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The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board () has confirmed that the ongoing admission of students at the of Abuja (UNIABUJA) has been halted over alleged infractions.

An Economic Confidential investigation, published on Sunday, showed that the management led by Vice Chancellor Professor Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah overlooked the Admission Committee of the University and allegedly contracted the admission process.

The development caught the attention of JAMB, which ordered the university to suspend the /2020 admission process for not meeting its guideline of uploading all admissions on the Central Admission Processing System (CAPS).

The embattled VC, Na’Allah, was said to have addressed a press conference recently where he explained that the usual process was jettisoned over ‘irregularities’.

Under normal circumstances, the university regulations provide that admissions of students be handled by the Admission Committee which is headed by a chairman.

An academic staff, who affirmed that the team had since been moribund, said: “The committee is less functional; the normal practice of admitting students at Departments has been abolished. The 2019/2020 admission process has been contracted to a private company contrary to university practice”.

Checks revealed that UNIABUJA Acceptance Fee for a newly admitted student which was N4,500 is now N30,000.

Furthermore, the institution, which never charged a fee for collection of Original Certificate after graduation now charge N30,000 – believed to be higher than fee applicable in any state university in .

Findings also revealed that graduates currently line up in large numbers at the UNIABUJA Convocation Square for collection of their certificates after the management threatened to increase the amount at the expiration of one-week period.

The university management also allegedly reversed the existing decision on examination results. The rule states that results from Departments be forwarded to the through the Committee within six weeks after the semester examinations.

However, the new rule, which has not been ratified by the Senate, expects lecturers to turn in students’ results 10 days after the end of the semester examinations.

Senate members, in their protest, had described the order as impracticable, warning that such would lead to allocation of marks to students in an effort to beat the deadline.

Each lecturer in Humanities Faculty currently handles between 400 to 700 scripts depending on the course, while a lecturer in Management Sciences marks between 1,000 to 2,000 scripts depending on the course.

This led to a resolution by UNIABUJA Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) that none of its members would comply with the 10-day period for results submission. They insisted that the ratified Senate rule of 6 weeks stands and that the union will not honour an unapproved decision.

Additionally, the of the Vice Chancellor has allegedly taken over the issuance of coupons for about 6,000 bed spaces in student hostels, against the normal practice in which the VC only has a percentage of the available accommodation. The Student Affairs that is statutorily responsible for the issuance has allegedly been sidelined.

UNIABUJA Deputy Registrar, Habib Yakoob told Economic Confidential that all allegations were unfounded.

He added that some staff were afraid of the ongoing restructuring which has turned the table against those who were used to “business as usual practice.

“I am not aware of any memo from JAMB suspending our admission process because of irregularities. But I can assure you that those who volunteered information to you are afraid of the new order because they are unarguably beneficiaries of the old order”, Yakoob said.

JAMB Head of Information, Dr Fabian Benjamin, confirmed the sanction slammed on UNIABUJA.

He reiterated that the examination board has the mandate to correct any lapses detected in the admission process of any university.

“This is a directive from the Honourable Minister of that any irregularity on admission process must be reversed and that the University of Abuja is not an exception”, Benjamin stated.

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Abass Sulaiman Adegoke, well known as Adegoke is a student of Federal Polytechnic Ede studying Civil Engineering, He is a media enthusiast, loves traveling, and has a special interest in personal development.

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Education

Minister to varsities: restart session through virtual teaching

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Minister to varsities: restart session through virtual teaching Adamu Adamu 1

Higher institutions shut to prevent the spread of Coronavirus are likely to reopen for teaching but through the e-platform

Unsure of how soon the Coronavirus pandemic will end, Minister of Mallam Adamu Adamu on Thursday opened talks with 237 Vice Chancellors, Rectors and Provosts on how to reopen using virtual learning.

He directed all universities, polytechnics and colleges of education to activate virtual learning environment to enable students to continue their studies through digital devices.

He said although the Academic Staff Union of Universities () is on strike, the government will do its best to resolve the labour crisis.

Most Vice Chancellors of private universities embraced the idea and expressed readiness to reopen because they claimed that they have top grade virtual learning system.

Adamu, who had a teleconference with the Vice Chancellors and other heads of tertiary institutions for four and half hours from his home in Abuja, said the Federal Government, cannot afford to shut schools for a long time.

He said he called the meeting to find solutions to the challenges posed to the nation’s school calendar by Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).

Those physically present with the minister were the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Rasheed; the Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education, Dr. Masa’udu Adamu Kazaure; the Executive Secretary of the Universal Basic Education Commission, Dr. Hamid Bobboyi; and the Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede among others.

Adamu, who declared at the session that he has tested negative to COVID-19, said: “We cannot be held down by COVID-19, we have to deploy all e-platforms to keep our universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and other schools open.

“COVID-19 has changed everybody. I am pleading with you to device alternative ways make sure the education of our children will not stop. We have to create virtual learning environment.

“This is the second meeting I am having. All I want is that we should fully engage our students. We are already speaking with the World Bank and UNICEF on how to create platforms for virtual learning classrooms.

“We need to take advantage of technology like the case in other parts of the world. We cannot shut down all schools when we have other means to teach our students.”

Responding to a question, the Minister said: “As for the strike action, we will try to resolve issues with ASUU to have synergy.

“But the private universities that are not on strike can start with virtual learning while we are finding solutions to issues between the Federal Government and ASUU.”

Although a Vice Chancellor of a second generation said “the e-platforms cannot replace face-to-face contacts with students,” the Minister said: “This is a period we have to make use of the platforms available, we cannot keep students at home.”

He also asked the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) to work out modalities on how primary school pupils and secondary students could learn by using radio and television stations.

“We will work out how we can involve state governments to use radio and television stations.

At the session, most of the Vice Chancellors of private universities were excited by the prospect of reopening.

They all admitted that that they have “top grade virtual learning system.”

A Vice Chancellor of a private university said: “Hon. Minister, you can see why it is necessary to amend the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) Act to enable private universities to benefit from intervention funds.

“Other than complying with the directive of the Federal Government, we did not see any reason for closing private universities because we have efficient virtual learning environment.”

Vice Chancellor of Federal University, Dutse, Prof. Fatima Bature, said: “We are very strong in virtual learning, we are set for it.”

It was not immediately clear when the reopening of varsities online will begin.

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Education

COVID-19: JAMB donates three ventilators

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COVID-19: JAMB donates three ventilators Jamb 1 600x375 1

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board has donated three ventilators to the of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada and Bwari General Hospital for the fight against coronavirus.

’s Head of Media and Information, Dr Fabian Benjamin disclosed this in a statement yesterday in Abuja.

Dr. Benjamin noted that the donation of the three ventilators was to strategically place the two hospitals in good stead to give necessary treatment to COVID -19 patients.

He said the board would continue to support the fight against the virus within its limited means.

The statement reads: “In the board’s own little way of ensuring that government strategies and preemptive measures yield fruitful dividends, the board has donated two ventilators to the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada and one to the principal hospital in the board’s host community, the Bwari General Hospital, in preparation for any eventuality.

“This proactiveness was borne out of the board’s desire to plan in line with the Federal Government’s determination to ensure that no Nigerian succumbed to the virus.

“The donation of these ventilators which cost several millions is to strategically place these Hospitals in good stead to give necessary treatment to COVID-19 patients whether in Bwari or any other part of Abuja.

“However, this gesture was in addition to the several other interventions aimed at aiding the fight against the virus.

“The board will continue to support the fight against the pandemic within its limited means and by so doing, protect our teeming candidates who are the hopes of tomorrow.

“As we stay at home, the board urges all to stay safe.”

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