ASUU strike: Abandon rhetoric, address the education sector
Debo Adeniran, Executive Chairman of the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) has called on the Federal Government to as matter of urgency; address the circumstance that has culminated into the freshly declared indefinite strike by the Association of Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Adeniran who was reacting to the continued strike action embarked upon by the academia said that the present scenario could have been avoided if government (past and present) had been responsible enough to abide with the agreement it had with ASUU since 2009.
If this had been done, according to him, this precarious situation which has the cancerous tendency of ruining education not just at the tertiary level but the education sector generally would have been avoided through dialogue, sincere and genuine negotiations and this would have added up to the continuous improvement in the education system basically
It is time for government to abandon the same rhetoric of the old which downplays the prominence need to ensure that incessant strikes are abated in the education sector. The usual reactionary response from government has already begun with the appeal to ASUU, to consider students who are currently writing degree and promotional examination to call off the strike.
Yet government has in face of obvious and imperative necessity adamantly failed to reduce their stupendous and undeserved remunerations, allowances, estacodes, salaries etc while it finds ‘difficult’ to fund education, the backbone of societal advancement. Apparently, the interest of the students they want to use as excuse for their determined position to destroy the education sector is not tenable any longer.
“The crux of the matter is that government (past and present) has failed in its responsibility and constitutional role to ensure that qualitative and accessible education is guaranteed for all. Education is a fundamental human right that should be guaranteed and accessible to all. Whichever policy or policies government deploys must ensure that this end is fulfilled without discrimination”, Adeniran said
ASUU had commenced a nationwide indefinite strike to protest against the failure of the Federal Government to implement the terms of the agreement reached between the union and the government in 2009 on Monday.
The Union explained that it opted for a strike after the FG failed to implement the 2009 agreement and a Memorandum of Understanding it signed with ASUU in 2013, among others.
Adeniran further urged the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu and the government he serves under, to use their discretion in this scenario in engaging the present crisis.
“Instead of hectoring ASUU to call of its strike, the nation should be praying for more of its kind in other sectors of the economy. Since the government has shown itself incapable of doing the right thing until it is forced, the nation should be thinking of organizing the association of Nigerian farmers to go on strike to force the government to do for agriculture what ASUU has been struggling to make it do for education.
“Certainly, something drastic and dramatic is needed to force the government to stop the mindless destruction and degradation of our environment, to persuade it to change its neglect of agriculture and steer the nation towards agricultural self-sufficiency as ASUU has tried to steer it in the direction of educational excellence. The situation right now, to us seems not to be different from what was obtained way back, 2013.
“We urge ASUU to also introspect and circumspect in its approach as the situation lingers. The contentious issues and consequences of inaction and procrastination in revamping the education sector must be explicitly made known to ordinary Nigerians and the government. Without doubts, Academics deserve their wages devoid of strains, but the issues of curriculum, autonomy, subventions, funding, qualitative teaching and so many others must be addressed to rescue the education sector”, he added.
Big Read |