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First Bank to Sponsor 2023 High School Entrepreneurship Competition

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FirstBank Headquarter - Investors King

First Bank alongside JA Africa is set to organise the 2023 Company of the Year competition, Africa’s high school entrepreneurship competition.

A statement from the bank said the theme of the event which took take place in Lagos was ‘Fuelling Changemakers’.

It said the JA Africa Company of the Year competition which returned for the 12th year in a row, and the first in-person meeting post COVID-19 after two successful virtual competitions was JA Africa’s annual celebration of winning teams from the JA Company Programme.

In a statement, it said it was a programme which equipped senior secondary school level students with the entrepreneurial skillset and mindset to solve problems in their communities by launching a business venture and unleashing their entrepreneurial spirit.

The statement said, “The young entrepreneurs who compete at JA Africa’s COY go through qualifying competitions at national and sub-national levels, competing against thousands of youth startups to qualify for the regional competition.

“This programme transitions them into employment and transforms them into employers. Having emerged as national winners, they will represent their countries on the continental stage where they have the arduous task to impress a panel of international business professionals who serve as judges.”

According to the statement, FirstBank’s sponsored winners of the 2022 Junior Achievement Nigeria National Company of the Year competition – Green Apex from the International School, University of Lagos, would represent Nigeria in the JA Africa Company of the Year competition.

The Chief Executive Officer, JA Africa, Simi Nwogugu, said, “Given the increasingly complex set of global challenges facing young people around the world from unemployment to climate change and food shortage, we focus on equipping our students to be solution providers who bring about positive change within their communities while developing businesses that generate wealth.

“Our students have demonstrated great resilience and innovation in grappling with these challenges and I am extremely proud of all of them. I am also deeply grateful to all our sponsors who stayed with us throughout the pandemic period and contributed greatly towards making this a live event again.”

The Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, FirstBank, Folake Ani-Mumuney, said, “The 2022 Junior Achievement Company of The Year competition remains another viable opportunity to promote the entrepreneurship skills, spirit and talent innate in school children, across Africa.”

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Education

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

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University - Investors King

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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University - Investors King

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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