The extension of the continued strike by the Educational Workers Union of Universities (ASUU) by one other 4 weeks has proven that the Federal Authorities underneath the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari and the management of the hanging varsity lecturers are but not able to resolve the labour disaster within the nation’s public universities any time quickly. The extra the strike continues, the extra the rot within the universities exacerbates.  The federal and state governments haven’t demonstrated sufficient goodwill to resolve the deadlock within the universities. With the rising tradition of schooling tourism, our political leaders should not fearful over the strike as a result of their kids don’t research in Nigerian universities. They’re contented with the concept and notion that their kids graduated from universities in the UK (UK) and the USA (US) and Canada.

The Ukraine/Russia conflict has briefly stopped our schooling tourism in that a part of the world. This APC-led ‘change’ authorities has not achieved sufficient to alter the dwindling fortunes of the nation’s public varsities. The federal government has behaved as if it’s not conscious of all of the subsisting agreements with ASUU over funding of the schools and different welfare points. The federal government additionally seems uncaring to the plight of Nigerian college students who’ve stayed at dwelling for over 5 months as a result of our political leaders don’t care about their schooling and the way forward for the nation’s college system. They care much less over the poor score of the nation’s human capital improvement index. Our international rating on human capital improvement index launched just lately by the World Financial institution is among the poorest. The federal government will be blamed for the woes of our universities. Whereas the federal authorities is even attempting in funding the federal varsities, the identical can’t be stated of the state universities.

The state governors don’t faux over poor funding of state universities, which many critics regard as glorified secondary colleges. The lecturers within the state universities are poorly remunerated. That’s the reason a few of them resort to the inelegant ‘sorting’ of extortion of scholars as a means of augmenting their poor wages.  Some state universities within the South East are infamous for sorting, a euphemism for bribery and corruption. Within the state varsities, the governors act because the alternate vice chancellors and chief accounting officers. They run the schools as their personal colleges when it comes to college students’ admission and employees recruitment to the extent that some individuals who shouldn’t be educating within the universities are imposed on the system.

The disaster in employees recruitment is just not restricted to state universities, it’s even rife in some federal universities, the place ethnicity and non secular issues are given preferences in employees recruitment and even appointment of vice chancellors, a extremely politicized concern within the nation’s public universities. Within the personal universities, anybody will be appointed the vice chancellors it relies upon solely on the whims and caprices of the proprietor.

It’s even worse in some faith-based universities the place the emphasis is extra on revenue than the standard of instruction. The Nigerian authorities has failed in its accountability to offer high quality college schooling to Nigerians as a result of their kids college overseas and they aren’t ashamed to regale all of us with photos of such commencement ceremonies held in universities owned by our erstwhile colonizers, thereby extending the recolonization course of, aided eminently by the almighty globalization ideology. Our political leaders nonetheless bow all the way down to our colonizers and would at all times really feel protected of their domains, colleges and well being amenities, therefore the rising medical tourism. That’s the reason they poorly fund the schooling and well being sectors, which haven’t attracted as much as 15 per cent of our nationwide funds up to now ten years or extra. No nation can develop with the paltry allocation of 5 – 6 per cent allotted to schooling and well being yearly. Most superior international locations the place our leaders ship their kids and wards to check spend as much as 26 per cent of their nationwide funds on schooling. In addition they achieve this to well being funding. The proliferation of universities has worsened the disaster within the college system. The tempo of opening of extra universities is just not the identical because the tempo of manufacturing PhD holders that can educate within the new universities. It’s the identical lecturers who educate in public universities that educate as adjuncts within the personal universities, particularly varsities positioned in Lagos and Abuja. A few of these adjuncts educate in additional than two or three universities and but they are going to complain of poor salaries.

The worst is that after the strike the varsity lecturers will probably be paid their salaries in full for the months they refused to work. A few of them will declare that they carried out analysis through the strike interval. However their work definition pertains to educating and analysis mixed. It is just in Nigeria {that a} employee will probably be paid wages for work not achieved. That is one dilemma ASUU members should interrogate successfully. Having blamed the federal government for exacerbating the disaster within the universities, ASUU and different commerce unions within the system similar to SSANU, NASU and others have compounded the issue by their selfishness and indifference to the falling normal within the universities. We’ve got a college system the place the parallel varsity staff’ unions have vowed to not enable industrial peace to prevail in these ivory towers.

Every time ASUU will get some wage elevate from the federal government, the opposite unions will antagonize the system and make it ungovernable till their calls for, whether or not proper or unsuitable, are met. It is just in Nigeria that each one varsity lecturers would insist on identical pay whether or not the college belongs to the primary fee, second or third and regardless of their {qualifications} and expertise in addition to supply. It doesn’t acquire in another career similar to regulation, journalism and engineering. Universities overseas pay completely different wages in line with their capability and high quality of the lecturer. The unpredictability of the tutorial calendar within the universities has contributed to the erosion of high quality of their graduates. The poor funding of our universities has justified the necessity for varsity autonomy and various funding for the varsities. Authorities has proved its incapacity to adequately fund the schools, faculties of expertise and faculties of schooling. That is the time to utterly democratize the varsity system the place the personal sector will play a serious position in revitalizing our collapsing and decaying college system. The federal government can privatize the schools in order that the usual of instruction will be enhanced. The continual closure of the schools on account of strike will finish if they’re privatized, if they’re autonomous and self-funding as most universities within the UK and the US and even Canada. It’s a paradox that oldsters who pay thousands and thousands of naira for his or her wards in some personal secondary colleges are unwilling to pay even N100,000 tuition charges in some public universities. The schools should be able to generate funds by alumni associations, endowments and applicable tuition as a substitute of relying a lot on authorities’s funding. The politics in TETFUND has not likely helped the poor funding of universities. The opaqueness within the disbursement of TETFUNDS should be interrogated in addition to the UBEC funds.

These funds should not doing what they imagined to do to revamp the schooling sector. Yearly, UBEC will report of billions of naira that weren’t accessed as a result of the state governments have failed to offer their counterpart funding. For the reason that authorities continues to be the proprietor of those universities, it should present seriousness in resolving the ASUU strike and be certain that the schools are opened for educational actions quickly.

We can not develop when our universities are perpetually shutdown as a result of authorities and ASUU are unwilling to succeed in a compromise. The federal government and ASUU ought to be held accountable if the college system collapsed. Disruption of the tutorial calendar has contributed a lot to the rot within the varsity system in addition to the corruption within the ivory towers over administration of funds. Whereas ASUU strike is on, authorities purchased automobiles value off N1.14 billion for Niger Republic to make sure safety throughout elections.

This authorities has prolonged railway to Maradi in Niger whereas neglecting the Maiduguri/Port Harcourt railway. All these are misplaced priorities when the federal authorities universities are crying of poor funding. Let authorities and ASUU present dedication to resolving the seeming interminable strike.

The publish Nigeria’s collapsing university system appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.

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