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Some Parents have lamented while others have expressed fear as private and public schools resume in Nigeria despite the rise in number of COVID-19 cases.

In the last 24 hours, Nigeria has recorded fifteen deaths due to complications from COVID-19.

Also, COVID-19 cases in the country has risen to 110, 387 with 1,435 deaths in total.

However, the federal government had announced today, January 18 for reopening of schools across the country, even as it continues to deal with the second wave of COVID-19.

Some states like Edo have refused to resume school while others in Lagos State for example have resumed.

Although some students of both public and private schools returned to school today, some parents and guardians have chosen to keep their wards back.

They fear that schools are not well-equipped to put mandatory protocols in place to deal with the new strain of coronavirus which is more deadly.

Reacting, one Ideonrex told this reporter that, “I am honestly afraid about the school resumption. Although the Reps had suggested that reopening of school should be postponed, I feel they should make provision for studies online from primary and secondary schools. It will limit the spread of the virus.

Another parent in Abuja identified as Mr Ebubechukwu Onurah said, “No school should have reopened today if we are really serious about tackling this virus. The FG hasn’t done anything regarding safety measures in all public and private schools in the country. We know the Nigeria govt does not value or respect the lives of its citizens but as a parent, I’m unhappy about this resumption.

Also speaking, a Lagos businessman, Babatunde Akinwumi told our correspondent that, “I’m more worried about Lagos State, yesterday Lagos recorded almost one thousand cases and today the Governor reopened schools but ordered level 1-12 to work from home. Are our children’s lives not important like their parents? A serious Governor would give more time to put the right measures in place but since we do selectively value lives in this county, they do not care.

Edidong Akpan said, “I think we run a confused government in the country. Every day, the NCDC announces increasing figures, but they do not advise the government to shut down schools. They are the disease control centre body, but they rather decided to endanger the lives of our kids. May God help protect our loved ones.

Hillary Thomas said, “ I didn’t send my kids to schools. With the rise in COVID-19 cases, I’m worried there’ll be many kids without symptoms back in classrooms. We’ll see how this week goes.”

But speaking in support of the reopening, Ojibwa Ojone said “I am not against school resumption because teachers need to earn salaries. Especially private school teachers who have gone months without tangible or no salary. I think the government should strictly enforce the use of face mask, proper hygiene and other protocols to keep the session going. Nigeria doesn’t have the capacity to run schools online.”

Here are other comments us gathered on Twitter.

@gbemy01, “Why are we rushing to reopen schools without adequate verifiable and sustainable arrangements to protect and secure our children? They want to balance record?”

@Stabdulraheem, “The execrable actions of govts are enough to make skeptics doubt the existence of COVID-19. The NIN/NIMC exercise, the resumption of schools, inane political activities, etc, for examples. And the country has a weak, collapsing, over-burdened health structure. Most facilities lack.”

@Umaruabu, “If WAEC , NECO, NABTEB were conducted during the peak of the VIRUS-corona. Plus school resumption in October, and there was no upsurge reports by NCDC…The school is safe to reopen but strict COVID-19 adherence should be applicable.”

@Kesslim, “Honestly, I’am not comfortable with the resumption, kids can’t really protect themselves enough.”

@Fagbohun_A, “Yess”, there is a need for schools to resume because of the effect on the academic calendar. People keep complaining about school resumption. Go and take a look at our overcrowded markets without safety precaution. Take a look at our Shopping Malls and Cinemas. In the past few months of Lockdown and strikes, I can tell you that some students have engaged in fraud, drug abuse, pilfering due to idleness.”

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Education

FCT UBEB, Lagos SUBEB meet to Boost Education

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For four days, the acting Chairman of the FCT Universal Basic Education Board, Dr Sule Al-Hassan, recently led other top functionaries of the board on a knowledge/experience sharing and peer review visit to Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LSUBEB).

It was also designed for the boards to compare notes and exchange ideas to achieve greater outcomes in providing national basic education services.

In his remarks, the LSUBEB chairman Wahab Alawiye-King said the state “has the capacity in terms of building human and material resources.”

A LSUBEB member Sherifat Adedoyin noted that the board was focused on the psychomotor of children and ensure that children are developed mentally.

“We develop our pupils mentally. Children love to play, and we ensure that the environment is conducive for them to play. In Lagos state, we leave no child behind, and we see to their affairs from time to time. We also monitor the environment in which they learn,” Adedoyin stated.

A permanent board member, Bayo Adefuye, disclosed that the board could monitor everything about the teachers, even the computer tablets, to make their work easier.

As part of the activities, Alawiye-King, other board members and the delegates of UBEB visited some state and federal government intervention projects.

During the tour, the UBEB team commended the LSUBEB with Al-Hassan, saying his administration will ensure that every child gets a quality education and builds teachers’ capacity.

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Education

ASUU Strike: Awaiting meeting result of FG with the union is out

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The meeting of the Federal Government with Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), was meant at evaluating the implementation of the Memorandum of Action (MOA) which was entered into by both parties and became successful.

Chris Ngige was interviewed and he said that the meeting analysed seven main issues with both parties expressing satisfaction with the completion stages, adding that “work is in progress”.

According to him, some of the items in the MOA were nearly done 100 percent within the time of the meeting.

The minister said that the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) was instructed to carry out action on the integrity test on the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS).

He said, ”If successful, it will eliminate the challenges posed by the peculiarities of the university system to the current payment platform.”

Ngige said the government had also paid the N30 billion as the University Revitalisation Fund contained in the MOA since January 2021.

He said, “The report has been turned in, deliberated upon and both the Education Ministry and the NUC have promised to write to the Accountant General of the Federation next week for the release of the money to the NEEDS Special Account for onward disbursement to universities shortly.”

The minister added, “On the proliferation of State universities, a bill has been sent to the National Assembly by the NUC to strengthen its arms in terms of delisting universities where funding and other parameters are inadequate.

”ASUU is to go back to its members so that we can have a proper update on the extent of the inconsistencies in payment.

”We expressed our displeasure that these things are happening – amputation of salaries, not-too-clear, foggy things happening over peoples monthly emoluments. So we’ve asked IPPIS and ASUU to work together over this.”

Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, disclosed this while addressing journalists at the end of a closed-door meeting in Abuja on Monday.

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Education

ASUU Meets FG today over predominate strike causing anxiousness in Nigerian Universities

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As the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, make arrangements to meets the Federal Government on Monday (today).Some students have shown concerns over the planned industrial action by ASUU

9jaflair reports that the  FG through the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has scheduled to meet with the leadership of the union over the predominate strike action.

Recollect that the union had on June 19, threatened to embark on another strike over the alleged deliberate refusal of the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr Ahmed Idris, to pay the salaries and remittance of check-off dues of over 1,000 staff for 13 months.

The ASUU chairman University of Jos, Dr Lazarus Maigoro who made the revelation in a press statement accused the AGF of fanning the embers of discord between the Federal Government and the Union.

In a move to forestall the industrial action, the Federal Government would meet with the union 2pm today to look at the unending issues.

Recollect  that the union had on March 23, 2020, embarked on an industrial action which lasted for over 9 months, the longest of its strike in 10 years over the inability of the Federal Government to address the issues and implement some agreement the two parties entered years ago.

Consisting thea fresh development, some students spoke with 9jaflair to register their grievances over incessant strike actions in Nigerian Universities.

A 300 level student of the Benue State University, Makurdi, Miss Martha Onuh, lamented the current move by ASUU, urging the union to put the interest of the students at heart.

She said, “After staying at home for a while during academic calendar year in 2020, you think I will be happy hearing that ASUU may still embark on strike? Sometimes I don’t even care to know who is at fault and who is right. The Federal Government and the union should put our interest at heart.

“I applied for 4 years course, this is my 5th year in the university yet I’m in 300 level. It’s bad,”she lamented.

Similarly, James a final year student of the University of Nigeria, Nnsuka in a chat with our correspondent, appealed to both parties to find a means of settling their differences without industrial action.

“Most times, ASUU would say that they are fighting for the benefit of the students but at the end, the students who they claim that they are fighting for are the ones losing.

“Is there no other way for a union to register its grievances without a strike action? The incessant industrial action by the union, to me has crippled Nigerian universities,” he added.

Also, a Master’s Degree student in the university of Abuja, Adebayo Micheal urged the Federal Government and ASUU to settle their differences once and for all.

He said, “We can not be talking about strike every year. It’s quite shameful that our education system is never stable. I think even if it would take them one whole year to settle their differences and end it forever, it would be better for the students.

We await the result of today’s meeting by the union with FG.

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