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ASUU, ASUP EXPRESS DOUBTS OVER STUDENT LOAN

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ASUU, ASUP EXPRESS DOUBTS OVER STUDENT LOAN
President Bola Tinubu, on Monday, in Abuja, signed the Student Loan Bill into law.
 
 

The signing of the bill was in “fulfilment of one of his campaign promises to liberalise funding of education,” a member of the Presidential Strategic Team, Dele Alake, told State House Correspondents on Monday evening.

The Students Loan Act becomes Tinubu’s second piece of legislation signed since he assumed office two weeks ago.

The bill will enable indigent students to access loans at interest-free rates.

The PUNCH reported that the piece of legislation, sponsored by the Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, passed the third reading at the House on May 25, 2023.

According to Alake, who was accompanied by other members of the media team, including Tunde Rahman and Abdulaziz Abdulaziz, and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, David Adejoh, the new law mandates prospective beneficiaries to show proof of their origins.

“We’re very happy to announce to you that today the President, His Excellency, Bola Tinubu, signed into law the Student Loans Bill.

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This is a promise made during the presidential campaign by the then candidate, His Excellency Bola Tinubu, that he will bring back the student loans issue onto the front burner.

“And today, that promise he made has been kept. He has just signed that bill into law, which henceforth would allow or enable our indigent students to access Federal Government’s loans to fund the educational pursuit or career,” Alake said.

The presidential aide said the move was in sync with standard practice in developed climes globally and would ease access to education.

“This is how it’s done in other developed climes. So this is a boost to our youths and students nationwide.

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“Of course, there are prescribed qualification parameters. And that is the proof of indigenship of whoever is to be a beneficiary.

Of course, there are committees to be set up. The members of committees will be drawn from various bodies to superintend over the efficient and proficient disbursement of this facility,” he added.

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Also said although the bill takes effect immediately, the procedures for application will be worked out by the committees to superintend the process.

On his part, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Adejoh, said by implication, the current scholarship board of the Federal Government will become a loan board capable of offering educational credit facilities to qualified applicants.

Today, what the President has done goes beyond the symbolism. It is a demonstration of intent in terms of how he wants to handle education as he progresses in his presidency. Once the bill has been signed, that is the most important thing. A bill tells you what should be done. The how is what we are going  to put together.

“What we have now is that nobody shall say money did not allow him to go to school,” he added.

Reacting, the Academic Staff Union of Universities described the loan bill as discriminatory between the children of the rich and the poor.

National President, ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, in an interview with The PUNCH, said, “The union will react soon but everyone knows our position on student loans because you will end up encumbering the children of the poor with loans and debt after graduating. This is discriminatory. If what I read online is correct, it said it is only for children whose parents earn at least N500,000 per annum. That means if your father earns more, you won’t benefit.”

Similarly, the National President, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, Mr Anderson Ezeibe, said, “I have not studied the bill and we don’t want to react on the surface. But I have seen one area that will not be practicable.

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“It says that students should refund the money two years after NYSC. But what is the provision for someone who is not working after NYSC?  And will they all get jobs immediately after NYSC?”

However, the National Association  of Nigerian Students described the student loan bill as a “way forward” in the country’s education system.

In a statement made available to The PUNCH on Monday, the Cordinator,  NAN, Zone D, Adejuwon Emmanuel, however, faulted the repayment terms.

Without saying much, student loan bill is a way forward to the educational system in Nigeria, because it will assist student whose parent cannot afford to pay tuition fee to be able to pay with the loan.

But as good as this is, there are some questions that need to be answered by the government. The ultimatum for repayment is not feasible. As we all know that there is no work anywhere and most graduates don’t  get work immediately, how will they pay back? How will it work when most of our graduates do not get jobs. Is there any plan or opportunity for those that have no work two years after NYSC?”

A former Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Uyo, Prof Ini Uko, in an interview with our correspondent, lauded the initiative.

Uko said, “Well, this means that tuition fees will go up. The subsidy on tertiary education will be removed. Vice-chancellors will now be able to introduce tuition fees. This is a good initiative. I am a beneficiary of a student loan and, of course, the people who benefit from it will have to pay back.

The truth is that we have to stop pretending that the government alone can continue to fund tertiary education. It is not possible.”

 

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Education

1ST NIGERIAN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS CONFERENCE ON UN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDGS) ESSAY COMPETITION

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The 1st Nigerian Tertiary Institutions Conference on UN SDGs presents the SDG Youth Essay Competition, offering undergraduates in Nigerian tertiary institutions a chance to contribute to the discussion on achieving SDG4, Quality Education.

Competition Overview:

1st Nigerian Tertiary Institutions Conference on UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Essay Competition

The SDG Youth Essay Competition offers a grand prize of N1 million for the top three winners, along with free sponsorship to attend the 1st Nigeria Tertiary Institution Conference on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in April 2024 in Abuja.

Competition Requirements:

1. Eligibility:

   – Open exclusively to undergraduates in Nigerian tertiary institutions.

2. Entry Guidelines:

   – Topic:The Role of Students in Attainment of SDG4

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   – length: Essays should be 1500 words.

   – Entry Period: Thursday, February 1, 2024 – Thursday, February 29, 2024

   – Referencing: APA Style (6th Edition).

   – Font: Times New Roman, 12-point font size.

   – Documentation: Typed in 1.5 line spacing, MS Word format only.

   – Plagiarism: Only original content is accepted; plagiarized entries will be disqualified.

Benefits:

– Prizes:

  – 1st Prize: N500,000

  – 2nd Prize: N300,000

  – 3rd Prize: N200,000

– Winners will also receive free sponsorship to attend the 1st Nigeria Tertiary Institution Conference on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in April 2024 in Abuja.

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Required Documents:

– Student’s Institution ID Card

– Copy of Student’s Admission Letter

– One recent passport-size photograph

– WhatsApp telephone number and email address

Application Procedure:

– All entries and submissions (essay and required documents) should be scanned and sent to nigeriaessay@sdgyouth.org before the deadline.

For Further Inquiries:

– Call: 08068931151, 08133846739, 07067772964

– Email: nigeriaessay@sdgyouth.org

Deadline: February 29th, 2024

Don’t miss this opportunity to contribute to achieving SDG4 and win exciting prizes. Submit your entry and required documents before the deadline. For any inquiries, feel free to contact them via phone or email.

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Education

PENTAGON PARTNERS NATIONAL ESSAY COMPETITION FOR UNDERGRADUATE LAW STUDENTS

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Are you an undergraduate law student in Nigeria eager to explore the intersection of law and Artificial Intelligence (AI)? Pentagon Partners presents a unique opportunity for 400-level and 500-level undergraduate law students to participate in the National Essay Competition.

Competition Overview:

Pentagon Partners National Essay Competition for Undergraduate Law Students

The National Essay Competition invites undergraduate law students to showcase their expertise and contribute to the discourse on AI, privacy, and data protection. In addition to cash prizes, participants have the chance to intern with Pentagon Partners, gaining valuable hands-on experience.

Competition Requirements:

1. Eligibility:

   – The competition is open to 400-level and 500-level undergraduate law students in Nigerian universities.

2. Essay Requirements:

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   – Length: Essays should not exceed 1500 words.

   – Format: Double spaced, 12pt Times New Roman font.

   – References: OSCOLA format for citations with 10pt font size for footnotes and endnotes.

   – Submission Format: Essays must be submitted in PDF format.

   – Entrant Details: Include full names, school, level, phone number, and email address in both the body of the email and on the last page of the essay.

   – Single Entry: Each entrant is allowed only one submission.

   – Originality: Plagiarism will result in automatic disqualification.

Competition Benefits and Timeline:

1. Prizes:

   – Winner: N200,000

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   – 1st Runner Up: N150,000

   – 2nd Runner Up: N100,000

2. Internship Opportunity:

   – In addition to cash prizes, winners have the exclusive opportunity to intern with Pentagon Partners, enhancing their career prospects.

Application Procedure:

– Interested participants should submit their essays to essay@pentagonpartnerslp.com during the submission period.

– The subject of the email should be the Essay topic

For additional information and updates, visit www.pentagonpartnerslp.com.

Deadline: March 22nd, 2024

Don’t miss this chance to showcase your legal expertise, contribute to important discussions on AI and law, and vie for enticing cash prizes. Pentagon Partners looks forward to receiving your submissions.

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Education

SYSTEMSPECS CHILDREN’S DAY ESSAY COMPETITION (CDEC), 2024

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The SystemSpecs Children’s Day Essay Competition (CDEC) is an annual event aimed at fostering innovative thinking among primary and secondary school students in Nigeria. It provides a platform for young minds to propose technological solutions to national challenges.

Purpose:
Inaugurated in 2020, the CDEC is part of SystemSpecs’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) commitment to promoting capacity development in the Nigerian ICT industry. By encouraging young Nigerians to tackle everyday issues, the competition contributes to intellectual growth and societal progress.

SystemSpecs Children’s Day Essay Competition (CDEC), 2024

Topic:
The theme for the 2024 competition is “Protecting the Nigerian Child from the Dangers of Online Technology.” Participants are tasked with exploring strategies to safeguard children in an increasingly digital world.

Eligibility:
– Open to primary and secondary school students in Nigeria aged 9 to 16.

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– Junior category (ages 9 to 12) essays must not exceed 1,000 words.

– Senior category (ages 13 to 16) essays must not exceed 1,500 words.

Prizes:

– Winners will receive generous rewards, including a high-capacity laptop, premium headphones, a portable laptop stand, a smart wristwatch, and one year of internet data, among other items.

– Consolation prizes will be awarded to other participants.

Application Process:

– Interested candidates should access the application page 

– Essays must be written in English and reflect original thought.

– Each participant is limited to one entry.

– Entries must be endorsed by an accredited school official, parent, or legal guardian.

– Deadline for submissions is April 12, 2024.

Submission Guidelines:

– All submissions must be in PDF format and include the student’s name, home and school addresses, email address, and contact phone number.

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– Double entries will result in automatic disqualification.

– Submissions must be received by March 15, 2024, at 5:00 p.m.

Notification of Winners:

– Successful students and schools will be contacted in the second quarter of the year.

– Updates on winners will be announced on @nercng social media platforms.

The SystemSpecs Children’s Day Essay Competition offers a unique opportunity for Nigerian students to demonstrate their creativity and problem-solving skills. By addressing the theme of online child protection, participants contribute to building a safer and more secure digital environment for all. We encourage eligible students to seize this opportunity and showcase their talent and ingenuity.

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