James Sowole in Akure
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Akure Zone, yesterday declared that children/wards of public office holders should be banned from studying in tertiary institutions abroad.
The Akure branch of ASUU made the call in a statement signed by it Zonal Coordinator, Prof. Olu Olu Olufayo, and the FUTA ASUU branch Chairman, Dr. Olayinka Awopetu, saying such policy would reduce the decadence in the country’s education sector.
Apart from that, the union also called on the federal government to compel member of the ruling class and their dependents from seeking medical intervention outside Nigeria.
They said the policy, if implemented, would help to rebuild the country’s education and health sectors.
The union stated in the statement that “members of the ruling class and their cohorts have their wards schooling abroad, so they have no commitment to end ASUU strike since political office has become occupational rather than public service.
“Until we domesticate two very important practices as laws in Nigeria, we may not get out of this doldrums. Firstly, there should be an act to compel all public office holders and government appointees to have their wards educated in Nigeria public schools from primary to the tertiary level.
“Secondly, there should be an act to prohibit all political office holders, appointees and their dependents from seeking medical attention outside Nigeria.
“When these two laws are enacted, perhaps we will gradually see the end of needless ASUU strikes in the country.
“Until the government does the needful (our ivory towers properly funded, our withheld emoluments paid among other issues), the struggle continues.
“For the patriotic and hardworking Nigerian who desires a future for his/her children as well as building and developing this country, it has become imperative that you all call out the government to attend to issues apolitically and objectively to get the system running efficiently and effectively.”
ASUU explained that the union has been on strike for the past eight months over issues which has been ignored by successive governments in the country, adding that “the deplorable situation of our universities has grown from bad to worse since then.
“Lecture rooms are overcrowded and dilapidated, students hostels deplorable, departments are starved of operational requirements, physical structures are insufficient and there is no vote for capital projects. Of a fact, the trajectory of the public universities is negatively skewed, and for those who understand, this is ominous.”
The union said rather than attending to the rot in the schools, policy makers were busy feeding Nigerians with lies and advising academics to turn to farming.
“We have read with dismay, watched with exasperation as appointed ministers and technocrats of the federal republic feed the populace with lies.
“The scenario has become comical as three leading government representatives gave three different updated versions to the public,” the union stated.