The Nigerian tertiary institutions especially universities have faced many interruptions to academic activities due to strikes by academic staff and definitely we must ask pertinent questions associated with ASUU strike. I base my judgement passionately as an outsider with no direct stake in either ASUU, Students or Federal Government.
To me, it is a case of illusionary No Victor No Vanquish as every stakeholder in the education sector is a loser, only that some are bigger losers than others definitely the government and the students are the bigger losers and that doesn’t make ASUU the winner either.
Have we bothered to ask what are the demands of ASUU? Are they genuine and feasible?
What stops government from implementing their promises over the years, if the demands are vague what stops you from renegotiating and striking a new deal?
Why is ASUU not releasing some of the agreements public because the government is making it looks like it’s a selfish interest and the strike is only the issue of IPPIS enrollment which ASUU has reservations for and offered a new platform UTAS? (University Transparency and Accountability Solution)
But today I will be focusing on the solutions many people proffered to put an end to the needless or needful ASUU’s incessant industrial impasse. Such solutions includes total disbandment of the union and putting and declaring their activities illegal and another is enacting a law that prohibits public office holders from taken their wards to study abroad.
The former is dead on arrival solution because not even the military juntas could declare ASUU an illegal union and put an end to its existence, let alone a democratic government.
But the later seems to be a populist idea and it is gaining ground especially amongst the downtrodden without looking at the feasibility of such? That’s practically impossible to stop public office holders from taking their children abroad to acquire education.
Things don’t work like that, that is infringement on the rights of public office holders.
The rot in the education system didn’t start now, it’s an age-long debacle. If by privilege, connection or influence anyone becomes a public office holder if you can afford to take your children out to study with a justified income so be it.
Let’s not live in utopianism, who will enact such laws? The same people you regard as the culprits?
There are many people who have never been a product of public school or institutions from primary to tertiary and are working in the private sector.
Many who study outside don’t even return home, and don’t forget **Barr last year Diaspora remittance is over $35 billion needless to say who and where such amounts comes from.
Until there is huge investment in public school from primary to tertiary; and provision of adequate incentives to teachers at all levels; as well as horizontal and vertical physical and intellectual infrastructural development, no one would risk the future of his children in the name of patriotism.
Many of our children are in private primary and secondary Schools and if we have opportunities we will take them to private universities or outside the country for obvious reasons I highlighted above.
Until there is a strong monitoring and evaluation team to checkmate excesses and waste, people will not find public institution attractive.
It is just another populist idea that circulated amongst the downtrodden when medical practisioners went on strike, there was massive call to stop all medical practisioners from engaging in private practice, with the believe that it will make them concentrate a feat I argued is not possible because there are no mechanism to checkmate that, will follow them to their house and know where they go after closing hours?
They can even register their clinics in proxy with the name of any of their relatives as the owner.
Many do argue that what has ASUU’s series of industrial action yielded since its inception? Well ASUU strike led to the the formation of Education Tax Fund (ETF) which later metamorphosed into Education Trust Fund and later Tertiary Education Trust Fubd (TETFund) and its sister body NEEDS Assessment to cater for tertiary education and the impact of Tetfund in our tertiary institutions can not be over emphasized as its impact is there for all and sundry and that’s a topic for another day.
We must stop chasing shadows and face reality.
Crest Consults And Global Services LTD
Kushi Libi Isaac