Enough Of Toying With Nigeria’s Future, NUJ Tells FG


BY VICTOR BUORO, ABUJA – The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), has expressed regrets over the Federal Government’s continued abdication of its responsibility of tackling the rot in Nigerian Universities and other tertiary institutions.

The NUJ said the situation is most unfortunate because the government has over the years out-rightly ignored all agreements signed with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), and Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP).

According to the Union, such agreements were all aimed at bringing life back into the tertiary institutions but sadly, the Federal Government continues to remain impervious while lecturers suffer as strikes have become rampant.

It also noted with concern the way and manner the Government has continued to fail in a bid to re-position education in the country, lamenting that this is in spite of the fact Nigeria has the potential to play a major role in the development of West Africa and indeed the entire continent.

The NUJ statement, signed by its National Secretary, Malam Shuaibu Usman Leman, observed that with the country accounting for more than 45 per cent of the total population of the sub region and a substantial percentage of its GDP, the transformation of its education system which is viewed as a reference point by many countries will have far reaching effects throughout the sub region and beyond.

Leman further said; “Unfortunately, one of the self-inflicted calamities on Nigeria in the past two decades is the virtual collapse of its educational system which the nation’s founding fathers established on sound developmental goals.

“Nigeria’s higher education had boasted of world class Universities which have now unfortunately deteriorated so much so that graduates from these supposedly Ivory Towers are no longer attractive in the employment market, while overseas higher institutions have to put these graduates to rigorous tests or through remedial programs to enable them cope with graduate studies.”

The Union said that positive learning outcomes generally sought by educational systems can only happen in quality learning environments, which are made up of physical, psychological and service delivery elements, adding that such environments are mostly lacking in our public Institutions which are situated in conditions that are not healthy and safe and lack adequate resources and facilities.

“We are alarmed that in terms of the provision of physical facilities, our infrastructure remain inadequate for a system that is rapidly growing while existing facilities are either inadequately maintained or not even maintained at all, and there is also little effort by government in providing new ones. The intervention of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund had however prevented many of such Institutions from folding up.

“It is instructive to note that children who attend public schools without basic requirements, library facilities, instructional material and teacher motivation, are significantly more likely to show poor output than those schools that are well equipped. On the other hand, inadequate working conditions for teachers in all levels of our education system affects their ability to provide quality education and influence their experience as educators.

“Their remunerations also matter, as low and late payment of remunerations may lead teachers to take additional jobs elsewhere as is the case in most parts of the country and this divided attention hurts students’ learning. It equally affects the quality of administrative support and leadership which are critical elements in the education process,” the Union stressed.

It therefore urge the federal government to stop toying with Nigeria’s future by urgently commencing the full implementation of all agreements entered into with ASUU and other Unions in the sector, adding that the nation must take the issue of education at all levels with utmost priority and urgently too, saying; “there lies Nigeria’s future.”

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