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Education

Senator Odey Vows to Resign if Found Collecting Money from School Principals

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The Commissioner for Education in Cross River State, Stephen Odey, in a bold statement asserted, “Any day you hear that I have asked any school teachers or principals for money, I will not wait to be removed. I will resign immediately.” Odey emphasized his commitment to integrity and accountability within the education sector, promising to dismiss principals involved in extorting students.

He continued, “There are reports suggesting extortions by school authorities. These, I cannot tolerate. I won’t condone any principals extorting students.” Odey highlighted his efforts to curb extortion in schools since assuming office and noted disciplinary actions taken against guilty principals and teachers.

Furthermore, Odey outlined ongoing reforms in the education sector, including plans to promote teachers and recruit 6000 additional educators, particularly from rural areas. He assured that incentives would be provided to sustain teachers’ interest, especially those in rural communities.

Addressing the issue of cultism in schools, Odey stated, “I have personally visited schools in Akamkpa LGA and other LGAs where reports were rife about cultism where serious actions have been taken, resulting in a drastic reduction in such nocturnal activities by students.” He highlighted collaborative efforts with security agencies to address the menace effectively.

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Education

NANS Condemns University of Ibadan’s Fee Hike

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By Gabriella Ogbu

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has voiced its opposition to the University of Ibadan’s proposed increase in tuition fees for new intake students to N412,000 per session. Gundu Mimidoo Joy, NANS’ public relations officer, expressed concern in a press statement issued yesterday, stating that such a substantial fee hike threatens the affordability and accessibility of education in the country. Joy emphasized that education is a right, not a privilege, and criticized the university management’s decision, suggesting it reflects a lack of commitment to national development.

Joy highlighted the potential impact of the tuition increase, noting that it could make it more challenging for children of taxpayers to pursue higher education. She criticized the move as detrimental to the nation’s progress, accusing the university leadership of undermining hope among citizens with this decision. According to Joy, the sharp rise in tuition fees demonstrates a disconnect between the university’s management and the broader societal needs, particularly during a time of economic strain and rising costs of essential goods.

The current economic climate, characterized by soaring prices of basic necessities, exacerbates the financial burden on students and their families who are already struggling to make ends meet. Joy called upon the university authorities to reconsider their decision, labeling it as regressive and likely to exacerbate existing educational inequalities in society. NANS urges the university to prioritize the interests of students and their families by exploring alternatives to mitigate the financial strain imposed by the proposed fee hike.

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Education

BUTH Hunts for Children of Abandoned Patient

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By Cynthia Abah

The management of Babcock University Teaching Hospital (BUTH) has launched a search effort for the children of one of its patients, Mr. Maurice Okpenyong, 81, who was reportedly abandoned at the hospital. According to a statement from Babcock University’s Communications Department, Mr. Okpenyong was brought to the hospital by his children, a man named Lawrence and a woman, who have since disappeared and failed to accompany him home when BUTH signed his discharge in December 2023.

Despite efforts to locate the patient’s son and daughter, their whereabouts remain unknown to BUTH management. Collaborating with the police in Ilishan, Area F, and Bariga, the hospital has searched for his son at both his official and private addresses without success. The outstanding total debt accrued by the patient at the time of his discharge in December 2023 was N399,320. However, due to his children’s failure to retrieve him and his prolonged stay, his bill has escalated to N1,279,350 as of March 20, 2024, with only N180,000 paid by either the patient or his children.

The decision to publicize the situation was made by the hospital management to prompt the patient’s family to collect him, as BUTH can no longer ensure his well-being. Additionally, despite the hospital’s continued provision of care, Mr. Okpenyong has displayed rebellious and abusive behavior. The administration cited instances where he removed his pee bag, causing unsanitary conditions. Due to concerns that he may attempt to flee, the hospital has placed him under watch.

Mr. Okpenyong, hailing from Akwa Ibom’s Obot Akara Local Government Area, had been diagnosed with Repeat Suprapublic Cystostomy. The hospital’s efforts to locate his children and address his care needs reflect their commitment to patient welfare amidst challenging circumstances.

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Education

Ekiti Government Pays N546m for WAEC Fees

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The Ekiti State Commissioner for Education, Dr. Bimpe Aderiye, disclosed that the state government has disbursed a total of N546.90 million for the 2024 West Africa Examination Council/ Senior School Certificate Examination (WAEC/SSCE) fees. Aderiye confirmed this in a statement released to journalists in Ado-Ekiti, stressing that the amount covered administrative expenses for all 16,269 SSS 3 students from public secondary schools in the state who registered for the exam.

Aderiye emphasized that no public secondary school in the state was permitted to collect a WAEC registration fee. She warned that any administrators from Ekiti’s public schools demanding such a fee would be engaging in sabotage. The commissioner cautioned parents and guardians against paying unauthorized fees, noting that such actions undermine the government’s objectives and impede efforts to enhance the socioeconomic conditions of the populace.

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