If you ever assumed that the oldest university in the world is in Europe or China, then kindly come again because it’s not.
The oldest standing university on earth is in Morocco. Known as Al-Qarawiyyin, the university was founded in 859 AD by a young princess from Tunisia, Fatima al-Fihri.
The university has been recognized by UNESCO and the Guinness World Records as the oldest existing, continuously operating university, as well as, the first institution to issue educational degrees.
It is located in the city of Fes, which was once a leading spiritual and educational centre of the Muslim world.
History recounts that over 1200 years ago, al-Fihri and her family moved from Qayrawan (modern-day Tunisia) to Fes, Morocco.
After her father’s death, al-Fihri decided to spend her family’s inheritance on building a mosque for her community with a madrasa, Islamic school to give people the opportunity to practice their faith and still expand their knowledge on spiritual issues.
The mosque, which began with enough room for 22,000 worshipers, is one of the largest in Africa.
Over the years, Al-Qarawiyyin became one of the key religious and educational centres in the Muslim world.
The madrasa was initially meant to focus on religious instruction and Quran memorization but later expanded to teach calligraphy, Arabic grammar, Sufism, medicine, music and astronomy.
In 1947, the school was registered into the state education system and ten years after, chemistry, physics and foreign languages were introduced.
In 1963, it joined the modern state university system, and in 1965 it was officially renamed “University of al- Qarawiyyin” rather than simply “al- Qarawiyyin”.
The university, during its early days, attracted some of the highest quality teachers at the time.
It also received many applications from different parts of Morocco and Islamic West Africa, as well as, Muslim Central Asia, hence the school came out with a rigorous selection process.
Some of these conditions are still in place currently. For instance, students applying to study at the University must have memorized the whole Quran if they are even to be considered.
The university is still traditional in the way it teaches. Students, especially those between the ages of 13 and 30, sit in semi-circles around a sheikh to read texts, ask or answer questions in particular areas of interest.
The University of Al-Qarawiyyin’s library is also recognized as the oldest in the world. It contains over 4000 manuscripts, many of which date back to the 9th century.
Oyo Schools To Harness Play-Based Learning Initiative For Development
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.
“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.
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.
Oyo govt retains Ajimobi’s SGB policy, but…
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.
“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.
Large Turnout As Oyo Pupils Write Placement, JSS3 Exams For Free
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.
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.
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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