Makueni County Government in Kenya in partnership with Shina Foundation and Story Moja Publishers are set to establish libraries in 37 Primary schools in the county.This disclosure was made by the the First Lady of the county, Mrs. Nazi Kivutha.
''37 primary schools in Makueni will each acquire one thousand books courtesy of Shina Foundation, county government of Makueni and Story Moja publishers in phase 2 of “start a library initiative. In 2016, the county government in partnership with Shina Foundation started 30 libraries in primary schools, one in every ward.
''The “start a library initiative’’ is a reading promotion program that enhances access to story books for children and seeks to root a deep reading culture in schools.
School libraries have proved useful in enhancing learner’s literacy, improving interest in reading for pleasure as well as for examinations.
I grew passion for the books initiative out of my soft spot for children. Consequently, I decided to spearhead the library program, as one of my programs through the foundation
Reading improves the language and exposes the children. Therefore, it’s prudent for every one of us here to go back to the primary school that they attended and donate a book or begin a library.
As we flag off the over 40,000 books to schools, I urge teachers to encourage pupils to develop a reading culture by using them. Books that are not read remain to be just papers'', the First lady stated.
Mrs Kivutha maintained that the program was an avenue to alleviate illiteracy in the county, adding “We have already trained our gatekeepers for two days and we hope for the best when the real job starts''.
Over 300,00 trained and registered Teachers in Kenya are without jobs.
According to well informed sources in the Education Ministry, schools in the country are short of 96, 00 Teachers, with with primary schools having about 10 million pupils being short of 38,054 tutors and Secondary schools, with about 2.8 million students, have vacancies for 58,291 teachers.
Following Government aggressive campaigns to achieve 100 per cent transition from primary school, there has been a high enrollment rate coupled with the fact that 9,472 women and 6,950 men applied for government teaching positions but were not employed.
6,872 of the applicants posses Bachelor of Education while 1,596 had diplomas. Certificate holders seeking jobs in primary and pre-school schools accounted for 5,686.
However, the unattractive annual budget allocation to the education sector has continually manifested in the troubled learning environment, shortage of qualified Teachers and teaching aids, poor salaries and absence of incentives for those who impart knowledge.
Nigerians insist that the public higher institutions of learning in the country are yet to meet the purposes for which the institutions were established, even as they argue that the private ones are exploitative and fall short of acceptable international standards.
Sadly several fraudsters have exploited the situation, in connivance with a sizable number of supposed qualified Teachers, to defraud Parents and Guardians of their hard earned money ? in the guise of overseas admissions.
In this interview with, the Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam of Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke opines that Policy makers in government have to co-opt those with the technical know how to move the country forward. Excerpts :
What are your views on higher education in Nigeria, considering the falling standards ?
The Nigerian educational system started to have problems as a result of several retrogressive factors confronting its management, but with neglect and misplacement of priorities from all stakeholders, most especially on the side of government-which is supposed to set and enforce standards and quality in an environment of discipline. For example, federal character aims at ensuring uniformity of purpose and equity. But it has ended up in collapsing the ethics, as reflected in the admission standards, which have discriminatory minimum scores for admission across the six Geo-Political zones.
Unfortunately, this does not reflect in the quality of grades of those affected, but paradoxically in the quality of the products and their performance ratings.
This is the major concern of the South West that is struggling to go back to the virtuous era of discipline, quality, standards, graduate reliability and employ-ability that could be compared to the modern day acclaimed global competitiveness, through best practices.
Today, we are having 170 universities that are yet to make the first 200 best universities in the global rating.
This is purely due to under funding of education in Nigeria, most especially in the areas of Teachers’ standard upgrade, lecturers’ capacity building need and facility update challenge to meet up with the global trend of development in the world of Science and Technology, through the ever dynamic world of Information Technology(ICT).
Instead of government complying with the UNESCO’s benchmark of 26 per cent of the national budget allocation, Nigeria’s funding pattern of education is yet to attain 10 per cent.
Tertiary Education Trust Fund(TETFUND)has achieved in the areas of structure, but not totally in the area of facility.
The struggle to ensure that all tertiary institution Teachers have first, second and third degrees, is appreciable, but only fractional and unfortunately, the interest of having Doctor of Philosophy, is not for research and development purpose, but for accelerated career progression in the world of academics.
Worse still, our Professors in various fields of human endeavor are yet to be fully engaged in the scheme of aggressive nation building because of the murky waters of our partisanship driven political hostile environment, where expert views are supposed to be sought, but politicians use money to make a wrong choice. This has resulted in the re occurrence of problems in a more dangerous way.
Government’s inability to fund Polytechnic education, as appropriate, makes it a challenge.
Higher National Diploma (HND) programs are still limited by the National Diploma status of the institutions in question.
Today, most Polytechnics are mere surrogates of Universities.
Unfortunately, university education is more in favor of the cognitive domain that is more of research.
Polytechnic education, with adequate facilities, are expected to compete favorably with what obtains in the industries, which can transform, when harnessed, university theories into physical dynamic machinery of operation, that favors the Psycho-motor domain of education.
All institutions are supposed to work in tandem, with correlative synergy` to promote the country’s industrialization.
Nigeria’s costly neglect of the Technical Colleges, has made us to lose out in the areas of vocational and entrepreneurial evolution that would have formed the very practical bases for industrialization, but for the stigmatization effect.
Parents and children are running away from patronizing this aspect of Engineering appreciation, which the Canadian government has proved to the whole world that their products are crucial, with recruitment in mind, in the establishment of cottage industries for the Small and Medium scale Enterprises(SME).
90 to 98 per cent of this sector are responsible for the industrialization of China, Hong Kong, Russia and the United States of America.
The policy makers need to look inward, by contacting the relevant experts, both from the Polytechnic and University sectors to resolves this matter.
A 300 level law undergraduate has become the first female chairperson of the University of Nairobi Students Association.
Ms Ann Mwangi emerged after polling 24 votes to beat her challengers, Samuel Ayoma whoe scored eight votes Ertiman Oile scored 4 votes .
The process was facilitated through the electoral college and was presided over by Prof. Mohamed Jamaa.
Ms Mwangi will take over from Mr Antony Manyara who has been the chairman of the association since 2018.The election is the second after the signing into law of the Universities Amendment Act in 2016 by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The Act states that the students association is to be governed by a student council comprising a chairperson and a vice chairperson who must be of the opposite gender, a treasurer, a secretary-general, and three other members to represent special interests of students.
Those elected in leadership positions must reflect national diversity and the council cannot have more than two-thirds of its members being of the same gender.
The NPA made its position known through its Executive Secretary,Mr. Emmanuel Abimbola.
‘’Book piracy is a major problem in Nigeria. Piracy is on the increase, these pirates print abroad and the quality of their work is alarming. We as an association are working with the Nigeria Copyright Commission, to reduce it to the barest minimum. These pirates are not our members, they come from outside. We embark on anti-piracy campaigns to alert the public on the activities of book pirates’’, Mr. Abimbola dislcosed.
Vital literacy indicators reveal a deplorable condition in the Nigerian educational system.
Indeed, adult literacy rate is embarrassing, while the number of out-of-school children has reached an all time high rate.
Trailing the fallen standard of education at all levels, is the ever increasing rate of drop-outs today.
With particular reference to the Secondary and Tertiary levels of education, cultism, gangster ism and prostitution have become the popular choice for undergraduates and students in educational institutions across the states of the federation.
Of serious worry are the poor sanitation, overcrowding in class rooms, poor conditions of service for teachers, which has resulted in the poor quality of teaching and poor quality of products, all put together, have become negative signposts of the school environment.
Sadly, poor educational management, a reflection of the poor inter-sectoral allocation, multiplicity of agencies with duplicated functions and inadequate coordination, have all made education administration in most states questionable and fraudulent.
The weak support for education by government at all levels, is a manifestation of the ineptitude of government officials.
The shortcomings of government has heightened the stakes for private investors and made the education sector very lucrative.
With the profit motive as the major emphasis and driving force, educational institutions are now germinating like pure water factories in very nook and cranny of Nigeria, while at the same time, such institutions are turning out educationally unacceptable products.
With all these in mind, Nigerians are urgently asking :
- Can government at all levels make education available, relevant, accessible and affordable to all Nigerians ?
- Can government at all levels ensure immediate and long term social and economic returns from education ?
- Are public educational institutions, considering their present state, competent to produce skilled manpower ?
Answers to these questions are in the public domain for everyone to draw conclusions.
The Governorship candidate of the Peoples Party of Nigeria(PPN) in Oyo state, alhaji Bashiru Gbadamosi has condemned the policy of feeding school children at all levels of government at the expesne of Teachers' salaries.
Alhaji Gbadamosi made this position known in a chat with People.
''Government at all levels decided to feed school children, even though Teachers are been owed several months of salaries. We are not going to feed school children while Teachers' are owed everal months of salary arrears. We shall re-introduce free education.''
''I am a grassroot person, I am part of the suffering. I want to elevate our people. Government has failed to do this. Corruption has eaten deep into the fabrics of society. To curb corruption, the leader must be free of corruption. We shall not tolerate corrution'', Alhaji Gbadamosi warned.
The Non Academic Staff of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria have declared that despite the poor conditions of service and renumeration they will never engage in acts that would promote certificate forgery.
They made this declaration through the branch Chairman of the Non Academic Staff Union(NASU) of the institution, Comrade Oluwasegun Arojo in a chat with People.
''Although the working conditions and our salaries are not in tandem with the economic realities of today, we are contented. We never go to the length of encouraging failures, we will never promote failures. There are four major stakeholders in the university system, the NASU, SSANU, NAAT and ASUU.
And our goals include ensuring that products of the institution are qualified and credible. Our members will never engage in any illegal act that would tarnish the image of the institution'', Comrade Arojo opined.
In most recent times, empolyees of educational institutions in Nigeria have connived with individuals to facilitate the availability of ceritificates through the back channel for other purposes.
Over two million Primary and Secondary scholl students in Sierra Leone will benefit from the free education policy of government is will commence this month.
During his Presidential campaign, President Julius Maada Bio had promised to introduce free qualitative education, this h e restated in mid August, with anohter promise to donate three months of salary to the cause.
The spokesman for the country's Education Ministry, Michael Turay described the policy as laudable.
"For the first time in the history of education in Sierra Leone, a political administration is pronouncing free quality education for kids from pre-primary school, right to senior secondary school."
"This is a very laudable but ambitious national programme," Turay stated.
Nigerian Youths have been called upon to hing their hopes of succeeding in life on education.
This call was made on Tuesday by a former Provost of the Federal College of Education(Technical)Oyo, Prof. Taoheed Adedoja at the 2018 Seyi Makinde Bursary Scheme in Ibadan.
Prof. Adedoja who was the Chairman of the occasion, said '' It is about empowering our youths. The election is coming in 2019, what do you need for the election? Show your Permanent Voters Cards(PVC), the PVC will allow you to vote for the candidates of your choice, the PVC cannot empower you, the PVC you have today, will only take care of 2019, your PVC for life is education''.
''It is about life empowerment. Empowering our youths for the future for self-development, for the development of the country. The beneficiaries are indigent students. The future of Nigeria lies in nothing other than education. When the election is over, you will put the PVC in your pocket. And after then, it is the scheme that that would determine how successful you will become in life.The founder of the scheme is not just assisting you to develop Nigeria, but to develop yourself. The fact that you have a figure in this country that believes in you and you believe in him is good''.
''The secret behind the success of anybody is education. This is a life long scheme, but I will like to urge the Board of Trustees to monitor the beneficiaries'', Prof. Adedoja concluded.
In his remarks, one of the dignitaries at the occasion, Dr. Saka Balogun prayed that the beneficiaries would also become founders of similar schemes.
However, for Primate Ola Makinde, a former Prelate of the Methodist Church, the bursary must be used for the purpose it was given.
''The older generation know the value of education, it is not the same with the younger generation. You are to use the bursary to buy books and pay for your school fees and not for buying I-phones'', Primate Makinde counseled.
In his remarks, the sponsor of the scheme, Engr. Seyi Makinde said ''My message to the beneficiaries is that if I can do it, you can do it. We sarted this programme in 2006 and we did not selec based on religion and political affiliation, but the selection was based on the fact that you are indigenes of Oyo state''.
The maiden edition of the scheme in 2006, had as Chairman, the incumbent Governor of Oyo state, Senator Abiola Ajimobi
Out of a total of 10,000 applicants, 2,500 were shortlisted for the bursary awards.
The bursary awards are meant for students of Tertiary institutions of Oyo state origin.
Dignitraries at the occasion included Alhaja Bose Adedibu, Senator Kamorudeen Adedibu, Engr. Lere Adigun among several others.
The Tanzanian Government has assured that it will recruit 10, 140 Teachers by June this year.
The government gave this assurance through Deputy Minister of state in the President's office(Regional Administration and Local Government)Mr. Joseph Kakunda, when he appeared before the Parliament.
''These will be employed, come June this year'', Mr. Kakunda assured.
Mr. Kakunda also disclosed that the certificates of those shorlisted was presently been screened by the National Examination Council of Tanzania(NECTA).
The Rwandan Government has introduced Information and Communication Technology(ICT) education in schools in the country.
The policy ''smart class rooms" seeks to incorporate ICT into various aspects of the country's education system and reform teaching and learning systems.
According to the Director General of Rwandan Education Board(REB), Dr Irénée Ndayambaje, who made this known , recently, in a training session for teachers on the use of ICT in schools in Kigali, the policy is also intended to integrate technology in all education processes such as preparation, delivery of lessons, assessments, research among others.
He stressed that the target is to have 1,500 schools equipped with smart classrooms. Presently, only 645 schools are equipped in the country.