to desist from the opening of Form M whose payment is routed through a buying company/agent or any other third parties, effectively eliminating third parties or middlemen from transacting in forex deals in CBN’s SMIS window.
In the same August 2020, Godwin Emefiele vowed to go tough on exporters who were guilty of forex non-repatriation. It was part of his efforts to resolve the prevalent forex crisis in the country by increasing forex liquidity. To that end, the CBN directed banks to submit the names, addresses, and Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs) of all the exporters who had failed to repatriate their export proceeds, for necessary ‘action’.
On November 20, 2020
the CBN announced the amendment of procedures for receipt of diaspora remittances in an attempt to improve liquidity in the forex market and reduce the disparity between the black market and official I&E window. In the new amended procedure, beneficiaries of Diaspora Remittances through International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) would thenceforth receive such inflows in foreign currency (US Dollars) through the designated bank of their choice.
In March 2021 the CBN introduced a ‘Naira 4 Dollar Scheme’ for diaspora remittances, which offers recipients of diaspora remittances through CBN’s IMTOs to be paid N5 for every $1 received as remittance inflow.
Perhaps one of the most far-reaching policy interventions by the CBN under Godwin Emefiele was in July 2021 when the apex bank took on the Bureau De Change (BDC) for illegal forex trading and thenceforth discontinued the sale of forex to BDC operators in Nigeria. The CBN equally announced it would no longer license new BDC operations in the country just as all current processes for new licenses were halted.
On August 17, 2021 a federal high court in Abuja granted the request of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to freeze accounts of six fintech companies.
The apex bank said it was investigating “illegal foreign exchange trading” by the fintech companies. It sought the court injunction to freeze their account details for 180 days pending the completion of investigations.
The accounts include Rise Vest Technologies Limited, Bamboo Systems Technology Limited, Bamboo Systems Technology Limited OPNS, Chaka Technologies Limited, CTL/Business Expenses, and Trove Technologies Limited.
The CBN alleged that Rise Vest Technologies Limited, Bamboo Systems Technology Limited, Chaka Technologies Limited and Trove Technologies Limited were complicit in operating without license as asset management companies “and utilizing FX sourced from the Nigerian FX market for purchasing foreign bonds/shares in contravention of the CBN circular referenced TED/FEM/FPC/GEN/01/012, dated July 01, 2015.”
The CBN Governor took a two-pronged action on September 17, 2021. He announced that
that the apex bank in partnership with commercial banks will go after Nigerians who bought dollars with the pretence of traveling abroad. According to him, the bank will find the people and ensure they refund the dollars (PTA/BTA) they bought only to cancel the tickets.
He also referred to one Mr Olumide Oniwinde, owner of AbokiFX as an illegal FX dealer who will be prosecuted for endangering the Nigerian economy.
AbokiFX is a website that publishes the parallel market exchange rate of the Naira against other currencies of the world on a daily basis.
According to the governor, Mr Olumide Oniwinde started AbokiFX operation in 2015 and has since milked the economy by taking a position, while manipulating the exchange rate.
He stated that, “The CBN act section 2, does make it clear that only the Central Bank can determine the value of the naira, and yet a single individual living in England continues to manipulate the exchange rate and make huge profit which he withdraws through an ATM in London.”
Whenever oil price crashed, Nigeria’s foreign reserve is battered. However, Nigeria’s foreign reserve recorded a further boost of $566.45 million on 18th October 2021 to close at $40.39 billion compared to $39.82 billion recorded in the previous week. The reserve position has now surpassed the $40 billion mark, largely driven by the fund raised by the federal government to the Eurobond and recent positive rally at the global crude oil market.
Nigeria raised $4 billion Eurobond in September 2021 which, oversubscribed by investors, was dubbed one of the biggest financial trades to come out of Africa in 2021. The positivity spurred the Naira to appreciate at both the parallel market and the official window.
By Joseph Edeh
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Secondary Education Council reiterated its commitment to providing quality education to residents of the territory.
Mr. Yahaya Muhammad, Chairman of the Board, gave the assurance on Saturday at a meeting of the Karshi Government Secondary School, Abuja Parents / Teachers Association (PTA)
He was represented by Mr. Ajayi Olatunde, deputy director in charge of PTA / NGO affairs on the board of directors.
The president said the association complements the government's efforts in improving the school.
“The board does everything it can to make sure that students learn one trade or another before they leave school,” he said.
He urged parents to cooperate with the school authority to give students the best education they deserve.
Muhammad noted that most parents failed in their responsibilities to discipline their children.
The president urged parents to give their children quality education and training to be better citizens when they leave school.
He said teachers have a vital role to play in educating students while they are in school.
Muhammad, who warned against bullying students by older people, said there would be severe penalties for any student found guilty.
He urged parents to maintain a cordial relationship with teachers.
Earlier, PTA Acting President Abubakar Yahuza said the association was doing its best despite funding challenges.
He said the association had built desks for students to solve the problem of inadequate desks in classrooms and also bought a photocopier for the school.
The president said the association has also intervened in the field of teaching staff by hiring PTA teachers in some important subjects.
He urged members of the association to continue supporting her to bring more to the school.
Also speaking, the principal of the school, Alhaji Gambo Ibrahim, said that the school had carried out some projects which would have a positive impact on teaching and learning.
This, he said, includes providing overhead tanks for water storage for students and staff.
He appreciated the efforts of the PTA for its interventions, adding that the provision and maintenance of boarding schools cannot be left to the government alone.
Ibrahim urged parents to continue providing the necessary support and guidance to their wards.
He also urged parents and teachers to cooperate as they pursue common goals to make their children better citizens.
As academic activities began in the northeast, schools resumed in strict compliance with guidelines on COVID-19 safety protocols.
An investigation by the Nigeria News Agency into the recovery in Gombe and Adamawa showed that most of the schools visited were following guidelines established to prevent the spread of the virus.
A correspondent who has monitored the recovery at some of Gombe's public and private schools, reports that schools have put in place adequate face mask, sanitizer and hand washing facilities to promote compliance with COVID-19 guidelines.
They include the Center for Special Education, Gombe; Hassan Comprehensive Day High School, Gombe; Public Secondary School for Girls, Kaltungo, Idi Primary School and Jekadafari Primary Schools, Gombe.
At the Gombe Special Education Center, students and teachers were seen wearing face masks in addition to the provision of disinfectant, soap, water and hand washing facilities.
Malam Saidu Jihi-Gadam, the principal of the school, described the level of compliance with COVID-19 protocols by students and teachers as "impressive".
Jihi-Gadam said students were made aware of the need to heed COVID-19 safety advice to stem the spread of the pandemic.
He said students were also encouraged to come with face masks and disinfectant when school resumes.
“Each of the students wears a face mask, we have provided detergent and water to strategic places for regular hand washing.
“We practice social distancing to prevent students from being exposed and infected,” he said.
Ms Mairo Mohammed, principal of Hassan Comprehensive Day Secondary School in Gombe, said the school authority had a "No face mask, no entry" policy in place.
Mohammed said students and teachers without face masks were not allowed to enter school premises.
The school, she said, has provided water, soap, disinfectant and a thermometer for anyone entering the premises.
“Especially now that our students are taking the Secondary School Certificate Exam (SSCE), we are strict about compliance,” she said.
Ms. Fati Ishaku, principal of the Kaltungo State Girls' Secondary School, said her school provided water cans and soaps on the premises.
She said similar items were also provided at the entrance to the school.
"We do not allow students and visitors to enter school premises without wearing a face mask," she said.
In Idi and Jekadafari primary schools, all located in Gombe, students also wore masks that conformed to the guidelines.
Likewise, COVID-19 protocols were strictly adhered to when schools resumed academic activities in Adamawa.
Malam Abubakar Abbas, director of General Murtala Muhammad College, Yola, said the school observed social distancing and the forced use of face masks by students and teachers.
Abbas said the school administration suspended the general assembly of students as part of measures to ensure effective compliance with COVID-19 safety guidelines.
He therefore urged the state government to provide more soap and disinfectant to schools.
For her part, Ms Tumba Abigail, principal of Government Day High School, Karewa, said the school had formed a COVID-19 committee to enforce compliance.
Abigail, however, denounced the poor attitude of some students towards adhering to safety protocols, warning that defaulters would be penalized.
Also commenting, Hajiya Aisha Umar, permanent secretary of the Adamawa State Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development, urged parents to provide face masks for their wards when they go to school.
Umar said the call was imperative to complement government efforts to curb the spread of the disease.
She said the state government distributed soap, a face mask, disinfectant and other items to 2,953 public elementary and secondary schools in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines.
She said the government is also planning to distribute detergents to promote hand washing in schools.
According to her, the ministry's COVID-19 committee will soon embark on a monitoring exercise to enforce compliance in schools.
“Principals should make sure their students come with their face masks on before entering classrooms and strictly adhere to protocols,” she said.
However, teachers and students at some schools in Bauchi, Borno, and Jigawa states have flouted COVID-19 protocols despite guidelines requiring compliance with safety guidelines.
In Bauchi, teachers and students in some of the schools visited did not observe safety protocols despite the high number of students.
Some of the schools visited include Government Day High School, Kofa Wambai; Dan Dika Primary / Secondary School, Tudun Yarima, and Babamaji Primary School, Tundun Yarima.
Schools, which resumed on Monday, September 27, ignored COVID-19 protocols contrary to the recommendation of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC).
A correspondent for the Nigeria News Agency , who oversaw the recovery at Government Day secondary school, Kofa Wambai, reports that only one small bucket of water was provided for handwashing on the premises. from school.
Students and teachers did not use face masks or observe social distancing in classrooms.
Principal Yalwa Hamzar, however, said the school is in compliance with COVID-19 guidelines.
He said, “As you can see, I have my face mask and my disinfectant, and there is a water tank at the entrance to the school.
In response, Dr Aliyu Tilde, state education commissioner, declined to comment on the non-compliance with COVID-19 guidelines by some schools in the Bauchi metropolis.
"I have nothing to say about it," he said.
More so, public and private schools in Borno and Jigawa states were not complying with COVID-19 protocols despite directives from various state governments.
Schools in the metropolis of Maiduguri did not enforce the wearing of face masks, hand washing and physical distancing in defiance of guidelines from the state education ministry.
Mr. Musa Mohammed, a relative, blamed the situation on the state government's inability to enforce compliance, adding that the trend militated against an effective campaign to control the pandemic.
“Vaccination against COVID-19 is essential now, but the issue of adherence to protocols is history.
“In addition, offices and other public places do not follow state security protocols,” he said.
In Dutse, some of the schools visited were not meeting COVID-19 guidelines despite the distribution of more than 20,000 face masks by the Jigawa government.
Some of the schools visited include Dr Muhammad Nuhu Sunusi Secondary School, Dutse; Government Day Junior Secondary School, Gadadun; Takur Primary School and Jigawar Tsada Primary School.
Others were Dutse Capital Elementary School; Government Unit Commercial Secondary School, Dutse and Arab Government Girls Secondary School, Baure.
To enforce compliance, the Jigawa government on February 17 ordered the mandatory use of face masks in public places across the state.
For Aisha Umar, closer collaboration between school authorities, basic school management committees (SBMC) and parents' associations (PTA) was necessary to promote effective compliance with COVID-19 guidelines in schools in the region.
By Millicent IfeanyichukwuLagos, Aug. 25, 2021 (NAN) Federal Ministry of Education, says protection of schools across the country was non negotiable, as it stepped up efforts in ensuring that lives of the children, as well as the teaching and non teaching staff, were well secured.The Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Arch. Sonny Echono disclosed this on the sidelines of the commissioning of an all JSS 1 students' hostel in Queen's College Yaba, Lagos, under the leadership of the Principal, Dr (Mrs) Tokumbo Yakubu-Oyinloye.According to him, the incessant attacks on schools and the subsequent kidnapping of students and staff by suspected bandits was worrisome, given the critical role education played in the development of any nation.He added that the situation was affecting Federal Government's quest for mass education for the populace, noting that it was unacceptable.''Right now, I can confirm to you that we, along with other security agencies are doing alot already. I may not be able to give you details of the intervention, for obvious security reasons." But let me assure you first of all, that there is a larger security committee, chaired by the Vice President, that is addressing the general issue of insecurity in the country."Within the larger frame, there is a sub committee that is focusing on security of schools generally, chaired by the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, and includes military, personnel, the Civil Defense and other members and I happens to serve on that committee.''We just concluded our report on the measures and government has taken some interim approvals. It will involve three layers of security in all our schools. We did consult the principals to try and articulate some of the things that will happen.''We are going to ensure that we have physical presence, educate both the teachers and other staff, as well as the students in the event that such things happens, how they will manage the situation." Also, we will also put structures in place, especially for effective communication for early warning on a rapid response team, in every location, and comprising all the relevant security operatives,'' Echono said.The permanent secretary disclosed that the Federal Government would partner with the local communities, adding that already, the schools had been sensitised on the need to relate with the local vigilante groups, the community locals, the local police, the Civil Defense and the military, where they are present.He noted that already, an assessment of all the schools including the 110 Federal Unity Colleges across the country and classified them in various categories that ranged from the very high risk, the medium and those that were relatively safe.According to Echono, for the high risk areas, are specific recommendations, including military establishment and combined patrol team, as well as other task force, noting that for the medium risk areas, there was specific recommendations too, to what will happen.''Government has approved that recommendations and so they are gradually coming into the implementation phase and this will be fine behind the scene.''If we wait for them to start attack our schools, we will be at a disadvantage, so, we will be taking the battle to them, wherever they are,'' he stated.Earlier, while commissioning the project, Echono noted that Queen's College had over the years, remained focused, as well as shown resilience. They have indeed pushed the boundaries in academic excellence especially, in the area of girl child education in the country.''Today I want to say I feel very delighted and impressed by what I have seen on ground, especially the zeal of the students in the acquisition of knowledge. I have been told about the very many laurels that the students of this college have been winning, both in academics, sports and others.''I feel happy that what is going on here, is not just to acquire knowledge and skills, but also, moulding character, that as Africans, as Nigerians, our children are very respectful, appreciative, resilient.''Even at times when the facilities are not adequate, when all the things that they require are not available, they still strive for excellence and have made us proud in various fora, locally and Internationally. Girls of Queen's College have always made us proud,'' he said.''So, on behalf of the minister, I want to commend the Principal of this college, Dr (Mrs) Tokumbo Yakubu-Oyinloye, for her leadership qualities and for a job well done, the staff, the PTA for giving us their children and support and most especially, our dear students, for keeping the flag flying very high.''This college is basically our premiere all girls institution in this country and the competition is usually the highest,'' he stated.He added that the Federal Government was doing its best to maintain standard in the college, interms of scholarship, noting that government was also committed to improving the facilities, as it recognised that due to several years of neglect, alot of these facilities have degenerated.Echono however said over the years too, alot of intervention had also taken place, in a bid to improve on the facilities in the college, including the newly commissioned hostel project.He pledged government's commitment for continuous investment, for the provision of additional facilities, to ensure the sustenance of set standards.In his short address to the students, he urged them to remain focused and take the academics seriously, as they remained future leaders of the country.''Let me first of all, seize this opportunity to thank the permanent secretary and indeed the Federal ministry of Education, for all the support it has been giving this college. It is our prayers that such will lead to the much desired national development.''I cannot quantify my joy, to see that this project was actualised during my tenure. You know the foundation of the project was actually started by my predecessor, Dr (Mrs) Are before she retired and incidentally, the Permanent Secretary too, was the one that laid the foundation stone.''So when I came in, we felt a strong need to continue with it, knowing full well that it is of great importance to the students and thankfully today, it is completed and being commissioned by the same permanent secretary.''It is a three storey building with an overhead tank and a laundry room that will accommodate not less than 550 JSS 1 students of this college. The rooms are very spacious with water supply in all of them.''One of the reasons of having just the JSS1 students to occupy this hostel is to ensure that they bond together, as well as ensure that they are protected from any form of bullying.''It is our desire to continue to uphold and sustain excellence in girl child education that this college is known, as we also assure of more laurels,'' the principal stated. (NAN)
CBN, BDCs and forex ban question
By Kadiri Abdulrahman, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said the ban of sale of foreign exchange to the Bureau de Change (BDC) operator was necessary because most of them have become conduit for illicit forex flows and graft.
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, while announcing the ban said CBN would also not issue new licences for operation of BDCs.
“We are concerned that BDCs have allowed themselves to be used for graft. They have turned themselves away from their objectives,” he said.
After the announcement, the apex bank directed commercial banks to immediately set up teller points in designated branches for the sale of forex.
It advised commercial banks to ensure that no customer was turned back or refused forex, provided that documentation and all other requirements were satisfied.
This new forex policy has drawn divergent reactions from stakeholders on its implication and effect on the economy and Nigerians.
The CBN will, thus, be selling directly to commercial banks, from where customers who have legitimate and applicable transactions will be able to buy.
The entry of BDCs into the Nigerian financial system in 1989 was to broaden the foreign exchange market and improve access to foreign currencies, due to challenges encountered by commercial banks in offering such services.
After Emefiele ‘s announcement on Tuesday, the Naira responded with a decline against the dollar at both the official and black markets.
The currency closed at N505 to one dollar, recording 0.20 per cent devaluation from N504 it traded on Monday. At the official Nafex window, it closed at N411.67, from N411.50 the previous day.
Some Nigerians expressed worry that the CBN move may further devalue the local currency, but experts opined that the policy was necessary to curtail the illegal activities at the BDCs.
A check at commercial banks like Keystone Bank, Fidelity Bank and Zenith Bank, all in Abuja, showed that they have all complied with CBN directive to set up dedicated teller points for the sale of forex.
The banks were selling dollars at an official rate of N412, with a maximum of 4,000 dollars for personal travels and 5,000 dollars for business travels.
An Economist, Mr Tope Fasua, commended the CBN for the decision to restrict forex sale to commercial banks only.
Fasua, the Chief Executive Officer of Global Analytics Consulting Ltd. said though the measure was a shock to the system, it was a necessary step to sanitise the forex market.
According to him, the purpose of BDCs had been defeated with most of them falling short of their mandates.
“The CBN has done the right thing, even though it is a shock to the system. We have about 7,000 BDCs in Nigeria, which is a world record in itself.
“All of them are meant to sell forex to travellers, but they do not do that,” he said.
A past President of the Chattered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Mr Okechukwu Unegbu, advised the apex bank to reconsider what he described as “blanket ban” on BDCs.
Unegbu said that the ban would create some challenges in the market as commercial banks might not be able to meet the forex demands of importers.
“Not all the BDCs are bad, but as it is now CBN has banned both the good and the bad.
“This punitive measure by the CBN can negatively affect the forex trading market. Most businessmen, when they cannot access forex from commercial banks, rush to the BDCs.
“Banks are not perfect, they also bend the rule sometimes, but that of the BDCs became so obvious due to their large numbers,” he said.
Aminu Gwadabe, President of the Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) said that the association would engage the CBN in order to resolve all the issues that led to the ban.
“BDCs are licensed to provide retail FX services, including buying from the public and also selling to end-users for allowable transactions namely PTA, BTA, payment of medical and school fees,” he explained.
He said that, while the CBN had stopped dollar sale to BDCs, it has not cancelled their operating licences, or banned them from providing forex services to members of the public.
He called on ABCON members to see the CBN pronouncement as a wakeup call and an opportunity to widen their customer base and deepen their business.
In the midst of the controversy, however, Nigerians are concerned about policies that can impact positively on the economy by strengthening the Naira, reducing inflation and generating employment.
Many are, therefore, waiting to see how this new policy would positively impact the nation’s economy and their personal incomes and earnings.(NAN)
By Millicent Ifeanyichukwu
Mr Sunday Ameh, newly-elected Chairman, King’s College, Lagos, Parent-Teacher Association, has promised to explore a Public/Private Partnership (PPP) in rebranding the foremost unity college to restore its glory.
The all-boys college was founded in 1909 under the British Act.
Ameh made the promise shortly after election as the PTA chairman.
He said that the aim of PTA in schools included supporting government efforts in providing quality teaching and learning environment and encouraging teachers to do their best.
”King’s College is a brand. A lot of corporate bodies want to identify themselves with the college, but there must be something concrete in place to make this happen.
”It is an institution that has produced a lot of respected Nigerians, who have made their marks in their various areas of endeavour, both at home and abroad.
”PTA must not be seen as a place where people go and enrich themselves, but rather a place to serve,” he said.
The chairman said that parents were partners with government in building a better future for students and a better nation.
”Based on this premise, therefore, I will like to say that my team will hit the ground running by seeking a PPP to rebrand our esteemed college, especially in the area of accommodation for both staff and students.
”Today is a great day, a day we have all been longing for. We are happy with the outcome and we give thanks to God for making it possible.
”One of the major challenges faced by this great old college is that of decay of infrastructure.
“We are getting down to work immediately by collaborating with the school management in identifying the major areas of intervention,” he said.
Ameh promised to have an open-door administration and ensure transparency and accountability in the execution of PTA projects.
He said that the association would seek sponsorship in meeting some needs of the college.
In his remarks, the Principal of the college, Mr Andrew Agada, commended members of the PTA Electoral Commitee for the success of the election.
He thanked teachers and parents for peaceful conduct.
He pledged to provide an enabling environment for a good work relationship with the new PTA executives.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the newly-elected executives include Mr Ken Ishabor, Secretary, and Mrs Nkechi Ike, Public Relations Officer. (NAN)(NAN)
Pakistan says it has enforced rules tightening control of social media, which could allow authorities to access users data, in a move activists denounced as a draconian breach of privacy.
A set of rules that came into force earlier, requires technology giants like Facebook and Twitter to open offices in Pakistan and store around 50 million users’ data on local servers, which authorities could then access anytime, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) said on Friday.
If the companies don’t comply, they are de facto banned in Pakistan.
The rules, framed under a 2016 law, also allow the PTA to force social media companies and internet service providers to remove any material deemed blasphemous or derogatory to the state, its institutions and officials.
The government first introduced tighter rules in February but had to retract them after a backlash by the Asian Internet Coalition (AIC), an umbrella organisation for technology giants.
The AIC has again threatened to pull out of the multimillion dollar digital market in Pakistan if the government goes ahead with the plan, according to a report by Dawn newspaper.
Digital rights activist Haroon Baloch said the rules undermine privacy, adding that his organisation, Bytes for all, planned to file a court petition.
“Draconian data localisation requirements will damage the ability of people to access a free and open internet,’’ said Nighat Dad, another activist.
Censorship has increased in Pakistan since the military-backed government of Prime Minister Imran Khan took over after controversial elections in 2018.
Edited by Halima Sheji/Felix Ajide
Lagos State Government says it has confirmed more positive COVID-19 cases in another secondary boarding school in the state.
The state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, disclosed the new infections in a statement on Friday in Lagos.
Abayomi said that a staff of the school fell ill, received first aid treatment at the school clinic, but later tested positive for COVID-19 at the Lagos State Biobank on Nov. 2.
He noted that contact tracing revealed that a student and four contacts of the staff member were positive for COVID-19.
“Most of the infected persons are predominantly asymptomatic, while some have mild symptoms,” Abayomi said
“We would like to assure members of the public and stakeholders of the school that the situation is completely under control.
“Steps are being taken to contain the spread within the school and reduce exposure to the outside community.
“All parents are being contacted first through the PTA and a family zoom call is being arranged to further allay their fears,” he said.
According to him, COVID-19 presents with very mild symptoms in children and teenagers, compared to other age groups.
Abayomi, however, warned that there was risk of infected children transmitting the disease to adults who they interact with daily, and who might be at higher risk of severe disease and death.
“Students who test positive are to be isolated in the school premises and, if unwell, will be admitted in one of the accredited isolation centres in Lagos.
“Students are discouraged from going home to avoid infecting members of their families,” he said.
According to him, the Ministry of Health and NCDC are working closely with the Ministry of Education through a joint approach to manage the outbreak in the school.
Abayomi said that the support include psychosocial, infection prevention control, medical monitoring and risk communication experts to further enlighten affected people.
“COVID-19 is still very much with us and we must strive to prioritise the safety of all, including students and teachers, by adhering strictly to prevention protocols and guidelines issued by the government to prevent its spread,” he said.
He advised residents to observe and practice high standard of personal and environmental hygiene by using face masks in public places, hand washing and maintaining physical distance to help prevent the spread of the infection.
Abayomi advised residents to call the 08000EKOMED or 08000356633 toll free line, if they notice any sign or symptoms of COVID-19, which include fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue or loss of taste or smell.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Lagos State had on Oct.16, disclosed that 181 students and staff of a boarding school in Lekki, tested positive to COVID-19 infection.
The cases were discovered after a 14-year-old SS1 female student fell ill on Oct. 3, was sent home after receiving first aid at the school clinic, and tested positive to COVID-19 on Oct. 6 in one of the accredited private labs in Lagos.
COVID-19 surveillance and case investigation in the school detected 181 positive cases among students and staff out of the 441 population in the school.
Edited By: Wale Ojetimi