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Common Entrance; Kogi Parents Groans Over Inability To Pay 13,500.

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Some parents in Kogi state has described as an extortionist policy by kogi state government, for payment of common entrance examination fees of 13,500 by pupils preparing to transit from primary school to secondary school, OBSERVERS TIMES report.

This is against the background of the government policy directing Principals of secondary schools to channel such payment through a pay platform, created by the state government through the Ministry of Education.

Hithero, payment for common entrance examination is usually free of charge,so the new development has raised unnecessary pressure on the poor parents in Kogi state.

This is coming at a time salary payment to workers is in percentage and not forthcoming to sustain the daily running of various homes,with poor business environment.

Most parents can not even afford such payment as it is on the high side,as many of the pupils may loose the chances of transiting to secondary schools for lack of funds.

The state government has resorted to mopping up of funds from agecises of government and parastatatals, owing to dwindling federal allcations and inability to access further loans from commercial Banks or financial institutions.

Kogi,though not on the disadvantaged states list educationally,but the indices in the last five years shows alot of backwardness in its education program owing to policy somersault.

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Education

Buhari Approves 5 New Universities Of Tech & Health With N5b Take-Off Grant

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In a bid to curb medical tourism abroad, Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari has approved the establishment of five new universities specialised in technology and health to close the huge gap in the doctor-patient ratio as well as in medical research and production of pharmaceutical products.

He also approved a take-off grant of N4 billion each for the Universities of Technology and N5 billion each for the Universities of Health Science from the funding resources of TETFund to ensure early take-off of the institutions.

The Permanent Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education, Arch Sonny Echono who disclosed this on Monday in Abuja said the president approved two additional University of Technology in Jigawa and Akwa Ibom states.

Also, the establishment of National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Abuja and two specialized universities in Health, Nutrition and Medical Sciences to be located at Azare, Bauchi State and Ila Orangun, Osun State.

Echono also disclosed that the president approved that four existing Universities of Technology located in Yola, Akure, Owerri and Minna be upgraded and equipped.

He said, “The two new Universities of Technology will be established in 2021 while the upgrade of the existing four Universities of Technology and the National Institute of Technology will come on stream next year.”

The Permanent Secretary said the specialized universities would lay a solid foundation for building national preparedness and resilience in anticipation of future challenges in the health sector while reducing medical tourism to countries like India, UAE, Egypt, Europe and the USA.

While noting that the presidents had promised to establish an apex National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Abuja with six Satellite Universities of Technology, one in each geo-political zone of the country, he said the objective is to stimulate rapid technological transformation of the country.

“The Institute shall be patterned after similar institutions in Singapore and Malaysia to serve essentially as a postgraduate centre devoted to research and innovation, drawing the best graduates from the six Universities of Technology, as well as other exceptional graduates from reputable universities within and outside Nigeria,” he said.

He however noted that the Federal Ministry of Education will collaborate with the Federal Ministries of Health, Science and Technology, Communications and Digital Economy, the FCT Administration as well as other relevant agencies and Institutions to facilitate speedy actualization of these Projects.

Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary also hinted Journalists that the president has also approved new Vice Chancellors for all universities in the country and that the details will be made available in due course.

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Crime

Breaking:Abducted Kebbi Student Killed As Troops Exchange Gunfire With Bandits

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One of the students abducted from the Federal Government College, Birnin Yauri, Kebbi State, has died in an exchange of gunfire between troops and bandits.

The Deputy Force Commander of the Joint Task Force in the North-West Zone, Air Commodore Abubakar AbdulKadir, confirmed this to reporters in Zamfara State on Friday.

He said four students and a teacher were rescued during the operation.

“In the early hours of this morning, we came across the kidnappers. They came to our blocking point, and we engaged them,” Abdulkadir said.

“At that point, they abandoned five of the students and one of the teachers. Unfortunately, I think we have lost one of the students.”

AbdulKadir did not comment on whether the bandits or troops recorded casualties.

Meanwhile, the Police in Kebbi have said rescue operation is still ongoing for the missing students.
DSP Nafiu Abubakar, spokesperson of the Kebbi Police Command, announced this in a statement made available to newsmen.

“In view of the above, the command also wishes to make it clear and to make the record straight that yet to be ascertained of the students are still missing as the rescue operation is still ongoing.”
“The white Hilux Van with registration number KBSJ 29, belonging to a High Court Judge , with inscription of Kebbi State Judiciary, hijacked by the bandits along Birnin Yauri road, was the one used in perpetrating such a dastardly act.”
Bandits stormed the college around 12:30pm on Thursday and abducted many of the students.

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Education

‘We Don’t Want To Die Here’ – NYSC Shuns Applications By Corps Members Who Want To Redeploy From North Due To Insecurity

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According to a report by SaharaReporters, authorities of the National Youth Service Corps ( NYSC) have denied applications for redeployment from the north tendered by some southern corps members, mainly doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals.

The medical corps members are worried about their lives due to the insecurity in the northern region where cases of Boko Haram, herdsmen and banditry violence have worsened in recent times.

One of them, a young doctor, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told SaharaReporters that the relocation forms were filled by the corps members who had health issues while some wanted to redeploy for the sake of insecurity in the region.

However, he said they were denied redeployment from the North. Lately corps members are being deployed to meet the needs of the health care system in the region, owing to the state government’s failure to employ more doctors and nurses.

He noted that there were hardly any provisions made for the corps members in terms of accommodation and security.

He said, “The country’s insecurity has affected various states in Nigeria, and it is becoming alarming. This is to the Director-General of NYSC; please allow all corps members to relocate or redeploy to their states of choice.

“We expect that when posted to a camp, and after you manage to spend three weeks in camp, you should be able to relocate to your state of choice irrespective of your state of origin or course of study because the country is unstable right now.

“The NYSC DG has made relocation difficult for doctors, nurses, medical laboratory scientists and pharmacists and people who studied some other courses.

“We observe that this failed government is using these sets of people in place of doctors and nurses that ought to be in the system. The government has refused to employ workers, so corps members in the medical profession are used in hospitals as the major staff members instead of a support system.

“They have refused to relocate us to where we want to go because it feels safe for us. At a time like this, we need to be around our family or relatives and not just in any state, so it is so wrong to disapprove our relocation requests.

“I believe we have just one life to live and our lives are more important than where we are posted to work. I am a medical doctor, posted to Jos, Plateau State, but due to the insecurity, we decided to redeploy from there and some of my colleagues used medical reports, which showed they were not OK. The criteria for leaving were medical reasons or insecurity, or marriage, so we submitted our relocation form. I left the orientation camp because I was not too fine; I wanted to go back to Delta.

“About a week after passing out, the authorities said they had not seen our relocation forms, medical report and all. I told the person who called that I was not feeling fine but he kept calling. So, I had to contact my bunkmate who helped me fill that same relocation form all over again.”

“In my camp, only about two persons were allowed to relocate out of about 33 doctors and those who got theirs were seriously connected. Should we go to the North and die because I am a government child?

“Of all my friends who are also medical practitioners, only about four were posted to Ekiti, Osun and other southern states; the rest were taken to Sokoto and Kaduna. One of us encountered bandits on his way to Sokoto; he escaped, though and we had to ask him to put on his WhatsApp location to know wherever he was going. 

“The accommodation they give corps members is not befitting. My friend in Borno told me they lost a corps member, a pharmacist, during the camp. She was 24 years old and she had started panting after they played volleyball. They rushed her to the clinic but in less than 10 minutes, she died. The clinic had no oxygen. It was after she died that the oxygen arrived. So the official there told them to lie that the lady died at the referral hospital. You can imagine this.”

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