The ASUU Strike Chronicles II: How To Maximize Your Time

Things You Can Engage in During This ASUU Strike

There are various opportunities that you can key into during this period when schools are closed. Here is a list of about Seven things you can do;

1. Acquire a skill: This one’s a no-brainer, there’s all kinds of stuff you can learn in a few months, and some in just weeks. What about expending your time to improve your IT skills, learn a new language or pick up a musical instrument. You can also build competence in your course of study by joining artisans in your profession - if you are studying Mechanical or Electrical Engineering and so on, learn "REAL" practicals from mechanics and electricians around. That may Sound disgusting but the fact is that you've been taught theories all this while. Prove that wrong after answering this question, "why can't you jump to the aid of Dad when his car suddenly broke down on the road?" The answer is the main reason you should go to learn. The benefit you will receive from such practical experience is COMPETENCE in you career.
If money’s a concern, there are truckloads of free/subsidised learning resources, if you know how to look. It will surprise you where these skills will prove useful down the road.

2. Get a Job: That’s right, lay your hand on a job. With what certificate, you ask? Who says you need a certificate to get a job? There has to be something you know how to do, take home lessons or join tutorial centres to teach your favourite subject or search for someone that needs a helping hand in their business or company, even if you’re going to work for free. You heard that, work for free if you have to.

3. Start a Business: Think you 've got the wits, you can always start very small. Some of the aids you should consider is making online research about starting a small business. Starting your business may begin with identifying a need in your environment or meeting the need of the season. For instance, You don't need angels to tell you that some consumer goods such as recharge cards, greeting cards and others will be over demanded in this yuletide season. So you can find the best you can do either sales agent or (think and open your eyes) of any consumer goods. You can utilize the this time to lay a foundation for your online business.

4. Become a volunteer: Aside from the feeling of accomplishment and fulfilment that comes from serving humanity, volunteering can be one of the most rewarding activities you can engage in, given the potentially high levels of training, travel and connections that such platforms expose you to. You can get a good number of this organizations by making online research. What’s more, most volunteer organisations have programs specially tailored for young and student volunteers that allow you to conveniently sustain your volunteer activities even while you’re in school. Examples are HIV awareness platforms/ NGOs, Red Cross, Organisations that care for the homeless, paraplegics, convicts, etc.

5. Attend seminars and industry events: You stand the chance of increasing your knowledge base and also network with people. You might not know it, but there are always interactions and discussions going on around your chosen discipline on many levels, manifesting themselves in seminars, trainings, meetups, exhibitions, expos, symposia, book readings, concerts and much more. A lot of these are free or subsidised, especially for students, and again there is the opportunity to gain exposure and make valuable connections.

6. Work on that idea: You know what I’m talking about. That song that came to you in the shower. That niggling question that your lecturer refused to (or couldn’t) answer. That book manuscript that has been gathering dust in the corner of your wardrobe. Those ideas that you’ve been too busy going to school to explore. Now is the time to work on those things. You might never get a better opportunity.

7. Create a School Out of your home: A lecturer passing his comment immediately after the ASUU strike introduced the OPEN COURSE WARE(OCW). OCW are course materials (lecture notes, assignments and video lectures) of different universities in the USA and EUROPE that are made public for the purpose of learning. So, you can find your course from different schools online and compare what your lecturers are teaching with what is being taught in the diaspora. Get your course materials from popular universities in the world such as Harvard , MIT and others. Just GOOGLE the word "OCW"

"A Successful man (student) is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others (ASUU and FG) have thrown at him" - David Brinkly

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The ASUU Strike Chronicles: What's Next For Students

Needless to say is the resurrection of the old devil (industrial action- strike) in the tertiary institutions in Nigeria. This is a mistrust against the government who cunningly play on people's intelligence by entering into agreement that cannot be fulfilled. Certaintly, this is a complete drag on our already collapsed education sector in which students are majorly the losers, paying dearly for the stubbornness of our elders with extra years in an unnecessarily protracted "learning process."

Instead of joining the pool of pundits to argue the case out, I will rather stand out to proffer solutions to the pertinent question troubling the heart of most students like me which is
"What do I do during the Strike?"

Going by the turn of event and news surrounding the supposed indefinite strike, it is clear that the earliest resumpton date will be about late January or February 2012 (this is enough time to do something either crime that mars your life or any other thing that builds it). So, why sit all day in front of TV set all day, drinking booze, sleeping more than half of the day and wasting away on facebook or chatting applications.

Remember that "The idle hand is the devil's workshop."

And no sooner had school resumed, news of attrocities committed by fellow idle students at home begin to flood the air while success stories of those that maximized the break often follow as well.

However, the net effect of ASUU strike could be advantageous, if a good plan is developed and sticked to while also it may be disadvantageous if you just wasted away. In fact, when viewed from a certain perspective, ASUU strikes might be a good thing. How, you ask? Well because the duration of the strike might be your best chance of learning/doing stuff that is actually useful and will avail you for life and the future, as opposed to the crap that they’re force-feeding you at school. And I will be sharing a few ideas (in my next post) that might be worth your while if you try them out.

The Greatest mistake a person can make is Doing Nothing J.C Maxwell

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Education Tips: NYSC Experience And Masters Scholarships to Study Abroad

If you are reading this, you are either preparing for your National Youth Service Corps - NYSC - in Nigeria or currently a serving Youth Corper. Or you have already completed your NYSC with personal experiences you thing are not worth much. You probably have been nursing the dream to achieve your postgraduate Masters Degree through international scholarship. It is a dream with the possibilities of achievement if you consciously prepare yourself towards it. How do you qualify yourself for scholarships? Qualifying for postgraduate scholarships takes more than making up your mind one sunny afternoon after NYSC to start searching and applying for funding. Or deciding you want an international scholarship to get out of the country due to employment frustration. It involves timely preparation during your early education career when you still have time. Scholarship qualifications and Selection Criteria require self development and periodic experiences on your part as a student or youth corper. Hence, you need to start preparing yourself while you can. The economic future of a typical Nigerian student/ graduate can be very 'unpredictable ', and hoping that things will just work out to finance you dream can be unrealistic, without some timely effort on Your path. One long year of Youth Service- NYSC- can make you the candidate scholarship sponsors are looking to award financial aid if you make the best of the opportunities available. You might have heard that it takes more than high academic performance to win international scholarships. It does count to have a First Class or Second Class Upper Degree but to stand a greater chance of winning, you need more than academic classification. Many of the scholarship programs are available only to students who fit a narrowly defined set of eligibility requirements. Regardless of what the scholarship' s specific set of eligibility requirements, selection committees are looking for well-defined candidates who excel in one or more of the following categories: Leadership Potential, Community Service/ Volunteerism, Work Experience and of course, Academic Performance. This makes School grades one of other eligibility criteria. By being able to demonstrate strength in some or all of these four essential qualities, you will have greater chances. How Can NYSC Influence Your Chances of Winning Postgraduate Scholarships for Masters Program? Thinking through the entire NYSC activities; starting from the Orientation Camp to the Primary Assignment and The Community Development Service, you will see opportunities to acquire three of the scholarship criteria mentioned above; Leadership Experience, Community Service/ Volunteerism, Work Experience. Here are the basic scholarship qualifications and how the one year NYSC activities can be helpful. Leadership Potential Scholarship Committees believe that Leadership is a quality that should be reflected in all aspects of a student's life, including her academics and paid employment, as well as her community service. Beyond the initiative it takes to become a leader, scholarship committees are also looking for the consensus building skills and motivational abilities required for leadership success. Developing your leadership potentials may not be as scary, if you try to always cease opportunity to demonstrate them. Personally, I' d not been the take-up-leadership -responsibility type during school days. I was the shyishly- nonchalant type, and words like 'public - speaking' often sounds like 'nightmare' . Then, that day in October 2007, at the Orientation Camp, in Kolokuma/ Opokuma LGA, Bayelsa, during my National Youth Service corps (NYSC) , my Platoon Commander asked me to be Platoon (squad ) Leader for Platoon '10' . I had the choice to decline but I accepted the offer and the experience was priceless. There is still a lot to learn anyway. So what is this about? While in school (secondary or tertiary) or during NYSC, get involved with extracurricular activities, take responsibility for your actions in difficult situations, create experiences that show courage. Volunteer to take up leadership roles during Orientation Camp and through the service year. According to Dr. Bruce Jackson, Director of the Centre for the Advancement of Leadership, "It is not enough to acquire knowledge and good grades. If you want to succeed, you need a firm understanding of what creates lasting success and excellence.. . ". Work Experience Mentioning your NYSC work experience and your commitment in your scholarship application will give you an upper hand. Scholarship selection committees are interested in knowing how you relate to the world outside home and school environment. They are looking first and foremost for initiative and commitment at place of work. Scholarship committees are less concerned with your job description and earning power than with your ability to demonstrate responsibility at place of work. You can prove this by presenting strong and compelling letters of recommendation from your employer at your place of primary assignment. Volunteer/Community Service In addition to the work at your place of primary assignment - volunteerism and service to your community will make you (potential scholarship candidates) even more attractive to selection committees. By volunteering, you show not only that you are civic-minded but also that you care about a cause broader than your own advancement. By giving extra lessons to students in rural area (Depending on the community your are posted to serve) etc, giving your time and talent is a noble use of your resources. With many civic and non-profit organizations offering scholarships, volunteers make the top of the priority list for selection committees. To demonstrate your commitment to community service, go beyond just listing Community Development Service- CDS assignments on your scholarship application. Devote more time and resources to serving your host community through CDS. Write an essay about how volunteering has impacted on your career ambitions, what have you learned from serving the community, or why being a volunteer changed your political beliefs. To some people the idea of volunteerism/ community service may seem unrealistic. 'How and why should I waste my precious time doing things I don' t benefit from in any way?', you could say. The scholarship committee understands this and will gladly reward candidates with such public-spirit . Service to humanity is an act of leadership and a way of life. Scholarship providers sets a good example of service.

Reach Oxford Scholarships for Developing Countries 2012

A number of Oxford colleges offer Reach Oxford scholarships (formerly Oxford Student Scholarships) to students from developing countries who, for political or financial reasons, or because standard educational facilities do not exist, cannot study for a degree in their own countries. Scholarship winners will study at Oxford University, UK under any undergraduate course of study, except Medicine due to the course length and expense. The Oxford scholarship scheme is only suitable for candidates of the highest academic ability who have outstanding examination results. However, financial need and social commitment are also major criteria for selection.
ELIGIBLE Countries
All countries in the list defined by the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD except Saudi Arabia, which includes:
Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cote D'Ivoire , Croatia, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti , Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana,Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, FYR Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia,Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Niue, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Palestinian Administered Areas, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines , Rwanda, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, St Kitts-Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent Grenadines, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor- Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Scholarship Worth
University and college fees, full grant for living expenses; return flight to the UK at the start and end of the course.
This scheme is only suitable for candidates of the highest academic ability who have outstanding examination results. However, financial need and social commitment are also major criteria for selection. Applicants should be aware that competition for the scheme is very high and the University does not have additional funding for those candidates who are not offered a scholarship.
How to Apply
You must make an application to the University through UCAS by 15 October 2011 and be successful in gaining a place . You will then need to complete a separate scholarship application form. You must also answer the following two questions in the supporting statement of the scholarship application form:
1. Why are you applying for this scholarship and what impact will it have on your career?
2. How would you use the education you receive at Oxford for the benefit of your community?
The scholarship application form will be available for download from January 2012

Scholarship Website for more details

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NettPAD Education BrainTrust Undergraduate Scholarship For Nigerian Students For 2011/2012 Academic Session

NettPAD Education BrainTrust Scholarship offers scholarship opportunities for undergraduate students in Nigerian Tertiary institutions such as; Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education for 2011/2012 academic session.
The NettPAD Education Scholarship Award Scheme aim towards helping Nigerian Undergraduate Students in Higher institutions to pursue academic excellence without financial stress or suffering and also to motivate and reward excellence.
The NE BrainTrust Scholarship Program is a non-governmental, non-profit and merit- based higher education scholarship scheme that is funded entirely by Donations from the NettPAD Education Campaigns "Raising the Future Scholars Today " and is administered by the NettPAD Education Scholarship Board. The scholarship opportunity is open for any field of study.
The program is entirely merit-based,that is, a student' s ability to pay for his or her own education is not a factor in determining if he or she receives it. The money provided to NE Scholars varies and depends on the type of institution as well as the student's performance in NettPAD Education Brain Trust Scholarship e-Test Screening.
The NE Scholarship program has two stated goals
To offer academically superior students who would not otherwise be able to afford college the opportunity to receive higher education.
To offer financial aid to academically-superior students who can afford to attend college.
Inorder to qualify for the NE scholarship, an applicant must be;
a Nigerian less than 25years by 27th September, 2011.
be a bona fide student of a recognized tertiary institution in Nigeria.
Scholarship Worth
There are three categories of this Scholarship scheme and numbers of awards to be given depend on the number of the successful candidates:
Gold Scholar: Certificate of Merit Award plus N250 , 000
Bronze Scholar: Certificate of Merit Award plus N150 , 000
Silver Scholar: Certificate of Merit Award plus N50, 000
Method of Applying
Application and screening will be done online, Candidates who successfully meet the above entry qualifications should apply by following these steps strictly:
Create and confirm user' s account from the link below
Login and Complete your Profile
Upload the following documents (recent passport photography, School ID Card, application letter, O level results, Birth certificate/declaration of Age and State of Origin certificate)
Schedule and write NettPAD Education BrainTrust Scholarship e-Test Screening.
Upload your certified NE e-Test(online) Screening Score Sheet.
Application letter
Interested applicant for the NE Scholarship Scheme is expected to write a page application letter using Microsoft word indicating why he/she should be given NE Scholarship.
The application letter should be addressed to:
The Director,
NettPAD Education Scholarship Board ,
70, Broad Street, Lagos Island, Lagos.
O’Level Results (WAEC/NECO)
All applicants must have obtaned a minimum of credit passes in the subjects relevant to their field of studies including English and Mathematics.
Birth Certificate and State of Origin Certificate
Certificates that are not authenticated (official stamp/seal) will not be considered.
NE e-Test Screening Score Sheet
As part of NE screening exercise, each applicant at his/her convenient time (24/ 7) within the NettPAD Education stipulated period (21 st to 27th September, 2011) will write NettPAD Education BrainTrust Scholarship e-Test (online) Screening. Applicant will print his/her NE e-Test Screening Score Sheet and then take the result to his/her head of Department for official Seal/Stamp before uploading it.
Application Deadline
All application proceedings must be completed on or before 27th September, 2011. The names of successful applicants will be published in dailies and on NE website. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
To start application for this scholarship for Nigerian Students, click to Apply Now