The Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over the weekend slammed the government over the commercialisation of education and the consequent neglect of public universities in the area of adequate funding.
In a statement by the chairman, Dr Monday Igbafen, he insisted that the strike will continue as it will ‘encourage’ government to review its strategy towards education in the country.
Igbafen said that the government should be confronted for its plan to raise the cost of education beyond the reach of the vast poor majority of Nigerians.
He tasked all stakeholders in the education sector, particularly the students and parents on the need to join the struggle for adequate funding of education in the country.
The chairman described the ongoing strike as a veritable move to bring about quality education in the country, alleging that the attitude and approach of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige to the resolution of the strike fell short of expectations.
He said: “Nigerians should bear with us. ASUU is doing their battle. Our union is struggling to ensure that the children of the poor, who cannot afford the prohibitive cost paid in private universities or do not have opportunities to study outside Nigeria, get quality education which is not priced beyond their reach.
“This will only happen when government adequately funds public universities and addresses the rot and decay in them.”
ASUU accused some leaders in government of gross insensitivity to the realities in public universities, because their children were not in Nigerian universities but in foreign universities
Igbafen charged: “This is responsible for the obvious lack of committed interest and concern of the government to the earnest resolution of the issues which led to the ongoing strike.”
He added that what has stalled meaningful dialogue was government’s insistence that payment of the withheld salaries and other entitlements of ASUU members would only be effected through the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
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