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Oyo State Government has announced a slight adjustment to its school reopening schedule, contrary to the one earlier released.

This was in conformity with the agreement reached by the Federal Government and the West African Council (WAEC) on the commencement of the 2020 West African School Certificate (WASSCE), for school candidates.

Mr Olaleye Olasunkanmi, the state Commissioner for , Science and Technology, disclosed this in a statement on Friday in Ibadan.

According to him, the date for the commencement of the WASSCE is Aug. 17 and there will be a continuation of lessons for the SS3 classes until the examination begins.

The statement added that the students would go on Salah break on Wednesday, July 29 and resume on Monday, Aug. 3.

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”The  JSS3 and Primary six classes were asked to proceed on holiday as earlier scheduled and resume for their examinations on Aug. 10 and Aug. 20  respectively,” he said.

Olasunkanmi enjoined all education stakeholders in the state to note the new development and other academic schedules approved by the State Executive Council on  July 21, which remained as announced.

“On behalf of His Excellency, Engr. Seyi Makinde, I wish to appreciate all stakeholders in the education sector for your unalloyed support and hard , during, the preparation for the resumption of academic activities in our .

“Your dedication to work, love for our students and personal involvement in the training and observance of the COVID-19 protocols in a bid to contain the disease among our school children are unparalleled.

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“COVID-19 is real and unabating at the moment, we shall, however, defeat the virus with science, diligence and courage.

“I cannot but most appreciate our teachers that took part in the revision exercise given to our students in terminal classes, that is the SS3, JSS3 and Primary six.

“I pray that all our efforts at recording success in all examinations by our students will not be in vain,” he said.

The commissioner also felicitated Muslims in the state on the celebration of Eid-el-Kabir festival and urged them not to forget the COVID-19 prevention protocols as they celebrate.

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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

2019/2020: Inconclusive end to an academic session?

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By now, primary, secondary and technical colleges across the country would have concluded the 2019/2020 academic session with all the attendant fun. Prize giving day, end of the session party and other related activities would have been held, but that is not to be, no thanks to the coronavirus disease that is ravaging the country and which has led to , up to university level, being shut.
Most of the schools were yet to conclude second terms when they were shut last March and the thought of concluding it and/or resuming for the third term to complete the session did not arise in many instances.
While public schools stopped all academic activities, some private ones found a way through online teaching. Some started by using Whatsapp, while others go for Google classroom and others.
Some schools in Lekki area of Lagos moved to e-learning and charged between N200,000 and N400,000 per student. They even engaged the services of despatch riders to take materials to and from students’ homes.
Speaking during a recent meeting with parents of students in her school, Mrs Gladys Grimes, the owner of Saint Gladys Primary School and Grimes College in Alagbado, Lagos, said pupils and students must be engaged one way or the other to sustain their interest in . ‘Charging fees for such services depends on locations and the ability of parents to pay.
“We cannot do so here, as we understand our terrain and we don’t want to put our parents under undue pressure. We started using WhatsApp to teach our students and asked parents to pay just N2,500 per student.
“We did that for some weeks and now since it appears schools may not reopen as quickly as expected, we want to migrate to Google Classroom for our secondary school students and we are only charging N18,000 per student and those in JSS3 and SSS 3 are exempted.“This is because they are expected to have completed their school fees payment before now. The new approach may serve as third term and for the promotion of the students to the next class,” she said.
Grimes opined that there was nothing spectacular if none of the usual ends of the year activities did not take place, saying the health and safety of students, teachers and others were important.
With the phased reopening of schools starting with final secondary school students this week in most parts of the country and the attendant fixing of dates for examinations by the West African Examinations Council, WAEC, the National Examinations Council, NECO, and the National Business and Technical Examinations Board, NABTEB, most states may eventually cancel the third term of the 2019/2020 academic year.
This is because the examinations to be conducted by the aforementioned bodies will run through this month and November this year.

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Education

NUC begins assessment of universities ahead resumption

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The National Universities Commission (NUC) said it is collecting data from universities to assess their readiness for resumption of academic activities.

The commission also said efforts are ongoing to resolve the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ (ASUU) that threatens to further delay the resumption of academic activities in the universities.

The Executive Secretary of NUC, Abubakar Rasheed. said this during a press conference on the contributions of Nigerian universities to the national response to COVID-19 in Abuja on Tuesday.

Nigeria closed its tertiary institutions along with lower in March due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Mr Adamu, who was represented at the event by the deputy executive secretary Academics, Suleiman Yusuf, said the Commission is working with universities to discuss preparation that should be in place before reopening.

According to him, universities not under ASUU watch can go back to classes once they have put the necessary guidelines in place.

“We gave a template to vice-chancellors of all universities requesting them to suggest to us what kind of protocols and strategies they are putting in place in the various institutions. We are collecting some of the responses which have already started coming in and at the end of the day the picture should emerge about the extent to which our universities are prepared to reopen for academic activities,” he said.

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ASUU commenced its warning strike on March 9 and declared an indefinite strike on March 23.

ASUU is embarking on the strike over the non-payment of salaries of their members who failed to enrol into the federal government’s IPPIS, a payroll software mandated for all public officials.

Contributions by universities

Mr Rasheed said over 32 universities in the country are involved in research aimed at mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said the performance of the African Centres of Excellence has proved that world-class research and development is possible in Nigeria.

“Particularly, the Centre for the Genomics of Infectious Diseases at the Redeemer’s University, in Sequencing SARS-CoV-2 virus, the collaborative development of vaccines with the University of Cambridge and as a pioneer national testing and screening centre and the other ACES in ABU, BUK, UNILAG, UNIBEN, UNIPORT and UNIJOS that also served as national testing and screening centres have proved that world-class Research and Development work is possible in Nigeria,” he said.

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He said a compendium put together by the Commission showed Nigerian universities are making contributions to development.

”University of Jos which is leading in herbal and natural product development could do more if the federal government releases more funds to such institutions for research purposes.

“As in many other parts of the world, the pandemic has challenged our knowledge system, which has proved inadequate and insufficiently robust enough to respond to the challenges. Only a few institutions have been able to utilise the open and distance learning system to keep students engaged while the pandemic lasted and only few laboratories continued with research and development activities,” he said.

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Premium Times reported how the federal government in June advised tertiary institutions in Nigeria to put preventive measures against COVID-19 in place before they announce their re-opening.

The preventive measures include Installing hand-washing facilities, equipment for body temperature checks and others.

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