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Ndume asks FG to slash lawmakers’ salaries by half to meet ASUU’s demands

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Ali Ndume, senator representing Borno-south, has asked the federal government to slash the salaries of lawmakers by half to meet the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

Speaking on Thursday, in Maiduguri, Borno state capital, Ndume said it will be in national interest if the federal government takes such action.

TheCable had reported how the lecturers were paid “half” of one month salary following the call-off of their prolonged strike.

Ndume advised the federal government to constitute a high-powered standing committee of respected educationist and patriotic Nigerians to meet with the ASUU leadership to address lingering issues.

“Even if it means that the national assembly will reduce sitting allowances or be paid on casual allowances basis whenever they sit at the lower and upper chambers, by cutting the recurrent expenditure in the budget of the federal lawmakers to settle the ASUU arrears, let it be. It will be in the overall national interest of Nigerians,” Ndume said.

“We only assemble twice or so per week and get paid as such. Civil servants who worked from home during the COVID-19 pandemic were paid their full salaries and allowances monthly.

“So, why will the federal government cut university lecturers salaries because they went on legitimate strike? Constitutionally, they are fighting for their privileges.

“As a matter of priority and as public servants in the legislative chambers, we don’t work; so why don’t you just give us half salary and then pay ASUU.”

The lawmaker added that it was time for the crisis to be resolved even if it involves borrowing to finance the education sector.

“We are budgeting N20.5 trillion for 2023, I don’t see any reason why the government will not budget one trillion to address the lingering challenges of the education sector including ASUU strikes,” Ndume said.

“Eight months, student were at home doing nothing and they are the public and we are the public servants. In the budget of 2023, the overhead is 43 per cent. If you can spend N8.3 trillion on public servants, why don’t you spend N1 trillion in public universities?

“Some of those involved in the negotiations do not have children in public universities. How can you be talking about something that you have no stake in? I don’t have a child in public schools, all my children are schooling outside the country; most politicians are like that too and they are the once negotiating.

“With this, to me, we will not get any where. Even if we get somewhere, it will be temporary because other people will be playing to the gallery.

“Some of them will be claiming to be defending the interest of the federal government and the others will be pretending to be defending the interest of the masses and at the end they are only playing to the gallery.”

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Education

‘Insensitive decision’ — Falana reacts as Ogun state government renames Tai Solarin College of Education

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Femi Falana, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has asked Dapo Abiodun, governor of Ogun, to review the decision to rename the Tai Solarin College of Education.

In July 2021, Abiodun had announced the decision to rename the college after Sikiru Adetona, the Awujale of Ijebuland.

On November 24, Abiodun formally unveiled the renamed institution as Sikiru Adetona College of Education, Science and Technology (SACOETEC).

Reacting to the development in a statement on Sunday, Falana said while the traditional ruler deserves to be honoured, renaming the institution amounts to denigrating the record of Solarin, the late foremost educationist.

“It is indisputable that the late Dr. Tai Solarin, the founder of the Mayflower School, Ikenne, contributed immensely to the educational development of Nigeria,” the statement reads.

“In appreciation of the contribution of the late educationist, the Ogun State government rightly named a tertiary institution after him, the Tai-Solarin College of Education, Science and Technology (SACOETEC).

“Surprisingly, the Dapo Abiodun administration has announced its decision to rename the College of Education after a highly respected monarch, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, the Awujale of Ijebu-Ode.

“The decision ought to be jettisoned as the governor has not adduced any reason for denigrating the indelible record of the late foremost educationist.

“However, in view of the contribution of the Awujale to the cultural development of Ogun State and his consistent defence of justice and fair play in the country, the Ogun state government is advised to name an important institution after the monarch.

“The governor does not have to assault the memory of the great Solarin in order to honour the eminent Awujale.

“Besides, the governor should be wary of the historical implications of such a seemingly insensitive decision.

“For the immense contributions that Solarin made to enhance our collective humanity, his memory cannot be honoured enough. Indeed, any country should be proud of the legacies of Tai Solarin and be interested in immortalising him.”

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Education

Muhammad Zaiyan-Umar appointed VC at FUBK

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The governing council of the Federal University, Birnin Kebbi (FUBK) has appointed Muhammad Zaiyan-Umar as the new vice-chancellor (VC) of the institution.

NAN reports that Funmi Togonu-Bickersteth, the chairperson of the council, announced the appointment on Thursday.

Togonu-Bickersteth was briefing journalists after the council’s 25th meeting held in Birnin Kebbi.

“As you may be aware, the tenure of the vice-chancellor ends on December 3, 2022,” she said.

“The governing council at its 25th meeting held from Monday to Thursday approved the appointment of Zaiyan-Umar as the new VC.”

Zaiyan-Umar will take over from Bello Bala-Shehu, the outgoing VC, whose five-year tenure ends on December 3.

Togonu-Bickersteth, who is also the pro-chancellor, said the approval of Zaiyan-Umar as successor followed after an advertisement was put out in the national dailies.

She said the appointment also followed a subsequent interview by the governing council.

Zaiyan-Umar was the immediate past deputy VC at the Sokoto State University.

He is a professor of Political Science at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto (UDUS).

The academic is currently the chairman of the board of the Centre for Open and Distance Education (CODE) at UDUS.

Zaiyan-Umar was, at various times, the acting head of the department for Political Science.

He was also the deputy dean and dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, as well as the dean of the postgraduate school at UDUS.

The new FUBK VC is a Fulbright Fellow who served at the University of Washington, Seattle in the US between 1988 and 1999.

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Education

FG flags off teacher training programme to reintroduce history in basic school curriculum

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The federal government has launched the first phase of a teacher training programme to reintroduce history in the basic education curriculum.

The development was announced on Thursday at an inauguration ceremony held in Abuja.

History was removed from the basic school curriculum during the 2009/2010 session — a development which has elicited sharp criticism.

However, in March 2018, the federal government announced a reintroduction of the subject.

Speaking at the event on Thursday, Adamu Adamu, minister of education, who was represented by Goodluck Opiah, minister of state for education, expressed concern over the non-teaching of history for more than 10 years.

He, however, added that 3,700 history teachers have been shortlisted for the first round of training to reintroduce the subject.

“History used to be one of the foundational subjects taught in our classrooms, but for some inexplicable reasons, the steam of teaching and learning was abolished,” he said.

“As a result, history was subsequently expunged from the list of subject combinations our students could offer in both external and internal examinations, compared to the subjects that were made compulsory at basic and secondary levels in Nigeria.

“This single act, no doubt, relegated and eroded the knowledge and information that learners could otherwise have been exposed to. It was a monumental mistake and we have already started seeing its negative consequences.

“The loss created by the absence of this subject has led to a fall in moral values, erosion of civic values, and disconnect from the past.

“More worrisome was the neglect of the teaching of this subject at basic and post-basic levels of education, which invariably eroded the knowledge of the evolution of Nigeria as a country.”

The minister added that the focus of the re-introduction is the training of teachers in order to enhance capacity development.

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