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EDUCATION

Put Education At Forefront Of Fostering Peace In Nigeria, Says UN

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To create a lasting culture of peace in Nigeria, the United Nations in Nigeria has urged the government to prioritise education above all other peacebuilding initiatives.

In a joint statement to commemorate the International Day of Education in Nigeria, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) stressed the critical need to give education top priority as a means of advancing human dignity, tolerance, and peace.

“If education is placed at the centre of our commitment to peace, it can help empower learners with the necessary knowledge, competencies, and attitudes to become agents of peace in their immediate communities,” said the Head of UNESCO Abuja Office and UNESCO Representative to Nigeria, Abdourahamane Diallo.

While calling for influencers and larger civil society to rally behind the movement to place education at the centre of peacebuilding at all levels, Diallo also revealed that UNESCO has established new standards for education for lasting peace, which offer numerous opportunities to address the underlying causes of hate speech and educate students of all ages about its manifestations and repercussions both online and offline.

UNICEF Nigeria Country Representative, Ms. Cristian Munduate, on her part, noted that: “While Nigeria has shown a commitment to creating safe school environments through endorsing the Safe Schools Declaration and developing the Minimum Standards for Safe Schools, there is room for further progress. On this important day, we are reminded of the collective responsibility we share in safeguarding the educational environment for every child.”

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She noted that: “Education is a key driver of gender equality, economic growth, and social development, sadly it remains inaccessible to many Nigerian children. Their educational journey is often disrupted by attacks on communities and schools, including the abduction of students. These challenges are particularly acute for adolescent girls, potentially stalling the progress made in girls’ education in Nigeria.”

In her message, the Director General of UNESCO, Ms Audrey Azoulay explained that: “Because if hatred starts with words, peace starts with education. What we learn changes how we view the world and influences how we treat others. Education must therefore be at the heart of our efforts to achieve and maintain world peace.”

She claims that the International Day of Education on January 24 this year is devoted to discussing the importance of education in fostering enduring peace as well as how it needs to change to meet contemporary global issues.

“The UNESCO Recommendation on Education for Peace, Human Rights and Sustainable Development adopted by our 194 Member States in November 2023, is a major milestone in this regard. This global standard-setting instrument, the only one of its kind, is a roadmap for
re-thinking and re-designing education systems to prepare learners to collectively shape more just, sustainable, healthy, and peaceful futures for all. UNESCO looks forward to supporting education reforms based on this Recommendation across the world.” Azoulay said.

In this context, a significant turning point was reached with the adoption of the UNESCO Recommendation on Education for Peace, Human Rights, and Sustainable Development by our 194 Member States in November 2023.1

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EDUCATION

ECOWAS Parliamentarians Visit Kano Schools, Barau Donates Buses, Uniforms To 856 Students

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Members of the Sixth Legislature of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament paid sensitization visits to two schools in Kano State on Wednesday as part of activities planned for the regional legislative arm’s Second Extraordinary Session, which is taking place in the North West Nigeria town.

Senator Barau Jibrin, a prominent son of Kano State, led the delegation to Aliyu Saidu Bebeji Government Arabic Secondary School and Maryam Abacha American University of Nigeria.

The second extraordinary session of the parliament in the ancient town is being attended by parliamentarians from 12 countries, including Nigeria, Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote D’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and the Republic of Togo.

The parliamentarians were greeted by jubilant crowds who were delighted that the town was hosting the historic meeting and that their son had touched their lives through impactful projects.

Senator Barau explained the importance of ECOWAS in subregional integration at the secondary school, stating that they are there to bring Parliament closer to the people and to allow students to benefit from their wealth of experience.

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He stated: “We are here today to inform the members of the ECOWAS Parliament about our educational system and to meet our students, as well as for you, the students, to learn more about the ECOWAS Parliament.

“This school is similar to my school. I am a member of this community. In 1999, I was the first member of the House of Representatives from this federal constituency (Tarauni).

“As a result, I am donating uniforms to all of the school’s students, one set per student. I will send tailors to take your measurements for the new uniform. I will also provide a new Sharon vehicle for the school and N1 million to the teachers.”

Similarly, another member of Parliament, Paschal Agbodike, who represents Anambra State’s Ihiala Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, donated N1 million to the school.

Earlier, Umar Doguwa, the state commissioner of education, thanked the parliamentarians for their visit, calling it the first in history.

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Represented by the Ministry’s Director of Schools, Alhaji Abbas Abdullahi, the commissioner praised Senator Barau for bringing the ECOWAS delegation to Kano, stating that it would benefit the entire state.

The school’s principal, Yusuf Atiku, stated: “I am not surprised by what Senator Barau did to us because of his generosity. That is why he is known as Maliya.

“We appreciate your kind gesture and support for us. We will never forget what you did to us. We appreciate you and the entire ECOWAS Parliament.”

At MAAUN, lawmakers spoke with students about the importance of ECOWAS.

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EDUCATION

TEDA School Celebrates 19 Students Who Excelled In 2024 JAMB Examination, Had Best Result In 2020 WASCE

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The 19 students

Nineteen students from TEDA School in rural Eke-Owerri, Obingwa Local Government, Abia State, scored between 250 and 345 points on the 2024 JAMB examination. Their results confirmed the school’s top-tier profile in the Nigerian school community.

TEDA has a consistent track record of academic success. In 2023, TEDA represented Nigeria at the 55th International Chemistry Olympiad held in Switzerland.  Grandville Chukure, who scored 345 in the 2024 JAMB, represented TEDA and Nigeria in that contest.

Furthermore, TEDA students were the only Abia State representatives in the finals of the International Olympiad Competition in Senior Chemistry and Maths.

Furthermore, TEDA students finished first, second, and fourth place in the 2022/2023 secondary school Junior Science competition. This comes after TEDA was named the Best School in Junior Science in 2020/2021, finishing first, second, fourth, fifth, eighth, and ninth in the competition. That year, their student won the award for Best Boy in Junior Chemistry.

The Abia State Ministry of Education named TEDA the Best Government-Approved Private Junior Secondary School and the Second-Best Government-Approved Senior Secondary School for the academic year 2021/22.

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In response, TEDA founder Dr. Godson Dinneya congratulated the students and their tutors in their outstanding JAMB results. He stated that the school would continue to invest in creating an enabling environment in order to achieve consistently outstanding results.

The school has recently invested in a 1000-seat auditorium with platforms for artistic productions, laboratories for all science and technical subjects, and workshops for mechanical, electrical/electronics, and woodwork.

Dinneya stated, “We began with a vision of comprehensive and holistic education and will continue to do so.” We provide comprehensive education for the entire man. Students work hard at their studies and extracurricular activities, and those seeds produce good results in external examinations while preparing them for the

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EDUCATION

Emeka Offor, EEDC Boss Donates N100 Million Endowment For Development At UNN

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By Chuks Eke*

Sir Emeka Offor, a renowned international philanthropist, donated a N100 million endowment fund to the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) on Saturday.

Offor, Executive Chairman of the Chrome Group of Companies and Chairman of Enugu Electric Distribution Company (EEDC), made the donation shortly after receiving the Doctor of Business Administration (Honoris Causa) degree at UNN’s 52nd Convocation in Nsukka.

Offor, who was represented by Chief Steve Ahaneku, stated that the Vice Chancellor of UNN, Prof. Charles Igwe, would be summoned later to discuss the method of disbursement of the funds and the areas of development for which the funds would be used at the university.

Sir Emeka Offor Foundation (SEOF) has been at the forefront of educational, health, and youth empowerment. UNN has benefited greatly from his foundation’s Books for Africa programme, which has provided multi-million naira worth of books across disciplines.

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SEOF and Books for Africa have donated books worth $30 million to institutions in 18 African countries, covering disciplines such as law, computer science, business administration, and political science, according to Offor, also known as Sir ‘E’.

Offor stated that the foundation recently donated 100 fully equipped hospital beds to the University of Nigeri Teaching Hospital, UNTH, Ituku-Ozalla near Enugu, in order to reinforce Nigerians’ desire for good health.

In 2010, the foundation endowed a professorial chair at the UNN worth N20 million. However, a comprehensive report on the endowed chair has not been sent in a long time.

“I thank this great institution for bestowing this rare and prestigious honour upon me and my group,” he said.

Earlier, the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof Charles Igwe, stated that the university carefully selected world-class personalities who met the stringent criteria for awarding UNN honorary degrees.

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Before reading Offor’s citation, Igwe emphasised his achievements as a student and ambassador of the institution, including in the oil and gas sectors and other endeavours.

“Sir Emeka Offor has done exceptionally well in everything God has blessed him to do; a shining example of simplicity, humility, and someone who is fully committed to uplifting humanity as a whole,” he said.

In response, Igwe Austine Ndigwe, Eze-Uzu III of Awka Ancient Kingdom, stated that Offor deserved the award for his numerous acts of charity and philanthropy, adding, “Offor gives to everyone and group without limit.”

Ndigwe encouraged Nigerians to emulate Offor’s spirit of selfless giving, saying, “God will continue to bless Sir Emeka Offor because of his spirit of giving and wiping many people’s tears.”

Chief Ikenna Ofodeme, Majority Leader of the Anambra State House of Assembly, stated that Offor had been a great blessing to humanity and had played an important role in the development of communities and institutions throughout the country.

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Ofodeme, who represents the Ekwusigo State Constituency, stated, “The people of Anambra are proud to associate with our illustrious son and foremost philanthropist.”

Offor and three others were awarded honorary doctorates from UNN.

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