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WAEC Set To Introduce CBT For WASSCE

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The West African Examinations Council says plans to introduce the Computer Based Test mode in the administration of its examinations are at an advanced stage.

The Head of National Office, Mr Patrick Areghan, gave the hint in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday in Lagos.

Areghan was speaking against the backdrop of notable achievements and advancements of the council under his watch, as he prepared to bow out of office on Oct. 1.

He would be bowing out after completing his three-year tenure.



Areghan said that introducing the CBT mode of administrating some of the council’s examinations had been part of his vision for the body.

”We have already started something in terms of CBT examination. We have gone far with our planning and all of that, even in the sub-region, the registrar to the council is also doing something.

“But this is not as easy as some people will think. This is because we ask ourselves, how do we conduct CBT for practicals and essay papers?

“We can only readily do that in the case of objective questions. But so many people will not see it from that angle. They argue that some others are doing it, so why can’t WAEC do the same?

“Now, no one even talks about energy; how many schools are exposed to computer literacy? How many have computer facilities and how many have electricity to run these things?

“Even where you have all these things on the ground, how do you handle the issue of theory and practical papers? So, these are the issues, but that is what I want the council to do very shortly.

“We should be able to conduct CBT examinations, even if it means starting with the objective questions,” he said.

The outgoing WAEC boss noted that already, the council had concluded introducing the administration of its examination using the CBT platform under his watch, in no distant time, starting with the objective questions and later theory and practicals.

“But you can still be sure that not all schools will be ready. Maybe we can have a segregated market. Those who cannot afford the CBT will go for the pencil and paper mode.

“So, I would like to see WAEC in that light,” he said.

Areghan said aside from the introduction of the CBT, he would also like to see all the operations of the council fully digitalised shortly.

He noted that almost every section of the council had been digitalised under his watch.

“I have almost digitalised everywhere now. Talk of certificate, checking of results verification of results and more.



“I will live to see more massive deployment of technology so that the vision of the council can change from just being a world-class examination body to a technology-driven examination body.



“I also want WAEC to be more visible on the international stage. I want to see, through the cooperation of the sub-region, how we can take WAEC overseas, that is, how Nigerian children in the diaspora can sit for WASSCE overseas.



“That, again, is what I want WAEC to do very shortly. That is one thing I wanted to do under my watch, but, again like I said, it needs the cooperation of the sub-region, not just Nigeria, to take WASSCE overseas.



“I also want to see its digital certificate that we have successfully launched in Nigeria replicated in the entire sub-region, so that any candidate that has taken WASSCE, can be in any part of the world to access the digital certificate; that is a legacy.

“For instance, if your certificate gets missing, soaked, destroyed by fire and so on, with one touch on the bottom, it appears.



“For me, this is a great legacy,” the WAEC boss stated.



He also stated that the council’s Digital Security Printing Press is another milestone achievement under his watch.



According to him, after 71 years of the council’s existence, the introduction of the digital security printing press is a worthy legacy.



This is alongside other internal ones, such as the Staff Bus scheme, meant to cushion the effect of high transportation fares, occasioned by the fuel subsidy removal, he said.



“We are going to do more to motivate staff. I am counting on my successor to follow suit, being a very committed and intelligent person. It is my prayer that he achieves more than me,” he stated.



Speaking on his greatest achievement, Areghan highlighted the successful conduct of examinations, release of results within stipulated time and printing and release of certificates to deserving candidates as key.



“That is my greatest achievement. That is because when you work in the council and you fail to conduct any examination, no matter the other levels of achievements, you have failed.



“So, I give God all the glory that I have been able to conduct all the examinations, even in the COVID-19 years, from 2020 to 2023,” the outgoing council boss told NAN.



NAN

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EDUCATION

Transforming Education in Plateau: Oando Foundation’s ECCD Initiative

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Investment in early childhood education and development is undoubtedly the cornerstone of progress. As Nelson Mandela once said, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’ Recognizing this, the Oando Foundation, an independent charity established to support the Nigerian government in achieving its Universal Basic Education (UBE) goal, has continued to invest in the development of children through its Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) initiative.Having successfully launched eleven ECCD centers across the country, the Foundation, in partnership with Plateau SUBEB, recently transformed ten ECCD centers in Plateau State, providing dynamic and engaging learning spaces for young children, for vibrant educational experiences. Here are four key aspects of this impactful initiative:• Focus on Early Childhood Development: The ECCD initiative by Oando Foundation focuses on upgrading and, where necessary, establishing Early Childhood Care and Development Centers in its adopted schools. These centers cater to the needs of children aged five years and below, aiming to develop their cognitive abilities through an approved curriculum. This curriculum includes Physical Development, Affective/Psychosocial Development, Cognitive Development, Food and Nutrition, Health, Water and Environmental Sanitation, Safety Measures, and Child Protection. Teachers receive training on the ECCD curriculum, participatory, and collaborative teaching methods. • Upgrade of Ten ECCD Centers: As part of the intervention in Plateau, Oando Foundation revitalized ten classrooms spread across various public schools in the state. These classrooms have been transformed into fully functional learning spaces equipped with age-appropriate educational materials and resources. This revitalization effort enhances the learning experience and provides a conducive environment for young learners to thrive. • Teacher Capacity Building: Recognizing the pivotal role of educators, the ECCD intervention includes teacher training sessions focused on early childhood pedagogy and effective teaching strategies. By enhancing teachers’ skills and knowledge, the program ensures quality early childhood education delivery and promotes professional development. In the recently concluded intervention in Plateau, the teacher capacity building component featured a two-day teacher training workshop comprising four comprehensive modules aimed at enhancing teaching effectiveness and student engagement. Furthermore, the training incorporated the use of audiovisual aids, providing teachers with modern teaching tools to better engage their students and enhance their learning experiences.• Commitment to Sustainable Development: The ECCD intervention is part of the Foundation’s broader LEARNOVATE strategy that prioritizes innovation and investments in foundational learning, creating better life opportunities for children and youth through equitable, quality, and climate-sensitive education. It also aligns with broader goals of sustainable development, specifically SDG 4.2.1 on equitable access to quality early childhood development and learning opportunities. By investing in early childhood education, the initiative supports long-term educational outcomes and socio-economic growth. Oando Foundation continues to demonstrate its commitment to improving educational opportunities and outcomes for children across Nigeria, as the nation’s ability to capitalize on the prosperity embedded in its people requires focused investments in human capital, starting at the early years as a critical foundation. Through strategic partnerships and innovative approaches, the Foundation aims to create a lasting impact on the educational landscape, empowering young learners and paving the way for a brighter future.

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EDUCATION

Education: Gov. AbdulRazaq commences payment of CONPCASS, CONTEDISS Salary Structure

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•Heads of State owned tertiary institutions charged to uphold Policy Thrust of Kwara Govt

A call has gone to Heads of State-owned Tertiary Institutions across Kwara State to continue to uphold the policy thrust of the present administration in order to enhance efficiency of the institutions.

The State Commissioner for Tertiary Education, Dr. Mary Ronke Arinde made the call today during the bimonthly meeting of Heads of State owned tertiary institutions, held at the Ministry’s Headquarters in Ilorin.

The Commissioner applauded the commitment and dedication of the institutions, noting that “all Heads of Tertiary Institutions have demonstrated commitment, passion and hardwork at ensuring the growth and development of this Ministry in recent time, which makes you an amazing team to work with”.

Dr. Arinde implored the Management and Staff of the various institutions to sow seeds of dedication, hard work, and commitment, pointing out that the reward shall yield productive fruits and efficient service delivery.

She also enjoined them to take their health issues and general well-being with utmost priority by engaging in routine health checks to avoid system breakdown.

“Your Families are a significant part of you, ensure you cultivate a robust relationship and companionship with them”, the Commissioner added.

Dr. Arinde further encouraged the management of the institutions to embark on regular auditing in order to curb fraud in their accounting departments.

The Provost, Kwara State College of Education, Oro, Prof. Mukaila Aremu appreciated the state government for the recent approval and disbursement of CONPCASS and CONTEDISS for Staffers of Tertiary Institutions in the State.

Prof. Aremu disclosed that College of Education, Oro, would be hosting the conference of Registrars across the country, which is first of its kind in the state, and thereby sought the support of the State Government towards a successful hosting.

Speaking on behalf of other institutions, Prof. Aremu appealed to the Ministry to facilitate the renovation of the internal roads network within the institutions, which he said, are grossly in dilapidated form and affecting the ease of movement within the colleges.

In his submission, the Provost, College of Arabic and Islamic Legal Studies, Dr. Hadi Saad explained that the College has gotten assurance from the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) for the provision of E-library with one year of free internet access.

Dr. Saad added that the reaccreditation of Professional Diploma in Education (PDE) by the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) has also been implemented, which would further upscale effective service delivery.

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EDUCATION

Another Nigerian flies in brilliant colours in distant Australia

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Nigerians have continued to show their stellar intelligence and continue to make waves globally in different areas of academics. Recently at the University of Queensland graduation ceremonies, Abdulrasaq Ogunyale stood out tall, graduating with distinction in Master of Peace and Conflict Studies achieving a unique feat of cumulative GPA of 6.25.

The University of Queensland, Australia, ranked among the top 50 universities globally and recently named the leading university in Australia by the Australian Financial Review’s inaugural Best University Ranking, graduated several students across disciplines this December. Upon graduation, the fresh graduates joined the UQ alum community of over 330,000 changemakers in 190 countries. Abdulrasaq Olatunde Ogunyale, widely addressed as Tunde Ogunyale, is one of the latest graduates at the university, and he completed his Master of Peace and Conflict Studies programme with Distinction. Prior to his UQ adventure, Tunde had graduated with a degree in law from the prestigious University of Ibadan. His journey from UI to UQ is a road marked with brilliance.

His passion for impact had seen him positioned to tackle one of Nigeria’s endemic problems as he founded the Peacepace Initiative, a youth-led nongovernmental organisation that promotes peace in Nigeria. A lawyer, mediator, cybersecurity advisor, and founding director at Peacepace Initiative. Tunde Ogunyale believes peace is not one-way traffic, so he leads his team in executing relevant projects cutting across peace education, human rights, good governance, and quality education. Abdulrasaq completed his master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies through the prestigious and competitive Rotary Peace Fellowship scholarship of the Rotary Foundation.

As a Rotary Peace Fellow, he gained incredible experiences and skills from various engagements at the Rotary Peace Center, University of Queensland. His fellowship also allowed him to undertake an Applied Field Experience, which he completed with the Institute for Economics and Peace at their global headquarters in Sydney, where he improved his understanding of positive peace. Aside from his general legal practice, he plans to continue to inspire hope through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), peace education, and security engagements.

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