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ASUU extends strike by four weeks

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has extended its ongoing strike.

The association, in a statement on Monday signed by Emmanuel Osodeke, its president, said decision was made after a meeting of ASUU executives on Sunday.

It said the rollover was to give the federal government time to resolve the outstanding issues.

On February 14, ASUU declared a one-month warning strike to protest the non-implementation of its demands by the federal government.

The union extended the strike by eight weeks on March 14, citing the government’s failure to fully address its demands.

It thereafter extended the strike by another 12 weeks on May 9.

ASUU, in its statement, said it viewed the recent directive given by the President Muhammadu Buhari that the minister of education should resolve the lingering crisis, with seriousness.

“The Union wonders why it had taken five full months and needless muscle-flexing for government to come to the realisation of the need for honest engagement,” the statement reads.

“NEC acknowledged the growing understanding of the issues and the groundswell of support for the Union’s principled demand for a globally competitive university education in Nigeria. Nigerian universities must not be reduced to constituency projects that merely exist on paper and our scholars must be incentivised to stay back and do what they know best, here in Nigeria.

“NEC observed that non-signing of the draft renegotiated 2009 FGN-ASUU Agreement more than one month after it was concluded by Professor Nimi Briggs-led Committee is further tasking the patience of ASUU members nationwide.

“NEC further observed that the on-going trial of the suspended Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Ahmed ldris, on allegation of monumental fraud has vindicated ASUU’s rejection of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information (IPPIS). The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is enjoined to release reports of the latest tests on the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) vis-à-vis IPPIS without further delay. ASUU shall resist any attempt to truncate the deployment of UTAS with all legitimate means available to the Union.

“NEC noted that cumulative indifference by the political class gave vent to pervasive atmosphere of insecurity which now threatens seamless provision of educational services in the country. The unceremonious closure of educational institutions in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), following the recent attack on Presidential Guards, betrays a panicky measure to addressing a malignant ailment. Nothing short of a comprehensive overhaul of the security architecture of the country will sustainably address the problem.

“Following extensive deliberations and taking cognisance of Government’s past failures to abide by its own timelines in addressing issues raised in the 2020 FGN/ASUU Memorandum of Action (MoA), NEC resolved that the strike be rolled over for four weeks to give Government more time to satisfactorily resolve all the outstanding issues. The role-over strike action is with effect from 12.01a.m. on Monday, 1st August, 2022.”

Education

Governor Emmanuel Udom’s Legacies In Education In Akwa-Ibom

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Education was one of the cardinal priorities of Governor Emmanuel Udom when he took over office in 2015.

In the course of his seven years administration, several primary primary and secondary schools were built across the State.

So many dilapidated school buildings were also renovated and rehabilitated.

The aim of the Government according to the Governor is to give the pupils a conducive environment for optimal learning.

In the course of his administration, Akwa Ibom recorded rising performance by candidates who took the West African Senior School Certificate Examination from 2019 to 2021.

The Commissioner for Education, Mrs Idongesit Etiebet recently said that the percentage of candidates who passed with credits in 5 subjects or more, including -English Language and Mathematics rose from 58.55 to 68.05 and 78.90, for 2019, 2020 and 2021, respectively, the figure for 2022 is still being compiled.

Report also showed that the total number of those who took the examination in the years under review as , 51,771, 52,207 , 54,171 despite the effect of COVID-19.

In 2018 Akwa Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel commenced augmenting tuition fees of Akwa Ibom indigent students of University of Uyo.

Indigent students were screened by showing proof of studentship and thereafter paid varying sums to pay their school fees.

The Tuition Intervention program is the first of its kind in Akwa Ibom history as part of the Governor’s commitment to ensure an educated citizenry.

The University of Uyo and other tertiary institutions in the state have recieved billions of Naira intervention funds to carry out its programmes and for infrastructural development.

The government in its quest to give students the best in their academic pursuance have recruited and trained hundreds of teachers in both primary and secondary schools.

In his effort at motivating their performances, Governor Udom Emmanuel has made the welfare of teachers in the State a high priority.

Akwa Ibom State teachers are one of the highest paid teachers in the country.

Governor Udom Emmanuel is of the belief and has always advocated that a well educated society is a panacea to development.

The governor during the activities marking the 35th anniversary of the creation of the State recently restated his government’s commitment and resolve to make the State one of the most education advantage State in Nigeria.

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UNILAG launches $500m endowment fund to mark diamond jubilee

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The University of Lagos is set to launch an endowment fund worth of $500 million to mark its diamond jubilee anniversary.

Pro-Chancellor/Chairman of the Governing Council, Senator Dr Olanrewaju Tejuosho stated this on Monday at the College of Medicine, UNILAG, Idi Araba, Lagos during the flag off of activities to mark the 60th anniversary of the university.

According to the Pro-Chancellor, the endowment fund is targeted at raising funds for the provision of new facilities and the upgrade of old ones in the university.

Meanwhile, Tejuoso has disclosed that the 13th substantive Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, UNILAG, will emerge Friday, this week.

The new VC will take over from Prof. Toyin Ogundipe, the 12th substantive VC, whose tenure ends next month.

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‘Give universities autonomy, scrap JAMB’ — Leke Alder suggests ways to improve education sector

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Leke Alder, strategy, policy and brand consultant, has suggested ways to improve Nigeria’s tertiary education sector.

Alder spoke on Saturday at the 2022 edition of The Platform Nigeria, which held in Lagos and was themed, ‘A Better Nigeria is Possible; Why What, How?’.

Speaking on the possible solutions for the country to adopt, Adler listed key points such as job creation, cutting expenditure, and revamping education.

According to him, education needs to be linked to the private sector to be revamped.

“The private sector accounts for 80 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). The private sector must have input in the designs of syllabi of universities and schools,” he said.

“Give the universities absolute autonomy. Scrap JAMB. Give the universities grants to manage the transition to full administrative autonomy. Create a better scheme for student loans so that students who cannot afford to go to those universities can at least take loans, and give them for a period of 20 years to 25 years.

“We have something like that in the country, but it’s hardly functional. Also, the loans have to be privately managed and not public.”

He also advised that polytechnics be converted into enterprises for fashion design, scriptwriting, interior design, digital art, among others.

“Why am I specifying these particular enterprises? It is because we have a creative generation and the best thing to create jobs is to put them in the way,” he said.

“The polytechnics are trying to reconfigure what the universities are doing and that is not practical; that doesn’t make sense. Let there be practical places where no theoreticians will teach in those places.”

Speaking also on education, Kunle Soriyan, founder and chief strategist, Kenneth Soriyan Research and Ideas LLC, said proper education is what is needed for people to be able to make informed decisions.

“We need to prioritise education. We need to emphasise education above academics. This education has to be informal, and there must be another way we have to begin to look at it,” he said.

“Africans by history don’t learn in classrooms. We learn in two ways; through apprenticeship and observation. It has helped us to do so many things in our history that I don’t have time to articulate.

“And shame on everybody who manages our education for their refusal to sit down and say, ‘it is not a problem for me to lose a wall that forced us into slavery’. But that the day we find independence, we must have the courage to ask ourselves who we are and how do we start again from where we stopped.

“We don’t have to bow to the reality of the assumptions of your colonial masters or your oppressors who define how you’re going to think about your life. Everything is on the table.”

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