Vice-Chancellors of private universities have expressed
great concern and sympathy for Nigerian students
whose careers are currently being threatened by the
face-off between the Federal government and ASUU
which has kept them at home for over three months,
noting that there is an urgent need to end the ongoing
strike for the good of the nation.
while expressing their discomfort over the ongoing
strike, the VCs of Bells University of Technology
(BELLSTECH), Prof. Isaac Adeyemi; Redeemer’s
University, Prof. Zachariah Adeyewa; Covenant
University, Prof. Charles Ayo; and Caleb University,
Professor Ayodeji Olukoju, noted that Nigeria’s
educational system requires some strategic planning
and restructuring to bounce back to its glorious days.
The VC, Redeemer’s University, Prof. Adeyewa, said
“some of my children are also affected by the strike and
have been pleading with me to send them to private
varsities because they are tired of staying at home. In
fact, I want to appreciate parents who are sending their
children to private varsities because they are making a
lot of sacrifices. I would have loved all my children to
attend private varsities but I can’t afford the tuition fees.
“We are not happy that some of our children are
becoming grand-parents at home because of the
ongoing imbroglio between government and ASUU.
The truth is that government and the citizens are not
totally committed as the average parent will want to
send his wards to smaller African countries to acquire
education, where they may be lost to foreign cultures.”
BELLSTECH VC, Adeyemi, while condemning the
persistent industrial action by unions in the country’s
public tertiary institutions,said implementation strategy
for any kind of agreement between parties , like the
type between the Federal government and ASUU was
important in order to avoid possible controversy at the
end.
“This way, if there are changes in the agreement due to
the evolving realities of life, both parties must be carried
along and be willing to re-negotiate. We need to have a
holistic view of the project called Nigeria and agreement
should be based on current realities of life because no
situation is static. But I insist that there must be constant
interaction and mutual agreement between both
parties.
“If government says this is what
she can afford now, the next
thing is to agree on an implementation strategy for the
balance. However, we shouldn’t wish away the fact that
those in government are also Nigerians and the good of
our education system is their concern. It takes a lot to
fund education and these funds can’t be reared
overnight, making strategic planning necessary to
restructure our education system.
Similarly, the VC, Covenant University, Prof. Ayo
reiterated the need for a state of emergency to be
declared in the education sector.
“It’s unfortunate that public varsities have been shut-
down for over two months, especially at a time when
access to and quality of education in the country are
low. ASUU should not be totally blamed for standing
their grounds, because government needs to show
more commitment to education.
“The pertinent question we should ask is- are we able to
separate adequate funding of education and quality
because with our paltry percentage of annual
budgetary allocation less than 10 per cent compared to
countries like Ghana, South-Africa, our standards will
continue to dwindle. This calls for the need for a state of
emergency in the nation’s educational system.”
The VC, Caleb University, Professor Olukoju, had equally
urged the government to take seriously the issue of
university funding, affirming that it’s a critical sector of
the economy.
“Funding of education is the core issue here but
government isn’t keeping an agreement that wasn’t
signed under duress. This whole situation is like when
someone buys goods on credit and can’t pay on the
date he promised to pay.
“I will suggest that government focuses on funding
education rather than spending frivolously of things
that don’t contribute to the economy as education.
On the way forward BELLSTECH VC called on FG/ASUU to
device a way to end this protracted impasse, saying “if
government can’t sustain education at tertiary level, it
must declare its position without wasting time because
it takes more than just giving peanuts as funds to
education.”
VC of the Covenant University had equally advised ASUU
and the government to harmonize their positions on
the matter and find a better way to utilize the available
fund. He said “If the desirable is not available, the
available becomes desirable.
News source: dailypost.com.ng

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