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Opinion: Hope You’ve Saved School Fees Like You Saved for Sallah and Ram

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By Eric Elezuo

Not only does the ember months which begin with September portend danger in Nigeria, it also connotes period of extreme school activities, payment of school fees, moving to new classes and in some cases to new schools. All in all, it is a period when high amount of money is budgeted for school because many things are involved including buying of wears, school bags and other accessories. Apart from that, this is a period when annual fees are paid, and they don’t come in small digits irrespective of the type of school or its location.

But that should not be a problem for a good number of parents because a long space has been provided to meet up with this responsibility. Ever since schools vacated for the long vacation or summer as it is referred to in other climes, common sense has prevailed, demanding that ample arrangements should be made in anticipation of the almighty September so as not come upon anyone by accident.

The academic wellbeing of a child should be of paramount importance to any parent and that includes making sure the child does not become a subject of ridicule in the academic environment. This is done by doing everything possible to ensure that the child is not sent out school as a result of default in payment of school fees or any other fees, especially now that ample opportunity and time was provided to meet up – three whole months!

It is doubtful if there is any Moslem home where rams, cows or other animals were not slaughtered and elaborate ceremony held to celebrate the just concluded eid-Kabir festival. That is not bad neither is there anything wrong about it. However, if at resumption of academic activities, parents who had killed one animal or another, bought expensive wears, fed people in their tens and hundreds begin to beg headmasters and principals for more time to raise school fees and other sundry fees for their children to avoid being sent out of school, then it becomes bad.

Most parents started saving for the sallah celebration since January, and it is same for those hoping to celebrate Christmas later in the year. Which is more shameful; that one pay his children school fees or he cannot slaughter ram or goat or cow for a celebration. Well, your guess is as good as mine. Howbeit, remember it takes the same agility to save for festivities to save for academic purposes. A child whose parents entertained a whole lot of visitors during the festival will naturally expect his fees to be paid in due time. Anything less, it definitely affects his psyche and reduce the said parents’ worth in his sight.

Again, the school fees parents pay are the source of the meager take home pay the teachers are given every 30 days. It is therefore, not very palatable if they are denied their salary at the end of the month. So let’s do the right thing.

I know our parents are smart, and that they must have save for school fees the same way they saved for Sallah festival. One is good, the other is good as well. So I hope you saved for school fees the same way you saved for Sallah and rams.

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Business

FirstBank Boosts Education Sector, Supports Schools with N10bn Loan

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Nigeria’s premier and leading financial services provider, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, has announced that within the last year, it has supported educational institutions in the country with loans to the tune of over N10 billion.

The Bank’s support is carried out through its FirstEdu product, an educational solution created to enhance the educational facilities in schools with a view to improving the quality of education across the country.

FirstEdu loan is targeted at private Nursery, Primary and Secondary schools to assist the schools in achieving their desired growth in the medium and long-term. The product provides funding to replace old furniture and equipment, pay staff salaries, purchase brand new or fairly-used buses as well as refurbish dilapidated buildings and classroom blocks. With this product, school owners/proprietors can stay ahead to make learning easy and conducive for students.

The product enables the schools to access facilities with no tangible collateral, apart from domiciliation of school fees account with the Bank.

On the other hand, FirstEdu portal is a modular and robust web-based enterprise portal that enables tertiary educational institutions manage academic, administrative, professional, logistics and payment challenges.

The product features and benefits include; e-Learning, virtual library and facilitation of exchange programmes with foreign educational institutions; academic & student events/time-table/calendar management; school fees payment via the internet; online information and result checking; interactive community forum between students and teachers. It also affords applicants the opportunity of enrolling from the comfort of their homes or any location around the world; no licensing, installation and maintenance cost and plugs avenues for revenue leakages amongst others.

According to Chuma Ezirim, Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, “With FirstEdu, private schools across the various tiers of education in Nigeria; elementary, secondary and tertiary, have the right tool to boost their business to the level they desire. We are pleased to have already disbursed over N10 billion loans to schools in one year and we would continue to support growth in this key sector of our economy.”

“At FirstBank, we identify with the impact of the educational sector on the socio-economic activities of the country and importantly the lives of everyone. We remain committed to supporting schools as education is the core and root factor at enabling growth of our economy” he concluded.

In need of the right educational solutions to give your school a boost, visit the FirstBank branch nearest to you or contact us on our social media channels; @firstbanknigeria on Instagram; @firstbankngr on twitter and FirstBankofNigeriaLimited on Facebook.

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Education

Graduates Who Skip NYSC Can Contest Governorship, Says Court

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A Federal High Court in Abuja says a candidate cannot be disqualified from an election for failure to participate in the National Youth Service Corps scheme.

The court made this pronouncement on Wednesday when it struck out a suit brought against the Governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, by a former senator, Iyabo Anisulowo.

Details of the judgement were sent to Premium Times by Mr Abiodun’s spokesperson.

The pre-election suit challenged the eligibility of Mr Abiodun over his failure to participate in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme.

The NYSC was established in 1973 and participation is mandatory for all Nigerians who graduate from a tertiary institution in or outside the country before they attain the age of 30.

The presentation of the NYSC discharge certificate awarded at the end of the one-year scheme is a requirement for employment into the formal sector in Nigeria.

Last year, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) disqualified the then Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, from running in its governorship primaries in Oyo State after PREMIUM TIMES exposed him for skipping the NYSC scheme after taking a degree in Law in the late 1970s.

Despite the revelation that he dodged the NYSC, President Muhammadu Buhari allowed Mr Shittu to remain as minister until the dissolution of the federal executive council last month.

The former minister challenged his disqualification from the APC primaries but the court dismissed his suit against the party.

Mr Shittu also accused the APC of double standards for allowing some aspirants such as Mr Abiodun to run for its tickets even though they had also been accused of skipping the NYSC scheme despite being graduates.

The former minister has also sued the NYSC, arguing that participation in the NYSC is not a requirement to hold public office.

Also last year, Kemi Adeosun was forced to step down as Minister of Finance after PREMIUM TIMES revealed that she forged an NYSC exemption certificate which enabled her to be cleared for an appointment first as a commissioner in Ogun State and then as a minister in 2015 by President Buhari.

Mrs Adeosun had graduated from an institution in the United Kingdom before the age of 30, which made her eligible for participation in the NYSC scheme.

An exemption certificate is awarded only to Nigerians who are older than 25 years when they graduated, those serving in the military or security forces or those exempted on health ground.

Mrs Adeosun’s case is, however, different from that of Messrs Shittu and Abiodun because they did not use forged NYSC certificate neither did they falsely claim to have participated or be exempted from it.

Premium Times

 

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Education

Stop Creating New Varsities, Develop Existing Ones – JAMB

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The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board has called for an embargo on the creation of new public and private universities in the country.

The JAMB Registrar, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, stated this, noting that emphasis should be placed on developing the existing universities in the country, which currently stand at 170.

According to the National Universities Commission, the country has 43 federal universities, 48 state universities and 79 private universities.

Oloyede made the call on Friday while speaking at the 4th convocation lecture of the Federal University, Dutse, Jigawa State.

According to a weekly JAMB bulletin obtained on Sunday, Oloyede said there was the need to place the embargo on the establishment of new universities in Nigeria so that the country’s existing institutions could be adequately catered to.

He said, “Since education is everybody’s business, all Nigerians should support the effort towards educational development. Universities should not be established just to boost the ego of rich individuals and politicians.”

Oloyede reiterated the recommendations of the 2017 Presidential Retreat on Education which made a case for a declaration of a state of emergency on the education sector.

The registrar advocated increased funding of education in the country by committing nothing less than 15 per cent of the national budget to the sector.

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