The Counsellor for Public Affairs, United States Embassy in Nigeria, Adnan Siddiqi, has said that about N23.2 billion in financial aid and scholarships were granted to Nigerians studying in the US in 2022.
Siddiqi disclosed this on Monday at the opening of the 22nd annual U.S. Embassy and Education USA College Fair, EducationUSA.
According to him, financial aid and scholarships were granted to students advised by EducationUSA.
The counsellor noted that the fair provides information on studying in the USA and also career paths.
He said, “In the past year alone, nearly $30 million (23.2 billion naira) in financial aid and scholarships were granted to students advised by EducationUSA.”
The counsellor also disclosed that Mission Nigeria issued over 9,000 student visas last year, resulting in an astounding 405.3% increase in visa issuance.
After Texas, the top receiving states for Nigerian students are Illinois, New York, Georgia, and Massachusetts.
No fewer than 14,400 Nigerian students are currently studying in institutions across the US, Siddiqi said.
The students are said to be spread across 973 institutions, spanning all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
He added that Nigeria sends more students to the United States than any other African country.
Siddiqi who was quoting a recent report said, “It is worth noting that Nigeria sends more students to the United States than any other African country.
“According to the latest data available, over 14,400 students are currently pursuing their studies in over 973 institutions, spanning all 50 states and the District of Columbia. And if you are curious about the most popular state, it is none other than Texas.”
He attributed the increase in the number of Nigerians studying in the US to the annual fair.
“Our annual college fairs have played a pivotal role in boosting the number of outstanding applicants to U.S. institutions, as well as in securing additional financial aid and scholarship opportunities for Nigerian students.
“Many of those students attend a diverse range of institutions in the United States, from small liberal arts private colleges to large state universities.”
Representatives from forty-five U.S. colleges and universities were in attendance at the fair
Kwara Govt launches distribution of textbooks, sports kits for public basic schools
Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Thursday flagged off the distribution of instructional materials and sports kits to pupils of public basic schools across the 16 local governments of the state.
The gesture, according to the Governor, was part of his administration’s plan to enhance educational standards, and reduce the burden on pupils/students’ parents amid economic reality in the country.
This comes a day after the administration opened bids for the 2020 FGN-UBEC/SUBEB intervention projects, where at least 215 contractors had signified interest.
“This flag-off ceremony for the distribution of both instructional materials and sports kits procured from UBEC/KWSUBEB interventions of 2018 and 2019 matching grants is of great significance to the upliftment of basic education in the state. It reduces the burden on pupils/students’ parents, most especially in this hard time in the country,” he said in Ajase-Ipo, Irepodun local government of the state.
AbdulRazaq, who was represented at the event by Deputy Governor, Mr. Kayode Alabi, said the programme was also aimed at repositioning basic education in the area of sporting activities, and to provide pupils/students with good and sound health.
“Similarly, this administration is working assiduously at ensuring effective teaching and learning of physical education and other subjects in our schools through prompt payment of salary, implementation of promotions, payment of palliative and provision of instructional materials which in turn breeds a conducive teaching and learning atmosphere in our schools,” he added.
AbdulRazaq appreciated key stakeholders who he said are working round the clock in ensuring the success of all programmes of the administration, with particular reference to school leaders, administrators, teachers, and non-teaching staff.
The event was well attended by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education Mrs. Rebecca Bake Olanrewaju; TIC Chairmen for Irepodun Comrade Jide Oyinloye, and Oke-Ero, Hon. Gbenga Yusuf; traditional rulers from Irepodun LG led by the Olupo of Ajase-Ipo Oba Ismaila Yahaya Alebiosu; and former deputy Chief of staff to the Governor, Princess Olubukola Babalola, among others.
Chairman Kwara SUBEB, Prof Raheem Adaramaja, for his part, said Governor AbdulRazaq has been doing so much to reposition the education sector, including the procurement of multi- million naira textbooks and sports kits that he said are meant to make the students physically and mentally fit.
He thanked AbdulRazaq for the prompt response to the yearnings and aspirations of workers in the state, especially the teaching and non-teaching staff.
Adaramaja also praised the federal government through UBEC, the royal fathers, religious leaders and other relevant stakeholders for playing outstanding roles that culminated into the successes of the state government in the sector.
Mrs. Olanrewaju, in her remarks, said what is being witnessed in the state’s education sector is unique and commendable, and affirming all this process is capable of fully reviving the lost glory in that sector.
She appealed to all benefiting schools to make sure that the given items are properly delivered and maintained to achieve the set target.
Olupo of Ajase-Ipo Oba Ismail Yahaya Alebiosu, in his submission, said the project further attests that the administration is focused on changing the face of the education sector that he called a bedrock of any society.
He hailed AbdulRazaq for truly serving the masses, and how his government encourages the youth to fulfill their life dreams, alluding to his ascension to the throne of his forebears at youthful age as a case study.
“We thank His Excellency for deeming it fit to promote education at all times. We pray that Almighty God will continue to be with His Excellency. A government that sincerely has people in mind is the government that always thinks of how to bring its people out of ignorance,” the monarch said.
Some of the instructional materials for distribution include textbooks of Mathematics, English, Basic and Technology, Computer, Nigerian History and Jolly Phonics, plastic chairs and tables, ECCD materials, ICT equipment materials, and toys for ECCD materials among others.
The sports facilities include sets of table tennis, 120 sets of Jessey, traditional opon ayo; balls – volley, focal and hand balls; boots of different grades; crutches, mobile cane, typewriters, talking calculators, print magnifiers, digital recorders, adaptive laptops, sensory toys, walking frames and wheelchairs for pupils with physical disabilities, among others.
Atere Abiola Ameenat
September 21, 2023.
UNGA 2023: Access to quality education is an ‘urgency of now’, says Kwara Gov
Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has said that promoting access to quality education for millions of children in need of it “is an urgency of now” for the international community, including donor agencies and development partners.
Speaking at an event on the sidelines of the 2023 United Nations General Assembly in New York, AbdulRazaq explained that his administration has invested billions of naira on school infrastructure and introduction of technology to promote good teaching techniques, accountability, and effective learning which empowers the children to be at par with their peers in other climes.
“What we have done has empowered teachers to adhere to curriculum standards, help the children to learn, reduce absenteeism, and raise school enrollment amid rising standards,” he said.
Organised by Devex Event and New Globe, a theme of the event was ‘Addressing Africa’s learning crisis and preparing for a young future: finding solutions.’
The Governor spoke alongside president and co-founder of NewGlobe Shannon May; executive director of Education Cannot Wait, an initiative of the United Nations, Yasmine Sherif; editorial director of Devex Richard Jones; senior fellow and deputy director of Centre for Universal Education, Brookings Institution, Jennifer O’donoghue; senior fellow at Stanford University Eric Hanushek; and executive director- Africa CAMFED Shungu Gwarinda; among many others.
The Governor said a well-funded education sector also holds the key to improvements across many other sectors like health, water, rural urban development and food security, adding that data mined from schools can help governments to make informed decisions, plan and deploy scarce resources.
“We have improved public school enrollment by some 48.7% at basic level, while the introduction of technology has really empowered our teachers and children alike,” AbdulRazaq added, although he said funding remains a big challenge.
He explained that learning deprivation in Kwara public schools has reduced from 70.8% to 51.6% within a space of 40 weeks of introducing the new programme, KwaraLEARN.
Yasmine, who commended what the Governor has done in Kwara, said he had rightly called a need to jointly fund education and promote inclusion “an urgency of now” especially in the deployment of resources to deepen functional education.
Yasmine said such urgency should not affect the quality of education as well as the scope of the target, adding that the UN body is mobilizing at least $1.5bn fund to give quality education to some 120m out of school children in distressed parts of the world.
Yasmine said she would soon lead a team to Nigeria as part of the global campaign for education rights of young children, adding that Kwara would be on their radar during such visit.
NewGlobe co-founder Shannon May said she was impressed at the vision of Abdulrazaq to transform public schools in Kwara State, urging other states and leaders in Africa to deploy the same resources and energy to the same cause.
She commended the progress so far made in Kwara State and a few other Nigerian states, saying such improvements had been made possible through political will and reliance on data-based strategies to drive inclusive education and great learning outcomes for young people.
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor
September 21, 2023
PHOTOS: Education Minister Signs MOU With Princeton University, Other At UNGA 78
The Minister of Education, Tahir Mamman, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Princeton University, United States and African School of Economics.
This was done on the sidelines of the 78th United Nations General Assembly.
The MOU is expected to enhance Nigeria’s education system, promote vocational learning, and support research and policy formulation.
Credit: X| NTANewsNow
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