The Federal Government has appealed to university students and their parents to be patient as negotiations are ongoing with striking university lecturers.
Briefing journalists after the weekly meeting of the Executive Council of the Federation, FEC, the Information Minister, Labaran Maku, said government was worried because the disruption of the university calendar comes at a social cost to government.
“We are appealing to our people, particularly parents and children of this nation, to bear with us, to show more understanding and we pray that this type of strike will not reoccur; because the public school system suffers a lot of damage with the perennial strikes,” Mr. Maku said.
University lecturers, ASUU, have been on strike for over four weeks demanding that the government fully implement a 2009 agreement it had with the union.
The government insists it wants a renegotiation of the some parts of the agreement claiming the agreement was not signed by the Goodluck Jonathan administration.
Mr. Maku said the government was very worried about the strike. He assured that the strike will soon be called off and that an “understanding will be reached soon enough to enable our students return back to school.”
“Government is very worried and concerned every time the school calendar is disrupted. It has its cost to the nation; particularly the idle time our children spend at home can lead to a lot of social difficulties.
“We don’t want school calendars to be disrupted and a lot of series discussions have been going on and we believe we should record some progress soon enough for these schools to open,” he said.
Mr. Maku noted that universities have been relatively stable since the advent of the Jonathan administration, as in the last two years “there has not been a lot of strikes until this unfortunate one and I believe we will overcome it and in the end both parties will appreciate the need to keep the school calendar stable for the progress of our country.”
He said the “government is working hard to ensure we reach an agreement to resolve this problem so that our schools can reopen”.
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