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ASUP to Buhari: Sign BSC/HND Dichotomy Bill before May 29



The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sign into law the bill to abolish BSC/HND dichotomy before he leaves office on May 29.

National President of ASUP, Comrade Anderson Ezeibe, who made the call in an interview with Vanguard in Abuja yesterday, said the dichotomy had made young Nigerians not to be interested in polytechnic education in the country.

He said it would be a memorable legacy if President Buhari assents to the dichotomy bill before he exited office.

He said: “We are urging President Buhari to go ahead and sign that bill into law. That is another way of saving this sector. As we speak, the Roman figures are dropping significantly so because the sector is losing its attraction to young people

“So we expect him to sign this bill. Other stakeholders in the sector have also been calling for him to do so. It will be an enduring legacy if Mr. President succeeds in doing this before he leaves office.”

He contended that stakeholders in the polytechnic education sector had urged the Ninth National Assembly to pass the “Bill for an Act to Abolish and Prohibit Dichotomy and Discrimination between First Degree and Higher National Diploma.”

The National Assembly in 2021 passed the “Bill for an Act to Abolish and Prohibit Dichotomy and Discrimination between First Degree and Higher National Diploma in the Same Profession/Field for the Purpose of Employment; and for Related Matters,” and has presented it to President Buhari for assent before it can become a law.

The bill is seeking to legislate the discrimination of polytechnic graduates from their university counterparts in employment and promotion in the workplace.

The bill also seeks to end the discrimination that stakeholders in the polytechnics have, which for long they sought an end to.

The piece of legislation, sponsored by Senator Ayo Akinyelure, passed the third reading on the floor of the Senate at plenary.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and Tertiary Education Trust Fund, Ahmad Kaita, presented his report and all the amended six clauses were approved by the Senate.

Chairman of the Joint Committee, Ibrahim Shekarau (APC, Kano Central), said, “The enactment of the bill to abolish and prohibit discrimination between First Degrees and Higher National Diploma for the purpose of employment in Nigeria will no doubt freeholders of HND from stagnation and ensure balanced treatment with their counterparts from other higher tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

Unlike graduates of universities, HND holders cannot rise to Grade Level GL 17 in the civil service.

Also, at the entry-level in the civil service, Polytechnic graduates are placed on GL 07 while university graduates are placed on. (vanguard)

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BREAKING: JAMB releases timetable for 2024 UTME



The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has announced dates for the 2024 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).

It said the sale of forms for the examination will start on January 15 and end on February 26.

In a statement by its Public Communication Advisor (PAC), Fabian Benjamin, JAMB said the main UTME will hold from April 19 to 29, 2024.

The statement reads: “Based on the series of recommendations emanating from a two-day Information Technology (IT) and management retreat held between November 26 and 28, 2023, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has fixed January 15 to February 26, 2024, for the sale of its Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) application document.

“Meanwhile, March 7, 2024, has been slated for the 2024 MOCK-UTME, while the main UTME will hold from April 19 to 29, 2024.

“Candidates are expected to print their examination slips as from April 10, 2024.

“Candidates are enjoined to take note of these dates and other advisories issued by the board in relation to the administration of the examination. They are also to visit the board’s website @www.jamb for any other information.”

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Fed Govt gets additional $700m as 11 states join World Bank project on girls education



The World Bank has approved an additional $700 million for the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) project to improve learning outcomes of the girl – child.

In the new funding arrangement, 11 additional financing states joined the initial seven pilot states.

The states are: Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Sokoto, Yobe, Zamfara.

Project Coordinator, AGILE, Hajia Amina Haruna, said this during the inauguration of the national steering committee on AGILE in Abuja.

The committee inaugurated comprised executive secretaries from SUBEB, Commissioners of Education from 18 states and relevant Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).

The AGILE project is a credit from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) to the Federal Government, and it is implemented in seven states.

The states are Borno, Ekiti, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi and Plateau, with an initial project cost of $500m.

Haruna said the project was put in place to improve secondary education opportunities among girls in targeted areas in the seven participating states.

She called for the commitment of the state government to recruit qualified teachers for proper impact of the project.

Haruna said: “Over 2.4 million beneficiaries reached across the seven states reached. More than 1,341,821 adolescent girls have so far been reached.

“Over 7,967 non functional classrooms have been renovated and in use in the seven states. 84,567 teaching and learning materials to schools and in use.”

While inaugurating the committee, Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, charged the committee members and state chapter on the sustainability of the project.

According to Mamman, one of the major challenges we have is taking millions of out-of-school children off the street.

He said: “If we can register success in the 18 states, we will be half way through in reducing the number of out-of-school children in the country.

“We need to scale up what we have to reach other states. The project has assisted us in a template we can adopt to work out deliverables in reducing the number of out-of-school children.”

Minister of State for Education, Dr. Yusuf Sununu said the inauguration was aimed at creating system reforms for expansion of access and provision of financial incentives for the girl child.

While urging the commissioners of education to make use of the available resources judiciously, Sununu also explained that the federal ministry of education had done a lot towards improving learning outcomes.

The World Bank Country Director, Shubham Chaudhuri, said the bank was passionate about the project as it would give the girl child the opportunities to contribute to their families, communities and the nation.

Chaudhuri said efficient deliverables of the project would yield increased investment in girl-child education by the world bank.

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Edo 2024: UNIBEN students, Stakeholders drum support for Shaibu’s governorship ambition



The 2024 governorship aspiration of Edo state deputy governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu, on Tuesday, November 28, received a boost from students of the University of Benin (UNIBEN).h

The students, who were led by past and serving leaders of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), including executive members of many departments, converged on Shaibu’s campaign office in Benin to pledge their support for his governorship aspiration.

The speakers included Comrade Gilbert Success, aka UNIBEN Oracle; Comrade Gerald Nnamdi; and Comrade Happiness Ugheghele; and they pledged their unflinching support for the Edo deputy governor’s aspiration.

They described Shaibu, a former national president of NANS, as one of their own.

The students’ leaders noted that the Edo deputy governor was a worthy ambassador of young people in Nigeria while disclosing that they would have gone to court to compel Shaibu to join the governorship race if he had not declared on Monday in Benin.

They said: “We are here in our numbers as representatives of great Nigerian students from UNIBEN, to pledge our total support for your governorship ambition.

“We are convinced that you are one hundred percent homeboy the Edo people are looking forward to, and there is no doubt whatsoever that with your antecedents, you have the pedigree and capacity to deliver, and take Edo State to the next level.

“As one of our own and a vibrant and articulate youth for that matter, we will mobilise and support you to ensure that you become the next governor of our dear Edo State.”

Shaibu, a former majority leader of the Edo House of Assembly and ex-member of the House of Representatives, in his response, stated that by his exposure and experience as a youth, he was adequately prepared and equipped to be Edo governor from November 12, 2024.

He chronicled his struggles and sacrifices with other like-minded in fighting for the emancipation of Nigerian students and the enthronement of democracy in Nigeria.

Edo deputy governor said: “I am happy to be getting this kind of massive support from my fellow youths and students. We are told that the youths are the leaders of tomorrow. But the journey to taking over positions of leadership in our country starts today. By the grace of God, and with your support, the Edo of our collective dream is possible.

“All l enjoin you to do is to go about spreading the gospel of a better Edo State with Philip Shaibu as Governor, and let me assure you that I will not disappoint you.”

Shaibu, at Bishop Kelly Pastoral Centre of St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Airport Road, Benin on Monday, while declaring his intention to vie in the September 21 next year’s governorship election, insisted that nothing and no one could stop his aspiration on the platform of the governing Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and succeed Governor Godwin Obaseki, also of PDP

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