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.
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.
Oyo govt charges teachers to begin academic works immediately, as schools resume tomorrow
As schools reopen on Monday 16th September 2019 for a new academic session in Oyo State, the State government has charged all teachers to start academic works immediately.
The directive came from the State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Kehinde Sangodoyin in a statement issued over the weekend.
Sangodoyin asked that teachers, support staff and students were expected to be in schools before eight for academic work to commence immediately.
The Commissioner disclosed further that quality education that would yield best academic performance was the target of the Seyi Makinde administration, urging teachers to work hard by preparing the students for excellent performance.
“We are using this medium to congratulate our students in public and private schools for their resumption on Monday, 16th September 2019 and call on the teachers to engage the students in academic exercises immediately.
“The current administration is doing all possible best to change the tide for better in achieving the best for the State in the area of students’ academic performance and improvement in national rating of the State in external examinations.
“To this end, facilities and teacher’s remunerations would be at the forefront of government reckoning to achieve the lofty goal, while teachers are expected to do their bit to justify government’s strict adherence to providing the best enabling environment for their performance.”
The foremost academic administrator also warned teachers to desist from collecting any money from any parents or students in the guise of collection of levies.
Prof. Shangodoyin appealed to parents to be alive to their responsibilities to make the children become valuable assets to both the parents and society in future.
He reiterated that the present administration was working assiduously to bring back the glory of education in the state, with a call to schools’ alumni and corporate bodies to support the current trend in the State to make education accessible to all.
Cut- off marks: UI warns candidates to ignore fake news peddlers
Management of the University of Ibadan (UI) has advised candidates seeking admission into the institution to ignore fake news peddlers who are currently circulating fake cut-off marks on the internet, promising that the authentic cut-off marks of all the departments will be out in due course.
Speaking through the Deputy Registrar, Mrs. Morenike Afolabi who is also the Undergraduate Admissions Officer, the University lamented the activities of the fake news peddlers, pointing out that their mission was to mislead the candidates and create confusion.
Mrs. Afolabi promised that the authentic cut-off marks would be out in due course as the Admissions Office was working on it.
There have been various versions of cut-off marks circulating on the internet since the release of the results of the Post-UTME Screening.
Alumnus donates N100m building, facilities to alma- mata in Ibadan
An alumnus of All Saints Primary School, Araromi- Aperin village, in Ona-Ara Local Government Area of Oyo state, Mr. Olusola Alagbe has donated two blocks of 6 classrooms to the school for infrastructural upgrade.
Other facilities donated include, Headmaster’s quarters, Staff quarters, a vicarage, church building, football pitch and sickbay, which were valued at about N100 million.
During an inspection of two blocks of 6 classrooms and other facilities on Tuesday, representative of the donor, Engr. Diran Oyetunji informed that the gesture was part of Alagbe’s efforts to give back to the society that made him who he is today.
He thanked the state government on his behalf for providing the necessary supports, averring that “this has afforded Mr. Alagbe the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the educational development of Oyo State, and by extension Nigeria”.
Remarking, the Oyo state government lauded the donor for supporting the state government with such projects, adding that the ongoing construction of new blocks of classrooms and other structures would boost the morale of children within school-going-age in the council area.
The government, through its Executive Chairman, Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board, Dr. Nureni Adeniran added that the gesture would afford children in Araromi village enjoy free and quality education, at no cost, just as he promised government’s contribution to the laudable project, saying “Oyo State Government would provide furniture for the pupils and teachers in the school”.
Adeniran, however urged other well-meaning indigenes of the state and non-profit organisations at all levels, including businesses, associations and faith-based organisations to take a cue from the donor and impact their societies.
“This is commendable and we appreciate Mr. Olusola Alagbe’s kind gesture in complementing government’s efforts. We also call on Associations and faith-based organisations to contribute their quota to the development of education in their immediate communities”, the SUBEB boss submitted.
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