Boko Haram wins, ASUU loses, By Aniebo Nwamu

ASUU
ASUU

For the college lecturers, it has been a protracted battle. ASUU signed an settlement with the federal government in 2009. Sadly, it was in the identical yr {that a} sect referred to as Boko Haram (“Western schooling is forbidden”) emerged from the shadows to wage a conflict on schooling. And the federal government appears to have been listening to Boko Haram quite than to ASUU, therefore it has refused to fulfil its personal a part of the settlement. Boko Haram has received; ASUU has misplaced the combat.

Report keepers say public universities have, since 1999, been shut down 16 instances for a interval totalling 62 months (greater than 5 years) and nonetheless counting. That seems like a loss of life knell for an schooling system that has been ailing for no less than 4 a long time. Having witnessed the collapse of schooling on the main and secondary ranges, why can we fake that the tertiary stage nonetheless exists?

Like a affected person in intensive care, schooling has had the members of the Tutorial Employees Union of Universities (ASUU) as docs and nurses attending to it. This week, they’ve eliminated the oxygen masks. A declaration from the undertaker, the Federal Authorities of Nigeria, and its brokers is being awaited.

For the college lecturers, it has been a protracted battle. ASUU signed an settlement with the federal government in 2009. Sadly, it was in the identical yr {that a} sect referred to as Boko Haram (“Western schooling is forbidden”) emerged from the shadows to wage a conflict on schooling. And the federal government appears to have been listening to Boko Haram quite than to ASUU, therefore it has refused to fulfil its personal a part of the settlement. Boko Haram has received; ASUU has misplaced the combat.

Right this moment I received’t dwell on arguments for or in opposition to ASUU and the federal government. I’ve written scores of articles on the schooling system. Two years in the past, I revealed a e book to attract everybody’s consideration to the unsustainability of the present schooling system, the impossibility of ASUU getting its calls for, and a workable answer to the schooling mess within the twenty first century. The e book, which has acquired acceptance from readers of each hue, is Jobseeker to Entrepreneur: How Profession-focused Schooling Can Multiply Companies and Encourage Leaders. Our political leaders and schooling planners may select to skirt spherical the topic, however I’ve little doubt we might ultimately come again to the start: a brand new schooling system that’s sustainable and helpful. Any enterprise based on fraud is certain to break down, regardless of how lengthy it takes; so has it been with a flawed schooling system.

I’m a serious sufferer of perennial ASUU strikes. As a result of I can’t afford to ship my kids overseas – as ministers, lawmakers, governors, presidents and their collaborators do – three of them have been trapped in federal universities. Every has misplaced two years already. And ASUU has now drawn a battle line by making its newest strike indefinite. A higher drawback for me now isn’t that they’re at house, they’re threatening to not return to high school.

“We’re all victims,” says ASUU in its press launch of 29 August signed by its president, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, even because it pleads for “understanding, solidarity and sacrifices of all to make sure that each certified Nigerian youth who can’t afford the price of non-public college schooling or overseas research has unhindered entry to high quality college schooling”. The strike, it provides, is supposed to save lots of public universities from a authorities that “by no means believed in saving public universities from the misfortunes which have befallen Nigeria’s public main and secondary faculties” and to “forestall members of the Nigerian ruling class and their overseas collaborators from additional destroying no matter is left of our public universities”.

We’ve seen how the hypocrites have run Nigeria aground in only a few years. Earlier than energy was thrust on them – they have been by no means ready for governance however for conflict anyway – they sided with ASUU. The present schooling minister, Adamu Adamu, wrote a number of items condemning the Jonathan administration for reneging on the 2009 settlement.

I sympathise with the dons. Their adversaries consider they might be starved to submission. That’s why they’ve ignored them and denied them salaries for seven months now. And, actually, a lot of the professors are in misery. Some have put up their automobiles on the market; some have exhausted their borrowing capability; some can’t pay the charges of their kids in non-public universities or overseas; and a few can’t purchase the medication they use to handle their illnesses. For persevering for seven months and nonetheless refusing to kowtow to the threats of Boko Haram sympathisers, the lecturers within the federal universities deserve kudos.

We count on that the federal government will attempt to reopen the schools and maybe proscribe ASUU subsequent week. Vice-chancellors, all of whom are swimming in cash from all sources, could also be requested to promote the roles of the putting lecturers. However they received’t succeed. If ASUU members have endured starvation and humiliation for seven months, they received’t die in another yr. We mother and father are able to contribute funds for his or her repairs till this authorities leaves by Could 2023.

We’ve seen how the hypocrites have run Nigeria aground in only a few years. Earlier than energy was thrust on them – they have been by no means ready for governance however for conflict anyway – they sided with ASUU. The present schooling minister, Adamu Adamu, wrote a number of items condemning the Jonathan administration for reneging on the 2009 settlement.

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The then opposition and now ruling APC had in its communique of 5 December, 2013, commented on a earlier ASUU strike: “The present deadlock has paralysed tertiary schooling nationwide, compromised safety by creating idle youth, doubtlessly foreclosing prospects for a vibrant future.

“This isn’t the time for threats however partnerships and compromise as a result of the youths are our greatest sources for tomorrow.

“As a political get together, as mother and father and guardians, our coronary heart goes out to hundreds of thousands of our youths who’ve been disadvantaged their proper to schooling for over half of an instructional session via no fault of theirs.”

Each voter however Boko Haram and its adherents shall be remembering ASUU and a destroyed schooling system on their technique to the polling sales space in February. Who is aware of, the overall election could also be postponed or cancelled outright. Having manifested all indices of a failed state, Nigeria appears to be dwelling on borrowed time. Boko Haram should still have one final joker up its sleeves.

May any get together or authorities be extra insincere?   

To keep away from the collateral harm these buccaneers in energy could trigger, ASUU ought to keep dignified silence. Simply depart the campuses for them. College students received’t return as soon as they realise that their lecturers received’t be in school rooms. Even when the VCs promote vacancies, no actually certified candidate will reply to them. And if the college authorities dare to offer some jobseekers employment letters, that might imply double bother for a authorities that has refused to pay ASUU members for the interval they’ve been on strike.

“No work, no pay” is trash discuss by these bent on abolishing Western schooling and changing it with their very own model of schooling. Staff in 4 moribund refineries earn 4 instances greater than professors, but they do no work. Senators and different “lawmakers” earn in a single month what professors earn in two or three years by simply shouting “Aye” and “Nay” as soon as a month. If those that don’t work in Nigeria have been to be denied their pay, the wage invoice of each state and the federal authorities would drop by 90%.

We hear that some APC governors search to intervene within the FG-ASUU faceoff. After all, it’s an election yr they usually perceive the implications of electioneering presently. The get together that got here to energy seven years in the past on the wings of sure insurance policies has turn into an enormous disappointment. It is aware of it has little likelihood on the polls coming in 5 months, what with a brand new electoral legislation that’s positive to curtail rigging. What would the campaigners say to the citizens this time? Simply as their worry of an rebellion has made them delay elimination of “petrol subsidy”, the worry of scholars and fogeys stoning them on marketing campaign grounds is making the governors search to intervene. Their intervention may imply paying the backlog of salaries owed ASUU or no less than a half of them. The lecturers ought to use their sixth sense – and use a protracted spoon – whereas consuming with politicians.

Each voter however Boko Haram and its adherents shall be remembering ASUU and a destroyed schooling system on their technique to the polling sales space in February. Who is aware of, the overall election could also be postponed or cancelled outright. Having manifested all indices of a failed state, Nigeria appears to be dwelling on borrowed time. Boko Haram should still have one final joker up its sleeves.

Aniebo Nwamu, a serial entrepreneur, writes from Abuja; SMS/WhatsApp solely: +234-8054100220; E-mail: [email protected]

 


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