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ASUU to meet over end-strike court order, students, parents excited

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has reacted to a Wednesday order of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria that asked the union to call off its protracted strike and return to work immediately.

National President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, said the leadership of the union would soon meet on the issue to take a decision.

“When we meet and deliberate on the ruling and other related issues, we will inform you,” he said in a telephone interview with Vanguard.

ASUU has been on strike since February 14 this year over demands from the government bordering on improved welfare package, mode of payment and better university infrastructure.

The National Association of Nigerian Students described the court ruling as a win-win situation for all the stakeholders in the matter.

The National President of NANS, Usman Barambu, said the Federal Government must, however, not see the ruling as a victory over ASUU.

He said, “It is a win-win situation for all, the government, the students, parents and ASUU. It is not that the court has given the government a kind of victory over ASUU or that the government has boxed ASUU to a corner. As students, we are happy about the development as it a sort of progress being made regarding how to resolve the face-off.

“We implore the government to meet the demands of ASUU, as the court said negotiation will continue while the matter is being heard before the court. Also, the government should not because of the fact that the matter is still before the court take the issue of negotiation with ASUU with levity. It is still a running matter.

“As students, we are happy that academic activities may soon resume in our university campuses.”

Parents under the aegis of the National Parent Teacher Association of Nigeria, NAPTAN, have also reacted to the development.

Speaking through the National President, Alhaji Haruna Danjuma, the body said the government and the union should obey the ruling of the court.

He said, “Since it is a court of competent jurisdiction that gave the ruling, there is no way it should not be binding on the parties involved. Already, everybody involved seems to be tired of the endless strike. The situation is heading to a dangerous dimension as students are beginning to protest and block roads all over the country.

“As parents, we are already becoming afraid that the protests could be hijacked by hoodlums and the unexpected happening. Now, there is hope that our children may go back to school soon. But our advice for the government is that they should do the needful regarding their obligations to the union members, the students, the university system and education sector as a whole.”

 

Education

Strike: Court strikes out NANS suit on ASUU/FG dispute

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The National Industrial Court sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday, struck out a suit the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, filed to compel the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, and the Federal Government to call off the ongoing strike action.

Justice Polycarp Hamman terminated further proceedings in the matter, after it was withdrawn by factional President of NANS, Umar Faruk Lawal.

Lawal had told the court that he filed the suit marked NICN/ABJ/273/2022, for himself and on behalf of NANS.

Aside from ASUU which was cited as the 1st Respondent, the Minister of Education and the Attorney-General of the Federation were listed as 2nd and 3rd Respondents, respectively.

When the matter came up on Tuesday, Lawal told the court that he had filed a motion for discontinuance.

He said the decision to withdraw the suit was on account of the challenge by the student body which contested his standing.

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ASUU strike: FG withdraws order to reopen universities

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The National Universities Commission has withdrawn its circular which earlier ordered vice-chancellors, pro-chancellors and governing councils to reopen federal universities.

This is contained in a  new circular issued Monday afternoon by the commission tagged NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/136, which was signed by the Director, Finance and Account of the NUC, Sam Onazi.

The withdrawal came a few hours after a report of an NUC circular directing the vice-chancellors of the federal universities to reopen their institutions and commence lectures.

The new letter titled ‘Withdrawal of circular NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135 dated September 23, 2022’ read, “I have been directed to withdraw the NUC circular Ref: NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135, and dated September 23, 2022 on the above.

“Consequently, the said circular stands withdrawn. All pro-chancellors and chairmen of governing councils, as well as vice-chancellors of federal universities are to please note. Further development and information would be communicated to all relevant stakeholders.

“Please accept the assurances of the Executive Secretary’s warmest regards.”

The National Industrial Court of Nigeria last Wednesday ordered the Academic Staff Union of Universities to call off its seven-month nationwide strike and resume work while negotiations with the FG on its demands should continue.

But the union has challenged the order at the appeal court.

ASUU commenced the strike on February 14 to demand improved funding for universities, a review of salaries for lecturers, among other things.

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Nigeria begins implementation of new national teachers’ policy

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The Federal Government has announced the commencement of the implementation of the new National Teaching Policy.

Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, said this at a news conference to herald the commemoration of the 2022 World Teachers Day in Abuja on Monday.

Adamu, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr David Adejo, said said the implementation had commenced at the national level.

He therefore called on states to also ensure the implementation of the policy.

“I must state here that the national implementation of the New National Teaching Policy has commenced.

“It is a holistic package that will ultimately address the career path, remuneration, professional teaching standards, qualification, deployment and management of teachers,” he said.

The minister said there was need to evaluate the indispensible role of teachers in nation building and the importance of repositioning the profession for the attainment and sustainability of quality education.

He said that the theme stressed the importance of empowering teachers for the effective transformation of education.

Adamu said this would ensure quality teaching and learning as well as galvanise technological advancements to meet the ever changing needs for national growth and development.

“The ministry started with a call for nomination instruments to state Ministries of Education and Federal Unity Colleges nationwide for the selection of meritorious nominees.

“The champions so selected will then compete for National Best School, Best Teacher and Best School Administrator in the Public, Private and Federal Unity Colleges categories.

“I want to use this opportunity to further implore the state ministries of education to be inclusive in their nominations by ensuring that the exercise commences from the world level.

“Each Local Government is expected to forward their best to the respective state ministry of education for screening,” he said.

Also, the President, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Audu Amba commended President Muhammadu Buhari for sustaining the President’s Teachers and Schools Excellence Award (PTSEA).

He said it had helped to give hope to teachers and promoted the dignity of the teaching profession.

Amba, represented by Mr Stephen Khabayi, the Chairman of FCT chapter of NUT, said the celebration sought to draw public attention to the support teachers needed to fully contribute to educational transformation.

“Indeed, the right number of qualified teachers are needed, and be provided with access to continuing professional development, improved status and working conditions and be empowered, motivated and supported.

“The NUT remains grateful to President Muhammadu Buhari for signing into law the “Harmonised Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria Bill”.

“This provides for retirement of teachers on attainment of 65 years or 40 years of pensionable service, and look forward to the implementation of the new retirement age and other approvals announced by the Federal Government at the 2020 edition of the World Teachers Day celebration,” he said.

He assured them that teachers in the country would continue to strive with dedication and commitment to contribute their quota to the building of the nation.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the World Teachers Day started in 1994 to commemorate the Oct. 5, 1966 adoption of the UNESCO/ILO recommendation on the need to continually refresh the consciousness of national governments towards the inestimable value of teachers.

The 2022 theme for the celebration is “The Transformation of Education Begins with Teachers”.

 

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