“To perpetuate our culture and to increase our productive capacity, State should take education seriously and see it as RIGHT and not a privilege of the citizenry” M.O GAFARI (1944).
“Teaching is passion, sefless not unwarranted opportunity”
Adekunle Damilola (2013)
The above quotation serves as a reminder for asuu/federal government on the “imperatives” of Education in national development. It serves as a “clarion” call for Asuu/Fgn to realize the purpose and value of education in human capability building, and to find a solution, not a short-term solution, but a long-lasting solution to the decay in the country educational system.
For more than a decade, academic staff union of university (ASUU) and the federal government of Nigeria as continue simultaneously to engage in industrial dispute over nature of thing that is best-known to them, than those known to us, which has not only endangered the Nigeria’s education sector, but have also relegated it to the background. This industrial dispute to a greater extent as did more HARM than GOOD to the country educational sector and her youth.
However, having examined critically by employing a holistic approach to study the issue, I conceived and provide an answer to the question of who owns the blames of the decay in our educational sector. In my own position I can assert to venture that the two parties ASUU/FGN are to be blamed for the on-going and growing decay in Nigeria’s educational sector, and my reason for this assertion is based on the following ground.
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
First: The federal government must be reminded that education is a right of the citizen and not a privilege, at such, providing affordable and qualitative education is a fundamental objective of any state. Thus the federal government should have taken education as a social justice of the people by taking education as its priority. Their failure in doing this as resulted into pitfall of education in Nigeria.
Second: The lily approach which the federal government has employed in solving the crisis ravaging the education sector over the year is ridiculous, and not encouraging. The federal government hasn’t show enough portends of commitment in finding a lasting solution to the on-going crisis in the education sector, as it fails to address the issue as strong detriment to National development. The federal government failure to step up it budgetary allocation on education as prescribed by the United Nation treaty on education, i.e above 26% is a clear indication of how unserious is the Nigeria federal government. And this as been one of the major excuse for “ Asuu” to leave the class room ,which is driven by industrial strike action.
Third: The increasing privatization of education sector and the low competitiveness of public institution to that of private institution, in relations to infrastructural facilities, are many of the reason for the low performance and decay in the Nigeria educational sector. The federal government must realize that the major responsibility of any reasonable government is providing its citizen with qualitative and affordable education that is enviable and all encompassing, it is on this basis the state was established. The federal government seems to be too ignoramus in handling many of the issues confronting her, ranging from insecurity, infrastructure, education, electricity etc.
Viewed from the above, the federal government of Nigeria and its state counterpart should bury their face in shame, in spite of the enormous wealth of the country, the government can’t meet up the responsibilities expected of her, and the raison d’état. The federal government has failed to adhere to the principle and agreement that brought about the state.
ACADEMIC STAFF UNION OF UNIVERSITY (ASUU):
Although the federal government as failed to live up to its responsibility, and it is constitutionally right for government employer to embark on strike action in pressing the government to adhere to their demand, but when this becomes too often the virtue and value of “strike action” becomes valueless. Therefore I put some little blames not on ASUU in general, but the leadership of asuu.
First: Asuu leadership to me seems to be suffering from misplacement syndrome in demanding from government. Its is not misleading to assert that the major goal of asuu strike isn’t educational reform but a “means to an end”. A means of satisfying their acquisitiveness, their selfish interest and protection of their wrong doings. They only hide under the umbrella of “falling standard of education” to get public sympathy in achieving their self-centeredness. Its is on this basis I describe
“Asuu leaders” as a “group of individuals whose appetite override their reasons”.
The reality is that those principles that established Asuu as been jeopardize by some short-sighted, unpurposeful and self-centered individuals that characterized asuu leadership. My reason for this is very obvious; hadn’t been that asuu and their leadership is fighting for ‘justice’ in education and they believe in the future of the youth, among their demand wouldn’t have included ‘upgrading their age from 65-70,transfer of federal government landed property to university. The reality is that the major objective of this on-going strike is the “Earned allowance”, I can assure Nigerians that once this is met the strike will be put to abeyance. This has been a re-occurrence solution; it’s no longer new that ‘monetary allocation” is the major pioneer of asuu strike.
Second: Asuu is made up of academicians, thus, strike action shouldn’t be the only option to press for their demands, they should formulate theories and approaches in pressing the government o adhere to their demands, if people like “Karl Marx” hadn’t fought with their pen, for the right of labour in production, what will have been the option for Asuu when engaging in industrial dispute. The reality is that asuu have resort into using the “life of the student “as dice in a ludo game played between them and the government.i.e the student is a joker card for asuu in pressing for their demands.
Disappointingly, the current president (Goodluck Jonathan)and minister of education(rukayatu rufai) and head of many government agencies were member of the same asuu before climbing their ladders of positions , I wonder if they have been sleeping during their days as a lecturer, this also buttress my point on assu has being self centered .The negligence on the part of FGN in meeting asuu demands ,is as a result of the unseriousness,corruption and self -centeredness that characterized previous asuu leadership when demanding from successive government.
To cut the story short, ASUU and FGN are doom to Nigeria’s tertiary education sector.
Therefore it is suggested that the two parties should bury their face and ego in shame, they should allow reason to override their appetite, they should stop toying with the life’s of the student, diverse their attention into their respective calls, provide lasting solution not only on education, but also on various calamitous issues confronting the country presently. In particular asuu should play the role of an “Elite” when dealing with issues confronting the country. The federal government see education as a priority and right of the citizen, if the country is to accomplish millennium development goal(Mdgs).