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PREMIUM TIMES, partners launch weekly roundtable to appraise Nigeria’s basic education

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Africa’s leading investigative newspaper – PREMIUM TIMES, has partnered a veteran broadcaster and English Language pronunciation expert, Bimbo Oloyede, to launch a weekly roundtable forum for education experts, policy makers, parents, students and other relevant stakeholders towards appraising the declining fortune of education in Nigeria.

Mrs Oloyede, who will serve as the presenter of the programme which runs on Zoom, a video conferencing platform, is the team lead for Strictly Speaking, a media and English Language training organisation.

The pilot episode, tagged; “The Dialogue (Basic Education Series), which is sponsored by the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ), will run between Wednesday, November 10 and December, 2021.

The first episode of the programme is designed to feature journalists who have published relevant investigative reports on the basic education subsector and which were sponsored by WSCIJ.

According to the organisers, the initiative is aimed at advancing conversations around the issues raised in the reports towards gaining maximum impacts for the benefit of the country.

Why the dialogue?

Speaking on the reason behind the programme, Mrs Oloyede said as the fulcrum for national development, the lost glory in Nigeria’s education sector can only be reclaimed through deliberate and intentional media campaigns that expose the rot and mobilise for action.

She said: “It has been famously said that if you think education is expensive try ignorance. Unfortunately, in Nigeria, these words have been stretched to the point that ignorance has been superseded by neglect. The cost of this neglect has become embarrassingly and painfully clear, over the last decade. The more the education sector declines, the more desperate the situation becomes, offering diminishing hope and a darker future for our children, the economy and the nation.

“I have become aware of so many alarming aspects within the educational sector, all of which require serious attention. The causative factors cut across systems and practices, resulting in disheartening realities, which have worsened in recent times, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Indeed, new factors have emerged that have become even more disturbing.

“Therefore, the time has come to fashion a ‘new normal’ that not only halts this obvious deterioration but is also beneficial and sustainable. It is imperative that the education sector comes under public scrutiny and nothing short of an intentional and deliberate campaign to expose the rot, will remedy the situation.”

Modality

The organisers said the host, guests and participants will all join the zoom link that will be provided for each edition while the one-hour programme will also be streamed live on the PREMIUM TIMES’ Facebook page for wider audience.

The first edition, which is scheduled to feature the crime editor of New Telegraph Newspapers, Juliana Francis; Nura Bashir Faggo, a reporter with the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria in Bauchi State, and Elizabeth Osayande of Vanguard Newspapers to discuss their recent works on the state of infrastructure in Nigerian schools, cost of attacks on schools, among other issues.

READ ALSO: FG restates commitment to technical education

Also to be featured on the programme is the head of development desk at PREMIUM TIMES, Mojeed Alabi, who just returned from Maiduguri, where he visited internally displaced persons camps and gained firsthand knowledge on the impacts of violent attacks on education in the North-east region.

The team urges every concerned stakeholder in Nigeria’s basic education system to join the programme through a zoom link; https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84493260744?pwd=SU43aXVrc0NpSUhGSml5SmxxUVN6Zz09; with further details including the meeting ID: 844 9326 0744 and passcode: 050371.

Reason for basic education

The sponsor of the pilot episodes, WSCIJ, said within the last five years that it launched its Regulators Monitoring Programme (REMOP) for basic education, it has realised how the continued neglect of the subsector may rapidly aggravate Nigeria socio-economic challenges.

The centre said realities have shown that the figure of out-of-school children must have significantly increased in the current year, especially following the increasing violence against schools and the biting consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.

WSCIJ said it is proud to be part of the history and that it would be willing to lend a helping hand within its limit towards any initiative that is targeted at nation building.

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Biden’s Democrats Are a Joke and So Are Trump’s Republicans—Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game?

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The Paradise Breaking News

In 2020, Democrats were given a chance to lead. And while it’s too soon to declare this presidency an abject failure, things are not looking good. Joe Biden continues to be plagued by COVID-19, disappointing jobs reports, and anemic approval ratings. If all goes as expected, the Republican Party will recapture Congress next year. But then what?

As long as Biden is president, Republicans can simply be the resistance party. But at some point, a political party has to lead. As far as I can tell, Republicans don’t have a proactive agenda—in part because they haven’t been forced to come up with a coherent program and get the rest of their house in order. This laissez-faire attitude toward leadership is a disservice to the American public and the GOP.

In a different world, the GOP’s recent behavior (starting with nominating Donald Trump in 2016) would have resulted in an enduring political backlash, much like the one Republicans suffered after the presidency of Herbert Hoover (the last president to lose re-election and both chambers of Congress). Republicans would have been chastened and forced to get serious and earn back our respect. Instead, for reasons that have little to do with deserving power, they are poised to take back Congress in the 2022 midterm elections. And as far as I’m concerned, the 2024 presidential election is a jump ball.

There are no “permanent majorities” in American politics (Ronald Reagan was elected just six years after the Watergate scandal forced Richard Nixon to resign), but what kind of message does rebounding so quickly (and easily) send to political parties?

A lengthy trial in the wilderness might have forced the GOP to up its game in order to compete. Instead, multiple factors, including the Democratic Party’s failure to lead, as well as a market distortion (structural biases in the distribution of population), have conspired to prevent the GOP from hitting rock bottom, depriving them of the opportunity to get clean and sober.

Ironically, Republicans are now ...er child for the perils of protectionist policies. In a free market, superior products get rewarded, while inferior and inefficient purveyors become victims of “creative destruction.” This process incentivizes innovation and quality, benefiting consumers. But what happens when, no matter how bad the service gets, a company becomes disconnected from this critical feedback?

We are seeing the political version of that right now; the GOP’s “mean girl” fights between Reps. Lauren Boebert, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Nancy Mace are making headlines, on the heels of Boebert and Greene making racist comments about a colleague, Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar. It’s doubtful that either will be removed from their committees.

Meanwhile, the GOP is set to field a new crop of questionable candidates, like former football star Hershel Walker. And yet, Republicans continue to be the heavy favorites in 2022. These are not the behaviors of a serious party that fears being out of power and is doing everything possible to deserve victory. If and when Republicans win, despite failing to get their own house in order, it will only reaffirm their belief that they don’t have to.

Nobody wants to hit rock bottom, of course, but it is often the prerequisite for change.

Instead, like the man who gets paid just enough to keep him from quitting, who does just enough work to avoid being fired, the GOP remains mired in incompetence. It’s the Peter Principle for political parties.

The fact that the Supreme Court could be on the cusp of overturning Roe v. Wade is yet another indication that Republicans are making progress. Likewise, Glenn Youngkin’s victory in Virginia in 2021 and Trump’s surprisingly strong performance in 2020 (for a Republican) among minority groups, especially Hispanics, only serve to calm the nerves of any Republican who might otherwise worry about the electoral impact of the GOP’s erratic behavior.

Republicans’ lack of competence and sanity should have them reeling politically. Instead, the worst you can say is that they missed critical opportunities—like earlier this year, when (thanks to Trump) they blew both U.S. Senate seats in Georgia, costing them control of the upper chamber.

Of course, a similar criticism could also be levied against Democrats. For 10 months now, I have documented the mistakes Joe Biden and Democrats have made—mistakes that prevented them from capitalizing on the GOPs problems, seizing the abandoned middle ground, and becoming something akin to at least a temporary governing majority. Biden had a golden opportunity to incorporate disaffected Republicans into his moderate coalition, but he managed to piss it away in the matter of a few months.

Just as playing against a good tennis partner will raise your game, the opposite must be true. Both parties seem committed to minority status. Either party could, conceivably, capitalize on the other’s vulnerability. But why should they when they can often win without really trying and avoid ever hitting rock bottom. To paraphrase Leonard Cohen, one of them cannot be wrong.

I am reminded of an old joke about a farmer who buys a horse for $100. He puts new shoes on it and sells it back to his neighbor for $120. His neighbor adds a saddle, and sells it back to him for $140. This goes on several times until the original neighbor sells the horse to someone else for $500. The incredulous neighbor asks, “Why would you sell it to someone else? You and I were both making a good profit off of that horse!”

The obvious point here is that it is laughable to think that by going back and forth either party is really getting ahead. We just keep trading back and forth, occasionally making some small improvements, but mostly just kicking the can down the road.

America needs two strong and sane political parties; instead, we have none.

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11 Products That Will Make Your Plants the Envy of Your Friends

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vivosun 3 1 soil tester

Healthy, vibrant plants add a lot to a home, whether jasmine vines, lilac bushes or other outdoor plants or air plants (really!), succulents or spider plants indoors. Just because you weren’t born with a green thumb doesn’t mean that your plants need to suffer or detract from your home.

And let’s face it. Even those with the greenest thumbs find work, kids, volunteering and other commitments leave little time for plant care. Whether you have all indoor plants or a top-notch outdoor garden, there are an array of aids to keep your blooms and greens bright.

11 Plants Products You Won’t Be Able to Live Without

In these modern times, even the most hopeless would-be horticulturist can grow and maintain plants that are the envy of friends, family and neighbors thanks to some innovative products. We found 11 of the best and listed them below. Give them a try, and you’ll see your plants bloom and brighten with the best of them. As always, the prices listed may fluctuate over time.

1. Vivosun 3-in-1 Soil Tester

Use the Vivosun 3-in-1 Soil Tester for blooming perfect plants.
Amazon

My mom had a green thumb, something I absolutely didn’t inherit. If I don’t drown my plants, I leave them gasping for a drink. That’s why the Vivosun 3-in-1 Soil Tester is vital, even if you have a better sense of plant care than I do. This soil tester measures pH range, moisture or relative light. All you do is put the probes on the 12.3-inch by 3.8-inch by 1.5-inch tester into the soil, toggle the switch to moisture/pH/light, make sure the pointer on the dial swings, wait 10 minutes to read the level and remove the probe from the soil. Then wipe it clean. Presto––get ready for top-notch blooms.

Buy at Amazon for $9.99.

2. Winston Porter Self Watering Window Box Planter

You can basically set up the Winston Porter Self Watering Window Box Planter and forget it. The result – healthy, envy-inducing outdoor plants.
Wayfair

Winston Porter Self Watering Window Box Planter is a must-have for your outdoor plants, whether you’re an over-or-under-waterer like me. First, it’s made out of plastic polyethylene, which is durable, sturdy and looks great whether you choose black, espresso, graphite gray or white. The big win is the sub-irrigation, which basically means it takes care of itself. It comes in three sizes, too, so choose the one that works for you.

Buy at Wayfair from $113.99.

3. Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food

Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food
Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food is a must-have for all plant lovers.
Walmart

We can’t make a list of items that will make your plants the envy of your friends without mentioning Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food. It’s seemingly been around forever. Although there are different formulas for various flowers, shrubbery and beyond, this indoor plant food is a must-have for every plant lover. Just follow the directions to determine if your once-a-week application should be mixed in water or applied to the soil. Then use it and watch them thrive.

Buy at Walmart for $4.48.

4. Gronomics Succulent Chalkboard Front Planter

Gronomics Succulent Chalkboard Front Planter
The Gronomics Succulent Chalkboard Front Planter adds some jazzy style to succulents.
Home Depot

Plant lovers know that succulents are easy to grow but can look a tad, well, boring. Jazz them up by planting them in the Gronomics Succulent Chalkboard Front Planter. It’s made of 100 percent western red cedar, has three holes for plants, keyholes for hanging and “blackboards” on each side. Grab some chalk and have fun drawing, writing messages, or whatever works for you on this 4-inch by 4-inch by 16-inch planter.

Buy at Home Depot for $36.27.

5. Sarah Burrows and Nick Behr Mason Jar

Sarah Burrows and Nick Behr Mason Jar
Sarah Burrows and Nick Behr Mason Jar Herb Garden add quirky retro looks to your herb garden.
Uncommon Goods

Retro looks aren’t just popular for furniture and paint colors, you know. Sarah Burrows and Nick Behr Mason Jar Herb Garden combine the exterior charm of yesteryear with a passive hydroponic system that is very modern. That system brings nutrients to the plant’s roots while regulating moisture. Grab this mason jar garden, read the instructions and start that fresh herb garden you always wanted.

Buy at Uncommon Goods for $22.

6. La Jolíe Muse Store Animal Planter Pot

The La Jolie Muse Store Animal Planter
The La Jolie Muse Store Animal Planter Pot set allows for proper air circulation and drainage.
Amazon

The La Jolie Muse Store Animal Planter Pot set is that rare combination of quirky and practical. Both the llama and the goat are made of a blend of ceramic and sand to form a rough pottery design that creates air circulation for the plant. The llama measures 6.1 inches by 9.1 inches, and the goat is 4.5 inches by 6.3 inches. Both have drainage holes to prevent root rot. And they look darned cute, too.

Buy at Amazon from $32.99.

7. Sol 72 Outdoor Elevated Planter with Trellis

 Sol 72 Outdoor Elevated Planter With Trellis
The Sol 72 Outdoor Elevated Planter with Trellis is ideal for your outdoor vine plants.
Wayfair

If you want others to envy your plants, consider breaking free of standard planters. The Sol 72 Outdoor Elevated Planter with Trellis measures 55.9 inches by 39.4 inches by 16.9 inches, so it’s plenty large enough to handle jasmine, sweet potato and other vines. Not only does this trellis look great, but it’s also eco-friendly.

Buy at Wayfair for $144.99.

8. Palram Canopia Hybrid Walk-In Greenhouse

Palram Canopia Hybrid Walk-In Greenhouse
Take your plants to the next level by growing them in the Palram Canopia Hybrid Walk-In Greenhouse.
Walmart

Put your extra outdoor space to good use with the Palram Canopia Hybrid Walk-In Greenhouse. It has translucent polycarbonate roof panels that retain twice the heat of single-layer panels and ensure light filters to all plants in the greenhouse. Other features of this 6-foot by 4-foot greenhouse include an integrated gutter system for drainage, a roof vent, a hinged door for improved airflow and adjustments for heat, humidity and ventilation. Larger sizes are available.

Buy at Walmart for $492.86.

9. Dakota Fields 5-Piece Hanger Set

Dakota Fileds 5-Piece Plant Hanger Set
The Dakota Fields 5-Piece Plant Hanger Set displays your plants in a variety of ways (Wayfair).

Boho doesn’t mean impractical. Consider the Dakota Fields 5-Piece Plant Hanger Set. The woven, 100 percent pure cotton plant hangers hold either 4- or 6-inch pots. The cotton is pastoral and has beige tones that are sure to complement any room motif. The set comes with ten durable hooks that you can anchor to your ceiling, balcony or another surface. Attach the hanger, pull out the side ropes, set your plant in the hanger, and your plants are looking good.

Buy at Wayfair for $36.99.

10. Cameo Konfrst Nourishing Air Plant Spray

Air Plant Spray
The Cameo Konfrst Nourishing Air Plant Spray offers nutrients that make plants thrive.
Uncommon Goods

OK, even someone like me can usually keep an air plant alive. Of course, you can’t completely ignore air plants. When air plants are in nature, they absorb nutrients from air and rain. Inside environments don’t offer that. The Cameo Konfrst Nourishing Air Plant Spray is a low-nitrogen formula that provides the nourishment air plants need. Because, let’s face it, dead air plants just aren’t cool.

Buy at Uncommon Goods for $15.

11. Buteny LED Grow Light

Buteny Grow Light
The three-headed Buteny LED Grow Light gives your plants the light they need at a bargain price.
Amazon

Cloudy days can wreak havoc on your plants. How can they thrive without light? The answer is Buteny LED Grow Light. Clip it on a surface. Then use the preset timer to set it to turn it on and off at your preferred times. This grow light has 60 LED beads (39 red, which aid germination and 21 blue, which aid synthesis of chlorophyll), three 360-degree rotatable goosenecks, six dimmable levels and three lighting modes. The corded electric light measures 13.54 inches by 5.55 inches by 3.23 inches. It’s available at a budget price, too.

Buy at Amazon from $27.99.

Newsweek may earn a commission from links on this page, but we only recommend products we back. We participate in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites.

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Vídeo: veja o estrago de dois anos de garimpo ilegal em uma terra indígena na Amazônia

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tasai redes

Imagens gravadas na primeira semana de dezembro em uma operação do Ibama na terra indígena Sai-Cinza, em Jacareacanga, sudoeste do Pará, mostram como a mineração ilegal avança rapidamente sobre áreas protegidas da Amazônia. O barranco — como é chamada a área desmatada para exploração de ouro — soma quase quatro quilômetros quadrados, mais de duas vezes a área do Parque Ibirapuera, em São Paulo.

O vídeo foi entregue ao Rainforest Investigations Network do Pulitzer Center por uma fonte anônima, e compartilhado com o Intercept para publicação. O imenso garimpo ilegal registrado no vídeo demorou apenas dois anos para corroer a imensa área encravada no meio da floresta.

Imagens de satélite cedidas pela Earthrise Media, uma agência não-governamental dos Estados Unidos, mostram que os primeiros sinais desse garimpo começaram a surgir em julho de 2019. A área do garimpo ilegal foi calculada a partir dos dados de desmatamento anual levantamentos pelo sistema Prodes, do Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais, o Inpe. Entre agosto de 2019 e julho de 2020, o garimpo tomou 2,9 quilômetros quadrados. Desde então, ele avançou e ocupou mais 1,07 quilômetro quadrado.

Com o incentivo de Bolsonaro: região era intocada até 2019. Desde então, perdeu quatro quilômetros quadrados de floresta.

©?Airbus DS/Earthrise

Com dois minutos de duração, o vídeo mostra um sobrevoo em parte do garimpo ilegal. Ele é tão extenso que mal é possível perceber que ali existia parte de um igarapé, o Joari. O rio é um dos que está sendo destruído pelo garimpo: 3,62 quilômetros quadrados de sua área já foram afetados pela mineração ilegal. Os dados são de um estudo do Greenpeace Brasil, que também revelou que pelo menos 632 quilômetros de rios das terras indígenas Sai-Cinza e Munduruku foram ocupados pela mineração ilegal desde 2016. Apenas em 2020, 235 quilômetros de rios foram afetados nos dois territórios.

“Em garimpos desse tamanho fica difícil até saber qual a dinâmica de exploração, se há mais de um dono, por exemplo”, me disse explica Rômulo Batista, porta-voz do Greenpeace na Amazônia. “O que percebemos é que o tamanho dessas instalações para exploração ilegal de ouro também é influenciado pela certeza da impunidade, que aumentou muito devido à política antiambiental do atual governo”.

Mapa: Rodrigo Bento/The Intercept Brasil

Segundo Batista, há rios que correm dentro do território Munduruku que tiveram 14 quilômetros quadrados de sua de área destruída pela mineração ilegal apenas em 2020. Um comunicado do Greenpeace explica que houve um aumento de 2.278% na extensão de rios destruídos dentro da terra indígena nos últimos cinco anos.

O uso de mercúrio para separar o ouro do barro retirado do fundo dos rios traz ainda outro perigo às águas da Amazônia: a contaminação pelo metal tóxico. Um estudo da Fundação Oswaldo Cruz apontou que todos os habitantes de três aldeias da Terra Indígena Sawré Muybu, da etnia Munduruku, no Médio Tapajós, no Pará, estão contaminados com o metal. A contaminação por mercúrio está associada a problemas como má-formação de bebês e doenças neurológicas.

A Constituição proíbe a mineração em terras indígenas até que haja uma lei para regulamentar a atividade. Em fevereiro de 2020, o governo federal apresentou o projeto de lei 191/2020 para viabilizar a mineração em territórios indígenas. O texto ainda não foi votado na Câmara, mas o tema conta com apoio público de Bolsonaro, o que é criticado por ambientalistas.

“O presidente Bolsonaro, ao deslegitimar com suas falas os órgãos ambientais e enfraquecê-los e, ao mesmo tempo, romantizar a atividade do garimpo, dá um sinal claro de permissividade às atividades ilegais”, me disse Suely Araújo, especialista em políticas públicas do Observatório do Clima e ex-presidente do Ibama. Isso é reforçado, segundo ela, pelo projeto de lei enviado ao Congresso – que ela classifica como “pavoroso” e “ode ao garimpo”. “O resultado não poderia ser outro: a explosão do garimpo ilegal em terras indígenas e outros locais, com destruição ambiental irreparável”.

Mesmo assim, a mineração em terras indígenas cresce, muitas vezes com a cumplicidade do governo Bolsonaro. Só na Terra Indígena Sai Cinza, onde o vídeo foi gravado, existem 11 requerimentos de mineração de ouro, mostra o mapa Amazônia Minada, do Infoamazonia. O levantamento encontrou 2.650 requerimentos em que empresas e pessoas físicas pedem autorização para minerar em terras indígenas da Amazônia Legal. O garimpo mostrado no vídeo não é um deles.

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