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UTME: JAMB calls for calm over technical glitches

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Following the commencement of the 2024 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination on Friday, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board has appealed to candidates who experienced glitches in the course of the examination to remain calm as they would be rescheduled.

The JAMB Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyode, who made the appeal while fielding questions from newsmen after monitoring the exam in Kogo-Bwari, Abuja, said so far, the UTME had been going on smoothly as only one centre had been reported to have encountered issues.

“We appeal to the public to understand this. Some centres will fail. I have heard of only one centre that has failed today.

“By the end of today, I expect about 10 per cent of the centres to have one problem or the other because we know the level of development in different parts of the country.

“We are not encouraging this, but when it happens, please do not disrupt others. It is important to note that when a session fails because of a problem, you cannot bring those candidates to do session two, they will have to step aside, and the headquarters will have to be contacted.

“The earliest time they can be scheduled will be after 4:30 p.m. so that those slated for sections two and three can write, and these candidates can now write for session four, and in some cases, they can even be scheduled for the following day,” he said.

Speaking further, the JAMB boss said the exam body is not comfortable with the award of scholarships to UTME best-performing candidates on the basis of the exam alone, as that would not capture other criteria that are factored in for admission.

“Yes, MTN and other people are giving scholarships to the highest (scorers) but we have always discouraged them because you scored high in UTME doesn’t mean you are the best because some other factors will come in; the quality of your O Level will be added to it, post-UTME scores will be added to it. If you are going to NDA, your physical exercise will be added to it before we can say that you are the best; before we rank you, why rank people prematurely?

“You will see somebody saying my son scored 330, and in addition to that, he had seven A1s. Is he not qualified? He might be qualified when you are ranking people in your village; when it comes to Nigeria, he may be 650 despite the so-called brilliant to you,” he said.

The 2024 UTME is being held across the country today and will continue tomorrow.

Education

NIN, BVN, admission letter… how to apply for student loan

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The Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) says the pilot phase of the student loan scheme will only be open to federal tertiary institutions.

President Bola Tinubu enacted an initial version of the student loan policy in June 2023 to grant interest-free loans to students.

The scheme was to commence in October 2023 but implementation was repeatedly deferred until a re-enactment in April 2024.

NELFUND recently scheduled the opening of the loan application and issuance portal for May 24.

To apply for the loan, a student must have their admission letter, national identification number, and bank verification number.

How to apply:

  • Log into the portal: The loan application portal is available on the NELFUND website (www.nelf.gov.ng). Log on to the students loan portal on the website.
  • Create an Account: On the loan portal, create an account or log in using your existing credentials if you have created an account before.
  • Documents required: Applicants will require the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) admission letter, the National Identification Number (NIN), and their Bank Verification Number (BVN).
  • Complete the application: Fill out the required information, including personal details, academic information, and financial need.
  • Submit your application: Review your application thoroughly before submission. Once submitted, you will receive a confirmation email with further instructions.

Akintunde Sawyerr, the managing director of NELFUND, hosted a pre-application sensitisation conference on Monday in Abuja.

He said the loan scheme is designed to provide financial assistance for obligatory fees and stipends to needy students.

The MD said the scheme’s pilot phase is for students in federal institutions including universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, and technical schools whose institutions have completed and uploaded their student data.

He said the loan application process has been streamlined to ensure easy access for all eligible students in federal tertiary institutions.

Sawyerr said prospective applicants can begin their application process effective from May 24.

Highlighting the key features of the application portal, Sawyerr said it is designed such that no physical contact between the loan applicant and NELFUND is required.

He said the portal is user-friendly and simplifies applying for a student loan with an intuitive design that allows quick navigation.

He said the portal embodies an online support mechanism to assist students with questions or concerns during the application process.

Sawyerr said the student loan scheme remains interest-free and offers flexible repayment options to commence two years after completing the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), provided the individual has secured employment.

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Education

Stray bullets hit two LASU students

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Two students of the Lagos State University were hit by stray bullets outside the school campus at a popular students’ residential area called PPL late Monday.

While the names of the students are yet to be known, likewise the identity of the shooter(s), it was reported that the victims were hit when they went to purchase food around 8 pm.

One tweep, Baddy of Lasu, tweeting as #belikebaddy, wrote, “Two students have been shot at PPL, Ojo, Lagos. Please, students of LASU, stay indoors and don’t go out.”

Commenting on the tweet, Kappo Olawale, the Senior Special Adviser on Students’ Union Affairs to Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, affirmed the incident.

Tweeting on X.com as #kappozino, Olawale said he had been in touch with the university’s Student Union President, who said the victims are in stable condition.

“I have kept in touch with the President of the Student Union. Information passed just now is that the students have been stabilised. The Dean of Students was also on the ground to ensure they were properly attended to. Thanks to God!” he tweeted.

A student of the university who spoke on condition of anonymity because she wasn’t authorised to speak on the matter, told our correspondent late Monday that the students went to get food before they were hit by the stray bullets.

In a video seen by our correspondent, one of the victims who appeared to be a female was seen lying on a bed with her shirt soaked in blood.

“It happened around past 8 pm at PPL. They went to get food outside, so they heard gunshots, and they ran away. When they got home, they observed that the bullets had hit the male on the neck and arm.

“Due to the bleeding, he was rushed to the LASU Health Centre from where he was rushed again to the Igando Medical Hospital. He’s already responding to treatment,” the source said.

The source added that the Dean of Students Affairs of the school was with the students at the hospital.

When contacted late Monday, the spokesperson for the Lagos State Police Command, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, did not respond to the text message sent to his mobile number by our correspondent as of the time of filing this report.

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Education

MTN announces 2024 Scholarship for Nigerian students

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MTN Nigeria Foundation has announced scholarship opportunities for Nigerian students to support education and empower the next generation of leaders.

It has also increased the annual award amount from N200,000 to N300,000 for eligible students.

The scholarships are in three categories which include the MTN Science and Technology Scholarship (MTN STS), the MTN Scholarship for Blind Students (MTN SBS), and the Top 10 UTME Scholarship.

MTN disclosed this in a statement published on its official website on Friday.

The statement read, “MTN Foundation in 2010, established the MTN Scholarships Program, an annual award that recognizes and rewards eligible high-performing students in Nigerian Public Tertiary Institutions in 3 categories:

“MTN Scholarship for Blind Students (MTN SBS) since 2012 has been targeted at eligible 200 and 300-level blind students studying any course in Nigerian Public Tertiary Institutions (Universities, Polytechnics, and Colleges of Education). Starting in 2024, the number of blind students to receive scholarships has increased from 60 to 100. The annual award amount also increased from N200,000 to N300,000 and will be awarded until graduation if grade requirements are met.

“Top 10 UTME Scholarship since 2020, the top 10 scoring candidates of UTME as announced by JAMB, automatically qualify for the top 10 UTME scholarship. The candidates are awarded scholarships from their 100 level through to graduation upon meeting grade requirements. Starting in 2024, the annual award amount has increased from N200,000 to N300,000. The Top 10 UTME Scholarship is awarded irrespective of the successful candidates’ preferred course of study or Tertiary Institution – Public or Private in Nigeria.”

MTN disclosed further that the scholarship Program aimed to recognise and reward high-performing students in Nigerian public tertiary institutions.

Eligibility

According to the statement, the MTN Science and Technology Scholarship is open to 300-level students studying Science and technology-related courses in Nigerian Public Tertiary Institutions (Universities, Polytechnics, and Colleges of Education).

Also, the MTN Scholarship for Blind Students is open to 200—and 300-level Blind students studying any course in Nigerian Public Tertiary Institutions (Universities, Polytechnics, and Colleges of Education).

“STEM Students in Public Universities and Colleges of Education must have a minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) score of 3.0/4 or 3.5/5 (second class upper credit) “STEM Students in Public Polytechnics must have a minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 3.0 (upper credit) from the Ordinary National Diploma (OND) Program and must have secured admission into the Higher National Diploma (HND) Program.

“Direct Entry level STEM students must have a minimum CGPA of 3.0 (upper credit) from the Ordinary National Diploma (OND) program and must have secured admission into 300 level/3rd year in a Public University.

“MTN Scholarship for Blind Students (SBS): Blind Students in the Universities or Colleges of Education must have a minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 2.5 “Blind Students in Public Polytechnics must have a minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 2.0 from the Ordinary National Diploma (OND) Program and must have secured admission into the Higher National Diploma (HND) Program.”

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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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