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Ghanaian female scientist receives international award for research

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Five outstanding Laureates, one from each continent, were honoured for their significant contribution to science. These exceptional women were recognised for the excellence of their research in the fields of material science, mathematics and computer science and they will each receive €100,000. Their achievements were celebrated alongside 15 International Rising Talents who are promising young women scientists from across the world at an awards ceremony on 14th March 2019 at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris.

Dr Priscilla Mante from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana was one of 15 International Rising Talents and the only African award recipient. She is also the first recipient of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science International Rising Talent Award from her institution.

Background of research

Expanding access to affordable, high quality medical care in Africa is a major focus for sustainable development. Specialising in neuropharmacology and neuroscience, Dr. Priscilla Kolibea Mante is researching alternative, plant-based therapeutic options to manage drug-resistant epilepsy and the neglected tropical disease, neurocysticercosis.

She is currently exploring the anticonvulsant activity of the plant alkaloid cryptolepine and its solid-lipid nanoparticles in the management of neurocysticercosis-induced epilepsy. By identifying a way to help cryptolepine permeate more efficiently into the central nervous system, the risk of convulsion should be reduced, helping the patient to manage their condition as effectively as possible. “It’s very rewarding to know that my research could significantly alter complicated structures like the brain and positively affect people’s lives”, she says.

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Dr. Priscilla Kolibea Mante believes the biggest challenge for women in science is managing negative perceptions of ambition in women and overcoming gender stereotypes. Having faith in the future, she is convinced that her generation has been fortunate to receive strong support, and believe women can tap into that and spearhead their careers to higher levels. “The world will make room for us”, she says. “The more women push for senior roles, the harder it will be to ignore them.” The expert guidance of both men and women throughout her career has been so important that Dr. Priscilla Kolibea Mante now considers herself a “champion” of mentorship, regularly supporting younger scientists in pursuing their dreams. She concludes: “Sometimes it’s important to hold your mentee’s hand and guide them towards opportunities they never knew existed.”

In 2018, Dr Mante received one of two L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Sub-Saharan Africa post-doctoral fellowships. The programme recognised 14 fellows – 12 doctoral and 2 post-doctoral – from five countries in sub-Saharan Africa (Ghana, Mauritius, Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria). They were selected for the scientific excellence of their work from more than 480 applicants, by a jury of independent experts.

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Education

Oyo Schools To Harness Play-Based Learning Initiative For Development

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Play-based learning initiative for pre-primary to primary two children has been described as a crucial bedrock for children which Oyo State Government intends to harness for the development of education.

 

In this regard the State Government has  promised to train all pre-primary school teachers in order to inspire standard practice in the education sector as well as grow teachers’ self esteem during teaching.

 

 

This was said on Tuesday by the Chairman, Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board (Oyo SUBEB), Dr Nureni Adeniran during a courtesy visit by the Chief Executive Officer, Early Childhood Development Initiative, ECDI, Canada, Mrs. Patricia Eno Falope to his office in Ibadan.

 

 

Adeniran informed his visitors that the State government would embark on various measures to get more from teachers, as according to him, the gains in training teachers more on early childhood education in the State would be to the benefits of the teachers and the society.

 

 

He maintained that if initiatives targeted at teachers’ capacity improvement and development were adopted, the State could then boast of providing quality education.

 

 

“Oyo State Government would key into this laudable initiative of Early Childhood Development Centres, across the State to get more in return to achieve the ultimate dream of having success through students’ performance, as the input through the teacher will surely reflect in the final result seen in students’ performance in public examinations.

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“While monitoring schools across all LGAs in the State, I noticed we do not have enough ECDs. This is disheartening. But be rest assured that the Seyi Makinde led administration would rectify these anomalies. We will ensure training for all pre-primary teachers and we will increase the ECD centres”, he ascertained.

 

 

Dr. Adeniran noted that state-wide enactment of Early Childhood Development Centres will help the Governor Seyi Makinde led administration realize the desired paradigm shift in the education sector.

 

 

He therefore pledged the State Government’s readiness to harness the early childhood development and training-the-trainer initiatives for a superlative transformation of the sector.

 

 

Dr. Adeniran also thanked the team for contributing its quota to the educational development of both teachers and pupils which he said has helped birthed the initiative in Oyo State.

 

 

In her words, Mrs. Patricia Eno Falope noted that Oyo State is the only South-West state that has keyed into this initiative, expressing her assurance for the vibrant running of the pilot study.

 

 

She disclosed that the initiative has study partners such as Ryerson University and ECDI, Canada, while Oyo State Government through the Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), National Commission for Colleges of Education, University of Ibadan and UBEC were partners in the initiative.

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She further revealed that the development initiative already had 24 pre- primary school teachers undergoing training in Ogbomosho North and Ido Local Government, while 271 pupils were benefiting from these pilot study.

 

 

The three-year long study was targeted at measuring the impact of play-based learning on children’s educational outcomes from pre-primary to primary two in public primary schools in the State.

 

 

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Education

Oyo govt retains Ajimobi’s SGB policy, but…

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Oyo state government has disclosed that it had no plan to proscribe the School Governing Boards (SGBs) policy of the Abiola Ajimobi led administration in public schools, but had worked on reviewing the mode of operation of the initiative.

 

The disclosure came on Friday from the Chairman, Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board, Dr. Nureni Adeniran who said that the Governor Seyi Makinde led-administration would further strengthen the idea of SGBs through genuine participation and inclusion of all stakeholders, but would not subscribe to extortion of the masses.

 

Nureni called on old students and other stakeholders to intervene and contribute to the development of their alma-maters, appealing to them not to relent in their various efforts at developing their old schools.

 

“Oyo State government has not proscribed SGBs in schools. Old students can still intervene in their various school projects. It is laudable and as the governor had made known in his inaugural address, any policy that is seen as beneficial to the generality of the people of Oyo State will not only be supported and but be leveraged upon.

 

“What we are ill-disposed to is the idea that some people will use the initiative to milk the unsuspecting general public, and we have worked on this to reflect the true sense of what SGB should be.

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“We are not pleased with extortion of pupils in public schools and that is the only thing Governor Seyi Makinde’s government has put a stop to. We have never been aversed to the idea of SGBs”, he concluded.

 

Meanwhile, Oyo State Government has expressed its displeasure towards Messrs. Stock-Shield Ltd, Geostud Energy Consult and Bumtitas Ltd contracted by the last administration for school projects and  have abandoned the site.

 

The Federal Government- Universal Basic Education Commission and Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board intervention projects at Ebenezer Primary School, Akingbile, Olunde Junior Secondary School and Oluyole OLGC Primary School, Ayegun, respectively have been abandoned by the two contractors.

 

The  need for the invitation extended to the contractors was based on what the State government described as ‘faulty’ quality and design of projects that were among the 2012-2013 FGN-UBEC/SUBEB projects inaugurated by the previous administration.

 

Speaking for Government, Dr. Adeniran said he could not understand why such projects should still be left undone and would liked the contractors to show up and defend the faulty lines in the project designs,

 

“Throughout the world, there is what we all know as accountability, especially from the one that is offering service. Also, in a situation whereby the one that is being served feels not satisfied, there should be dialogue and from there, progress. We want these contractors to show up so that we can rectify grey areas and move on,” he posited.

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Education

Large Turnout As Oyo Pupils Write Placement, JSS3 Exams For Free

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Pupils of public and private primary schools and junior secondary schools in Oyo State came out in large number on Tuesday and Wednesday to write the State’s placement examination into JSS1, popularly called ‘Common Entrance’ and Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) as well as the Competitive Entrance Examination into Schools of Science in the State.

 

The exercise which was monitored by Head of Service of Oyo State, Mrs Ololade Agboola was certified satisfactory in comparison to the number that had sat for the same examinations in the past, due to the fact that the State declared that no student should for any of the examinations.

 

Mrs Agboola said it would be on record that the unprecedented number of pupils that sat for each of the three examinations indicated that the State government has done the needful towards reducing the number of out-of-school children in the State.

 

Oyo State was one of the States that have the highest number of Out-of-School children in the 2019 report of the Universal Basic Education Commission.

 

Governor Seyi Makinde announced immediate stoppage of school fees and any payment for public examinations in Oyo State after being sworn into office in May 2019.

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Mrs Agboola said “we have seen the direct impact of the declaration by Governor Makinde against payment of school fees and examination fees for public primary and secondary schools in Oyo State.

 

“The number is unprecedented as confirmed by the education administrators  and even parents that came with their wards to the examination centers were too happy for the gesture of this administration.

 

“We are using this opportunity to call on teachers and school administrators to key into this laudable effort of the State government to bring back to school, the children that have left and are engaging in things inimical to their own future and the future of our nation.”

 

The Head of Service who monitored the Common Entrance Examination Exercise with management team of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology in Ibadan Metropolis and other parts of the State declared that materials needed for the examinations were adequately supplied, which made the exercise flawless and hitch free.

 

She however advised  parents to support the present administration  under the leadership of Governor Seyi Makinde in his educational policies to take the State to a greater height among its peers.

 

The Principal, Loyola College, Ibadan, Mrs Rebecca Oyebamiji said the punctuality of the students and invigilators at the examination center showed that they were ready for the exercise.

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Oyebamiji noted that, no fewer than Two Hundred and Thirteen (213) pupils collected the forms and they all sat for the examination.

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