Ademola Babalola in Ibadan
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has tasked President Muhammadu Buhari on the plight of 16 million unemployed Nigerian graduates and about 12 million out of school children to safeguard their future and protect them from being tagged youth sitting down and awaiting freebies.
The Chairman, University of Ibadan chapter of the union, Dr. Deji Omole, who stated this in Ibadan said it became imperative for the minister to be reminded that the future of the children of the masses must not be used to play politics with the declaration and wondered why in the last week of April, the plan to declare emergency in the sector had not been perfected.
ASUU said it was sad for a government that fails to improve access to education for millions of youth yearning for education to state that the youths are sitting down and waiting for freebies.
“What has the government done to salvage the condition of 12 million out of school children in Nigeria? What has the government done to ensure employment for over 16 million unemployed Nigerians? What plan does the government have for graduates who go through the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) every year but frustrated by lack of job and hostile environment to even start a small and medium scale business? If the government fails to attend to the needs of the youths today, they will become nightmares for Nigeria in the future.”
ASUU recalled that the minister had raised the hopes of declaring emergency in the sector this month apparently to proffer solutions to the low quality of education being offered Nigerian children.
Omole wondered the methodology to be used in upgrading quantity to quality education following the paltry seven per cent of the national budget allocated to education by the Buhari administration.
The ASUU boss who lashed out at the Buhari-led administration for not investing in the future of Nigeria through education but invests in propaganda, noted that most of those in government enjoyed free education, health and other social services when they were younger in Nigeria.
Despite enjoying the best in their youth days, Omole regretted that the kind of education being given to Nigerian children are below universal standards, and called on Buhari to ensure that the kind of education Nigerian children are exposed to is of global standard and at par with what his children had abroad.