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ASUU strike: FG is deliberately undermining education, says Prof Fawehinmi



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Immediate past deputy Vice chancellor (Academic) University of Portharcourt Professor Hakeem Fawehinmi has described the logjam in the Ivory towers over industrial action by lecturers as a deliberate effort by Government to undermined education.

Speaking in Abuja recently on the incessant strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Fawehinmi said the strike is a necessity

The Professor of Clinical Anatomy and Medical Anthropology said,

“I think the ASUU agitation is called for even though it is one strike too many but it is not the fault of ASUU. “You will notice that ASUU has been consistently asking for the same thing, better funding for the university, some form of university autonomy from the Government  and then this IPPIS platform that was recently introduced has been an issue.

“This is because it does not serve the purpose of the univwrsity. All over the world University staff are entitled to what we call sabbatical leave and are entitled to be visiting other institutions and when you are on Sabbatical it is expected that the new institution will enroll you on their payroll even as a visiting lecturer.

“The IPPIS did not make any provision for remuneration of lecturers on leave and that is very clear to everybody. 

“Nobody is going to go on sabbatical and go there to do it pro-bono, you go there you are expected to get paid so that you can sustain your life wherever you are doing it.

He said the IPPIS platform does not make provisions for sabbatical leave, there is no express provision and that is a very big deficiency. 

“So the ASUU  struggle is genuine and Germain.”

While throwing more lights on the issue he said, There was this agreement ASUU signed with the Federal Government way back in 2009 and the Federal Government kept postponing the evil day in the sense that it has not been able to implement that agreement wholeheartedly.

“Therefore ASUU would be forced to go into strike and would be called back, and there would be a memorandum of action and the Federal Government would not keep to its own side.”

He lamented that there is a very huge deficit in budget for education in Nigeria especially tertiary education.

“For a country like Nigeria that has a very huge chunk of it’s population as youth the UNESCO minimum of 18% should be adhered to but if you look at the Nigerian budget the education sector don’t even get up to 7%.

“We think that is a very huge deficit and it is affecting tertiary education totally because tirtiaty education, university education in particular is a universal thing and therefore the benchmark standard must be maintained, it is supposed to be all over the world. 

“The number of lecturers also has not been enough and that has been worsened by the ongoing brain drain and that is where the issue of earned Academic allowances comes in.”

He said, some lecturers are made to work beyond what their schedule is supposed to be. 

“They are made to be in several committee jobs  and so on. Because of this, there is this deficit in payment and if you look at the lecturers take home, the take home of a professor, you will know that it is not a takehome pay, it is not a living wage.

He therefore implored the government should look into that. 

“The earned academic allowances is not being paid as at when due and they were trying to mainstream it, so that we don’t come every year to keep talking about the same thing.

He observed that the Government on its side , particularly the ministries concerned ; education, finance and Labour have not really done what they are supposed to do in mainstreaming this Earned Academic Allowances, hence there is huge backlog to be paid. 

These he said are the issues coming on and on. In the area of funding for the universities, he said, “Funding of the university, of course you know that the population of Students has overwhelmed the infrastructural capacity and if you go to the students hostels, classrooms, you will see those deficits. 

“Therefore the Government is supposed to be proactive to make sure that they expand their infrastructure to match with the students population and that is part of the reason for the recurrent strike.”

He expressed sympathy with the Nigerian students saying that irrespective of the deficit in infrastructure and facilities to train them, their program has been serialy disrupted and it has reached a situation where it has become confusing not only for the students but also for the academic staff, the lecturers. 

“When you start a session, after the COVID-19 technically they lost a session and came back and trying to find their feet and create a part  for their academic existence, and all of a sudden it is truncated again, they go back home, maybe what they have studied they have already started forgetting and by the time they come back to get themselves attuned again there is another strike.

“So the whole process the student might become confused and tomorrow we argue that the kind of products from Nigerian universities does not suit the labour market. 

“You know, this sort of disruptions are not good for tertiary educational all. Even the lecturers themselves, we as professors have paid a lot of our dues to the system. 

“We can imagine how confusing it is, you start a course, halfway to it there is a 6months strike and then after the strike you come back, you start to think of where to start from because the students must have forgotten the trend and this reoccurring disruptions, the Government should be sensitive to the plight of the students and their parents. 

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22 NTIC students to participate in 3-day NMC’s Olympaid Camp




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The National Mathematical Centre (NMC) has selected 22 students of the Nigerian Tulip International Colleges (NTIC) to participate in a 3-day Olympiad Camp.

The Olympiad competition covers subjects such as Mathematics, Science, Arts, Music, Literature, History, Culture, Information Communication Technology among others.

The Managing Director NTIC, Feyzullah Bilgin, in a statement on Tuesday said, “In a remarkable display of academic prowess, 22 students from Nigerian Tulip International Colleges in Nigeria have been handpicked by the prestigious National Mathematical Centre (NMC) to participate in a rigorous 3-day Olympiad Camp.

“The selection of these bright minds not only highlights their exceptional mathematical abilities but also underscores the dedication and commitment they have shown towards their education.”

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Federal University Lokoja Matriculates 4,925 For 2023/2024 Session




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By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

FEDERAL University Lokoja has matriculated 4,925 students into its over 57 programmes from seven faculties, for the 2023/2024 academic session with a charge for them to uphold the values and standards of the university.

Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Olayemi Akinwumi gave the charge during the matriculation ceremony at the Adankolo Campus of the University on Thursday in Lokoja.

Prof. Akinwumi urged them to maintain obedience to school authority and maintain good conduct adding that violation of their oath would be met with appropriate sanctions.

The 4,925 figure excludes the those admitted into faculties of Law, Agriculture and Pharmacy which were recently Resource Verified.

The VC noted that the mission of the University is to ‘Provide quality education, foster critical thinking, and produce well-rounded graduates who are equipped with the skills and knowledge to contribute meaningfully to society.

“Our vision is to
be the best among the universities in Nigeria and one of the top 10 universities in Africa. We aspire to become a world-class University recognized for excellence in teaching, research, and community engagement.

“These guiding principles serve as our compass, driving us towards academic innovation, social responsibility, and transformative impact”, he said.

The Vice Chancellor charged the 4,925 “bright minds joining our university family to bring unique talents, experiences, and aspirations to bear on their scholarship. We are excited to witness the contributions you will make to our academic community and beyond.

“However, as we celebrate your entry into our academic community, it is crucial to recognize the responsibilities that accompany this privilege. You are not just students; you are ambassadors of our university.

“Hence, as you take your oath today, remember it binds you to obedience to authority and maintaining good conduct throughout your stay in Federal University Lokoja. Any violation of this oath will be met with appropriate sanctions.

“I must also emphasize the importance of upholding the values and standards of our university. Federal University Lokoja has zero tolerance for social vices such as cultism, examination misconducts, and indecent dressing.

“Therefore, I urge each and every one of you to prioritize your academic pursuits and resist the temptations of engaging in such destructive activities”, he said.

Prof. Akinwumi urged them to remember that their actions not only reflect upon themselves but also upon the reputation of the university as a whole and he admonished them to be security conscious at all times.

He also reminded the matriculating students that it was essential that they remained vigilant and aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious activities or concerns to the appropriate authorities.

Akinwumi further advised them to always prioritize their personal safety above all and urged them to avail themselves of the opportunities for personal and intellectual growth that await as they embark on this new chapter of life.

“Your time at Federal University Lokoja has the potential to be transformative, shaping you into leaders and scholars of the highest caliber”, he enjoined them. (Ends)

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Allocate 25% of annual budget to education, Aare Hassan urges President Tinubu




Aare Oba Oladotun Hassan
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A legal practitioner, Aare Oba Oladotun Hassan has urged the Nigerian President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu to come up with a national Policy plan on Education to raise the bar in budgetary allocation to the sector to 25% of the annual budget in line with UNESCO standards.

A breakdown of the immediate past administration’s annual budgetary allocations between 2016 to 2023 showed that N369.6 billion or 7.9% was allocated in 2016; N550.5 billion or 7.4% in 2017; N605.8 % in 2018 and N620.5 billion or 7.05% of the annual budgets were approved for the education sector in his first term spanning 2016 to 2019
In his second term, President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration allocated N671.07 billion or 6.7% in 2020; N742.5 billion or 5.68% in 2021; N1.18 trillion or 7.2% in 2022 and N1.79 trillion or 8.8% in 2023 of the annual budget for the period under review.

However, the Statistics showed that out of total sum of N27.5 trillion proposed by the Tinubu led Government for 2024, N2.18 trillion or 7.9% is for education sector in 2024 fiscal year.

Aare Hassan who spoke as one of the discussants on Thursday at the annual lecture and Book Launch in honour of Prof Emeritus Benedicta Egbo with the theme Reclaiming Nigeria’s Future: Strategic Framework for Achieving Transformative Change held in Abuja
He explained that Tinubu has come up with renewed hope agenda in which education is part of his vision and the buck stops at his desk.

“We want to use this opportunity to let him know that he needs to come up with a national policy plan on Education by increasing the budgetary allocation to education to 25% and ensure the curriculum in the education system is reviewed to bring about proper administration whereby there will be no more ASUU strike, no more NASU or SANU strikes.
“We believe that the best way we can achieve this is through restructuring. The constitution of the country is long overdue, talking about constitutional review we need a new People’s constitution whereby issues about education will have a life of its own.
He said by so dojng, there will be proper planning, issue of security would be properly outlined and all the other issues bedevilling the country, will all be reviewed.
“We have gotten documents in the past; we have had a confab before, we have a reviewed constitution so there is no need spending another billion in reviewing the constitution.
“What we need the President to do is to come up with a Presidential fiat by ensuring he writes the National Assembly on the need to reconstruct the constitution based on the existing proposals as encapsulated in the Confab reports of the previous administration regarding the new policy and SDG goals and proper documents.
He said even the 1963 constitution can be merged with the 1999 constitution to better our lots adding that we can have the right constitution that is implementable with patriotic zeal

He acknowledged the erudite and scholarly vision of a great Amazon of moral education and a truly defined democracy in Professor Benedicta Egbo.
“What is education? It is the bedrock and the foundation that makes a country. What defined us as developing nation is the level and extent of education and the level of implementation and how realistic we are to ourselves. “We have never attained what it takes to be considered as a developing nation. We are just crawling because when you are considered as a developing nation there is some progressive attainment.
“What percentage of out National budget is even set aside for education in our budget, it is not up to 10%. Education will kill and nail insecurity in the country to put an end to joblessness.
“The United Nations raised the benchmark for education to be 25% of yearly budget but how much are we doing in that regard? Even the little we have you will hear that Piton has swallowed the money.
“An average student that goes into the University will do 8years for a four years course because ASUU will go on strike because no one is accountable, no one is transparent or ready to tell the truth.

He said everything is wrong with the constitution of the country, We cannot predicate a country as big as Nigeria which we are all passionate about on the men in uniform.
“That is the constitution that emanated from the military, so it is still their decree and how best are we prepared to put an end to that if we are truly prepared for the true education of the country, we need to do more.
“We need to also go in the line of moral training which is lacking, in Prinary and secondary school levels no one is teaching morals. Moral instruction as a subject is no longer in our curriculum.
“We need to review our curriculum. Most of what we learnt, we need AI. Not every lawyer has the grasp of the constitution, they don’t know the details because we are not being taught the laws of our country.
“If we don’t know our laws, none will imbibe morals. So these are critical areas that will define and restructure our education. “Education is an inherent part of any nation. It is not about a structure or an edifice but it is part and parcel of our growth. “What made Awolowo a great man is because he saw light in education because he was there when we were reffered to as a country that never existed under colonialism but we thrived more because we had educated individuals who were in position of authority.
“Today, because of the constitution that is military infested, the benchmark is primary and secondary schools. You don’t even need to pass, all you need is just to show a prove, that can never make a country.

He said the best Nigeria can do is to encourage the Emeritus Professor Benedicta Egbo, “I see a new Dora Akunyili, because you have started a journey telling Nigerians to be patriotic and that was the same message Dora sold till her last breadth.
“When we Lack patriotism we will end up in corruption.. we need to think Nigeria, breathe Nigeria.
“Our mindsets are corrupt, not just financial corruption, moral corruption is the height of them all because if you go to the church or Mosque no morals, you go to the family life, the dress code is horrible, no one to speak out, none is ready, nomore moral programs on our TV. The music you hear is that which runs down the system.
“The ministries and government agencies who are supposed to regulate these have all been compromised. They are not concerned. We need a nation that belongs to all of us.
He urged professir Egbo to still have to think again to contest for presidency 2027 as she attempted in 2023.
“We encourage you. We want to tell you that at any given opportunity, your voice needs to be heared.
“Those close to the President there is a need to have an advisory council to look into the education sector of this country. If they have to nominate, you are best deserving to be in that corridor to advise on the best way out, you have the passion and you have developed the Canadian vision.
“You want to give back because you did not learn education from Canada, it is from this soil and you are passionate to give back.”

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