by Citizens Platform
Acting Chairperson of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Mr. Uche Omeje has stated that the recent strike action is one which goes beyond salaries and allowances into the need for social amenities and infrastructure.
Omeje made this assertion while addressing a news conference at the ASUU, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, ESUT chapter of the association.
“The present ASUU strike is beyond salaries and allowances for lecturers” Omeje said.
“With overcrowded classrooms, dilapidated infrastructure, ill-motivated staff and students and, in some cases unqualified staff. Nigerian universities have fallen to the level of routine producers of uncultured or uneducated school leavers. Some of those who can afford it, especially government officials, have since resorted to taking their children to our neighboring countries Ghana, Togo, Ivory Coast, Liberia etc for their university education. This is a clear loss of faith in Nigerian university system. This is why we are on strike.” He added.
He also cited several infrastructural challenges facing universities all over the country as being a bigger consideration in the current strike action. He cited several breach of agreements between the federal government and the association in previous years, maintaining that this was merely a fall back of those lapses.
He lamented that simple amenities had not been put in place in different institutions around the country to aid smooth academic improvements.
“The Needs Assessment Committee went round the universities in the country and what it found was shocking,” Omeje said.
“First, it found that the teachers-students ratio was 1-400 on the average instead of being 1-40. It found that the classrooms were grossly inadequate and could accommodate only about 30 percent of the number of students that needed to enter those classrooms, and while most students were standing in their lecture theatres other students write on their backs as lectures were held under trees in some of the universities.”
Members of the Union have been on strike for over six weeks, as they continue to protest against the non-implementation of the 2009 ASUU/FG agreement, which borders on the improved funding of universities and other issues. The branch of ASUU also insisted that they won’t call off the strike, until the FG acts accordingly.
Source: Citizens Platform
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