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Nigerian Educator receives 2017 UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award

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THE UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR today honoured Zannah Mustapha with the 2017 Nansen Refugee Award at a ceremony in Geneva for founding a school in Maiduguri, Nigeria, the epicentre of the Boko Haram insurgency.

The school has stayed open throughout the conflict with Boko Haram, which has seen some 20,000 killed across the Lake Chad region, and millions more displaced.

The school provides a free education, as well as free meals, uniforms and health care, to children affected and displaced by violence. Those orphaned by the conflict on both sides are welcomed into Mustapha’s classrooms as a sign of the reconciliation he hopes to achieve in the region.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, presented the Nansen medal to the Mr Mustapha and paid tribute to him in an address:

“Tonight we recognize, we celebrate the achievements of Zannah Mustapha, a man of courage and peace.” said the UN refugee chief.

“He had the courage to build a school. He had the courage to offer education to children affected by violence. I cannot think of any better choice for this year’s Nansen Award.”

In the decade since its inception, Mustapha’s school has swelled from 36 students to 540. Desperate for an education, thousands more children have added their names to its waiting list. In 2016, Mustapha opened a second school just a few kilometres away from the first.

The courage it takes to defend children’s’ rights to education in the face of Boko Haram is extraordinary”

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie also provided a video message of congratulation for Mr. Mustapha. In her address she praised his work and its legacy.

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“The courage it takes to defend children’s’ rights to education in the face of Boko Haram is extraordinary”, she said. “Zannah Mustapha has brought light to a region that has been terrorised for years.”

“Mr Mustapha, you are an inspiration. I hope this award encourages you and others to continue this vital work.”

In his speech Zannah Mustapha thanked all of the teachers and widows he has worked with and praised the students at his schools, “I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would see these children progressing in such a traumatic period in their lives”, he said.  “When I look at the children’s faces I see resilience and stability.”

“We are not in a journey to be the same but we are in a journey to understand our differences and overcome our adversity. That we can achieve with education”, he continued.

“There are so many children in conflict zones not able to go to school. We have shown what is possible.”

Mustapha’s work in the region also includes negotiating the release of Boko Haram hostages. When the 21 young women who had been held captive for more than two years were released, Mustapha was there. He had been instrumental in securing their freedom – as well as the release of 82 additional Chibok girls in May 2017.

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For more than 60 years, UNHCR’s Nansen Refugee Award has recognised those who have shown outstanding dedication to the refugee cause.  The 2017 winner was honoured with a ceremony that featured renowned Afrobeat musician Tony Allen, an acoustic set by Japanese artist Miyavi and a classical violin piece from renowned soloist Mariela Shaker. The host for the evening was Anita Rani and the keynote address was given by Syrian refugee Nujeen Mustafa.

The Nansen Refugee Award alumnae include the famous as well as unsung heroes; Eleanor Roosevelt, Graça Machel and Luciano Pavarotti among its laureates, but a number of remarkable unsung heroes, such as Mr.Mustapha, who have dedicated themselves to fighting the injustices suffered by the forcibly displaced.

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Education

Ibadan Poly postpones examinations, gives reason

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The Polytechnic Ibadan on Monday informed that it has postponed its first semester examination for the 2019/2020 session scheduled to commence today.

The decision, as learnt was taken in view of the protest embarked upon by the students who protested against inability to complete their registration.

Confirming the postponement of the examination, the Registrar of the institution, Mrs. Modupe Fawale said that the decision was taken “to enable students who were unable to meet registration and payment of tuition deadline to do so.”

Fawale added that the examination has been postponed till next week.

“Students are to also note that examination etiquette are sacrosanct hence, any student involved in examination malpractices will be sanctioned.

“Equally, any student caught with cellphone and smart watch will be suspended from the institution and the materials will be confiscated.

“Students are expected to observe all Covid-19 protocols including the use of facemask and those who failed to abide shall not be permitted to take part in the scheduled examination.

“As earlier informed, students facing registration challenges are to go to the accredited ICT centres for solution”, she submitted.

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Education: Oyo Govt Rolls Out 226 Contracts for 2019 UBEC/SUBEB Intervention Projects

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No fewer than 102 Local contractors participated in the bid opening exercise for the 2019 FGN-UBEC/OYOSUBEB Intervention projects held at Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board’s premises on Friday.

The exercise, according to the Executive Chairman, Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board, Dr. Nureni Aderemi Adeniran was done in compliance with provision of Public Procurement Act 2010.

“We allowed due process in this bid opening, which states that people should be allowed to tender for any goods and/or services, and the tender should be open in the presence of the tenderers”, he said.

While he reiterated the Board’s commitment to transparency and integrity in the selection process, he admonished contractors who submitted bids to embrace the spirit of sportsmanship.

The Chairman also revealed that the projects are being jointly financed by Oyo State Government through the State Universal Basic Education Board and the Federal Government, through the Universal Basic Education Commission.

Dr. Nureni Adeniran further said that a total of Two Hundred and Twenty-six (226) lots are being rolled out, adding that the process involved transparency and due process.

He said the contracts bidded for include: Construction of a Model School; Construction of eight blocks of six classrooms; construction of 14 blocks of four classroms.

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Others are construction of 32 blocks of 3 classrooms; construction of 4 ECCDE pilot centres; construction 10 perimeter fencing.

Also, the contractors bidded for renovation of 66 blocks of classrooms; sinking of 40 boreholes; procurement of 48 lots of furniture and procurement of 3 lots of sport equipment/facilities.

Dr. Adeniran also disclosed that the Board is on the verge of completing the 2018 FGN-UBEC/OYOSUBEB Intervention projects, adding that the projects are on 80% completion.

The Chairman therefore urged tenderers to deliver a thorough job and ensure speedy completion of the intervention projects.

He said, “Bidders are strongly advised to ensure speedy project execution, as this administration has zero tolerance for time wastage, as far as project execution is concerned”.

The bid opening exercise was witnessed by representatives of Universal Basic Education Commission, Nigeria Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Bureau of Public Procurement, Federal Ministry of Education.

Other bodies represented include, Nigeria Institute of Engineers, Nigeria Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers and CSACEFA.

 

 

 

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Education

Teachers’ Day: Akanbi heaps praises on teachers for creating future world leaders

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Former Senator Adesoji Akanbi, on Monday recognized the sacrifices and accomplishments of all teachers, commending them for creating future world leaders in their various field of endeavours.

The APC chieftain, who represented Oyo South Senatorial District between 2015-2019, in an emotional appreciation message made available to Mega Icon Magazine, also paid glowing tributes to the teachers for working their hearts out to lift up young people.

Akanbi, who was conferred ‘Distinguished Education Stakeholder’s Award’ by the NUT, Ibadan Southwest Branch said, “here is to the men and women who get up every day and work their hearts out to lift up our young people.

“The men and women who teach our children to make the world a better place.

“The men and women creating future world leaders, Doctors, Engineers, Scientists, Lawyers, Philosophers, Entertainers, and of course, more Teachers.

“To the men and women toiling hard for the betterment of our children, striving for a better future of the nation, we say thank you Sir/Ma.

“Happy Teacher’s Day”, the message concluded.

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