— Pass vote of no confidence on FG
— We’re tired of pleading with both parties
Dayo Johnson, Akure
The leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, has vowed to ground activities at international airports across the country, to protest against the seven monthly impasses between the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.
The Chairman, NANS National Task Force on ‘End ASUU Strike Now,’ Ojo Raymond Olumide, who spoke in Akure, decried the attitude of the federal government towards the striking lecturers as well as education as a whole.
Olumide said that “the four-day shutdown of busy highways and expressways had been a success, hence the move to disrupt international travels in order for the bourgeois and the government to feel the pains that had subjected students to in the past seven months.
According to him, the students were already tired of pleading with both parties over the need to end the strike.
Olumide said that the airports that will be occupied will remain grounded until the strike is called off, adding that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration must pay all outstanding arrears and salaries of the lecturers.
“We shall begin another round of protest next week by storming the airspaces to #OccupyTheAirports. We want to let the world know about the pains and anguish students are going through.
“Nigerian students whose parents create the commonwealth cannot continue to be suffering at home alongside our lecturers while the few who gain from our sweats and blood have their kids abroad jollying and flexing.
“We call on students to rise and join us as we take our destinies into our hands. Our demands remain consistently clear and simple. We Call on ASUU leadership for a meeting as soon as possible to discuss Solidarity actions and plan for the next phase of the struggles.
“Nigerian Students are not subjected to security agencies and we haven’t seen any step from them to avert the ASUU strike. He said they could not tell them that they were not aware of what is going on.
“Being on the road for the past four days and had garnered a lot of solidarity. Grounding the airport is for us to get solidarity and we will keep on grounding the local and international airports they know the effect of us grounding the airport, the only thing we request for them is to open our campuses back.
“They should give enough budgetary allocation, we are not asking for 26 per cent we are asking for 22 per cent.
“We pass a vote of No Confidence on both Ministers of Labour and Education. We Call on the Buhari government to pay all outstanding arrears and salaries of the lecturers.
“The policy of “No Work No Pay” is a Fascist one; it is, therefore condemnable and nonacceptable to all the millions of students in Nigeria.
“We will, by this statement, not beg again. We shall be mobilizing all students to shut down the country. No Education! No Movement!
Olumide who berated the Minister of Works, Babatunde Raji Fashola, over his purported comment on the barricade of federal roads by the students, said that the strike had continued to linger due to the absence of children of the political class in public universities.
“Through Nigerians, the Federal and state governments became and are still uncomfortable with our protests.
” Instead of them responding to us responsibly and what have you; we were shocked that the Minister of Works Babatunde Fashola came up with an illegal utterance befitting of only rabble-rousers and political irritants by calling out fundamental Human Rights “illegal!”
“What Minister Fashola has done is amazing.
After all, the camera he found at LekkiTollGate after the massacre is still a mystery.
“Yet, the Minister’s outburst is also another evidence that the Buhari government hates real educational development.
“They are never apologetic and are hell-bent on destroying every remnant of State welfare left. They prefer to kill the public schools instead of revamping them.
“Nigerian students are not surprised that the Buhari government does not care about public education.
“After all, all the politicians have their kids schooling abroad while the children of the masses that constitute 99% of the population are only fit to be thugs, hard workers, and sex slaves.
Olumide added that “We dare say that this cruelty will not continue anymore. And, it is on this note we call on the national leadership of ASUU to synergise with Nigerian students in achieving this struggle that we have commenced by ensuring that a state of emergency is declared in the educational sector.”
Establishment of Fed. University of Technical Education will address shortage of teachers, out of school children – Barau Jibrin
The Chairman Senate Committee on Appropriations and senator representing Kano North, Barau Jibrin has expressed delight that establishment of Federal University of Education (Technical), Bichi and Federal University of Agriculture, Danbatta both in Kano state will address the dual problem of out of school children and shortage of teachers in our schools.
Barau stated this Thursday at the public hearing organised by the Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFund on the Federal University of Agriculture, Danbatta, Kano state (Establishment bill), Federal University of Education (Technical), Bichi Kano state (Establishment bill) and Federal College of Agriculture, Ubiaja, Edo state (Establishment bill).
Senator Barau who sponsored the bills for establishment of the two universities in Kano state said Federal College of Education Technical Bichi, which is being upgraded to university “is very famous in chunning out teachers who are teaching in the secondary schools, but there is lack of teachers needed in our universities.
“We have many private universities being established every year. So, there is that need to have a university in our area. You know we are lagging behind in terms of education. We need a university that will train teachers that will teach in these universities. That is very important.
He said Kano is not only the centre of commerce in northern part of Nigeria, but also centre of agriculture as they have the largest farm produce market in the whole of West Africa situated in Kano.
“Since we are known for agriculture, we need a university that will train farmers (agriculturists). We are not asking for too much because the establishment of these universities is for the benefit of the entire nation.
Talking about funding, the Kano North senator was optimistic that their hard work has resulted in “non-oil revenues growing every year”.
“Now we are talking of an institution that will help develop agriculture, which is the main stay of our economy, which will increase our agricultural produce and translate into a better living standard.
On the disturbing issue of out of school children, which is mainly a northern problem, Barau said the establishment of the institutions is the best way to fight the menace.
“We are talking about training teachers. If you don’t have this kind of institution you won’t go anywhere . We are trying to fight this out of school children, which can be done by having the school and have the teachers. Teacher is the most important element to have children trained to be better citizens of the country.
Hon. Hamisu Ibrahim, Speaker, Kano State House of Assembly, who represented the Kano State Governor, Umar Ganduje, gave the assurance of Kano State Government to the Senate Committee that they provide all that is needed for the establishment of the two universities.
He expressed the gratitude of the government and people of Kano to Senator Barau Jibrin who sponsored the two bills for FUOA, Danbatta and FUE (Technical) Bichi.
The Speaker disclosed that primary and secondary schools have been made compulsory in Kano state through a law passed two years ago by the Kano State House of Assembly making it “compulsory and necessary for every child to be enrolled in school”.
Prof. Mohammed Waidale, from Audu Bako College of Agriculture, Danbatta which is being upgraded to Federal University of Agriculture Danbatta and Dr. Andrew Ojienhekele from Ambrose Alli University, Edo state both spoke in favour of the bills.
According to Dr. Andrew, there is no single College of Agriculture in the whole Edo state and the current effort is “very commendable”.
The Chairman Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFund, Ahmed Babba Kaita was elated when there no single objection to any of the three bills, but said the committee was open to all views.
Nasarawa adopts Schools Rules, Regulations
The Nasarawa State government has adopted the school rules and regulations for primary and secondary schools to govern learners, teachers and parents towards instilling discipline.
Nasarawa State Commissioner for Education, Hajiya Fatu Sabo, made this known while receiving the document from the Society for Family Health (SFH) on Wednesday in Lafia, enjoined all schools to ensure compliance.
The commissioner, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Mohammed Bala, said that the state had shown commitment in creating and supporting school system that “promote physical and mental health education of the learners”.
Sabo explained that “the school rules and regulations is a comprehensive document resulting from collaborative work of major stakeholders in the state towards instilling discipline and nurturing learners in primary and secondary schools.
“In 2019, as part of the Our Right, Our Lives, Our Future (O3) Programme, the Society for Family Health, in collaboration with the federal and state ministries of education conducted an assessment of schools rules and regulations.
“The assessment revealed that while some of these issues were included in some school rules and regulations, many are not. A major problem is the lack of uniformity and standardisation of school rules and regulations”.
Sabo, commending the UNESCO, Society for Family Health for supporting the adoption of the school rules and regulations in Nasarawa State, called on stakeholders to ensure full implementation across schools in the state.
Education: Reps To Make N170bn Provision For ASUU In 2023 Budget
The House of Representatives is making arrangements for a N170 billion fund for the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in the 2023 budget.
Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, disclosed this in a statement on Monday, saying the move will provide a level of increment in the welfare package of university lecturers.
According to him, efforts were ongoing to find lasting solutions to all the issues raised by ASUU. He stated that the budget included an additional N300 billion revitalization fund to improve the infrastructure and operations of the federal universities.
“We are currently working on the 2023 Appropriations Bill, which includes the sum of one hundred and seventy billion naira (N170,000,000,000.00) to provide a level of increment in the welfare package of university lecturers,” the statement read.
“The Bill also includes an additional three hundred billion naira (N300,000,000,000.00) in revitalization funds to improve the infrastructure and operations of federal universities.”
The Speaker explained that President Muhammadu is interested in looking into the latest issues and concerns raised by the varsity teachers.
The ‘no work no pay’ policy embarked on by the Federal Government during the period of strike, Gbajabiamila said, is premised on the law.
He said the decision is based on the government’s legitimate interest in preventing moral hazard and discouraging disruptive industrial actions.
“Nonetheless, interventions have been made to explore the possibility of partial payments to the lecturers. We look forward to a favourable consideration by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR who has manifested his desire to what is prudent and necessary to resolve all outstanding issues.
“Implementing meaningful change takes time, especially when appropriations and modifications to systems such as IPPIS are required.
“Therefore, I urge all parties to be patient and grant each other the presumption of goodwill to the extent necessary to achieve our shared objectives. This is not a time for political brinkmanship.
“There is no more pressing objective than to preclude the possibility of further disruptions to the academic calendar of the universities. We must prevent this possibility by all means, as these disruptions risk the promise and potential of our nation’s youth,” he added
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