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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

Makinde to Shut Illegal Schools in Oyo

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The Seyi Makinde led Oyo State Government has promised to clamp down on illegal private primary schools operating within the state, saying that a taskforce would be set up in earnest to address the menace.

The development was made known to newsmen on Monday by the Executive Chairman, Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Dr. Nureni  Adeniran, during an inspection of schools in the State capital.

Adeniran revealed that the State Government without further delay, would set up a task force, to be spearheaded by Oyo State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, in collaboration with Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board.

He said the Task-force would close down all mushroom private schools endangering quality in the education sector in the State.

Dr. Adeniran however charged parents and Guardians to enrol their children and wards in Public schools, noting that the free education policy by Governor Seyi Makinde was already yielding positive results in schools in the 2019 academic session.

“Looking at the influx of new intakes in public schools today, being the first day of resumption, it is apparent that Governor Seyi Makinde’s free-education policy is yielding good fruits in the State.

“It is highly important that those private primary and secondary schools be put under searchlight to know those operating without government approval and monitoring.

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” We will henceforth close such schools found within the State,” he said.

The Chairman expressed Government’s readiness to place public schools as favourable competitors with Private schools, saying Government was working assiduously on provision of basic amenities needed by both teachers and students across the State.

He stressed that Governor-Seyi-Makinde- led administration demands maximum cooperation from all stakeholders in the sector, while the Government would commit every necessary resource in achieving quality education in the State.

He further pledged Government’s commitment to returning schools’ grants and renovation of bad school infrastructures in schools.

The SUBEB Chairman and his team visited include, People’s Primary School, Adeoyo, St. Williams School, Oke-Ado, AUD School, Foko, Islamic Primary School, Bode; St. David Primary School, Kudeti.

Others schools visited include I.M.G Primary Schools, Orita-Aperin and Ode-Aje, Ikolaba Community Primary School;,Methodist Primary School, Bodija, and Methodist Primary School, Mokola.

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Oyo govt charges teachers to begin academic works immediately, as schools resume tomorrow

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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.”

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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.

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Education

Cut- off marks: UI warns candidates to ignore fake news peddlers 

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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.

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