By Dayo Johnson
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Sunday advocated that public office holders in the country should be banned from sending their children/wards to study in tertiary institutions abroad.
According to the union “such policy would reduce the decadence in the nation’s education sector.
This was contained in a statement by the Akure zone of the union which was signed by the zonal Coordinator, Prof. Olu Olu Olufayo and the FUTA ASUU branch Chairman, Dr. Olayinka Awopetu.
They said such policy would also help to rebuild the nation’s educational and health sectors
Apart from this, the union also called on the Federal Government to compel members of the ruling class and their dependants from seeking medical intervention outside Nigeria soil.
The statement said that “members of the ruling class and their cohorts have their wards schooling abroad, so they have no commitment to end ASUU strike since political office has become occupational rather than public service.
“Until we domesticate two very important practices as laws in Nigeria, we may not get out of this doldrums -first, an act to compel all public office holders and government appointees to have their wards educated in Nigeria Public schools from primary to tertiary level.
“Secondly, an act to compel all political office holders, appointees and their dependents prohibiting them from seeking medical intervention outside Nigeria.
“When these two laws are enacted, perhaps we will gradually see the end of needless ASUU strikes in the Country.
“Until such a time when government does the needful (our ivory towers properly funded, our withheld emoluments paid amongst other issues), the struggle continues.
“For the patriotic and hardworking Nigerian who desires a future for his/her children as well as building and developing this nation, it becomes imperative that you all call out the government to attend to issues apolitically and objectively to get the system running efficiently and effectively”
ASUU explained that the union has been on strike for the past eight months over issues which has been ignored by successive governments in the country, saying the deplorable situation of our Universities have grown from bad to worse since then.
“Lecture rooms are overcrowded and dilapidated, students hostels deplorable, departments are starved of operational requirements, physical structures are insufficient and no vote for capital projects. Of a fact, the trajectory of the public universities is negatively skewed and for those who understand, this is ominous
“For the past three decades, the University system has suffered (and still suffering) brain drain arising from poor infrastructural, capital and human resource development.
“We have lost a lot of good brains to more organized and purposeful countries over pittance paid to the academia in Nigeria as well as poor funding of research and patronage of research in our universities that serve as solution centres globally.
“Developed countries (as so labeled) achieved this status through research output from their ivory towers, which is why till date, University education and funding is not toyed with or mocked as we have in our dear country Nigeria.
“The only voice that has consistently risen against this onslaught overtime is ASUU and we shall continue to resist the intentional decimation of university education in Nigeria.
“Having laid this foundation, it is shameful, irresponsible, callous, demeaning and conceiting of our leaders to sway the public away from the truth about the very reasons ASUU is on strike” ASUU said.
The union said rather than attending to the rot in the schools, policy makers were busy feeding Nigerians with lies and advising academics to take to farming.
“We have read with dismay, watched with exasperation as appointed ministers and technocrats of the federal republicfeed the populace with lies.
The union said that ‘The scenario has become comical as three leading government representatives gave three different update versions to the public”