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Federal Universities are not allowed to charge tuition fees, FG insists

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The Federal Government has insisted that no federal university is allowed to charge tuition fees in the country.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mr David Adejo said this at a public hearing by the House of Representatives ad hoc committee on student loans in Abuja on Tuesday.

Adejo said that the recent increase in charges by federal universities in the country was unfortunate.

“What they collect is charges to cover the cost of accommodation, ICT, and power, among others. It is the Governing Councils of the Universities that have the power to approve such charges for them.

“The only university that increased charges after the signing of the student loans act is the University of Lagos.

“They came to the Ministry with a proposal to increase their charges because all Governing Councils were dissolved and we gave them approval.

“Immediately that was done, there was a resolution from the House stopping the increase in fees and the President also gave a directive stopping any increase in fees and that is where it is, even though several others have brought their proposal,” he said.

Adejo said that the charges collected by the institutions were used to pay for some of their services, including electricity bills.

He faulted claims that the signing of the Students’ loan act was responsible for some of the hike in the university charges.

Adejo said that despite the charges, the universities had not been able to meet up with some of their expenses.
He said that modalities had been put in place for the take-off of the student loans scheme in the 2023/2024 academic calendar.

Adejo said that President Bola Tinubu had given a directive that all necessary works must be completed on the modalities for the take-off of the scheme to enable its take-off in September.

The chairman of the committee, Teseer Ugbor said the student loan was part of the palliatives by the federal government to alleviate the suffering of Nigerians and to ensure access to higher education by interested Nigerians.

He, however, expressed concern over the disbursement process, the recovery of the funds from beneficiaries as well as the possibility of some students not being able to access the loan.

He call for dialogue in the process of trying to amend the law to ensure that all Nigerian students interested in the loan benefitted from it.

Education

FG makes U-turn, sets 16 as minimum age for tertiary institution admission

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The Education Minister Prof Tahir Mamman, has made a U-turn in his earlier statement, where he directed the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, to admit only candidates who have attained 18 years in tertiary institutions.

Mamman on Thursday, in an ongoing policy meeting organised by JAMB, in Abuja, announced that only applicants who were 18 years and above were eligible for admission.

Stakeholders in the meeting kicked against his statement, noting that its illogical for a 16-year-old students to pass WAEC, JAMB and was denied admission.

Reacting to that the minister later accepted the suggestions of the stakeholders that from 16 years and above should be eligible for this year’s admission while the law would apply from next year.

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Education

FG says admission of under 18 into higher institutions now a crime

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The Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman has vowed to enforce a law mandating the admission age for entry into tertiary institutions as 18 years.

Mamman was speaking at the 2024 Policy Meeting on Admissions into Tertiary Institutions, organised by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, in Abuja on Thursday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was put in place to determine the modality and guidelines for admissions into tertiary institutions for the 2024 academic session.

The minister directed JAMB to admit only students who have attained the age of 18 years into tertiary institutions in its 2024 admission process.

“Information has revealed that the enrolment of underage candidates is inflicting serious damage on the university and the education system, hence, the need for enforcement of extant rules.

“When I was monitoring the just concluded 2024 UTME, I was alarmed at the participation of a large number of obviously under-age candidates in the examination.

“This necessitated my comment on the need to enforce the extant provisions of the educational policies which made provision for nine years of basic education and three years of Senior Secondary Education before entry into tertiary institution.

“It is clear that a child who, as expected is enrolled in basic school at the age of six and having undergone 12 years of education would be around 18 years old when being enrolled in a tertiary institution,” he said.

He bemoaned the surge in applications for immediate requests for a change of age to reflect higher age in anticipation of the imminent enforcement of the age policy.

“This again reflects dangerous games being played with the life and future of innocent children by those expected to nurture them.

“Flowing from this, JAMB is hereby instructed to admit only eligible students’ i.e. those who have attained 18 years.

“Universities are advised to avoid recommending unqualified children for admission,” he added.

NAN, however, reports that there was uproar during the meeting when the minister handed down the decision of an 18-year entry limit for admissions into tertiary institutions.

Vice Chancellors, Rectors, Provost and other Stakeholders at the meeting protested their disagreement with the minister’s pronouncement. The minister, however, said that the 2024 admission criteria remained approved, urging institutions to adhere to the laid down requirements for admission processes.

He warned that any Vice Chancellors, Rectors and Provost, who infiltrated admissions outside the Central Admissions Processing Systems (CAPS), would henceforth be sanctioned.

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Education

Osun college provost, Nsikak Akpan aims for world record with 150-hour teaching marathon

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Nsikak Akpan, the provost of Foreign Links Campus, Ile-Ife, Osun state, says he will aim to set a new Guinness World Record (GWR) for the longest lecture marathon.

In a post shared on social media, the doctorate holder revealed that he will begin the 150-hour lecture on September 23 at the school campus.

The scholar said he is embarking on the exercise due to his passion for “teaching and desire to inspire” people.

Akpan, an alumnus of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), said he wants his GWR attempt to become an “inspiration for all who dared to dream big”.

The academic, who will be lecturing on ‘Relationship between Environment and Health’, also said the GWR had given him the green light to embark on his marathon lecture.

“I, Dr. Nsikak’basi Akpan stand before the whole world, ready to embark on an ambitious 150-hour marathon lecture for a Guinness World Record. My passion for teaching and desire to inspire drove me to this moment. As each hour passed, fatigue set in, but my determination never wavered because, I keep seeing the whole world rallied around me, offering support and encouragement,” he wrote.

“And I will constantly tap into this strength and energy till the final day, as I will reach the 150th hour. The whole world will erupt in applause. As this dream had become a reality, proving that with perseverance and passion, anything is possible. And my story will become an inspiration for all who dared to dream big.”

The current record holder for the longest lecture marathon is Arvind Mishra. The Indian man taught scientific computation for 139 hours, 42 minutes, and 56 seconds in 2014.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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