by ‘Ifreke Inyang
Last Sunday on Rubbin’ Minds, we tackled the subject of ASUU and its incessant strikes. We took a critical look at the vicious cycle of these strikes – will this “suspension” stop the cycle in its tracks or is it temporary band-aid until the next action is called, led on by the dysfunctional nature of the relationship between the lecturers union and the Nigerian government? Will we soon be back to the spot of yet another ASUU strike? And how can we avoid it once and for all?
After Shade Ladipo took us through the events surrounding ASUU in the past week , it was time to get right on with the issue.
The guests were Dr. Karo Ogbinaku, Chairperson of ASUU’s Unilag chapter; Tosin Otitoju, a university lecturer; Salawu Olajide, a student union leader, and Kelechi Ewuzie, an education reporter with BusinessDay.
“ASUU did not go on strike because of salaries. It’s about funding,” Dr. Karo Ogbinaku insisted, adding that, “Nigeria can give the best education in all of West Africa.” In Dayo Adesulu’s opinion, we were far from achieving such greatness. “Many students think ASUU is selfish and that they are clamouring for themselves,” he said. “They are not doing anything new. We still use the same handouts from five years back. There is no research.”
Tosin Otitoju who had her tertiary education outside these shores was concerned about the students’ welfare. “Who’s thinking about the students? I’m 30. If I schooled in Nigeria, I would have been years behind in my development,” she submitted.Dr. Ogbinaku defended the lecturers, saying that the blame should be on the students. “We tend to confuse schooling with education. Students just want to graduate,” he said. “The UK rejected graduates of Medicine from Uniben. They said they weren’t good enough to practise there but in Nigeria where they got their training.”
The general consensus was for government and ASUU to reach an agreement so the leadership in education is solid. “Let’s get past UNESCO’s 26% requirement and put good leadership in our education,” Otitoju remarked. Adesulu added: “The Federal Government should respond to ASUU once and for all!”
Rubbin’ Minds is back this Sunday on Channels TV on terrestrial television and DSTV Channel 134 on cable. It can also be watched online via http://ynaija.com/rubbin-minds/ or www.channelstv.com. There is a repeat broadcast at 4am on Mondays.
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