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MURIC condemns Hijab saga in Ibadan varsity school

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Main entrance of the University of Ibadan

Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has condemned the discrimination against Muslim students of the International School Ibadan, ISI owns by the University of Ibadan,  describing the incident as “the height of religious apartheid, a show of shame and the mother of all apartheid”.
A video showing the management of the school, forcing Muslim students to remove their Hijabs about 100 meters from the school gate had went viral on social media on Wednesday, July 3 and Thursday, 4.
In a statement by the Founder and Director of the human rights body,
Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Sunday, described the school management action as provocative and barbaric.
The statement reads, “The video of officials of ISI recently trending on social media is not only provocative, it is nauseating, unethical, repugnant and barbaric. It is nothing short of the height of religious intolerance, a show of shame and the mother of all apartheid.
“We find it difficult to believe this is happening under the watch of an internationally recognized higher institution and premier university in Nigeria. This incident diminishes the reputation of the University of Ibadan as a citadel of learning and a center of excellence. It takes the institution back to the Stone Age. Academic culture demands openness, moderation and liberal disposition particularly on matters of religion.
“The action of officials of ISI is a flagrant violation of Section 38 (i) & (ii) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which stipulates that every Nigerian citizen has the right to ‘practice and manifest’ his or her faith.
“In addition, by causing open embarrassment to the parents and the victims, the school has openly contravened the right to the dignity of the human person as entrenched in Section 34 (b) & (c) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended (2011).
“This stereotyping of female Muslim students at ISI constitutes an assault on the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Article 4, Clause 1 & 2 which says, ‘Human beings are inviolable. Every human being shall be entitled to respect for his life and the integrity of his person.’
“ISI school’s show of shame also exposes the school’s lack of respect for the religious feelings of those female Muslim students, their parents and the sensitivities of Nigerian Muslims in general. It therefore infringed upon Article 9 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights & Fundamental Freedoms which contains a call to have ‘respect for the religious feelings of believers…
“That is not all. Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Right, (ICCPR) guarantees the right to freedom of religion unconditionally. The UN HRC General Comment No. 22 on article 18 of ICCPR reveals a strong support for religious freedom, particularly the use of hijab.
“The relevant provision of the General Comment goes thus: ‘The right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion in article 18 is far reaching and profound…the fundamental character of these freedoms is also reflected in the fact that this provision cannot be derogated from, even in time of public emergency…The freedom to manifest religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching encompasses a broad range of acts…may include the wearing of distinctive clothing or head covering…
“Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights also lays emphasis on ‘Right to freedom from Discrimination on grounds of race, nationality or religion …’
“All the above international legal instruments empower us to externalize the struggle if the authorities fail to act.
“MURIC will have no option than to drag the Nigerian government, the National Assembly, authorities of the University of Ibadan, its Council and Senate Mrs. Phebean Olowe as well as the governments of all South Western states that allow the persecution of female Muslim students using hijab or disallows the latter from using hijab to the United Nations for actively persecuting and profiling the girl-child in Nigeria”.
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Education

Kwara State library, e-learning, innovation hub to gulp N100million

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Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq

Kwara State Government will spend at least N100m to renovate the State Library Complex and use it as a launchpad for e-learning and temporary headquarters for the state’s innovation hub, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq said late Wednesday.

 

He said the renovation work would begin very soon as part of his efforts to reposition the education sector in the state and prepare the youths for a brighter future built on innovative skills and opportunities to be among the best in the country.

 

“We are going to have an innovation hub here. I have recently visited the state library and it is in a bad situation. The books are not up to-date and the roof is leaking. The whole place is decrepit,” AbdulRazaq said during a meeting with the Kwara State chapter of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS).

 

 “So, we are going to spend N100 million to fix it. Once it is fixed, we will begin our innovation hub there as temporary site. We will get some space there for e-learning process with free internet access so that people can go and do what they need to do.”

 

The students leaders were led to the meeting by President Comrade Adebayo Saheed Olosasa of the NANS in the state.

 

AbdulRazaq also said his administration has jerked up bursary for students from N100m inherited from the last administration to N200m in the revised budget just passed by the Kwara State House of Assembly.

 

He added however that payments would be made directly to individual beneficiaries based on an online data base already being generated by the Ministry of Education.

 

“Now, we are insisting on disbursement of bursary directly to the students. The reason for that is that when I looked at the Social Investment Programme of the federal government — market moni, N-Power and trader moni — I noticed that every beneficiary was getting their money because it was direct alert to them. But the federal government’s other intervention project like rice and cassava hardly got anywhere because some people were just diverting it. So I don’t want students money being diverted,” he said.

 

“And I am also surprised that we don’t have a data base for students. There should be a database which the ministry of education is now doing. It is on the basis of having database that they can disburse to the students directly. That database, once it is robust and interactive, will be shared with the students and unions across all institutions. With this, students unions can even hold elections online. That is e-governance, that is where we are going to. We are not going to wait for the world to leave us behind.”

 

AbdulRazaq also promised to ensure that students are carried along on issues affecting them, urging them to shun hard drugs and other habits that could be inimical to their future.

 

Olosasa, for his part, commended the Governor for his giant strides in the education sector and other areas since his inauguration.

 

He however called on the administration to pay more premium to the needs of the students across the state. He appealed to AbdulRazaq to revive the practice of giving subvention and operational buses to the students’ bodies as were done by the late former Governor Mohammed Lawal.

 

Olosasa commended AbdulRazaq for the nomination of Miss Joanna Kolo, calling on him to consider appointing one of the students’ leaders “who understand our situation” as Special Assistant on Student Matters.

 

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Education

UPDATED.. Na’Allah seeks collaboration with Indian varsity on research (PHOTOS)

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Abdulrasheed Na’Allah presenting copy of his book to MSU management

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Abuja,  Professor Abdulrasheed Na’Allah is currently at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India, to seek collaboration on research  and scholarship.

Speaking on Thursday, the VC assured the authority of MSU of his readiness to partner and ensure that exchange of ideas, research and scholarship take the front burner of the new relationship.

He however presented a copy of one of his works titled: “Ilorin o”, a literature of song of praise to the management of the varsity.

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A Memorandum of Understanding, (MoU) was signed between the two universities to cover cultural promotion, engineering and pharmaceutical science.

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Education

NECO demands adequate security during examinations

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Aminat Isah, Abuja

The National Examinations Council, NECO, has urged the Federal Government to formulate a deliberate policy aimed prioritising security of examinations just as the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is provided security during elections.

Acting Registrar of NECO, Mr Abubakar Gana, stated this in a brief submitted to the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, on the mandate and achievements of the Council between May 2018 and September 2019, saying that it would promote discipline and a culture of honesty among teachers, school administrators and students.

According to Gana, the appeal is a wake up call as the menace of examination malpractice continues to hunt public examinations across the country, with NECO recording over 40,000 cases in its June/July 2019 Senior Secondary Certificate Examination, SSCE.

He said “incessant cases of examination malpractice especially impersonation and particularly collusion by supervisors, teachers and school administrators, who ought to be part of the army in fighting the scourge, was a major challenge in the conduct of the exercise,”

Speaking on how NECO security can be enhanced, the Registrar said, although the examination body acquired 8,000 biometric verification machines before its conduct of the 2019 SSCE, it still requires more biometric verification devices to serve its over 16,000 centres and enable it strengthen its efforts towards eliminating identity theft, which is the severest form of examination malpractice.

Speaking on his achievements, the NECO boss said after his assumption of office, he embarked on critical reforms, which had led to the successful conduct of the 2018 June/July SSCE under compelling circumstances and released the results of the examination within forty days of completion.

He further said the Council abolished the use of scratch cards following the scam that surrounded it, which led to loss of hundreds of millions in revenue, adding that it subjected all printed 2018 November/December registration cards to activation only after the money for each card must have been credited to the Council’s TSA.

“The Council successfully conducted the 2019 June/July SSCE. A total of 1,163,194 candidates registered for the examination conducted in 16,093 Centres in the 36 States and FCT between 20th May and 12th July, 2019. The results were released on 27th August, 2019 with a total of 829,787 (71.59%) candidates having 5 Credits and above including English Language and Mathematics.

“A total of 40,630 (3.53%) candidates were involved in the various forms of malpractice; 18 Supervisors were blacklisted for poor supervision; aiding, abetting and connivance with Candidates to perpetrate examination malpractice. Three (3) schools, one each in Katsina, Kebbi and Oyo States were de-recognized for two years for their involvement in Collusion and Mass Cheating,” he said.

He further disclosed that NECO had successfully developed and integrated the 2019 November/December SSCE registration software on its new website and regular registration for the examination has effectively taken off on 19th August 2019 and is scheduled to end on 28th October, 2019 at 12.00 midnight.

Gana also said due to successful blockage of financial leakages and increased prudence in the management of the Council’s resources, The Management has successfully implemented 100 per cent duty tour allowance for staff, leading to attainment of unprecedented industrial peace and good working relationship with all trade unions.

“From its IGR, the Council was also able to floor a significant portion of the waterlogged area of its Headquarters premises with interlocking tiles. In order to enhance security measures, the Council was able to provide solar powered security lights within the premises of its Headquarters. The Council was equally able to clear the backlog of unprinted certificates up to 2016. The printed certificates have since been distributed to all the states of the federation and the FCT,” he said.

The NECO boss also noted as part of its achievements, the jettisoning of its former insecure website and development of an intractable, robust and secure corporate website www.neco.gov.ng, as well as a successful audit to complete overhaul of its ICT.

“The Council also successfully developed and used on the new website, a new and more user-friendly application used in the registration of 2019 National Common Entrance Examination (NCEE), this made the registration possible even on smart phone, in addition to other devices. The application was also used by candidates and parents to check the results and admission statuses of candidates.

“The Council successfully conducted the 2019 National Common Entrance Examination (NCEE) for admission into Federal Unity Colleges on Saturday, 27th April, 2019. The results were released to the Federal Ministry of Education and after the selection exercise by the FME, the Council posted the admission statuses of all the successfully admitted candidates which enabled them enable them check at no cost.

“The Council successfully developed on the new website, the offline & online registration software that were used in the 2019 BECE and June/July SSCE registrations and deployed full-scale biometric data capture during the registration process.

“The Council successfully implemented the Federal Government’s downward review of NECO Examination Fees regime as follows: NCEE (N2,500.00), BECE (N4,000.00) and SSCE (N9,850.00). The implementation was carried out in the registration of all NECO examinations this year,” it said.

He however noted that despite several achievements recorded during his tenure there some challenges, such as lack of reading and adherence to guidelines governing its operations is still causing a serious impediment to the successful implementation of the on-going reforms; deliberate failure of school administrators to comply with laid down rules and regulations even where such rules were clearly spelt out for them, constitutes another major challenge.

“Dishonesty among some Principals and Proprietors of schools by providing falsified documents of their schools in order to secure Accreditation; increasing cost of logistics in the conduct of examinations due to inflation,” he said

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