Can PPP’s solve the learning challenge in our education system?

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Last week we started considering the feasibility of introducing public private partnerships in education to deal with the learning challenge — poor quality schools that are not enough to go round. As new administrative tenure commences for most governments at the state level, many are taking stock of their respective fiscal and resource positions to draw up plans on how to deliver the dividends of governance to the public.   Coinciding with this exercise under various transition committees is the recent publication of annual states viability index by Economic Confidential which shows that 17 out of 36 states of Nigeria are insolvent.   Most of the states are also heavily burdened by huge debts overhang, further threatening their fiscal sustainability.     Funding for education as well as other physical and social infrastructure will therefore continue to suffer huge deficit as has been the case beginning from the lost decades of the 80s.


Continued underfunding of education, poor management, overcrowding, poor teacher quality and obsolete curriculum have contributed to the quality deficit in public schools which has partially fueled the proliferation of private schools. Until the mid 1990s, the educational landscape was dominated by good, quality public schools and few schools run by the missionaries. But for the reasons cited above, private schools of varying standards but all seemingly driven by the inordinate quest for profit, have come to dominate the scene.   Today, our educational landscape is sharply bifurcated between public schools (mostly substandard, maladministered and cheap) and private schools (different standards but mostly expensive) with few faith-based schools.   The explosion in student population has led to overcrowding in public schools thus stretching public resources and whittling down quality.     Access to private schools by the teeming population of students is however, limited by high pricing.   As we showed … Read More...

AUN announces Elendu-Ukeje as speaker at its 11th Commencement

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Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje, a strong parliamentary voice in Nigeria, has been announced as the 2019 Commencement speaker at the American University of Nigeria (AUN) on Saturday, May 18.

Elendu-Ukeje, member, representing Bende Federal Constituency in Abia State, is the chair, Committee on Foreign Affairs at the House of Representatives.

The federal legislator is a notable voice in the campaign for better welfare for Nigerian soldiers, their families, and war veterans.

She will be the 11th Keynote Speaker at the University’s graduation ceremony since the inaugural class in 2009. She will be following in the footsteps of notables like Nobel Laurette Archbishop a Desmond Tutu (2009); former National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter, the late Dr. Robert Alan Pastor (2012); US rights activist Ms. Charlayne Hunter-Gault (2013); former United States ambassador John Simon (2014); and Columbian education rights advocate Ms. Vicky Colbert (2015), among others.

Like the Commencement speakers before her, Elendu-Ukeje is expected to advise graduating students on life behind the four walls of the university.

The third-term legislator has sponsored the bill establishing the National Commission against the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons. She is as well a strong advocate in the push for the domestication of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

Among her many interventions are the legislative diplomacy between the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the South African Parliamentary Delegation to curb xenophobia targeted at Nigerians living in South Africa and the establishment of the Nigerian-US Bi-National Commission.

Legislative positions she has held include Chairperson, House Committees on Donor Agencies and Development Partners, Navy, Defence, Women in Parliament, Telecommunication, Information Communication Technology, and Member of the Ad-Hoc Committee on Restructuring Nigeria, and the Petroleum Industry Bill.

Hon. Elendu-Ukeje has won numerous …

Inside low-fee private schools: The realities, challenges and future

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Low fees schools are springing up practically on every street in densely populated areas of Nigeria to cater for the emerging mass market of parents whose income will not allow access to high end basic education market. STEPHEN ONYEKWELU writes that low cost schools occupy a critical niche in basic education delivery but some are…

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FG restates effort to tackle youth unemployment, underemployment

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President Muhammad Buhari reiterated Federal Government undaunted efforts to tackle youth unemployment and underemployment through matrix of initiatives.
Buhari made this known at the 13th convocation ceremonies of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka on Friday.
Buhari, represented by the Minister of State Education, Tony Anwuka, said the initiatives included N-Power, Bank of Industry’s Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES), the CBN and Bank of Agriculture Support Scheme.
“As part of the continuing efforts to stave off, the number of initiatives to boost the employability of graduands of our tertiary institutions, either as employer or in self employment.
“These initiatives include, but not limited to, the energising education programmes through the rural electricity agency, the intent of which is, to provide captive power plants for selected tertiary institutions
“Thus, providing them with the needed uninterrupted power supply and the skill G projects by TETFUND which provides computers, laboratory equipment and other learning resources to tertiary institutions,” he said.
The President restated also the conviction of Federal Government that education was the bedrock of socioeconomic development of society.
Consequently, within the limits of available resources thus government will continue to give primary place to education.
Vice Chancellor of the university, Joseph Ahaneku, commended the Federal Government for the immense support and encouragement to his administration, ending in the first week of June.
He commended also the Chancellor, Jacob Gyang, the pro-Chancellor, Azeez Bello, the governing council, stakeholders of university, staff, students, benefactors and others who contributed in various ways to the success of his administration.
Ahaneku said 6,500 were conferred with first degrees, 182 postgraduate diplomas, 763 masters’ degrees and 269 Ph.D.
The Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, Emeka Offor and Babagana Kingibe were conferred with honorary degrees for their positive impact in the society.

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Osinbajo to outline catalyst for nation building at LASU convocation

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will be delivering the pre-convocation lecture of the Lagos State University (LASU), titled “Centre of Excellence in African Universities: A Veritable Catalyst for Nation Building and Development, at the event scheduled for May 16, 2019.
Olanrewaju Fagbohun, vice chancellor, LASU, while speaking at the pre-convocation press conference held at the 3-in-1 Building, Faculty of Education, main campus, Ojo, last week, said the university would be awarding 57 First Class at the 23rd convocation ceremony, adding that this was the highest in the history of the university.
According to Fagbohun, “This year’s convocation ceremony is a very unique and special one. It is so because our world-class students in their habit of healthy rivalry to be the best at what they do, have pushed themselves so hard that at this year’s convocation we will be graduating 57 First Class students.”
Fagbohun said never in the history of the University had we had it so good, saying, “Two graduands, Ridwan Oladotun Ola-Gbadamosi from the Faculty of Engineering and Nneka Karen Enumah of the Faculty of Sciences graduated with a CGPA of 4.88 to emerge as the best graduating students,” he said.
He said of the 57 First Class, Faculty of Education produced 10, Faculty of Engineering two, Faculty of Management Sciences 13 and Faculty of Science 19, among others.
In his word, “LASU will graduate 14,369 with 54 obtaining diplomas, 10,252 first degrees and 4,063 postgraduate degrees.
Aside the convocation lecture to be chaired by President of Ghana, John Mahama, the Vice Chancellor revealed that 37 academic programmes of the university were successful accredited by the National Universities Commission (NUC), thus all 70 programmes offered at the first-degree level were duly accredited.
Other activities for the 23rd convocation programme between May 2 and Read More...