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Accelerated Learning Project Improves Education in Kano Schools

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Under the auspices of the Partnership for Learning for All in Nigerian Education (PLANE), the Accelerated Learning (AL) project has been making significant strides in enhancing educational outcomes across colleges in Kano.

Launched in April 2020 and slated to continue for nine years, the AL project, funded by Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), has received commendation from educators, mentors, and teachers for its effectiveness in transforming the learning experience.

The PLANE programme is being implemented by a consortium of organisation led by DAI, with the British Council focused on the Accelerated Learning (AL) part which it implements with Teaching at The Right Level (TaRL) organization.

This year’s edition of the AL project in Kano witnessed widespread participation and positive feedback from stakeholders. School principals and teachers lauded the initiative, highlighting its pivotal role in addressing the pressing needs of the education sector.

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According to a school principal in Kano, “PLANE Accelerated Learning is one of the greatest things to happen to education as far as my experience and my involvement is concerned in the whole project is concerned. Because the accelerated activities is what is needed at this right time.”

Moreover, teachers emphasized the collaborative nature of the project, describing it as a partnership between the British Council and the colleges they work with. Beyond focusing solely on educating children, PLANE ensures that stakeholders, including teachers and guardians, receive immersive training to equip them with the necessary tools for seamless task execution.

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“We attended a series of training. We started with nine days trainings. Then after the nine days training, we went for field trips and then for another refresher training for four days pertaining this programme,” shared a teacher, reflecting on the comprehensive training sessions conducted as part of the AL project.

Under PLANE AL, teachers undergo rigorous training and are subsequently tasked with training their peers before engaging with the students directly. This cascading approach ensures that the benefits of the programme reach a wider audience, ultimately enhancing its impact.

“When we get back to our different schools, we start with assessment of my children, divide them into groups; dual language and maths,” explained a participating teacher, highlighting the structured approach employed in implementing the AL project.

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Assessments conducted during the programme revealed substantial improvements in literacy rates among participating students. A school administrator noted a significant reduction in the percentage of children struggling with basic reading skills following the intervention.

“Unlike the conventional schooling system, it came with assessing the children, knowing their position at a particular time. And then after the intervention, we see where they are and you find out that we have the baseline whereby you have more than 75% or 80% of children in literacy. They cannot recognise even letters, you know.

“But after the training, after the intervention, you find out that percentage has actually reduced drastically and the same thing for those children who were not able actually read maybe small sentences, we have found at the story level, which is an achievement which is vividly clear,” the administrator remarked.

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Furthermore, teachers praised the inclusive nature of the AL project, particularly its use of the dual-language method, which allows them to leverage students’ mother tongue before transitioning to English.

“You see, there’s something special I love about the Accelerated Learning Project. It is inclusive. So this dual language method employed by the Accelerated Learning project helped me to teach my students using their mother’s tongue. And then I later transitioned into the target language, which is the English language,” expressed another teacher.

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Beyond Kano, PLANE operates at the federal level and in five states, including Kaduna, Jigawa, Yobe, and Borno, with a focus on strengthening education systems and optimizing government expenditures.

The programme’s strategic interventions encompass foundational skills development, education in emergency situations, and community-centered initiatives, all aimed at fostering sustainable improvements in Nigeria’s education landscape.

Through collaborative efforts with government agencies, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders, PLANE continues to drive positive change and unlock the full potential of education in Nigeria.

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Crime

Yahaya Bello withdrew $720,000 from Kogi account to pay child’s school fees -EFCC chairman

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The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ola Olukoyede, has revealed that a former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, transferred $720,000 from the government’s coffers to a bureau de change before leaving office to pay in advance for his child’s school fee.

Olukoyede revealed this during an interview with journalists on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said, “A sitting governor, because he knows he is going, moved money directly from government to bureau de change, used it to pay the child’s school fee in advance, $720,000 in advance, in anticipation that he was going to leave the Government House.

“In a poor state like Kogi, and you want me to close my eyes to that under the guise of ‘I’m being used.’ Being used by who at this stage of my life?”

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Olukoyede further stated that he personally reached out to Bello, offering him a chance to clarify the situation in a respectful setting within the EFCC office but the ex-governor reportedly declined to cooperate, citing fears of harassment from an unnamed woman.

The EFCC boss added, “I didn’t initiate the case; I inherited the case file. I called for the file, and I said there are issues here.

“On my own, I called him, which I am not supposed to do, just to honour him as an immediate past governor. ‘Sir, there are issues. I’ve seen this case file. Can you just come let us clarify these issues?’

“He said, ‘Ha! Thank you, my brother. I know, but I can’t come. There’s one lady that has surrounded EFCC with over 100 people to come and embarrass me and intimitade me.’

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Bello was said to have suggested that the EFCC come to his village rather than conduct an investigation at the agency’s quarters.

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“I said if that is the issue, I’m going to pass you through my own gate, and you will come to my floor. We will accord you that respect. I will invite my operatives; they will interrogate and interview you in my own office. What could be more honourable than that to allay the fear?

“You know what he said: ‘Thank you, sir, but can’t they come to my village? Olukoyede added.

The chairman also highlighted the agency’s achievements during his tenure, stating, “We have recovered close to 120 billion and secured over 1,600 convictions in six months.

“I’m so passionate about the need for us to move forward in this country. We need the EFCC to survive. There are so many victims that we have wiped tears off their eyes, people that have been swindled in their millions. Every day, we keep recovering money for victims.”

Theheute reports that the EFCC chairman, Olukoyede, has vowed to resign from his position if Yahaya Bello is not prosecuted.

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The EFCC is seeking to arraign Bello on 19 counts bordering on alleged money laundering, breach of trust, and misappropriation of funds to the tune of N80.2 billion.

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FAAN reopens Lagos airport runway after Dana Air incident

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The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria has announced the reopening of Runway 18L/36R at Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos, following a temporary closure caused by a Dana Air plane skidding off the runway on Tuesday

This was disclosed in a press release signed by the Director of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, FAAN, Obiageli Orah, on Wednesday.

The statement read, “The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria is pleased to notify the public and all stakeholders that Runway 18L/36R was reopened for flight operations at 19:58hrs.

“This development follows the earlier closure of the runway this morning due to an incident involving a Dana Air aircraft, with registration number 5N-BKI, which overshot the runway during its landing sequence.

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“Prompt actions were taken by our emergency response team to evacuate and recover the aircraft from the site. Subsequently, comprehensive clearing operations were conducted to ensure the runway was free of any Foreign Object Debris that could impede flight safety, Orah added.

According to the statement, the FAAN Operations Division and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency have jointly inspected the runway surface and deemed it safe for the resumption of operations.

FAAN acknowledged that the area affected by the overshoot was significantly muddy, necessitating extensive cleaning efforts to restore safety.

“A concerted effort was made for the thorough and efficient cleaning of the area to facilitate the swift resumption of operations on Runway 18L/36R,” she said.

Orah apologised for any inconvenience caused, stating, “Ensuring the safety and security of our passengers, staff, and airport operations remains our top priority.

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“FAAN is committed to providing a safe, secure, and efficient air transport environment for all users of our airports.

“FAAN wishes to express its gratitude to the travelling public, our airline partners, and all stakeholders for their patience, understanding, and cooperation during the temporary closure. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this incident may have caused,” the statement read.

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Crime

Man, 30, defiles landlady’s 13-year-old daughter in Rivers

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The operatives of the Rivers State Police Command have arrested a 30-year-old man identified as Jeffrey for allegedly defiling the teenage daughter of his landlady in an estate in Abuloma, Port Harcourt Local government Area of the State.

It was learnt that the suspect, who has a tailoring shop at the estate, lured the 13-year-old girl to his business place one evening under the guise of showing her clothes.

But Jeffrey ended up locking the shop, overpowered the girl, and allegedly had his way with the girl.

The suspect was, however, arrested by men of the Trans-Amadi Police Division last Friday when the teenage girl opened up to her mother about what transpired.

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A source who does not want his name in print said, “Already a medical examination conducted on the minor indicated she was defiled.”

When contacted, the spokesperson for the state police command, Grace Iringe-Koko, confirmed the incident, saying the investigation was ongoing.

“She stated, “Yes, I can confirm the arrest of the suspect. The matter has been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Port Harcourt, for discreet investigation.”

Iringe-Koko further said the command will ensure that the suspect is prosecuted to deter others.

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