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NCC holds valedictory forum for exemplary, retiring staff, Osmund Omulu

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Nasiru Yusuf

Members of staff of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) converged in the Conference Room of the Commission’s Head Office recently, to honour Osmund Omulu, a staff of the Commission, who is retiring upon attaining the Nigerian public service mandatory retirement age of 60 years.

KANO FOCUS reports that Omulu, who joined the Commission in 2002, has been described as an unusually focused, peaceful gentleman who is always willing to assist and educate people on how to make their work better.

Even those who are his seniors, who met him at the Commission and others who worked with him as a colleague prior to his sojourn at NCC recalled how much Omulu guided them through basic processes.

At the valedictory where every speaker spoke like an author of a chapter in a book of memoirs, Omulu was described as a great historian, who put a historical context to every knowledge he had to share with his colleagues.

He was also described as a man, whose physical appearance is in synergy with his soul and spirit because of his predilection not to carry grudges nor hold on to any negative memory about anyone.

“Even when he disagreed with people’s opinion and conduct, he ensured that things are settled and everyone moved on, as he never had the record of nursing grudges with anybody”, a testimonial stated.

Gentlemanly, focused and unassuming, Omulu was also described “a living repository of Commission’s cherished standard practice” by his colleagues, many of who participated virtually in the valedictory programme.

A man of a modest and humble beginning, Omolu started his career at the United Bank for Africa (UBA) as a stenographer and rose to become a confidential secretary but he was so methodical and had acquired so much knowledge that a staff who met him at UBA and now works at the Commission described as “his first teacher in banking” even though the latter had joined UBA as a senior to Omulu.

After Omulu joined NCC, he enrolled for and completed a degree in Accounting and proceeded to complete his professional examination with the Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIB), a programme he had enlisted for while he was a banker. Omulu is now a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria.

Hence, Omulu, who is married with children, is perceived as a study in focus and determination. The send-off programme was also attended by Omulu’s wife and children.

Mr Omulu and his wife

Directors, Deputy Directors, other senior management staff, as well as staff representing different categories of staff in the organisational hierarchy were present at the event. Attendees also include persons representing other communities of interests outside the Commission, particularly those with whom Omulu has had long relationship in Abuja, his community in Enugu and in Kano, where he had part of his education.

One after another, speakers attested to Omulu’s sterling character and fondness for building community through uniting people, enhancing peaceful co-existence, ensuring thoroughness in delivery of jobs at work place and his bubbling unusual energy despite his age.

Avuncular, respectful, stickler to rules, tenacious, determined and with an eye for details, Omulu was described as bringing all these attributes to bear on his work in ways that have enhanced the work at the Commission.

The foregoing explained the litany of praises, well-wishes and entreaties that were recurring feature of the tributes and goodwill messages delivered by no fewer than 15 people representing different communities of interest that collaborated to organise, attend and participate in the valedictory forum in his honour.

The presence of four Directors, some Heads of Departments and many Heads of Units at the event was an eloquent testimony to how much Mr Omulu is loved and appreciated by his colleagues in different cadres at the Commission.

His current supevisior, Yetunde Akinloye, who is Director, Policy, Competition and Economic Analysis; Yakubu Gontor, Director, Financial Services; Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, Director Public Affairs; and Usman Malah, Director, Human Capital and Administration also spoke well of Omulu.

Other Management staff, including Reuben Mouka, Head, Special Duties; Ibrahim Aliyu, Head, Administration; and Usman Mamman, Head Pre-Licensing, who had worked with Omulu at UBA, all spoke so glowingly about Omulu and wished him a blissful life in retirement.

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How KaLMA boost learning outcomes in Kano state

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Students in classroom

Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

The Kano Maths and Literacy Accelerator (KaLMA) has boosted learning outcomes in 181 schools across Wudil and Dawakin Tofa local government areas.

KANO FOCUS reports that between January and August 2021, when in-person teaching resumed, the number of primary school children with foundational skills in Hausa and maths grew by 18 per cent, and in English by 11 per cent.

The programme’s impact on lower-level skills was even more significant, rising by 37 per cent in Hausa, 36 per cent in maths, and 39 per cent in English.

Students in classroom

The programme has already reached over 37,000 children and 1,200 teachers. Plans are now in place to extend its impact to 450 schools and 3,000 more teachers in five other government areas of Kano.

Some of the parents said they are impressed with the way they see children from KaLMA implementation schools doing KaLMA activities at home and in the communities.’

They revealed that “Children were not reading in our schools, but they are doing so now in schools with the coming of KaLMA.”

Teacher in classroom

KaLMA is supporting children in Kano state, to build the foundational and language skills they need to succeed.

Funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, KaLMA is a partnership between the British Council, Kano State Universal Basic Education Board, the Ministry of Education, Sa’adatu Rimi College of Education, and Teaching at the Right Level Africa.

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Education: Stakeholders begin review of SBMC policy in Kano

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SBMC leaders

Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

Stakeholders in the education sector have commenced the review of Kano State School Based Management Policy (KNSBMP).

KANO FOCUS reports that the review was jointly facilitated by Professors Aisha Abdul Ismail and Suwaiba Ahmad.

The event which was conducted between 16th – 17th May, at Tahir Guest Palace was supported by Partnership for Learning for All in Nigeria (PLANE).

The stakeholders were selected from State ministry of education and its parastatals; state and local government leadership of SBMCs and representatives of Kano State Accountability Forum on Education (K-SAFE).

The two day event was also attended by a one time Permanent Secretary in the state ministry of education Alhaji Danlami Garba.

The workshop reviewed the existing policy to ensure that it is still relevant, effective and aligned with the educational goals and values of Kano state.

The stakeholders have proposed three layer leadership structure for SBMC in Kano consist of school, local government and state executives.

They also proposed the expansion of executives committee to include marginalised groups and security personnel to reflect emerging issues such as safeguarding and gender in schools.

The stakeholders would reconvene to adopt the reviewed SBMC policy after harmonisation of proposed amendments.

The School-Based Management Committee (SBMC) concept emerged in the late 1980s and was subsequently championed by the 1990s-global reform in education which, in turn prompted the institutionalization of the SBMC in Nigeria.

In 2005, the National Council on Education (NCE) at its 52nd session approved that all schools in the country should establish School Based Management Committees (SBMCs) to ensure that communities participate in the school decision-making process.

Kano State in 2010, developed its SBMC policy with the support of the UK-aid/DFID funded-Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria (ESSPIN) using a participatory approach that involved various stakeholders across the state.

KANO FOCUS reports that PLANE has supported Kano state government in reviewing several education laws and policies including teacher policy, gender policy among others.

 

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How gender stereotyping hampers girl child education in Jemagu town

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

The trauma of not being able to get husbands after higher education has continued to discourage many parents in Jemagu from sending their girls to school, most especially as their boys hardly go beyond secondary school.

KANO FOCUS reports that in Jemagu town Warawa Local Government Area of Kano State, girls hardly go beyond secondary school because they would find it very difficult to marry as their men don’t usually go for those who go beyond that level.

Men in Jemagu believe that girls who go beyond secondary school would have experienced some social life that would make them very difficult to control. Residents said their children’s education, especially the girls, began and ended in Jemagu primary and secondary schools.

Babangida Adamu is among the men in Jemagu who believe that it is not proper to marry a girl who has gone beyond secondary school. He added that girls who acquire higher education would not like to marry men who have no formal education.

Babangida Adamu

“The truth is that any woman who acquired higher education would not like to marry a man with lower education. I will also not marry a girl who has university degree because I do not have a degree. This is why most men will not like to marry girls with higher education,” Adamu said.

A 25-year-old Khadija Muhammad Jemagu, who recently obtained a diploma in Marketing from the Kano State Polytechnic but does not have government job or husband, said she had resorted to helping a non-governmental organisation to promote girl-child education in her community. She believes there is the need to intensify awareness among parents on the importance of girl-child education.

According to Khadija, many people have told her that since she has chosen western education, it would be difficult for any man in her village to come close to her because the men believe that she is wiser than any man that may be willing to marry her since most of them do not have more than secondary education.

“Even before I finished my diploma, many people would go about saying that since my father had chosen to send us to school, they would see who would come and marry us. And for several years I have been living like this because in this our village, no man has ever come to me with marriage proposal, simply because I have a diploma,” she said.

Jemagu primary school

But despite this belief in Jemagu, some girls like Hussaina Muhammad are still trying to obtain a certificate on education, but there is no man within the community willing to marry her at the moment. She, however, insists that her educational ambition is a priority.

But Hussaina believes she can still get a husband within or outside her community provided she becomes well educated. She vowed that insult and discrimination from men within her village would not discourage her ambition.

“After secondary school, I started my National Certificate in Education (NCE) programme here in Warawa, but you know the belief our people. They see us as prostitutes; therefore, no one will come to offer his hand in marriage to us. But I will not be discouraged because I believe that whenever it is time for me to marry, God will definitely bring a husband for me,” she said.

Zainab Makera was able to get married after secondary school. She wants to proceed but is faced with a difficult choice – to further her education or stay with her husband. She said she had been trying to convince her husband to allow her continue but she was told that if she really wanted to continue with her education, she had to get divorced.

Zainab Makera

Meanwhile, few women who were able to convince their husbands to allow them proceed beyond secondary school “are constantly being rejected by community members,” said Hussaina.

According to education authorities in Warawa Local Government, this belief is not the only problem affecting girl-child education in Jemagu.

Lack of commitment by parents, especially mothers, may have worsened the situation over the years.

“There are several reasons why girls don’t go to school frequently; few of them have to do with the attitude of their parents, especially women who often sent their female children for hawking and other domestic works that stop them from attending classes,” said Munnir Muhammad, an education secretary in Warawa.

On the issue of girls not being able to get husbands after attending higher institution at Jemagu, Munnir believes that the problem is not only in Jemagu or Warawa Local Government.

“It is a general societal problem in northern Nigeria, where men, especially those with formal education usually reject women with higher education. Additionally, the government is working with parents-teachers associations, mothers associations and other relevant stakeholders to improve girl-child education in Warawa Local Government.”

Jemagu town, Warawa local government area

Meanwhile, residents said apart from poverty among the local community, lack of awareness by government authorities and poor education infrastructure, the problem of water supply in Jemagu village is forcing many children, especially girls, to skip school because they have to travel long distance to fetch water for the house. But government authorities assured that the problem of water supply in this village would soon be a thing of the past.

While recognising the threat of rejecting girls beyond secondary school as a major problem affecting girl-child education in the area, the caretaker chairman of Warawa Local Government, Lamido Sanusi, acknowledged that the problem of water is another major issue at Jemagu village. He said their ambition was to ensure that every girl-child is educated from primary school to university level without any form of discrimination across all villages and towns of Warawa Local Government.

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