“BLUES FOR THE NEW SENATE KING” BY PROF NIYI OSUNDARE

Behold, the People ask:
Who will save us from our Prostitutes in Power?
Part 1

He wanted so desperately to be King of Senate
He left the Path of Honour behind
Haba! He wanted so desperately to be King of Senate
He left the Path of Honour behind
He stabbed noble Faith and Trust in the back
And put the Traitor’s knife on the bonds that bind

Power-intoxicated, blinded by ambition
He only cares for three big people: “I, Me, and Myself”
Say, Power-drunk, blinded by ambition
He only cares for three big people: “I, Me, and Myself”
A renegade old book with phoney letters
Vacuous, thumb-stained on History’s shelf

His feet never know the way to the house of Honour
“Integrity” is visibly missing in his diction of Deceit
Yes, his feet never know the way to the house of Honour
“Integrity” is visibly missing in his diction of Deceit
He sold us cheap in the commerce of the backroom caucus
Coming back later with a false receipt

Cocky without conscience, rude without restraint
He traded away a victory won with our sweat and blood
Say, cocky without conscience, rude without restraint
He traded away a victory won with our sweat and blood
A discredited enemy behind his tarnished banner
He trampled the people’s Hope in the shameful mud

The fruit never falls far from its tree
True scion of a cold and crooked clan
Ha ha ha, a fruit never falls far from its tree
True scion of a cold and crooked clan
Broken banks, broken dreams, and broken lives
He’s a fitting heir to a dubious pedigree

Part 2

PDP in the morning, Labour at noon, APC at night
Wind-vane politicians with multiple tongues
Say, PDP in the morning, Labour at noon, APC at night
Wind-vane politicians with multiple tongues
They plod through life like shameless masquerades
Their trails are littered by a litany of wrongs

Our rulers stink like festering corpses
Their crimes choke the startled world
Say, Nigeria’s rulers stink like festering corpses
Their nuisance chokes the startled world
Honourless, truthless, with hearts of stone
In league, all times, with treacherous forces

Prostitute dealers, perfidious scoundrels
They sell us short in every market
Say, prostitute dealers, perfidious scoundrels
Selling us short in every market
They tilt the till to their bottomless pocket
And cripple the nation with their ruinous racket

Devoid of scruple, averse to sense,
They blight the ballot and steal our vote
Alas, devoid of scruple, averse to sense
They blight the ballot and steal our vote
They cast us adrift on the swindled oceans
With tattered sails and leaking boat

And WE THE PEOPLE are the absent factor
Bought, sold, disdainfully discarded
Agbaga!* WE THE PEOPLE are the absent factor
Bought, sold, disdainfully discarded
Servile servants of mindless masters
We forgo our right to be well regarded

*Horror of horrors!

Niyi Osundare, one of Africa’s foremost poets and essayists, is a Distinguished Professor of the University of New Orleans, where he teaches in the English Department. He was recipient of the Nigeria National Merit Award in 2014.

WHO REALLY CARES?…RECALLING PICS,VIDEOS AND STORIES OF TEENAGE PREGNANCIES IN NIGERIA!

1.PICS OF TEENAGE PREGNANCIES/BABIES!

2. TEENAGE PREGNANCY CHART

WHO REALLY CARES?...REMEMBERING PICS,VIDEO AND STORIES OF TEENAGE PREGNANCY IN NIGERIA!

3.WATCH VIDEO

Teenage Pregnancy In Nigeria: Health Risks and Poverty

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=146&v=GaotlrIsG-o

ATOMIC TYPOS AND SHOCKING TELEGRAMS!

TELEGRAM #1
A daughter sends a telegram to her father on her clearing
B.Ed exams, which the father receives as :

“Father, your daughter has been successful in BED.”
************ *********
TELEGRAM #2
A husband, while he is on a business trip sends a telegram to his wife :
“I wish you were here.” The message received by wife:

“I wish you were her.”
************ *********
TELEGRAM #3
A wife with near maturing pregnancy goes to a railway station to return to
her husband. At the reservation counter it was the last ticket. Taking pity on a very old lady next to her in the queue, she offered her berth to the old lady and sent a telegram to her husband which he got as:

“Shall be coming tomorrow, heavy rush in the train, gave
birth to an old lady.”
************ *********
TELEGRAM #4
A man wants to celebrate his wife’s Birthday by throwing a party .
So he goes to order a birthday cake. The salesman asks him what message he wants to put on the cake.
He thinks for a while and says: let’s put, “you are not getting older you are getting better”.
The salesman asks “how do you want me to put it?” The man says, Well put “You are not getting older”, at the top and “You are getting better” at the bottom.

The real fun didn’t start until the cake was opened the
entire party watched the message decorated on the cake:
“You are not getting older at the top, You are getting
better at the bottom”

INDIA ON RENT

I DIDN’T RECEIVE MUCH ATTENTION FROM MOST OF MY MALE COLLEAGUES–LAUTECH’S BEST MEDICAL STUDENT

I DIDN’T RECEIVE MUCH ATTENTION FROM MOST OF MY MALE COLLEAGUES–ABIMBOLA, LAUTECH’S BEST MEDICAL STUDENT

Ojo Abimbola-

I love knowing something about everything –Abimbola.

Ojo Abimbola, 27, was the best graduating student from the Department of Medicine and Surgery, Ladoke Akintola University of Science and Technology, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, in the 2013/2014 academic session. In this interview with TUNDE AJAJA, she shares what it takes to attain such a feat

What was your attraction for Medicine?

Mine started as a childhood dream, just as many other children used to echo it when asked what they would like to be in future. As I grew older, I had interest in health related sciences (medicine, nursing and pharmacy). By the time I finished secondary school, I knew I would study medicine because I wanted to help save lives. Then, my parents indirectly influenced me, not in a forceful manner though. My dad is a pharmacist, so I saw how his profession gave him the opportunity to help others; not only their health but also in every other area of life, like counselling. I used to visit the hospital where he worked and I think those visits partly inspired me to be a doctor. So, when I told him my wish, he encouraged and supported me. Medicine gives one an opportunity to impact lives, so I love it.

What about the fact that it is not as lucrative as some other courses that are less difficult?

In my view, Medicine is more of a help ministry than a lucrative business. Most of those who need the service of doctors, especially in this part of the world, cannot afford it due to poverty. Most people think doctors are rich but I think that has changed. Politicians and business tycoons are richer in our own country. However, being a doctor gives one a fairly comfortable life, which is good enough. So, I am not worried that Medicine may not be as rewarding monetarily but being able to help others is pretty rewarding, and like our teachers would say, ‘be a good doctor first, the money will come later.’ Someone who studied Medicine thinking it is lucrative may end up being disappointed because the pay may not be commensurate with the time and effort invested.

But some people think that only brilliant students can study Medicine. From your experience, is that true?

Any student that has the interest, well motivated and diligent in whatever he or she does can study medicine. One doesn’t need to be very brilliant to do it. It’s an erroneous view that only the best students in secondary schools should be admitted into medicine. The main qualities that I think are needed to be a good medical student are interest, diligence and consistency.

How was your performance in your previous schools?

It was quite easy. I was the best graduating student in my secondary school. I passed my West African Senior School Certificate Examination once; I had distinction in all the subjects. I wrote the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination twice but I passed on both occasions. The first one I scored 256, and the second time I scored 280. I had to write UTME twice because the first time I wrote the exam, I chose Ekiti State University. I was actually offered Medicine and Surgery but that was the time the state government decided to cancel the medical programme in the university, so I lost the admission that year. It wasn’t a nice experience but I had to rewrite UTME the following year and applied to LAUTECH. My name was on the merit list.

How was the experience the first time you had to work on a cadaver (dead body)?

I don’t think there was anything spectacular. People do have funny stories whether real or imagined (mostly imagined) about cadavers but I told myself that if the cadaver was to try anything funny, like rising up, I wouldn’t be there to witness it. I also felt that because I wasn’t responsible for the person’s death, the cadaver would have no right to harass me. Eventually, none of the cadavers tried anything funny. That first experience opened my eyes to see how helpless human beings are once there is no breath in us again. It was an eye-opener. So, unlike what some people used to say, I didn’t have any bad dream or lose sleep because of that. When anybody dies, the a person remains dead until resurrection, so there is no way a cadaver could stand up to hold my hand. They are helpless, and we have to move them to the position we want them to be on the dissecting tables.

What about the sight of blood?

I don’t dread the sight of blood but I still have feeling when I see it, especially when I see very gory sights (usually from road crashes brought to our teaching hospital emergency unit) but I quickly get over it and do what I am instructed to do. I don’t get scared to the point of running away.

What was your most memorable day as a medical student?

I will always remember the distinction in pathology and surgery viva (oral examination). I sat in front of professors and ‘elders’ in the profession and I was wondering what I could ever say that would impress them enough to award me a distinction. At the end of the day, I think they found my performance satisfactory and I had a distinction. That day was my most fearful day. However, my happiest moments were my matriculation and induction days. On those days, I had joy that my dreams were fulfilled. However, my saddest moments were when I lost some loved ones.

What were your most interesting and most difficult courses?

I love the psychiatry aspect of my course. I found it very interesting. The fact that they (psychiatrists) could manage ailments in the mind intrigues me and they are trained to be able to relate with everybody no matter how strange the person is. I really didn’t have an aspect of medicine that was challenging. I just love the course.

You must have worked hard to be able to achieve such a feat. What was your reading schedule like?

I didn’t have a definite reading schedule, but the number of hours I read was dependent on how busy my day was. However, I made it a goal to read whatever I was taught in class before the end of the day. I also believe in knowing something about everything as against knowing everything about something, even though knowing everything about everything is the best in medicine because half knowledge can be dangerous. So I make it a duty to read most of my course work whether we were taught or not. Thus, before any test or exam, I would have finished all my work. It is usually difficult to finish coursework in medicine but setting a goal makes it achievable and helps one to remain focused. I studied hard but I didn’t do all night reading.

How often did you use the library?

I did use the library, but not often. I preferred reading at home where I would have my textbooks around me and I would be able to check anything I wanted without disturbing or intimidating others. If I needed any book in the library, I would rather go and borrow it for a few days and maybe photocopy the required sections. Medicine is one of the professions that you can’t do without having textbooks. Apart from the basic textbooks, internet has always been of help.

What was your typical day like?

Not as busy as being a doctor now. Then, we used to attend ward rounds, clinics, surgeries, tutorials and even if our supervising consultant was on call, we had to attend, usually in the evenings or weekends. All those activities were opportunities for our teachers to teach us. Sometimes we could spend the whole day on our feet. Even our lectures were usually intensive, usually between 8am and 6pm. It was worth it anyway.

What did you do differently to emerge as the best?

I don’t think I really did anything differently from my colleagues. I worked hard and enjoyed God’s favour and grace. When it comes to reading, I envied the diligence and resilience of some of my colleagues. An average doctor anywhere in the world didn’t get the certificate on a platter they must have been hardworking and paid the required price. I believe I didn’t work to earn it, but a gift from God.

People believe that most medical students don’t have time to socialise, what was the experience for you?

I consider myself social, but not in terms of going to all night parties. I participated in some social activities like birthday parties of my colleagues, wedding ceremonies of my senior colleagues and I travelled for various Christian conferences. They gave me the opportunity to visit other states and other medical schools. Actually, when I gained admission, I decided to enjoy myself as much as possible, but within the confines of being a Christian. In fact, one needs good human relations skills to practise medicine effectively, and a social setting is a good place to have that, not by spending all the time with big books.

How did you handle gestures from your male colleagues?

I didn’t receive much attention from most of my male colleagues. I guess they were all busy with their books. They were all good friends though, I didn’t really have to handle gestures from them. We were all busy.

What are your aspirations?

I plan to be a specialist and become active in research, get married and serve God and my country in whatever capacity I can. I would like to work anywhere in Nigeria though I hope to also travel outside the shores of the country to see how things are done in more advanced climes.

What is your advice to students?

They should have a dream. They should be focused, believe in themselves, put in their best, understand what works best for them and they shouldn’t be discouraged. I advise them to honour and acknowledge God, build relationships because lives impacted positively last more than trophies.

Copyright PUNCH.

MYSTERY AS NIGERIAN DIES KAYAKING IN AMERICA

MYSTERY AS NIGERIAN DIES KAYAKING IN AMERICA

Wale Oginni

Wale Oginni wanted to celebrate his elder sister’s 24th fourth birthday in a special way. Modupe was excited turning a year older last Saturday. Wale , her charming 22-year-old brother, along with his friends and family members, planned a boat Kayak to the Catawba River, a few hours road trip from their North Carolina home.

“He invited me to go because it was my birthday,” Dupe whispered during a brief telephone conversation late Monday evening. Hours after the party settled into fun of clear blue sky river scenery and in the middle of what seemed an exciting kayaking and rafting adventures for these young fun seekers on a birthday celebration, Wale allegedly dived into the warm waters of Catawba River.

At the time of writing this report, it was not clear what led a young man kayaking on a hot humid Saturday with his sister, family members and friends, to plunge into the river without wearing life jacket.

Different reports emerged from the death of the young Nigerian. Sources close to his friends said Wale fell into the river during a freak accident while other sources said he dived into the water and never came back. He allegedly got out of the boat and went under water, and never came back up. Authorities sought reasons why he chose to dive into the River. His body was found about ten feet underwater by divers. A distraught sister has been shivering since Saturday because she lost a dear brother and sole provider for the family. Their mother remains in shock over losing her first son under strange circumstance.

“Sorry sir, we are in shock and cannot say anything for now,” Dupe said.

The handsome athletic built Wale came with his parents, Olanrewaju and Margarete Oginni and siblings to the United States in mid 90s. Here, they found a new life and challenges as they settled into their adopted home. Some years after arriving, the family was fragmented. The marriage ended and the father moved away from their family home. Family sources said Wale assumed the role of a husband, father and big brother to his mother and siblings.

“Jebose, this young man protected and provided for his family, especially his sisters and mother in the absence of their father. He grew quickly and became the head of their household,” said a neighbour.

His father, Olanrewaju, who is vacationing currently in Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria said he had yet to be informed of the tragic incident as of Tuesday.

“I have neither been called with regards to this tragic news of my son nor been informed by his mother. There is nothing to say this time until I get real time information,” he said.

The 22-year-old aspired to become an engineer. He was on his way towards realising his dreams when this freak Saturday tragedy happened in the Catawba River at the U.S white water rafting centre.

“The Catawba River (named after the Native American tribes that first settled on the banks) originates in Western North Carolina. The river is approximately 220 miles (350 km) long. It rises in the Appalachian Mountains and drains into Piedmont, and is impounded through a series of reservoirs for flood control and hydroelectricity. The river is named after the Catawba tribe of Native Americans. In their Siouan language, they are identified as the Kawahcatawbas, ‘the people of the river. (Wikipedia)

Early this week, Wale’s friends lunched a social media campaign to raise funds to bury a beloved colleague. The social media surged as friends remembered a dear friend, popularly known to his circles of friends as Wale ‘Nigeria Boy.’

His cousin in Lagos, Nigeria, Adesiyan Bola Adekemi remembered late Wale thus, “Wale was a gentle, respectful and humble boy. He took a person’s burden as his; always available to render help to anyone. He never discriminated, neither proud, nor arrogant. I remember his last words to me when he came to Nigeria few years back. He said, ‘Sister Bola, you’ve got a very small stature and Sister Dupe looks like your aunty.’ I smiled at his words. He was always ready to put a smile on your face. He was kind hearted and accommodating. May God please forgive his sins and keep him in His bosom. Wale was from a family of four children: he left behind two sisters and a brother. It’s sad. Before he left Nigeria, we both attended the Adeola Towers of Excellence Nursery and Primary School in Ondo State.”

Another young friend, Ashley Fisher, mourned the departed young soul thus, “you never know why certain people come into your life but I’m very happy that I met you; you’ve brought happiness and joy. I hate that you’re gone, I can’t believe you’re gone. RIP Wale Nigeriaboy.” Leangei Gomez, another young friend, posted this on Wale’s facebook wall, “I still can’t believe you are gone, I have spent my night crying as well as my morning. You were like a brother to many of us, you always had a smile on your face and you were full of life and hope. We will all remember you not as the person we met in high school or the person we met at job, but the person that brought laughter and adventures to our lives. You always knew just what to say to make all of us feel better. I will always remember all the crazy phone calls, our adventures with Manuel, our fights in school; your crazy but amazing and hilarious stories and most importantly, your kind heart. The beloved ones always leave first. We’ll miss you, I will miss you big brother. Rest in peace, Wale “Nigeriaboy.”

On Tuesday night, Dupe, together with friends and family, was still making funeral arrangements to bury her younger brother that took her to an exciting birthday experience and celebration but sadly drowned. “We hope to bury him in Raleigh on Friday.” Friday was yesterday.

Copyright PUNCH.

 

 

TEACHING IS MY LIFE. IT’S WHAT EXCITES ME…PROF ABIOLA AWOSIKA

TEACHING IS MY LIFE. IT’S WHAT EXCITES ME…PROF ABIOLA AWOSIKA

PROF. ABIOLA AWOSIKA

I’D HAVE BECOME UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT IN AMERICA, BUT I’D HAVE BEEN LONELY –PROF. ABIOLA AWOSIKA

Prof. Abiola Awosika, daughter of a one-time minister of finance, Chief Festus Awosika, tells ‘Nonye Ben-Nwankwo and Jesusegun Alagbe all about growing up and why she left the United States of America to come home to Nigeria

Is there anything you’re doing that makes you look younger than a 60-year-old?

Not really. I take care of myself. I eat well and I don’t worry too much about things I can’t change. And I stay active. I walk about three days a week – a distance of 5km, when I have the time, but I try to do it at least three times a week. But everything is just by God’s grace.

Your resume is quite impressive and it shows that you love academics a lot. Was it your ambition to study up to this level?

Well, you can’t stop studying when you are a professor because you have to keep up to date. You don’t want to be stale in knowledge. You try as much as possible to make sure your students don’t know more than you do – at least you are one chapter, or one book, or one event, or innovation ahead of them. But it wasn’t as if I thought about this when I was small, but events in my life as a girl caused me at that time in my 10-year-old mind, to tell myself that I must go to school and study as far as anybody could go. So if they say this or that was the ultimate in my field, that was where I wanted to be when I grew up.

What were these events that made you have this desire?

My father died without a will and we were left with nothing. And my mum would always tell us that the only way she knew anyone could get out of poverty was to get an education. So I wanted to be as far away from poverty as possible and decided I was going to go as high as anyone could go. I found myself in the business field even though in my heart at the beginning, I wanted to study Mass Communication and be on TV and radio. But Mr. Bisi Lawrence, the Director-General at Radio Nigeria conducted an interview for a group of us that had applied to be newscasters back then and when I went for my own interview, he asked me which Awosika was my father, so I told him and he said, ‘Your dad taught me Geometry in high school.’ So he said, ‘I see your yearning for a newscaster’s job, but I want you to go back and finish your professional studies.’ I was studying at the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators at that time and I had an Ordinary National Diploma, applying for Higher National Diploma at Yaba College of Technology. So he said I should go back and finish my studies, but he said he would give me a programme or two because I had the voice and the diction. He said, ‘We will use you, but I don’t want you to make this a career.’ That was a great advice for me at that time. I had already done two parts of the ICSA exams and had like two parts to go, so I decided to take his advice and went off to finish that professional degree. So I travelled to the United States before I finished my HND, where I got my master’s in Business Administration and a Doctor of Business Administration (Finance and Economics). That was how I found myself in the business world.

How easy was it for your mother to train you?

It was not easy. After my father died, we had to move out of the family house and luckily for us, he had insisted that my mum build her own house because she was doing very well in her business. Before then, she was buying fancy clothes and jewellery and all sorts. My father told her, ‘No, this is not how to spend money; I am going to build a safe for you and you’re going to put money in there.’ My father used to travel a lot as he was a minister in the First Republic. So he got a safe for my mum and instructed her to put – say an equivalent of today’s N2,000 – in the safe everyday so that whenever he came back (he knew when he was going to come back and he would simply multiply the amount by the number of days he was away), she would have had enough savings. That was how my mum had enough money to buy land and build. She hadn’t completed it when my father died, so we moved into a windowless house. But we were happy because we were friends. I am one out of nine children my mother bore and we were (and are) closest friends. We usually did not have friends outside of our family. My siblings are my friends. So we had a great time growing up; we didn’t feel poor. My mum made sure we were all educated even though it was difficult for her and I think the least of us has a Bachelor’s degree in our fields. It wasn’t easy, but we were not deprived of the basic things of life. We had joy and there was love.

Was it that your father married another wife?

My mum was the second wife. At that time, native laws and customs were not acceptable and so they went to court and we got the short end of the stick. So we were out of the picture because my father left no will.

After your studies in the US, you still came back. Why didn’t you just stay there?

I came back in 1991 with my family. I went to the University of Benin to lecture for a year, then I went to Adeyemi College of Education where I taught in the Business Department and then I went back to the US. My second coming to Nigeria was in 2009 and by that time, I had risen from being just a lecturer, through the ranks, to being an associate professor, a full professor, Vice-President and dean of the university where I was. My life became something like – wake up in the morning, go to work, go to church, come back home and wake up again in the morning. It was the same routine. My kids were grown and they had their own apartments, so I was actually alone. So I thought what I was doing for the American kids and adult learners, which was a booming market for our university at that time, could also be done in Nigeria. When I came home in 2007 and saw the state of the country, I was brokenhearted. I usually wrote notes in my Bible Study notebooks and I picked one of the notes where I wrote that I had a heavy burden for my country. The scripture that I picked that day was Nehemiah 2:5, which says, “And I said unto the king. If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may build it.” My prayer on that day was that God would count me worthy to be someone that would be able to contribute to the progress of Nigeria. Two years later, God settled things and I decided I should return home. I promised myself that if it was easy for me to go back then, I would, whether I had something to do or not. At first, there was a financial problem, they were going to charge me $10,000 to ship my goods, but suddenly, somebody next door just told me, ‘Did you ask so and so? He ships to Nigeria.’ Then I asked him and he said ‘Yes, with $3,000 I will do it for you.’ So I shipped all my stuff even though I had no idea what I was coming to Nigeria to do. I didn’t have a job, no prospects. I just knew I had my brain and that when I got here, I was going to figure out things. That was how I came back in 2009. This is where I want to be. It gives me joy to make a difference. You know sometimes it’s just a word that you say to a young person and they will pick it and run with it all the days of their lives. And so being around family and being able to help just feels good. It’s a bit lonely over there and for someone who is one out of nine – I mean I grew up in a large family – I couldn’t be by myself any longer and didn’t see what I was doing there more after I had attained the Vice-President level of the university I worked for. The next level was for me to become the president. Yes, I would do well, but I didn’t feel that was what I wanted to do. Already when the president was not around at that time, the place depended on me as the Dean of Academics and Vice-President, but I didn’t think of being the president. I could start my own university if I wanted.

But do you think you could have made it to become the President of the university?

Absolutely! In fact, I was on track to be the president. There were four areas that a university president must be strong in to succeed – academics, admissions, financial management and fundraising. And when my superiors and the board looked at it, fundraising was probably the only area where I needed more training. So I went to Duke University to groom myself. I attended events that were grooming those of us that were on the presidential track, but I just didn’t think I wanted to be in the US again. I wanted to come back to Nigeria. I wasn’t growing younger and I wanted to be home to spend the rest part of my life to impart the people here.

You once worked with Wema Bank…

That was between 1972 and 1975. When I worked at Wema Bank, I didn’t work in the bank per se. I was with the administration division; I also worked with the registry and the training division, I wasn’t into mainstream banking. It wasn’t something I wanted to do.

If you had stayed in the banking industry, don’t you think you probably would have ended up in an organisation like the World Bank or any other international financial organisation?

I don’t know what that would add to me. I have colleagues over there and I don’t think they are any better than me. I could have applied for such job because I had risen high enough in the American system for me to be able to excel, but it wasn’t really my passion.

You must really love teaching…

Absolutely! I usually admonish my students to do what they would do for a living for free. If you wouldn’t do what you do for a living for free, you probably need to be examined, because that means you don’t have the passion and the energy. I would teach for free.

I could have a depressed moment, but if you put me on a podium in front of students, forget it. I could be there for hours non-stop. I used to have a four-hour class when I was in the US and even a full day class. It wouldn’t bore me. While I was there, I could start class by 6am to 10am, but I would tell my students to remind me that we needed to take a break. It’s a wonderful field to be able to impart knowledge. And when you see students having aha moments, like ‘Yes, I got that one,’ one cannot but feel happy. Education was the thing for me. Since I graduated from high school, I have loved teaching. I taught at St. Andrews Primary School, Abeokuta and from there I went to do my OND at YABATECH and then joined Wema Bank, did freelance jobs for radio and television and then I travelled overseas. Finishing my degree, I came back and taught at UNIBEN and Adeyemi College of Education. From these, you can see that education has been my passion.

You were among the people who spearheaded the Obafemi Awolowo University going online. How were you able to achieve that?

All of that was providential. Remember I didn’t know what I was going to do when I came back here. I teach online in some universities in America. So one day, I was doing my work and a friend of mine came with his wife. I asked them to hold on for a few minutes so I could round off my session with my students online. When I joined them later, they asked what I meant by sending a feedback to my students online. They were surprised that despite that I was in Nigeria, I was still teaching students over there. They wanted to know how it worked and I told them. They left here and went to OAU to meet with some other friends, one of whom happened to be the director of the centre for distance learning. From their discussion, it was mentioned that they needed help with their e-learning platform. My friend introduced me to them. They got in touch with me and I went there for like six months to set it up for them. When I finished, I gave them a report, but the new director just put it in a drawer somewhere. A year later, I got a phone call that I would be willing to go back to OAU to help them with what we started because they were having some kind of difficulty. So they brought me in. E-Learning was something I also learnt, because I was always curious and looking for ways to help my students work in a less stressful manner. So anytime a new technology came up, I would ask how it could help my students. That was how I learnt about the system. I was able to bring all of that to the OAU project. We have matriculated about 320 students now on that platform – from Nursing to Accounting and other degree programmes. Not only OAU, we now have Ahmadu Bello University and BABCOCK working with us.

You’ve taught more in the US than in Nigeria. What are you going to do to strike a balance?

I think my life just played out the way it did. When I taught in UNIBEN and Adeyemi College of Education on my return to Nigeria the first time, I thought I would stay in either, but the environment was not conducive and it was very harsh. Having gone through that experience, when I came back the second time, I was ready for whatever would happen. I learnt some lessons from what we went through the first time and I was hoping that I would apply the lessons learnt. Today, I teach more in Nigeria at Olawoyin Awosika School of Innovative Studies.

You set up OASIS?

Yes, I did. It’s part of the initiative from the National Business and Technical Examinations Board for innovative enterprises in tertiary institutions and the idea is that institutions would be more hands-on than theoretical. So there are going to be more practicals than theories. I looked at the curriculum and I realised that it’s the only one I could probably take that would fit into my background. Actually, my intention was to start a university. When I got here, the rules and requirements had changed from the time I started researching and getting ready for it to the time I showed up in Nigeria. So I thought of finding the next step down until time comes to progress to the university level. Thank God that at least we are approved by the Federal Ministry of Education and accredited by NABTEB.

Away from academics, what kind of relationship did you have with your step siblings?

Great, actually! I am happy. Thanks to my mum. She made sure we were not embittered towards one another. At some point, we’ve lived together and we had great times, which were interesting, because I read an article recently by Chief Afe Babalola. He was the attorney for their (my step siblings’) mum at that time and we got Justice Craig as our attorney. I remember those names even though I was 10 at that time. Chief Babalola was quoted as saying some things that were not cool and I went to look for him to let him know that the story actually ended well. He thought there is still bitterness, but the story has ended well. I’m close to my half siblings now.

Having a father who was a minister at that time, how did you feel?

He died when I was 10, so the memory I had of him was limited, but even at that, I realised he was very humble, a frugal man. He was not lavish. The accounts of him that we know, we read in the newspapers. We had to pay to ask them asking if dig into archives to get anything that had our father’s name on it from Daily Times and The Sketch back then. And from what we read about him and the little I knew about him as a young girl, he was a gentle father; he was very hard working and travelled a lot. I grew up in Ibadan with my stepmother; I didn’t grow up with my mum until my father died. I left my mum because I just wanted to be closer to my father than to her and she let me go. So I grew up with them and he would take pictures and shoot videos of us. We just had a great time with him, but he wasn’t usually around because he was going about the country’s business. From what I read in the newspapers, it was an eye-opener to me that no wonder I love finance and education – because these were the things that were in his DNA.

You said something about your ex-husband…

Let’s just say it was distance that separated us. He was here and I was in the US. We came back together in 1991 and he wasn’t interested in going back again, even though I wanted to go back to the US. I didn’t want to go back deliberately, but providentially, I had to, because we weren’t making any headway here. And then again, we had left some personal effects in the US in storage and I was supposed to go back and bring them back here to see if there was anything we could do to salvage ourselves from the situation we were in. But getting to the US, it just didn’t make sense for me to come back here for all of us to just keep struggling. So the plan was that I would work and send money home – which a lot of people do. Kids were going to college and the youngest was going to high school, so it just made sense to take them back to the US. So he sent the kids but he didn’t come with them.

If you had a second chance, would you take that decision again?

I would, because it was a family decision; I did what I thought was best for the family at that time.

So why didn’t you remarry?

When I haven’t found the right man. (Laughs)

Do you have time to do other things considering that you’re always studying or teaching either online or offline?

For instance, I do cook, but not here. At times when I travel to see my daughters, I go to the kitchen. But here, I have help and I do many things that it doesn’t just make sense to leave the more important things for the less important ones. But occasionally, when I want a particular taste, I go to the kitchen myself. I write songs, but I haven’t done that in a long time.

Do you play any instrument?

I play the konga drums. I have a personal one that I beat from time to time.

Do you have time to go to parties?

(Laughs) Who wouldn’t go to parties in Nigeria? What are you talking about? That is what being in Nigeria is all about! You’ve got to have fun and you know it just amazes me that in the midst of hardship and suffering, we still find time to party. I do tell my younger sister who is still in the US – she’s longing to be here now – anytime it’s party time, and she would ask, ‘Where are you guys now?’ And I would reply her, ‘We are at a naming ceremony or other.’ She would say, ‘Hmm, e tun ti gbe gele yin (you’ve tied your headgear again).’ You know it’s so Nigerian. That’s how you relax – to be with family and friends. It’s our social stamina. It’s what keeps us going as a country. For instance, when there’s someone doing wedding ceremony, you know that at least you will dance and eat that day and forget your sorrow. It’s just fun.

What more do you want in life?

Personally, nothing, but for other people, a lot! I would like to see a lot more Nigerians get quality education. I would like to see a Nigeria that is respected anywhere in the world. I would like to see every dream that I can possibly help make come true come true. I live among my people and on average; I feed about 15 people three times a day. That’s all I ask God for – that I might be a positive influence on other people’s lives. I don’t want to be stinking rich; I just want to be comfortable and to be able to do the things I want to do in the lives of people around. That’s all.

What major decision did you take in your life that brought you to where you are today?

Well, the singular decision that has affected my life positively is giving my life to Jesus Christ. With all the difficulties I went through, I couldn’t have coped without Him in my life, because He made things easy for me. I used to be afraid of dying, but now, there’s no big deal. Because I have Christ, I am no more afraid.

Copyright PUNCH.

SOCIAL MEDIA GAINS MOMENTUM IN ONLINE EDUCATION

 

Social media tools allow online students to share information and build a sense of community, experts say.

Results from one survey suggest online instructors are more likely than on-campus instructors to use social media for both personal and professional reasons.
By Jordan Friedman

In his University of Hawaii online course, Introduction to e-Learning, associate professor Michael Menchaca requires his students to introduce themselves to each other by creating 15-second videos on Instagram.

Later in the semester, students “meet” to discuss their group projects using Google Hangouts. Twitter is popular in his classes, too, enabling students to share resources and engage in discussions, Menchaca says.

These are just two examples of the social media tools Menchaca uses to foster communication among his students.

“We’ve had online learning for quite a long time – since the 1990s, when it started to become popular – but the inclusion of social media is something that’s relatively new,” Menchaca says. “A lot of us are starting to use it more. I guess we’re still tinkering around and trying things.”

[Explore ways to use productivity apps in online classes.]

There isn’t much precise data available on social media’s presence in the realm of online education, experts say. But what does exist indicates that professors of both online and in-person classes are more open to incorporating social media into class material.

“About five years ago, it was very much experimental, very much an ‘I’m going to go out there and be a pioneer’ mentality,” says Jeff Seaman, co-director of the Babson Survey Research Group, which conducts research on technology’s impact on higher education. “It wasn’t necessarily thought out. Now, the more established faculty, those using it more, have begun to think of it as one more tool in the arsenal.”

Faculty who teach online courses are more likely than those who don’t to use social media for both personal and professional reasons, according to a 2013 Babson and Pearson Learning Solutions survey. About 41 percent of professors in online and face-to-face classes have used social media in their teaching, the survey says.

The use ​of social media in online learning varies very widely among professors, Seaman says. But, the tools remain a natural way for students to communicate given their prevalence today – even for adult students, says Abbie Brown, professor in the department of mathematics, science and instructional technology education ​at East Carolina University.

“People entering into online education are probably a bit more open to and experienced in using electronic social media,” he says.

Beyond traditional social media platforms, learning management systems that have a social media component, including Blackboard and Moodle, are also common in online learning, says Bethany Smith, director of the media and education technology resource center at North Carolina State University’s College of Education.

“We mimic kind of what Facebook is doing, but in a learning environment,” Smith says.

Seaman, with Babson Survey Research Group, points to two main benefits of using social media in an online classroom: the sense of community it fosters among students, and the ability for students and professors to share information with each other.

Jonah Preising, a student in Menchaca’s class, agrees.

“Social media definitely has a place in education, and for me that place was getting information, even in aspects of research, and in finding emerging trends,” says Preising, who is pursuing a master’s in educational technology.

Linda Weiser Friedman, a statistics and computer information systems professor at the Zicklin School of Business at CUNY—Baruch College, uses blog sites like WordPress and Blogger to facilitate discussion among students.

​For instance, in the first or second week of her Principles of New Media class, students create their own blogs and then post a paragraph or two each week on an assigned topic. Students also comment on their classmates’ work and give each other feedback, creating a kind of “conversation in cyberspace,” Friedman says.

[Explore how technology is being used in the classroom.]

Friedman adds that sites like Twitter also facilitate conversation, though she added that she believes professors “aren’t quite sure what to do with Twitter.” She did note, however, that professors have started using Twitter in hybrid courses by beginning a discussion in class, showing the post to the students and then continuing the conversation outside the classroom, designating a creative hashtag so that it’s easy to find the relevant tweets.

By Jordan Friedman

CONTENTS/PRICE OF THE “NIGERIAN STUDENTS’ SCHOOL EMPOWERMENT HANDBOOK” BY O.O.ODUMOSU

CONTENTS OF THE BOOK

1. ACADEMIC TOOLS FOR EMPOWERMENT-GET ORGANIZED!

Regular Classroom Learning

Are You a Student or a School Attendant?
Classroom Readiness- Sitting and Listening
Lectures/Notes-taking
Notes Completion/Integrity Checks
Recommended Textbooks
Home work
Why You Must Dump Pidgin English When You Are in School

For Higher Learning

University Admission Wars
Life after Jamb and Post Jamb Blues
Studying Abroad and Experiences by Nigerian Students

2. PERSONAL EMPOWERMENT-BE REAL!

Appearance /Cleanliness (Hairstyle, Uniform, Footwear)
Physical Preparedness/Health & Body Fitness/First Aid at Home
Personal Finance/Wisdom

Personal Talents/Perception
-Creative Thinking Skills.
-Emotional Intelligence
-Innovation
-Making Impressions-Acting/Dancing/Playing Musical Instruments/Singing/Vocational Arts and Crafts

Spiritual Preparation/Religious Worship and Virtuous Conduct
-Conscience
-Contemplation
-Contentment
-Faithfulness
-Forgiveness
-Honesty
-Humility
-Politeness

Self-Management
-Self-Assessment (for Strengths and Weaknesses)
-Self-Discretion/Self-Control/Temperament /Self-Discipline
-Self-Denial/Self-Sacrifice

Self-Motivation
-Self-Esteem/Self-Belief /Self-Confidence
-Courage
-Attitude/Positive Thinking/I Can-I Must-I Will Spirit

Stress Management/Sense of Humor/Laughter
Time Management

3. SCHOOLS’ SOCIAL EMPOWERMENT-EXPLORE MORE!

Students’ Leadership & Discipline Skills (As Prefects ,Class Captains-What sort of Leader are you?.)
Giving criticisms more effectively /Handling Criticisms/ Handling Aggression/Dealing with difficult people
Anger Management /Keeping the peace/Mediation/ Use of Language
Assertiveness skills
Being a good team member/Building a good rapport with others
Caring /Empathy/Compassionate
Charisma & Being Friendly
Cheerfulness/Encouragement/Enthusiasm
Communicating to different audiences
Consistency/ Diligence/Enthusiasm
Delegation

Students’ Interpersonal Relationship Skills
Managing/Setting Goals / Decision Making in Students’ Social Clubs including Strategizing if need be/Organizing,/Making Arrangements and Motivating others
Cooperation
Oral Language Skills/Public Speaking/School Debates
Relationships & Peer Pressure Issues
Youth-Terminators (Alcohol/Smoking/Sex/HIV/Cultism)

Students’ Finishing Touches/Etiquette Skills

Students’ Leisure Skills

4. EMPLOYABILITY/COMMUNITY RESPONSIBILITY EMPOWERMENT-BE PREPARED!

44 Links of Education and Careers
Adolescence and Nigeria Politics
Alumni Activities
Applying for a Job/ CV / Resume
Becoming Ambassadors of Your School
Books, Home Library & Life- long learning
Careers/Schooling/Subject Choices
Careers/The 3 Amigos
Coaching, Mentoring and Teaching
Community Service /NYSC
Ecology & Environment
Entrepreneurship/Self Employment
Fair Winds To Your Sails
Get up and Keep Moving
If Your Name is Lost Everything is Lost
Keep a Library of Books at Home and Master the Internet
Killing Nigeria’s Two Mockingbirds—Examination Malpractices & Massive Failures
Life is Tough and Competitive
Life’s Race Must Be Completed
Mind, Body, Soul & Money
Read Poetry, Read Shakespeare
Remember the Friendships you Bonded in College
Remembering Mentors
School Orientation / Indoctrination
Shaken But Never Stirred
Social Media
Time in Secondary School: Best Days of Your Lives?…Perhaps!
Tips on Choosing a Career
Valedictory and Awards’ Ceremonies
Victory Stories
Women and Young Girl (Respect, Empowerment Issues)
You and the Law /Legal Documents and Awareness
You Need Determination When Times Are Tough
Your Eyes Are Designed to Look for Opportunities

5. TUTORS’/PARENTS’ EMPOWERMENT PAGES

33 Bad Habits of Secondary School Students
40 Usual Errors. By School Staff Members
70 Motivational/Discussion Questions
Choosing a School-What Parents Should Look For
Choosing Careers for School Children

Critical thinking
Students’ Problems inventory.

PRICE: N2,500 per copy

“NIGERIAN STUDENTS’ SCHOOL EMPOWERMENT HANDBOOK” BY O.O.ODUMOSU

ABOUT THE BOOK

This is our first e-book or manual written for students, parents, teachers and mentors. Its aim is to enhance the capacity of various users according to their needs. It focuses on Behavioral, Motivational, Finishing Touches and other aspects of Life and Leisure Skills meant to empower students and give them richer school experiences. Parts of the write-ups come from internal work done at our schools namely Mason College and PASS Tutorial College both in Festac, Lagos. There are also contributions, extract, excerpts from many external sources and resources from seminars ,books ,and the internet..We hope our readers will find the contents cheerful and relevant enough to meet each at their points of need. We hereby wish to say a few more words to them:

TO THE STUDENTS
Education takes place throughout life from the cradle up to the end. As we learn each day it is important to be careful of the type of education we get. The years you spend in a secondary school are when you learn the most and pick up most of your habits that will take you through life. So it is important to be careful of the type of things you imbibe.
A long time ago before secondary school you discovered that you were under authority and that you are rule-bound. You have encountered rules at home, regulations at school a bit of the laws of the land and the commandments of God. But not all these laws please you. Some you have defied.
Sometimes life gets a little hectic. Tests to study, home work to submit, household chores to finish. So life gets a bit stressful. But many times those who surround you cannot even understand that life can also be tough at your age. So you have sought for wishful understanding or escape routes many times. In some cases you have cheated on engage yourself in make – believe lifestyles for illusory dreams of what you really want to do, places you’ll like to be or persons you would like to become.
Sometimes you also feel like an island on an unfriendly ocean. Things do go wrong between you and your friends, your parents or your teachers. Misunderstanding or prejudices can separate you from them. Angry words can kill your spirit. When these happens the awful feeling of loneliness and separation set in at home or at school. Not many students can escape the breakdown of communication, feeling of irritation, contempt and words of hostility and bitterness.

This handbook has been written to assist you understand your feelings and relationships with yourself, fellow students, teachers and parents. The book wants to tell you how to nurture your relationships into strong and beautiful structures with your classmates, teachers and parents. That is why it is called STUDENTS’ SCHOOL EMPOWERMENT HANDBOOK.
The contents of the book focus on the following.
a) Academic Tools for Empowerment.
b) Personal Empowerment.
c) Social Empowerment.
d) Empowerment for Employment and Community Responsibility

The handbook was also written for quick reference purposes. Most of the contents are made up of quips, quotes or numbered points which can easily be understood instead of wordy essays. However there are certain parts of the book containing  speeches or stories to enhance the points made in other parts. Those were compiled specially for you in mind and we hope you will find the book interesting . Please take note of the following words of advice as you get set to read the book.
1. If the cap fits, expand your head.
2. You are your owns’ best coach.
3. Reject Failure
4. Develop your own drive
5. Get a life!
6. Perseverance is key to success.
7. Your destiny is in your hands
8. Master your limiting beliefs
9. Strive to stand tall.
10. Review your mind.
11. Be focused.
12. Say “No” to poverty from youth.

TO TEACHERS, MENTORS AND PARENTS
This book is meant as an essential guide for all persons dealing with youth and students. Some of the aims of the book include:
a) As a guide on academic matters
b) To promote good behavior and values
c) To motivate those in charge of youth for better services and students for self – development to overcome adversity and self – defeating habits.
As earlier mentioned the book was compiled over many years from several sources. The contents cover both motivational and inspirational messages in the following forms:
a) Thoughts, Ideas and tips.
b) Guidelines, Techniques and Related Suggestions
c) Sparkling Quips, Quotes, Poetry etc.
We hope many of you will find the contents useful as a reference resource. Above all we expect readers will find fun, leisure, relationship and mental stimulus from reading the book. Though the topics have been arranged under main headings we do not see them as compartmentalized as they might seem to some readers.

EXTERNAL SOURCES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
What we are offering through this book is a combination of our work and other sources. As much as possible the external sources have their names indicated where such extracts or excerpts were used. Exceptions are for those whose names could not be sourced or determined. Any missing acknowledgement should be pointed out to us as soon as it is known for correction as it is not our intention to plagiarize work not belonging to us.
Thank you.

OLUKAYODE O.ODUMOSU (2015)

SEE NEXT POST FOR CONTENTS OF THE BOOK

INTRODUCING EDUPEDIA AND EDUGUIDE’S SERIES OF E-BOOKS! (2)

CONTINUED FROM LAST POST

EDUPEDIA
So for almost 25 years we have actively promoted regular schooling and emphasized remedial education for thousands of secondary school students through our schools and public library in Lagos. Along the line we also got involved in “training the trainers” seminars and conferences. We have not only interacted with students in private schools but also been appointed to serve on rescue teams of public secondary schools. In the same vein we have served on the Education Foundation Boards for revamping public primary schools. We have conducted Jamb Clinics for thousands of students located in different LGAs and LCDAs in Lagos. We have also been guest speakers at the valedictory ceremonies of schools. We have been praised for our qualitative contribution to students’ education and have made our impact felt wherever we were invited.

As far back as 2006 we reviewed the state of things in public schools in Nigeria generally and sent a detailed write up on what needed to be done to the then Honorable Minister of Education Mrs. Ezekwesili. She replied almost immediately thanking and promising to get us more involved in future. But she had to return shortly after to the World Bank. We also sent the same write-up to the two houses of the National Assembly and all education parastatals attached to the Federal Ministry of Education (FMOE). Same to MOES for each state through their liaison offices in Abuja. Though we got invited later for additional exploratory discussions by states such as Ogun, Plateau, Imo, and Cross Rivers states we hope to follow up on these when the security situation in the country improves.

EDUGUIDE

This is a series of e-books made up of helpful hints and guidelines produced /extracted / posted over 40 years to ease the pains of students, teachers and parents. EDUGUIDE was prepared to meet their needs and those of their schools for overall educational excellence. It is also our way of “preaching” on national and international levels what needs be done to improve our three-tier system of secondary school types earlier itemized.
The topics compiled under EDUGUIDE will be useful for personal studies by students and reference by mentors, teachers, parents and those involved in the art and science of teaching or handling youth empowerment. They are also good for students’ clinics and seminars. For tutors in particular it is an innovative compilation of various write-ups prepared by EDUPEDIA consultants or extracts from the works of various specialists and have been carefully divided into various e-books for easy reference and use.
The initial work we are putting out at the moment deal mainly with students of Nigeria or those teaching subjects and techniques for national exams on the West coast of Africa generally. However, we have been touched by the interest and so much love shown to us and our WordPress blogs by people from almost 130 other countries we never expected or dream about. That to us is huge and beyond all our expectations and calculations.
EDUGUIDE series of e-books are unique and are therefore recommended for use by students, parents, tutors, guidance counselors, school management and educational administrators. Some of the e-books like EDUQUOTE and EDUCARE will also be useful to preachers for sermons and church leaders for daily administration. The compilations move from Education Skills in EDUMATHS to Edutainment Skills and finally to Entertainment/Leisure Skills sections under EDUCARE. After all, education is about life, and acquisition of life skills is a major reason students are sent to school in the first place.
We wish all readers and users happy reading and fulfillment from the EDUGUIDE E-BOOKS for sale from our blogs listed as follows:
1) EDUMATHS…84 Steps to Mathematics Heaven

2) EDUSPRING…English Language / Literature (Why students fail both subjects)

3) EDUSTEM…Study and Examination Techniques covering WAEC / NECO/JAMB

4)EDUJAMB…Jamb/Post Jamb, SAT and TOEFL examinations including Notes and Questions on the current Jamb novel for Use of English paper.

5) EDUCARE…Students’ School Empowerment Handbook

6) EDUSTAFF…School Administration, Discipline and Staff Matters (including notes about arranging Remedial Studies and Mentoring for students.)

7) EDUQUOTE…A 40-year compilation of 5000 quips and quotes for students, tutors, parents and even pastors

8) EDUPUZZLES…A compilation of 2500 quizzes, puzzles and games which are useful for Post-Jamb exams or General Paper questions in secondary schools.

9) EDUTAINMENT…A compilation of over 5000 books, movies and music on DVDs and CDs for operational use and reference at our public library known as Lagos Books Club.

10)EDUBEST…A compilation of the best 500 private secondary schools in Nigeria plus related info.

Thank you.

OLUKAYODE O.ODUMOSU (2015)