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NANS issues FG, ASUU 9-day ultimatum to open public universities

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NANS issues FG, ASUU 9-day ultimatum to open public universities

… As NAEAP charges LASG to develop school improvement plan***

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), South East, has issued the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) a nine-day ultimatum to open all public universities.

The Coordinator, NANS Zone F (South-East), Mr Moses Onyia, gave the ultimatum in a statement released on his behalf by the Chief Media Aide to the Coordinator, Lillian Orji, on Tuesday in Enugu.

Also read: Reactions trail extension of ASUU strike by three months

It would be recalled that ASUU, on Monday, May 9, extended its three-month-old warning strike by yet another three months.

ASUU embarked on a nationwide warning strike on Feb. 14, 2022.

The industrial action was aimed at pressing home its demands which include revitalisation of public universities, earned academic allowances and the deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution for payment of university lecturers.

The statement said that the government and ASUU should do the needful before nine days, adding that failure to do this within or at the expiry of this ultimatum would only leave students with the last resort of taking a drastic measure.

According to the statement, from May 20 to May 25, 2022; after the expiration of the ultimatum, we will take up measures that will see to Nigerian students of the South-East extraction in their numbers blocking one of the major entrance into South-East  – The Niger Bridge.

It said: “We will also block all the three airports in the South-East, which included: Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu; Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri and Anambra Passenger and Cargo International Airport, Umeri, Anambra.

“Thus, halting all movement to and from this axis of the South-East.

“It is our hope it does not get to this point, but when we are pushed to the wall, we are ready to hold the bull by the horn.

“Emphatically, we re-emphasise once again that government should show a commitment to the oath of protecting the interest and welfare of Nigerians and Nigerian students which they swore to.

“We enjoin all students in the South-East to remain law-abiding and peacefully but stay at alert and be on the lookout for instructions from its leadership as events unfold.

When it becomes inevitable, the call to action will be made”.

It said that with the extension of ASUU for additional three months which would make it a total of six months, Nigeria’s tertiary institution students would be forced to stay at home unproductively.

The statement noted that this was also coming at a time when the children of most politicians and top government functionaries are enrolled in the best universities overseas receiving uninterrupted studies.

It said: “We will no longer keep quiet nor pretend all is well because we are no longer at ease.

“Unequivocally and in unison, we say a Big No to this extension and by the virtue of this press release notify the government, ASUU, security agencies and masses of our stand and position”.

In another development, Prof.Hauwa Imam, National President, National Association of Educational Administration And Planning (NAEAP), on Tuesday charged the Lagos State Government to develop a plan to improve the standard of education in the state.

Imam gave the charge while delivering the keynote address at the opening of the  maiden Annual Education Symposium of NAEAP in Lagos,

The newsmen report that the theme of the two-day symposium is ‘Repositioning The Education Sector For Sustainable Development Through Effective Management of School” .

The NAEAP President said that the “School Improvement Plan “should be prepared, implemented and monitored through a  process between the state government and other stakeholders in the education sector.

Imam noted that the involvement of all stakeholders in the implementation of the plan was key to its success.

The NAEAP also urged the state government to design a five-year plan and projection for the recruitment of teachers in the state.

Dr Kemi Tunde-Adefowokan, Chairperson, NAEAP at the Maiden two-day Annual symposium organised on Tuesday in Lagos

“The prevailing standard of the teaching profession must be raised, so that better teachers capable of delivering quality education would be in the system.

“The state government and other school stakeholders must continuously improve on the quality and standard of education in the state, “she added.

Imam charged school managers to utilise strategies such as planning, organising, control, staff motivation, time management, and decision making, among others, to be successful.

She said that the present realities in the education sector require stakeholders and government at all levels to rise up to reposition the sector.

Imam called for the review of the current basic education, post-basic education, secondary education, mass/nomadic education and even tertiary education curriculums, to improve the sector.

She called on governments to address issues of funding and other essentials to advance the knowledge of teachers.

“If schools are to deliver good products, key stakeholders also need to take certain and critical steps to sustain our academic sector by continually improving the desired outcome”,  Imam said.

In her welcome address, Dr Kemi Tunde-Adefowokan, Chairman NAEAP, Lagos State Chapter, said that the theme of the symposium was designed to inspire stakeholders in the field of education to work together to reposition the sector for national development.

“As we continue to experience challenges in the Nigerian education system which borders on governance and accountability, leadership preparation and development,  school improvement and teachers quality.

“The role and work of NAEAP becomes even more central in a facilitating quality research, connecting research to improve practice and influencing policy development and effective implementation.

“Our commitment is to work with the federal, state and local governments, Institutions, as well as other organisations to make a meaningful impact and enhance education quality in Nigeria,” she said.

According to her, the association now has 1000 members in Lagos, following an aggressive membership drive by the present administration.

“We have more lecturers from our universities,  colleges of education and more practitioners from the public service joining the association, ” she said.

Dignitaries,  Scholars at the NAEAP annual symposium on Tuesday in Lagos

Dr Oyeyemi Ayoola, Chairman, Local Organising Committee of the programme, said that the symposium would expose participants to global practices in the teaching profession.

Ayoola said that the programme was geared toward proffering solutions to some lingering issues that would help bring the education sector at par with what obtains in other countries.

“We want to delineate how to improve the educational sector.

This stems from the belief that education officers can turn around Nigeria’s fortune for good and this starts from impacting and moulding the characters of the leaders of tomorrow.” she said.

In his lecture, Prof. Aloysius Ejiogu, a retired Professor of Management Education, urged education managers to institutionalise ethical conduct in educational institutions.

Ejiogu said that school managers must ensure that employees adhere to the institution’s vision, mission and core values and ensure effective service delivery.

He added that educationalists must adhere to professional ethics such as honesty,  accountability, objectivity, and respect for laws and regulations, among others, for sustainable development.

Newsmen report that Dr Dele Ashiru of the University of Lagos was among dignitaries and scholars that spoke at the programme.

 

Education

Alayande University Emerges as Gov. Makinde signs Bill Upgrading College of Education

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Alayande University Emerges as Gov. Makinde signs Bill Upgrading College of Education

Gov. Seyi Makinde has signed into law an executive bill to upgrade the State-owned College of Education in Oyo to university status.

The State House of Assembly had on Nov. 25, passed the bill that would make Emmanuel Alayande College of Education Oyo become Emmanuel Alayande University of Education, Oyo.

In his remarks, after he assented to the bill on Monday at the Executive Chamber of his office, Makinde described the progress made so far on the upgrading of the institution as a landmark achievement of his administration.

He stated that education remained one of the cardinal agendas of his administration “as contained in our Roadmap to Accelerated Development in 2023”.

He said other relevant processes for the actualisation of the College’s upgrading to university status would be completed in a few days time.

The governor commended the leadership of the State House of Assembly and all its members, irrespective of political party affiliation, for the timely and successful passage of the bill.

Earlier, the Speaker, Mr. Adebo Ogundoyin, said the state legislature prioritised whatever would bring development into the state.

Ogundoyin commended Gov. Makinde for the good works being done to Improve the lives of the people of Oyo State.

NAN reports that the institution would become the third university owned by the state if eventually approved by the National University Commission (NUC).

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Unilorin ASUU Protest alleged Casualisation of Intellectual Workers

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Unilorin ASUU Protest alleged Casualisation of Intellectual Workers

Nonpayment of Salaries: UNN-ASUU Vow to Withhold*** 

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) of the University of Ilorin (Unilorin) chapter, on Monday, protested what they called casualisation of intellectual workers in the country.

Prof. Rasheed Adeoye, the former ASUU Chairman of the university, described half salaries reportedly paid by government to members of the union for October as unacceptable and would be resisted by the union.

“As a law-abiding union, we have heeded the directive of the court which directed that we resume our duty posts while the substantive matter is being heard.

“However, after the resumption from strike and to our utmost dismay, the government decided that half salaries be paid to our members for the month of October 2022. This development is unacceptable and would be resisted by our union.

“The fact is that academics are not casual workers. The law of the land is also clear on this; indeed, the National Industrial Court made it clear in a landmark judgment in 2020 that tenured staff cannot be paid pro-rata,” he said.

Adeoye pointed out that the Minister of Labour should be aware that academic staff engages in so many activities aside teaching duties.

“In fact, the primary duty of an academic staff is research, and there are other activities such as that that continue to engage their attention irrespective of strike action or whether the school is in session or not.

“Let me assure you that our union is resolved to continue to call the attention of the government to its responsibilities despite the obnoxious treatment being meted out to us by the government.

“To this effect, though we have resumed work in our university, government ignoble stance of withholding our eight months’ salaries, which is based on its ill-advised policy of ‘no work, no pay’ is set to trigger fresh crisis,” he warned.

Prof Olatunji Abdulganiyu, the Secretary of the union, asserted that ASUU would respond appropriately to the unpopular policy.

He threatened that members would abandon the works that have accumulated for those periods during which government falsely claimed that our members have not worked.

“Members of the public are hereby sensitised and put on notice again that fresh crisis, which would surpass all previous ones, is looming again in Nigerian Universities.

“Our members cannot and would not continue to do free work that would not be remunerated. We hope that with this notice, all relevant stakeholders, who have the ears of government, would act fast before the fragile peace restored on our campuses nationwide collapses.

“Our union and its members should not be held responsible for the consequences that its actions, in response to the crude wickedness of the Nigerian state, would have on all stakeholders,” he said.

The ASUU leader also said that the demands of the union, included “release of Revitalisation Fund to the public institutions in the country, release of White Paper of Visitation Panels to public universities which our union forced government to convene.

“Others are renegotiation of the 2009 ASUU/FGN Agreement and the termination of the obnoxious, ineffective and corrupt laden IPPIS as payment platform in the Nigeria public university system, among others”.

In another development, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) Chapter, on Tuesday, protested the pro-rata October salary payment and nonpayment of 8-month salaries owed by the Federal Government.

The union directed lecturers to withhold examination results and not to participate in any department, faculty or senate council meetings to approve results until government did the needful.

Speaking to newsmen in Nsukka shortly after the protest, the Chairman of ASUU-UNN, Dr Christian Opata said that the aim of the congress was to get the input of members on issues concerning the union.

Opata said the rally was to inform the university community of the inability of government to pay ASUU backlog of 8-month salary and to protest the half salary paid to members when the union suspended the strike in October.

“ASUU-UNN has directed its members not to release results of examinations conducted or participate in any department, faculty or Senate council meeting to approve results until government does the needful.

“We will continue to teach but will not release results of any examination or allow the school senate to sit and approve any result.

“ASUU is saying no to the government policy of no work, no pay, but if government insists on the policy, ASUU will not handle any academic activity that falls within that eight months period.

“ASUU wants government to honour its agreement with the union since 2009 and stop further attempts that will keep students away from school,” he said.

The ASUU chairman described as unfortunate the attempt by government to treat lecturers as labourers by using the so-called “pro-rata” format to pay them their October salary.

“This is the first time in the history of this country that university academic staff are paid as casual workers.

“An indication that the present administration in the country has no regard for education,” he said.

Opata threatened that if government failed to do the needful, ASUU was determined to embark on what would be known in Nigeria’s history as mother of all strikes.

“If the government thinks that implementing the policy of no work no pay and withholding our salary will prevent us from embarking on strike again, it’s a big lie.

“If government failed to the needful, very soon ASUU will return to indefinite nation wide strike in public universities,” Opata said.

The peaceful protest started from the Faculty of Social Science to the administrative block and to major roads in UNN.

Some placards carried during the protest have inscriptions such as; “We say no to intimidation by government”, ” kill education, kill the nation, “Our government does not honour agreement,” No pay no academic results, say no to pro-rata”.

“Pay us our salary backlogs, stop using pro-rata to pay us, lecturers are not casual workers “, Enough is enough, mother of all strike is loading” among others.

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Education

Foundation Trains 100 Girls on Health, Intelligence

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Foundation Trains 100 Girls on Health, Intelligence

100 girls were selected and trained on Thursday at Moba Community, Ajah area of Lagos, on mental health, financial intelligence and other topics to promote the development of the girl child.

The training was organized by the ‘R Foundation’, a non-profit organization.

President of the foundation, Dr. Boluwatife Paul, said the company was committed to enhancing individual and family lives with special focus on girls and women empowerment.

Paul added that the company would continue to aspire to improve the living conditions of the less privileged and marginalised via strategies such as community initiative, and sensitisation through health assessment screenings and literacy skills.

She said the training was in line with the company’s vision where the girl child had guaranteed opportunities to development that enabled them exercise their right to education, health, livelihood, and social security.

“The training today on mental health, financial intelligence, drug abuse, sexual purity and finding purpose would go a long way to enable the girls live the best life possible in the areas of health, education and social welfare.

“We would continue to promote community-based organisations at the grassroots level for sustainable development in rural and coastal areas,” she said.

In her own speech, Dr. Simiat Oladipo, Public Health Officer, Lagos State Primary Health Care Board, urged the girls to dare to achieve their dreams by being positive, encouraged and determined to ensure growth beyond their backgrounds and obstacles.

She advised the girls to visualise their plans for success and daily meditate upon those goals to push them towards the success of their dreams.

“Before now, as a girl child, nobody expected much from us but the society today has changed and you must not lose the focus that would enable you create wealth and provide the impact that the society needs to become a better place,” she said.

In his own remarks, Mr. Turawa Kolawole, Principal, Jais Secondary School, Moba, lauded the initiative and urged the girls to ensure that the lessons learned would encourage them to take the steps necessary for self-development and all-around growth.

“Initiatives like this, particularly for the girl child, would ensure that in the nearest future, their positive contributions to societal development cannot be quantified.

“As it is widely said, train the girl child and train a nation.

“It is my hope that initiatives like this, beyond what is being taught in the classrooms, continue so that many more lives can be impacted,” he said.

The foundation also donated materials that supported women’s personal hygiene and consumables to the participating schools: Jais Secondary School, Great Star Academy and Remaliah Secondary School.

 

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