4 reasons ASUU has insisted on not resuming

The place of education in the advancement and development of a nation cannot be overemphasised. According to Benjamin Franklin, “an investment in knowledge pays the best interest”. This is in line with the maxim that says, education is the bedrock of every sustainable development. With the rot in our educational system made worse by incessant strikes, what is the hope of achieving any meaningful development in our nation?

Recently, the Federal Government announced the reopening of schools after the long break from academic activities, following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has opposed the reopening of schools until FG attends to their demands which led to a nationwide strike in the wake of the pandemic.

It can be recalled that in March 2020, ASUU went on a nationwide strike that has lasted for over five months now. It was, however, reported that ASUU and FG later reached an interim agreement for the academic body to resume academic activities. The sudden turn of events has left many students frustrated as FG and ASUU have once again locked horns over the same issues that were said to have been addressed.

At a town hall meeting at the African Hall, the University of Ilorin, the ASUU National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, disclosed that the union will unfold its next agenda if the Federal Government refused to negotiate the 2009 agreement signed by both parties. The union’s president, however, did not disclose the next agenda.

According to Ogunyemi, “I think it is better we wait. When we get to that bridge, we will cross it. I can’t open our strategy here; whatever you do is about strategy; let the government refuse to negotiate, we will unfold our strategy then.

Top among ASUU’s demands are:

  1. Better working conditions
  2. Payment of arrears
  3. Putting measures in place to ensure that students observe the Covid-19 protocol to guard against further spread of the pandemic and
  4. Adequate funding of the nation’s universities

Meanwhile, the issue has sparked a debate on social media with many Nigerians accusing FG as the cause of the problem while others are of the opinion that ASUU is at fault.

How Nigerians are reacting:

Studies have shown that education is fundamental to development without which no country can achieve sustainable economic growth. Hence, it is instructive for both feuding parties, (ASUU and FG) to bury their hatchets and come to a place of compromise for the common good of all.

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