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About 1.6 Million Nigerian Candidates Registered For 2021 WAEC

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According to Patrick Areghan, head of the Nigeria national office West African Examination Council, about 1.6 million candidates will be seating for 2021 the Examination.

The WASSCE which was earlier scheduled to hold May/June 2021 was put on hold due to the global health pandemic. For that reason, the examination was rescheduled to the month of August.

According to the body, the examination will run from Monday, August 16 to Friday, October 8 across the sub-regions, however, Nigeria will conclude her examination on September 30.

Patrick said, “in accordance with the Final International Timetable, the WASSCE (SC) 2021 will take place throughout the sub-region from Monday, 16th August to Friday, 8th October 2021. However, the examination will end in Nigeria on 30th September 2021 – spanning a period of seven (07) weeks”.

He assured that the management will strictly adhere to the Covid-19 protocols, including ensuring compliance by all stakeholders.

The WAEC boss also reiterated the body zero-tolerance stance against all forms of malpractices; rogue- website operators; the so-called miracle centres and the body will work with security agencies to ensure a smooth sail of the examination.

He said, “We are also closely watching out for the so-called ‘Special’ or ‘Miracle’ centres. These are not coinages by WAEC. They exist only in the imaginations of the perpetrators and patronizers. Even though we cannot claim to be oblivious of such a scenario, they are centres where candidates are promised assistance for cheap grades by ‘examination contractors’. We will definitely not allow them. No matter how remotely located they are, our in-built anti-malpractice mechanism will fish them out. It will not be wise to spend a whole six years preparing for the examination, only to end up not getting any result. So please, be warned!”

According to statistics, it was revealed that 19,425 recognized schools from the 36 states in Nigeria registered for this year’s examination, and candidates will be examined in 76 subjects with a total of 197 papers.

“The statistics for the examination shows that 19,425 recognized secondary schools, comprising 8,052 public and 11,373 private schools, spread across the nooks and crannies of the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, which would be presenting a total of 1,573,789 candidates, comprising 792,620 males (50.36%) and 781,169 females (49.64%), for the examination. Candidates would be examined in 76 subjects, made up of 197 papers. About 25,000 senior teachers would be participating in the examination as supervisors” he added.

The Head of WAEC, Nigeria called on candidates to ensure that they have their National identification number, NIN as candidates will not be allowed to take the subsequent examinations.

His words: “Let me also use this medium to announce that as we continue to make progress in the conduct of the Council’s business in Nigeria, National Identification Number (NIN) will become a major requirement for registration for the WASSCE examination with effect from the WASSCE for School Candidates, 2022 and subsequent diets (No NIN, no entry!).

“This means that all prospective candidates must register with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and get their National Identification Number (NIN). This is in line with the Federal Government’s policy, as directed by the Federal Ministry of Education”.

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Federal Government Shortlists 5,000 for Oil and Gas Sector Overseas Scholarships

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The Federal Government has shortlisted 5,000 candidates for its prestigious overseas scholarships.

The announcement was made through the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) in Abuja.

Bolanle Agboola, the Head of the Overseas Scholarship Scheme at PTDF, disclosed that the selection process for the 2024 scholarships had reached its final stage.

She revealed that the shortlisted candidates had participated in rigorous examinations across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria.

“The purpose of this initiative is to empower Nigerians with high-tech skills required in the oil and gas industry,” Agboola stated. “The selection process was conducted simultaneously in various universities across the country.”

Highlighting the importance of the scholarships, Agboola emphasized the need for Nigeria to indigenize its oil and gas sector.

“Our target is to select the best candidates for the overseas scholarships,” she said. “This initiative aligns with the government’s goal of building local capacity in the oil and gas industry.”

When asked about the number of participants to be selected, Agboola explained that each state of the federation would receive an equal allocation of successful candidates based on the budget for the year.

However, she refrained from disclosing the exact budget allocated for the scholarship scheme.

Agboola defended the decision to send scholars abroad, citing the high-tech nature of the oil and gas industry and the need for hands-on experience with cutting-edge equipment and technology.

She also mentioned PTDF’s in-country scholarship program, where participants are trained in Nigeria.

The overseas scholarships will be offered in various universities in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Malaysia, providing Nigerian scholars with access to world-class education and training in the oil and gas sector.

With this initiative, the Federal Government aims to equip Nigerian professionals with the expertise needed to drive innovation and development in the nation’s vital oil and gas industry, ensuring its sustainability and competitiveness on the global stage.

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JAMB Releases 36,540 Withheld UTME Results, Dismisses Cyber Breach Claims

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The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has quelled concerns over the integrity of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) results by releasing an additional 36,540 previously withheld scores.

This move follows earlier revelations of withheld results and assertions of a cyber security breach.

Fabian Benjamin, the spokesperson for JAMB, confirmed the release of these results in a statement issued late Tuesday in Abuja.

This latest batch of released scores, when combined with the 531 previously unveiled, brings the total number of results made public to 1,879,437.

Benjamin took the opportunity to address circulating rumors regarding the security of the UTME results.

He categorically dismissed claims of a cyber security breach, saying that the examination outcomes remain intact and securely stored.

He stressed that the results are not stored in any cloud system and thus cannot be compromised by external entities.

At the time of the UTME release, JAMB had disclosed that certain results were withheld pending further investigation.

Subsequently, 531 of these results were recently unveiled with the remainder still under scrutiny.

Benjamin explained that any candidates implicated in examination malpractice are undergoing thorough investigation.

The examination board intends to meticulously review footage from CCTV cameras installed across all accredited centers to ascertain each candidate’s involvement.

Benjamin urged the public to remain vigilant against misinformation originating from sources not affiliated with JAMB.

He attributed the discrepancies in minimum admissible scores to variations among tertiary institutions. Some institutions, he noted, proposed lower minimum scores than others, resulting in varying benchmarks.

Benjamin clarified that these benchmarks are determined collectively by all Heads of Institutions during the annual Policy Meeting on Admissions, ensuring uniformity across the country.

Also, Benjamin cautioned religious organizations against overstepping their designated roles.

He warned against the dissemination of false information to governmental bodies for personal gain.

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International Students in Germany Get Pre-Study Work Rights Under New Law

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Germany has implemented a new segment of its revamped skilled worker law, granting international students significant pre-study work rights.

This move aims to attract skilled workers from various sectors while fostering integration and easing financial burdens for students.

Under these fresh regulations, non-EU citizens applying for study visas can now arrive in Germany up to nine months before their studies commence.

During this period, which was previously not permitted for work, students are allowed to work part-time for up to 20 hours per week.

This change particularly benefits prospective students from developing countries, offering them the opportunity to support themselves financially while preparing for their academic pursuits.

The revised skilled worker law also extends its support to individuals interested in apprenticeships in Germany.

Third-country nationals seeking apprenticeships can now reside in the country for nine months, provided they demonstrate a B1-level proficiency in German and are below the age of 35.

During this preparatory period, they are permitted to engage in part-time work, laying the groundwork for their transition into full-time training once they secure an apprenticeship position.

Moreover, the new regulations enhance work opportunities for international students already enrolled in German institutions.

The permitted work duration for students has been extended from 120 to 140 full days in any calendar year, equivalent to 20 hours per week, or 280 half days per calendar year.

This adjustment acknowledges the financial challenges students may face and provides them with greater flexibility to manage their expenses.

In addition to pre-study work rights, graduates of German universities now benefit from an extended post-graduation stay of 18 months for job hunting.

This extended period offers graduates ample time to seek employment opportunities within Germany, with the option to apply for permanent residence after two years of continuous employment.

Overall, these amendments to Germany’s skilled worker law underscore the country’s commitment to attracting and retaining international talent.

By providing enhanced work opportunities and support mechanisms for students and graduates, Germany aims to strengthen its position as a hub for global education and professional development.

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