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Akwa Ibom Disputes Out-Of-School Children Report

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Akwa Ibom State Government has described recent reports in a section of the media, on the prevalence of Out-of-School children in the state, as misleading, mischievous and politically motivated.

The government in a statement issued, Thursday, in Uyo by the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Idongesit Etiebet urged the public to disregard the publication, describing it as false and misleading.

A report circulating in some media had claimed that Akwa Ibom has a prevalence of out-of school children with another report allegedly ranking the performance of States in the West African Schools Certificate Examination.

But the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Etiebet has debunked both reports, describing the ranking as false and fictitious, as it did not emanate from the Examination body, WAEC.

Etiebet explained that the said reports which she described as highly fallacious, do not reflect the remarkable progress the state has recorded in the education sector in the last 7 years under the watch of Governor Udom Emmanuel and the impressive performances of students in exit examinations in the State.

The Commissioner disclosed that Akwa Ibom has 3,129,620 school children in public and government approved private schools.

“These school children are effectively accommodated in 2,826 public and private schools in the State.

“This impressive number of school children is clearly a product of the education master plan of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s administration which has led to improved facilities and employment of more teachers in schools, as well as prompt payments of salaries and other emoluments to teachers across the state”

Mrs. Etiebet hinted that the State was currently operating free, compulsory and qualitative basic education programme which makes it mandatory for every child of school age to be in school during school hours.

” This policy which is backed by the state’s Child’s Rights Law makes it a punishable offense for parents and guardians whose children are caught loitering during school hours. Education monitors spread across the three senatorial districts are daily enforcing compliance through daily patrol exercises.

“The State Government also pays WAEC and NABTEB fees for all students in Public Secondary Schools in the State, running into N1bn (One Billion Naira) each year and also pays subventions of 100 to 200 naira per child, per term respectively to all public primary and secondary schools respectively, to discourage all forms of hidden charges by schools’ heads”.

“In the light of these, it can be clearly seen and stated that Akwa Ibom ranks top as far as education is concerned and could not have been the same state that such atrocious figures of out of school children could have been linked”

“Similarly, we wish to categorically debunk the false West African School Certificate Examination performance rankings circulating on the social media. This false ranking of states in Nigeria, clearly did not emanate from the West African Examination Council and should definitely not be taken seriously.

“It should be noted that WAEC is yet to fully release all the results of its 2022 examination and as such, the states’ performance ratings spewed on the social media, is clearly fictitious. Moreover, the West African Examination Council has confirmed that it does not, and has never published States’ performance ratings”.

“She maintained that students in exiting classes in the State have improved in their performances in the last few years, adding that “recent results from the O’level examinations in the country show that Akwa Ibom students bagged the best results, with one of them Master Valour Mbre Inyang scoring A’s in all subjects in national and international examinations he wrote”

“We urge the general public to kindly disregard these mischievous and apparently politically motivated reports”, the commissioner added.

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ALHAJI MUJAHID ABUBAKAR DOKUBO-ASARI HOSTS UNIVERSITY OF GRONINGEN VISITING TEAM IN OBUAMA,RIVERS STATE

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Alhaji Mujahid Abubakar Dokubo-Asari on July 4th, 2024, welcomed a visiting research team from the esteemed University of Groningen, located in the Netherlands, to his residence in Obuama, Rivers State.

The University of Groningen, with a rich history spanning over four centuries, prides itself on excellence and has been associated with notable figures like Nobel Prize laureates Ben Feringa and Frits Zernike.

The university is renowned for its groundbreaking research that addresses contemporary social issues, bridging the gap between various fields of study and connecting science with society. Their current research areas include Energy, Healthy Ageing, and Sustainable Society, with recent studies focusing on topics such as environmental sustainability, conscious living, and the impact of climate change on wildlife.

Led by Dr. Dumebi Obute, the visiting team from the University of Groningen is conducting a comparative study on resource extraction, its environmental implications, and the adaptive strategies of indigenous communities affected by extensive resource exploitation. Their journey has taken them to various parts of Africa, including South Africa, Zambia, and Nigeria, to investigate large-scale extraction industries like mining and crude oil production.

Recognizing Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo Asari’s prominent role in advocating for resource control and environmental preservation in the Niger Delta region, the research team sought his expertise and insights. Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo Asari, known for his global advocacy on these interconnected issues, was seen as a valuable source of historical knowledge and practical experiences in handling resource-related challenges.

The collaboration between Alhaji Mujahid Abubakar Dokubo-Asari and the University of Groningen holds the potential to inform global resource policies, promoting the well-being of indigenous communities impacted by resource extraction activities. By integrating historical context and local perspectives, this research aims to contribute to more sustainable and equitable resource management practices worldwide.

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Flood Submerges Three Communities in Uyo

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Three communities in Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom State, have been submerged following days of heavy rain. The affected areas include Nung Obio Enang along Stadium Road, Urua Ekpa axis, and Afaha Oku in Uyo metropolis.

Reports indicate that the flood has displaced residents of Nung Obio Enang, with many buildings in the community submerged and residents seeking shelter in nearby facilities. Our correspondent observed that more than 32 houses were affected, with residents seen salvaging their belongings.

Etop Effiong, one of the affected residents, stated that flooding has been a perennial issue in the area for several years, exacerbated by the construction of Stadium Road during the administration of former governor Godswill Akpabio. Effiong explained that the road was built without adequate drainage, causing severe flooding during heavy rains.

“During heavy rains and throughout the rainy season, we have to leave our houses and stay with neighbors for one or two weeks until the flood water subsides. This has been our predicament for many years. This house can collapse anytime,” Effiong lamented.

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Second Woman Assumes Presidency of Rotary International

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One-year term will prioritize adapting to changing times and advancing peace

 

EVANSTON, Ill., 25 June, 2024 — Stephanie Urchick, member of the Rotary Club of McMurray, PA, will become the second woman to take office as president of Rotary International on 1 July 2024.

During her one-year term, Urchick will lead the 119-year-old membership service organization in adapting for future success as Rotary’s 1.4 million members around the world develop and implement sustainable, community-driven projects that fight disease, promote peace, provide clean water, support education, save mothers and children, grow local economies, and protect the environment. More than US$5.5 billion has been awarded through The Rotary Foundation—Rotary’s charitable arm that helps clubs work together to perform meaningful, impactful service—to support these initiatives over the last 100 years.

In order to ensure that Rotary membership is a compelling option for those who have a heart for service and fellowship, Urchick is urging clubs to assess their strengths and areas for improvement while also encouraging them to embrace different meeting formats and membership styles as they work to mirror the communities in which they exist in terms of gender, age, culture, socioeconomic status, and more.

“Embracing different viewpoints and creating peaceful, welcoming, and inclusive societies is at the heart of Rotary’s work,” said Urchick. “As president, I will work with clubs to prioritize advancing peace by helping to create the conditions for stable and resilient societies in which people can thrive.”

As one of the world’s largest membership service organizations, Rotary has made peacebuilding the cornerstone of its global mission.   From carrying out service projects to supporting future leaders through youth programs and scholarships, Rotary is taking action to address the underlying causes of conflict, including poverty, discrimination, ethnic tension, lack of access to education, and unequal distribution of resources.

Through academic training, practice and global networking, Rotary is helping professionals become effective catalysts for peace. Rotary partners with leading universities around the world to host Rotary Peace Centers that empower, educate, and increase the capacity of peacebuilders. Each year, Rotary awards 50 fully funded fellowships for master’s degrees and up to 80 fully funded fellowships for certificate studies to dedicated peace and development leaders from communities around the world.

Since 2002, the peace centers program has prepared more than 1,800 peace fellows working in more than 140 countries to create a more peaceful world.

To build on this momentum, Urchick will host a peace conference at the launch of Rotary’s newest Peace Center in partnership with Bahçeşehir University, in Istanbul, Turkey in February 2025.

As president, Urchick will also oversee Rotary’s top goal of eradicating polio. Alongside its Global Polio Eradication Initiative partners, Rotary has achieved a 99.9% reduction in polio cases, and contributed more than US$2.7 billion and countless volunteer hours to protect 3 billion children from this paralyzing disease.

About Stephanie Urchick 

Urchick holds a doctorate in leadership studies from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. A Rotary member since 1991, Stephanie has served Rotary in many roles and capacities. Her service includes building a primary school in Vietnam; installing water filters in the Dominican Republic; mentoring new Rotary members in Ukraine; coordinating a Rotary Foundation grant project in Poland; and leading efforts to formulate and adopt Rotary’s Action Plan, a strategic road map that will help bring even more people together to create lasting and positive change in an evolving world.

About Rotary

Rotary unites a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges and creating lasting change. Rotary connects 1.4 million people of action from more than 46,000 Rotary clubs in almost every country in the world. Their service improves lives both locally and internationally, from helping those in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. For more information, visit Rotary.org.

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