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ASUU STRIKE: THE WAY FORWARD


BY: GODDAY ODIDI  
 Published January 29th, 2012

As Nigeria is battling to overcome the callous and infamous dreaded Islamic sect called Boko Haram which group has succeeded brutally killing innocent Nigerians in the Northern part of Nigeria with no just cause. Over 5000 Nigerians have lost their precious lives while property worth millions of naira have been destroyed in recent times. The sudden sack of Inspector- General of Police Hafiz Ringim and immediate replacement of his intelligent and indefatigable colleague MD Abubakar which the latter promised Nigerians full protection of life and property indicated the political normalcy will eventually returned to the Northern states. The fear of living in the North has prompted the NYSC authorities not to deploy graduates to those troubled regions. The alleged perpetrators being traced to highly placed Northern elders and leaders must not be overlooked rather for the Federal government to do properly investigation on the allegation. Boko Haram members are not spirit but human beings be regularly remunerated by the so-called cabals in Northern region to cause evil things and nothing else .The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been on indefinite strike for one month and few days which security challenge has distracted the government from concentrating on our striking lecturers and helpless students.

The decaying education sector is immensely contributing negatively to the ASUU regular strike which the 2009 agreement of Deacon Gamaliel Onosode on the need to review lecturers salaries, funding of the Universities and maintenance of the existing Universities and others which the government have abysmally failed over the years. The proposed UNESCO 26 percent to fund our universities is not yet to be considered while the high brain- drain among our Universities Lecturers and students is at geometrical progression. Our students and lecturers are now patronizing neighboring countries for quality education .The 2012 budget for education being proposed by President Goodluck Jonathan indicated the low money being allocated to that sector which invariably tells Nigerians that Nigeria is not ready for her education. Most of our leaders benefited from free education being introduced by our fore-fathers yet the sector is dwindling in total failure. The minister of education, Prof Ruquayytu Rufia has not done any tangible progress to bring back the lecturers and students to school rather advising heads of these higher institutions not to give honorary awards to undeserved Nigerians who want to get their certificates from the back door. But it is welcome ideal at the moment.Our universities, polytechnics,colleges and schools are underfunded despite that our President was once a lecturer who strongly knows the plight of the education system.

It is sad that our existing Universities are yet to compete with International universities while Nigerian students are academically doing well in these foreign Universities. No Nigerian university is rated as the best 20 in Africa or the World. Even foreign Lecturers are not patronizing our schools anymore especially the higher institutions in Nigeria due to regular strikes and corruption.The multiple bombings by Boko Haram is not helping the education sector. No country develops faster if her education sector is not fixed. Scholarships are gradually disappearing from our schools which only few are given the opportunity to study abroad.The government has failed to tackle the hike in various state universities school fees which many students cannot afford. LASU is a case study which school fees for both full and part-time students cannot be affordable in all ramifications. Even our private institutions are not left out.The ASUU president is yet to dance with the political gimmicks of the government.If African countries like Ghana, Libya, Togo and others can sustained her education sector while not Nigeria. Though most of our prominent Nigerians children and wards attend foreign universities which make them not to pay attention the education sector.

Despite that Jonathan created newly 9 universities, yet the alarming rate of jobless among our graduates is nothing to write home about. The schools are only producing graduates without creative mindsets.The education sector needs total overhauling which could be comparable to international universities. Jonathan must take education seriously because no sector works without fixing her education sector.It is time for Nigerian lecturers to considered the plight of students and avert frequent strikes and devise other means to negotiate with the government with no qualms.

GODDAY ODIDI. PUBLIC AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR.08058124798,08063458693.20 oro street Ajegunle Apapa Lagos


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