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The first ladies and the last man (2)

In general, our examination system at all levels should have been goal-based, process-based and outcomes-based but a critical analysis of the examinations we give to learners in Nigeria shows it is not.

If we do not revise our examination systems and indeed our education system by 2030, Nigeria will be left at the train station or most probably at the motor parks.

Of course, any parent would be pleased that his son or daughter has come first or second in class or level, and in a system where our prize-giving ceremonies are traditionally to recognize student’s achievement, based on what students crammed and regurgitated for examinations. And yet, they say education is what is left in your head when all you crammed for examinations have disappeared!

If exams are abolished, by what parameters would learners be assessed in Nigeria?

For now, we must throw our archaic examination system out through the window and welcome with a broad and huge bear hug the need to use proficiency, performance badges simulations, open question, one on one sessions, online forums and discussion groups, group projects and peer-based feedbacks, and scenario-based assessment and case studies to instil self-discipline in our children to enable them to master all the skills they need to succeed in life.”

The focus group (consisting of wives of old boys of St. Gregory’s College) has encouraged me to venture into tackling crucial national issues particularly drugs.

Read Also: Nigeria loses $1bn to gas flaring

“Daily Trust” newspaper, September 25, 2021

“Drug abuse : Psychiatric patients flock hospitals in Calabar, Awka”

“The principal psychologist at the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Calabar, Dr EyoAsuquo, has disclosed that there is an increasing number of psychiatric patients arriving at their facility in recent times.

In an interview, he attributed the reason to increasing abuse of hard drugs, such as Tramadol, Nicotine, Cannabis, Indian hemp, as well as high intake of alcohol by victims.

Findings revealed that as at press time, 93 drug-related patients were accommodated at the seven wards of the hospital.

Asuquo said, “As a result of the increase in the number of patients, an emergency ward was created to receive them. We have seven wards that accommodate different levels of psychiatric disorders. We have a multi-disciplinary approach to their treatment.”

He said they took time to attend to individual cases and discharge those whose conditions got better than when they were admitted.

He also said the rate of recovery differed from one patient to another, depending on the degree of disorder.

He expressed gratitude to the federal government for restoring and re-equipping the facility better than when hoodlums destroyed it during the #ENDSARS protest last October.

A member of staff of the hospital, who did not want his name mentioned, said patients were brought in from different parts of the state and other places.

“At present, the facility is functioning as it should. Patients are brought in from parts of the state and outside. Our experts attend to them every working day, except Wednesday,” he disclosed.

Another member of staff said they only received 10 per cent instead of the 40 per cent hazard allowance promised them by the government.

In Anambra State, the Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Nawfia, Awka South, has many patients.

Our correspondent who visited the hospital observed that as early as 8.30am, doctors were already in their consulting offices attending to patients.

Speaking with our correspondent, a patient, who identified himself as Mike, thanked the hospital management for the care and treatment he received.

He said the journey to the facility was a long one that he did not want to share with anybody.

One of his relatives, Uche Daniel said, “We thank God for healing him. We hope he would not repeat the cause of the problem.”

One of the doctors who spoke on condition of anonymity said the hospital received an average of five patients every week.

He said most of the patients were induced by hard drugs or the popular Indian hemp, adding that the state government should pay special attention to the hospital.

On the challenges of the hospital, he said it lacked adequate funding and manpower like any other public institution in the country.”

The focus group also wants me to tackle gas flaring.

Front page headline “The Guardian” newspaper of September 30, 2021.

“Nigeria, others losing $82 Billion from gas flaring yearly”

“By flaring, rather than utilising gas for power generation or other domestic needs, Nigeria and other nations involved in such act , could lose up to $82bn a year due to global gas flaring, says Global Data report.

The report identified the biggest gas flarers, accounting for over 87 per cent of all flared gas in 2020, to include Nigeria, Algeria, Angola, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, the US and Venezuela.

Though the Federal Government had pledged to end the burning of gas as a by-product of oil production by 2030, under its latest climate plan submitted to the United Nations, independent sources state that Nigeria flared an average of 11.1m3/bbl of gas last year.

With 7.83bcm in 2019, up from 7.44bcm in 2018, the World Bank ranked Nigeria as having the seventh-largest volume under the Global Gas Flaring Tracker Report (GCFR), despite having a low level of energy access.

Nigeria reduced flaring by 70 per cent between 2000 and 2020, according to the International Energy Agency, as a result of tougher penalties and incentives to capture and sell the gas.

However, the Nigeria Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP) has loopholes, and penalties are low and weakly enforced. International oil majors report slow progress in eliminating wasteful flaring, analysts have claimed.

GlobalData notes that, even though technological solutions exist to avoid gas flaring, many countries persist with the activity – including developed countries such as the United States and Russia. Besides lost revenue, this is also an environmental issue, as gas flaring is one of the major contributors to CO2 emissions.

According to Global Data’s report, ‘Gas Flaring-Thematic Research’ countries could make up to $82bn if they utilise this gas instead of flaring it.

Senior Oil and Gas Analyst at Global Data, Anna Belova, said: “It would do many countries, especially in Europe and Asia where natural gas prices are setting all-time records, a lot of good if oil and gas operators found the strategy to sell this gas rather than lose it – not only for the money but for meeting their CO2 targets too.”

Belova added: “The top 12 gas-flaring countries, flared almost 13 billion cubic feet of gas per day (bcfd). To put that into context, that amount of gas could easily keep the whole of Japan well supplied for a year. All of that power has simply gone to waste.”

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