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Varsity workers declare indefinite strike from Feb 5

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Barely one month after university lecturers called off a nine-month strike, another industrial action has been declared by the Non-Academic Staff of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) with effect from February 5.

The two unions coming under the Joint Action Committee (JAC) have given the government a 14-day ultimatum to meet their demands bordering on welfare package and changes in the university system or risk an “indefinite, comprehensive and total strike”.

The leadership of the unions made the announcement at a press conference in Abuja on Friday, stressing that if the government failed to address all the issues, the strike would commence from the midnight of February 5.

General Secretary of NASU, Peters Adeyemi, who spoke on behalf of JAC leadership, said 90 per cent of NASU members in all its branches across the country were in support of the strike.

He also said 83 per cent of SSANU members had expressed support for the strike; 11 per cent were against strike, adding that six per cent were indifferent.

Adeyemi said, “It is in line with the resolution of our members nationwide that the leadership of the Joint Action Committee of NASU and SSANU hereby resolves as follows: That members of NASU and SSANU shall embark on an indefinite, comprehensive and total strike with effect from midnight of Friday 5th February, 2021.

“That two weeks’ notice effective from today, Friday 22nd January, 2021, is hereby given to government and relevant stakeholders of this development.”

He said JAC of NASU and SSANU had signed an understanding with the Federal Government on Tuesday 20 October, last year on all the contentious issues affecting the university system and the welfare of their members.

The issues, according to him, are inconsistencies in IPPIS payment; non-payment of earned allowances; non- payment of arrears of national minimum wage; delay in renegotiation of FGN/NASU and SSANU 2009 agreements.

Other are non-payment of retirement benefits of former members; teaching staff usurping headship of non-teaching units in violation of conditions of service and establishment procedures; neglect and poor funding of state universities; and non-constitution of visitation panels for universities.

Adeyemi said, “Having painstakingly taken you through all the issues as agreed upon in the October 2020 memorandum of understanding with government, it should be easy for you to deduce that out of the seven items upon which agreements were reached, only one item – constitution of visitation panels has been implemented. Even that item was not implemented within the timeline as agreed upon and is still only partially implemented.

“It was against this background that the national protests were embarked on the January 12 to 14, 2021, with a view to drawing the attention of necessary stakeholders to the issues and seeking redress as appropriate. Sadly, till date, no response has been got and it would seem that the government played deaf to our protests and lamentations.”

He added: “As stated earlier, the Joint Action Committee of NASU and SSANU had been very circumspect about embarking on strike action. It has never been our style to undertake strike actions at the drop of a hat. Sadly, it would appear that our non-belligerent modes of engagement have been taken for weakness and our belief in civil engagement and dialogue has been taken for granted.

“It is against this backdrop and in a democratic spirit that the leadership of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of NASU and SSANU threw back the decision after the three- day protests to the various memberships across branches on the way forward and the resolutions have been overwhelming.”

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15 Comments

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Education

JAMB extends UTME, DE registration by two weeks

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The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board has extended the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination and the Direct Entry registration by two weeks.
The board also extended the dates for the mock exam preceding the UTME and exam proper, indicating that the examination date had been shifted from June 19 to July 3.
JAMB’S Registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, announced the extension at a press conference on Saturday in Abuja.
He said the decision was the outcome of a two-day stakeholders’ meeting the board had in Abuja.
He said the stakeholders recommended that the two-week extension to accommodate candidates who had not been able to register as a result of some challenges associated with the National Identification Number and others.
He said a total of 1,134,424 candidates had so far registered for the exam.
Oloyede had ahead of the stakeholders’ meeting hinted about the extension, noting that although 50 per cent of candidates had already registered without problem, there was a need to carry everyone along.
He had said, “The possibility of shifting the exam forward is still high; but that will be determined after our meeting with stakeholders.
“This is because about 600,000 candidates who have indicated interest in the exam are yet to register. There is a need to give everyone the opportunity.”
He apologised for the new initiatives introduced in the 2021 UTME, saying that it was not to punish candidates but to expose candidates in the habit of indulging in various forms of malpractices.
He added that candidates were expected to provide two pictures on the candidate slip, picture of the person who registered at the JAMB office, and a picture of the owner of the name who registered with NIN.
Oloyede said the candidates should take note of the process, stressing that the essence was to detect any disparity in the process.

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Education

JAMB may shift UTME date – Registrar

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The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says it may shift the date for the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
The Registrar of the board, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, said this during a virtual meeting with 2021 UTME Committee members that over 600,000 candidates who indicated interest in sitting for the exams, were yet to register.
he exam is scheduled for between June 5 and June 19.
He said the candidates were finding it difficult to register due to the challenges of National Identification Number (NIN).
He said so far, 1.1 million candidates have registered for the 2021 UTME, stating that the board anticipated approximately 1.9 million registrations at the end of the exercise.
The JAMB boss noted that though 50 per cent of candidates have already registered without problem, there is need to carry everyone along.
He said, “The possibility of shifting the exam forward is still high; but that will be determined after our meeting with stakeholders.
”This is because about 600,000 candidates who have indicated interest in the exam are yet to register. There is a need to give everyone the opportunity.”

Oloyede apologised for the new initiatives introduced in the 2021 UTME, saying that it was not to punish candidates but to expose candidates in the habit of indulging in various forms of malpractices.
He added that candidates were expected to provide two pictures on the candidate slip, picture of the person who registered at the JAMB office, and a picture of the owner of the name who registered with NIN.
Oloyede said the candidates should take note of the process, stressing that the essence was to detect any disparity in the process.

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Education

Sanwo-Olu inaugurates classrooms in 20 LGAs

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Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, on Friday in Lagos, said education remained the most veritable tool for wealth creation.

Sanwo-Olu said this while inaugurating 14 classrooms at the UBE Primary School and Community Junior Academy, Odo-Ayandolu, Ikorodu Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a block of six classrooms was rehabilitated in the primary school and another block of eight classrooms in the secondary school respectively.

Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Works and Infrastructure, Mrs Aramide Adeyoye, said the huge investment in infrastructure and current technological trends had put students and pupils in the state’s public schools in the lead of academic excellence in Lagos and Nigeria.

He noted that the performance of students had improved in local, national, and international examinations and competitions, as well as in morals, etiquette and confidence in public speaking.

“Education is still the most potent tool of empowerment and one of the most tested ways to close the gap between poverty and wealth,” he said.

The governor added that public schools in the state had consistently emerged the overall best at the international Robotics Competitions, since 2015 and had continually represented Nigeria.

He listed various local, national, and international competitions where pupils and students from Lagos public schools had retained leading positions, as confirmation of the improvement in the quality and standard of education.

Sanwo-Olu then commended the hardwork and commitment of the competent teachers who in addition to infrastructure, gave the success stories.

He also commended the Ministry of Education, the Universal Basic Education Board, and other agencies of the state, for their support toward the actualisation of the vision of the government for the education sector.

Sanwo-Olu advised children to continue to study hard to justify the government’s investment in their education while assuring parents of continued quality education delivery.

He said the projects would further improve the learning and teaching environment in public schools.

According to him, the projects will further drive the “Education and Technology” pillar of the state’s THEMES Agenda of his administration.

He said the government had begun an aggressive education infrastructure regeneration and renewal, with modern equipment and security across the state and had inaugurated projects in 20 LGAs.

“We have so far completed over 1,097 projects covering 970 schools across the state.

“In the last two years, our government has ensured the prompt construction and rehabilitation of 322 dilapidated public schools, while 87,000 dual composite units of furniture were supplied to primary and secondary schools across the state,” he said.

Mr Felix Adeyemi, who represented the Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folashade Adefisayo, in his welcome address, lauded the state government for its investment in modern education.

According to her, the governor has also touched virtually all the value chains of education in the state.

Mr Moshood Adeyemi, Principal of the Community Junior Academy, Odo-Ayandolu, commended the state government but appealed for a perimeter fence to make the environment safer.

Also speaking, Mrs Kehinde Adeleka, Headmistress of the primary section, requested additional classrooms to cater to the growth of the population of the school.

Compassion David, a Junior Secondary (JS3) student, also thanked the government for what he described as “a superb performance” in renovating the schools.

Clement Samuel, a pupil of the renovated primary school, prayed for God’s blessings on the governor and his entire team.

Oba Ganiu Asunmo, the traditional ruler of the area, who was represented by High Chief Onabanjo Olisa, also lauded the state government for the intervention.

He, however, appealed for more of such interventions in other schools in the area with infrastructure that was already overstretched.

 

 

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