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FG, EU introduces programme for disadvantaged children to access education

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The Federal Government in partnership with the European Union (EU) has introduced an Accelerated Basic Education Programme to enable disadvantaged children of between 10 and 18 years have access to basic education.


The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), Prof. Ismail Junaidu presented the pogramme to the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu in Abuja on Thursday.

Junaidu said the programme was to reduce to the barest minimum the number of out-of-school children.


He said that the programme, which was flexible and free for enrollment would provide the recipients with equivalent, certified competences for basic education using effective teaching and learning approaches.


The NERDC boss said that the learning approaches would match their cognitive maturity.
He added that it would also provide pathways to mainstreaming learners into relevant levels of schooling based on proper profiling and effective instruction and learning.
According to him, piloting of the programme began immediately in 54 centres in Borno with over 8,000 learners enrolled.

“Preliminary result from the piloting shows that the programme is indeed a way out from the menace of out-of-school children and youth in Nigeria’’


Also, the Interim Country Director, Plan International Nigeria, Mr Robert Komakech, said the goal of the EU was to increase access to safe, quality and inclusive education opportunities both formal and non-formal for conflict affected children, adolescents and youth.

Komakech said that this would address the specific barriers of girls and boys in the view of improving retention and completion, achieving better learning outcomes.


He said that the Plan-lead consortium signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)for the development of a National Curriculum to cater for the educational needs of learners that had dropped out of school for one reason or the other.

Responding, the Minister of Education, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mr Sonny Echono, said that all stakeholders would be carried along to ensure successful implementation of the Accelerated Basic Education Programme.


Adamu assured the country of the need to pursue the programme vigorously to achieve a 90 per cent literacy rate.

He added that the ministry would also support the national rollout plan of the programme throughout the institutions of learning in the country.

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Education

Professionalism key to successful teaching practice in Nigeria – TRCN

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Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) has called for professionalism in the teaching profession

Mr Abimbola Okunola, Assistant Director in the council made the call in Karu on Friday at a one-day Capacity Training Workshop for Education Correspondents Association of Nigeria (ECAN), sponsored by TRCN.

He said this would create successful impact in the education sector.

The workshop has the theme “Professionalism of Teaching and Teacher Education in Nigeria”.

Okunola said that the teaching profession had been rated more critical than any other profession in the world, hence the need to attract the best brains for the practice of teaching in the country.

According to him, teaching is rated extremely important to the development agenda of any society and Nigeria must not be left out.

“In the honourable court of France, only teachers are allowed to sit on the chair. In Japan, the police force has to take special permission from the government to arrest a teacher for any reason.

“In Korea, only teachers enjoy the privilege of a minister and in Germany, teachers are among the highest paid civil servants.

“In the beginning, teaching was so glorious and so noble that in every communities teachers were considered next to kings in importance and development of the society,” he said.

He added that unprecedented rise in societal demand for education, institutionalisation of materialism; emergence of greener pastures among others had forced teachers into a relegated position in the country.

He, therefore, emphasised the need for professionalism as the secret behind the success or collapse of any vocation, hence the need to critically take professionalism serious in the teaching profession.

He also called on teachers to maintain standards at all times as a Teachers Investigative Panel had been created by the council to sanction erring teachers.

Okunola added that the council was collaborating with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to train 28,000 unqualified teachers.

Similarly, Dr Magaji Waziri, Assistant Director, Department of Planning, Research and Statistics in the council,  said that the country hads been flooded with unqualified manpower which had lowered the quality of teachers in the system.

Waziri maintained that there was therefore need to set standards at all level while ensuring quality teaching and learning through monitoring and supervision of teacher education programmes.

Mr Chuks Ukwuata, Chairman of ECAN called on journalists to ensure adequate reportage of education stories to foster development in other sector.

Ukwuata commended TRCN for their role in ensuring excellence in the education professionalism of teachers as well as maintenance of teachers’ quality.

He also appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to give TRCN boss the chance to pilot affairs of the council for second term to continue transforming teaching profession towards attaining greater heights.

Also, Mr Emmanuel Ogbeche, Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) tasked journalists on their role in ensuring that crisis in the education sector were resolved.

Ogbeche, who spoke on the topic ‘Education Reporting in Time of Crisis’ called for funding for schools security to ensure the safety of school children.

He added that it was time the country fixed her education by having a transitional education programmes that would translate into development of other sector.

NAN

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