The fight between the Academic Staff Union Of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) has reached an indefinite strike due to the unresolved arrangements they had which have not been resolved yet, which the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) is begging the ASUU to prioritize the students.
For over six months after the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) went on a four-week “total and comprehensive strike” to press their unresolved demands, the federal government and the union have demonstrated unbridled intransigence and a lack of commitment to reach an agreement and end the industrial action. The government and ASUU have also shown a lack of empathy for the struggle of parents and kids, as well as the pursuit of a great education for our children.
ASUU went on strike on February 14, 2022, to demand the re-negotiation of the 2009 FG-ASUU contract; due to the implementation of UTAS as a substitute for IPPIS as a payment system; the payment of salary repayments for academic staff; the payment of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA); reinvention funds for universities; the release of the White Paper on Visitation Panels, which concluded their assigned task last year; and the non-proliferation.
The name ASUU is predominantly intertwined with strikes. It has gone on strike nine times in the previous thirteen years, five times during President Muhammadu Buhari’s presidency exclusively. Nevertheless, ASUU has been on strike under every Nigerian president or head of state since at least 1992. That is three times the number of continuous strikes, and the concerns remain unresolved, and our university system, the future of Nigerian students, and the nation have suffered as a result. With the exception of students taking longer to complete their education as a result of the too require unprecedented, the unending strikes have also inflicted immense harm to Nigeria’s higher education.
The strikes have indeed resulted in a flight of quality students, as parents who can avail it now choose private institutions in the country or universities in overseas countries, including countries with very weak and doubtful university systems, simply such that students can finalize their programs on time. Nigerian public institutions, like elementary and secondary schools, are quickly being recognized not for the level of education and research that takes place in them, but as a symbol of Nigeria’s quiet war on the poor: a place solely for the poor and disadvantaged students.
Instead of really attempting to achieve a deal, both the federal government and ASUU have engaged in a propaganda war, disseminating lies and disinformation to the Nigerian people. On August 17, 2022, for example, the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, informed Nigerians that every issue between the government and ASUU had been resolved, with the exception of salary arrears for the months ASUU had been on strike, which he stated the government was unwilling to pay in order to serve as a deterrent to strikes. The minister has gone so far as to suggest that students sue ASUU for the period spent on strike.
ASUU has said that no compromise has been made on the crucial issues that forced the strike while denying “categorically” that wage arrears were ever addressed with the minister. Additionally, they haven’t given up and appear determined to adhere to all of its conditions, putting the university system into a protracted period of shutdown with no end in sight.
It is obvious that ASUU and the federal government have adopted a defiant, never-ending face-off rather than adopting a stance reached through good-faith negotiation. This is extremely inappropriate and hurtful. Both sides of the conflict must flex their muscles. In any case, the federal government has not demonstrated enough confidence in and dedication to the implementation of the recommendations of the two negotiating committees it commissioned at the start of the current strike: the Professor Jibril Munzali committee from May 2021 and the recently concluded Professor Nimi Brigg committee.
Both sides are unknowingly demonstrating their lack of commitment to education by thrusting a sword into the heart of the country’s educational system. There is no logical explanation for why this strike has continued for this long after the federal government and ASUU have failed Nigerians in their management of the strike so far. Their choices must be guided by their sense of patriotism. Both sides must understand that Nigeria cannot continue to play about with its educational system since it determines the destiny of both the nation and future generations. Only decisions that are in the best interests of the country should be made, together with a feeling of accountability.
The maxes urge the government to act swiftly to put a stop to the strike that is jeopardizing our children’s future. Without using any ministerial middlemen, President Buhari should become involved in the discussions directly. ASUU, on the other hand, has to understand that no one wins 100% of the time in negotiations and be more realistic about what any government can do in terms of the welfare of academic staff and financing for institutions of higher education in the nation. It is also past time for the National Assembly, the National Council of State, previous heads of state, traditional leaders, and religious figures to find a way to become involved in order to stop the present strike and come up with a long-term solution. The negotiation teams of the federal government and ASUU cannot handle this issue on their own. And for this, no concession is too great.Join our Telegram Channel for Updates!!!
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