Some pupils of public primary schools in Anambra State have reportedly rejected their earned promotion to senior classes, just to qualify for the school feeding programme of the federal government.
The Programme Manager of the National Homegrown School Feeding Scheme in Anambra State, Mrs Eriken Uzoamaka disclosed this in Awka on Thursday.
The feeding programme is mainly for pupils from primary one to primary three. Mrs Eriken said the finding was that some pupils reject promotion to primary four because they want to remain in classes where they can be fed.
Eriken who spoke during a two-day capacity-building workshop on Enhancing Social Protection Programme in Nigeria, a programme organised by the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), said the challenge would be resolved once the menu of the higher classes are improved.
“We serve rich food to pupils in classes 1 to 3 as captured in the national home-grown school feeding scheme. That is why even those that agree to be promoted, usually come to their junior class (primary 3) especially on Wednesdays to struggle for food with others. We serve beans and plantains (or sweet potatoes) that day.
“We are appealing to the Anambra State government to support the programme by feeding pupils from primary 4 to six, and probably include feeding of preprimary school pupils to curb the challenges and increase more numbers of pupils in public schools,” she added.
Eriken explained that the programme in Anambra State has been facing some challenges including a hike in prices of commodities, and the death of 10 cooks in the programme, since its inception in 2016.
“Since the inception of the programme in 2016, about 10 cooks have died and it is affecting the programme in some schools. It is only the nation that can recruit and replace them, we have no right to replace them but we have written to inform the national body but they are yet to be replaced.
“Another challenge is the high cost of food items in the country, it is affecting the programme and the quality of food given to the children. The cooks are really complaining and the high cost of food items is making it difficult for them to give us adequate meals per child.”
ASUU: APC Has No Business Being In Govt – Middle Belt Group
The Middle Belt Movement for Justice and Peace, MBMJP, has urged Nigerians to turn their backs on any political party that does not value the education of the youths saying such a party should have no business in government.
The group stressed that a government that does not give priority attention to the education of the upcoming generation “is on a mission to stagnate the future of the future leaders of the country hence does not deserve to enjoy any iota of support from the people.”
The MBMJP in a statement on Wednesday in Makurdi by its Convener, Joe Bukka, was reacting to reports that Tuesday’s meeting between the striking members of Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, and the Federal Government was deadlocked.
The group pointed out that Nigerian youths had waited anxiously for the outcome of the meeting with optimism that the government would yield to their plea by shifting grounds to enable ASUU call off the strike “but all that hope was dashed by the All Progressives Congress, APC, led government that has continued to fail Nigerians since they came to power in 2015, after making Nigerians believe that they had something to offer, but we all now know better.
“It is utterly unimaginable that we have this set of leaders at the helm of affairs in this country at this time of human evolution when ICT has taken over the world and they fail to realise that keeping our children out of school for a day has its multiplier effects even on the socio-ecomonic development of our country.
“The children you kept at home out of ignorance are the doctors, engineers, technologists, nurses, the Journalists, Agrologist name them, that are expected to step in with the modern knowledge they have acquired to rescue our country that has been grounded by these same set of leaders who obviously lack the acumen to address our challenges.
“It is their failure that has brought us to the level of becoming the poverty capital of the world despite our endowment as a nation. Today they are making concerted effort to kill the Nigerian public universities though they claim they are educated but know nothing about the value of education. That is our predicament in Nigeria.
“That is why we must urge all Nigerians to shun any political party that does not value the education of its youths; such a party has no business in government, the leader are only on a mission to drag us back to stone age.
“A party that does not count it a priority to quickly end the ASUU strike even when it is becoming obvious that there is so much anger in the land over the manner the issue is being treated by government officials who with public funds are sending their children overseas to study, surely can no more be trusted with the mandate of the people.”
JUST IN: ASUU Meeting With FG End In Deadlock, Strike To Continue
The meeting between the federal government and the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), on Tuesday ended without an agreement.
As a result of this, the six-month old strike embarked on by public university lecturers is set to continue.
The lecturers met with the Professor Nimi Briggs Committee at the National University Commission (NUC) in Abuja with high hopes of resolving the impasse.
A senior member of ASUU told Channels Television that members of the Briggs renegotiation committee didn’t come with any new offer on the table.
According to him, the committee pleaded with the lecturers to suspend the ongoing strike, with promises that their concerns will be included in the 2023 budget.
The meeting started at about 12pm and lasted for about three hours.
ASUU has been on strike since February 14.
UI, OAU, FUNAAB Listed Among Global Top Ranking Varsities
The Chairman of Governing Board of Higher Education Observatory for Africa, Emeritus Professor Peter Okebukola, has applauded the efforts of the National Universities Commission in implementing its 2021-2027 strategic plan.
According to a statement by a Ghanaian member of the Board of HEOFA, Dr. Fred Mensah, “the dividend of the NUC-led effort is the top-ranking of Nigerian universities in the Academic Ranking of World Universities which was released August 15, 2022.
The PUNCH reports that ARWU is one of the most-respected ranking schemes in the world. It uses six objective indicators to rank world universities, including the number of alumni and staff members winning nobel prizes and field medals, number of highly cited researchers selected by Clarivate, number of articles published in journals of Nature and Science, number of articles indexed in Science Citation Index Expanded, and Social Sciences Citation Index in the Web of Science, and per capita performance of a university.
Mensah notes that more than 2500 universities are ranked by ARWU every year and the best 1000 are published.
This year, Harvard University tops the ranking list for the 20th year. Stanford University remains at the number two seat. Massachusetts Institute of Technology rises one position to the number 3.
Other Top 10 universities are Cambridge (4th), Berkeley (5th), Princeton (6th), Oxford (7th), Columbia (8th), Caltech (9th), and Chicago (10th).”
HEOFA noted that “for the first time in the history of ARWU which started in 2003, University of Ibadan appeared in the 800-901 band.
“In the 2022 GRAS ranking which was also released on Monday, Nigeria featured as follows: in Veterinary Sciences, the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, emerged in the 201 to 300 group; in Dentistry and Oral Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University was also in the 201 to 300 group; while in Psychology, University of Nigeria emerged in the 401 to 500 group”
“The chairman of the governing board of HEOFA, Okebukola, congratulated the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, the Executive Secretary of NUC, Professor Abubakar Rasheed, as well as the authorities of the University of Ibadan, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, and Obafemi Awolowo University for this feat.
“With the 2021-2027 strategic plan on ranking and the 2019-2023 blueprint on the Rapid Revitalisation of University Education in Nigeria being implemented by the NUC, the world of ranking will quake with the huge appearance of Nigerian universities in the top 200 in the world before 2030.
“I urge all stakeholders to be part of the provision of the enabling environment of better resourcing of our universities, better welfare scheme for staff to bolster motivation and enhance commitment to quality teaching and research and all in the context of a stable academic calendar in order to achieve our 2030 goal of top ranking in global league tables,” Okebukola concluded.
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