The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, yesterday in Abuja, walked out on students protesting the continued face-off between the government and members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, who have paralysed academic activities in the nation’s universities.
After a few questions by the students, who were led by the NANS President, Comrade Sunday Asefon, the minister angrily left for his office.
Commenting on the development, Asefon said: ”We only asked the minister one or two questions about what the government is doing to resolve the impasse, when he angrily left us and went inside. ”We are surprised at the development because as students, we are the ones bearing the brunt of the strike. We are going to hold a meeting to deliberate on the next step to take and we will get back to you,” he said on phone.
In Oyo State, the B Zone of NANS, yesterday threatened to block all federal roads in the state, if the crisis was not resolved.
The students at a peaceful demonstration held at the secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Press Centre, Iyaganku, Ibadan, carried placards with different inscriptions such as: “FG and ASUU: Stop the madness”; “Incessant ASUU/FG face-off, a demonstration of craze”; “At the end of every strike, only students lose”; among others.
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The Southwest Coordinator of NANS, Comrade Tegbe Steven Fiyinfoluwa, who addressed newsmen after the protest, vowed that the association would block all federal roads, starting from today, if the government and ASUU failed to reach an agreement, yesterday.
He said: “We are holding our peaceful demonstration here today (yesterday) Monday, because of the lingering crisis between ASUU and federal government which has been a recurring event over the years. Unfortunately, we students are at the receiving end.
“We are calling on the federal government to learn how to respect agreements. We have seen on many occasions when the federal government and ASUU reached an agreement but the federal government failed to fulfil its part of the agreement. We are also calling on ASUU to have a decisive way of spending their resources, even when their demands are met.”
Protest in Kano
In Kano, the students, who stormed the Ministry of Higher Education situated in Gidan Murtala, also carried placards and chanted solidarity songs.
The students, led by Yazid Tanko Mohammed, said they were always at the receiving end of the face-off.
Mohammed said: “ASUU has been going on strike since 2009, and students are always the victims of the strike. We are not benefiting from the strike. Instead, we are always at the receiving end. Imagine, a programme that is supposed to last for four years will take up to six years. And the one meant for five years will take up to seven to eight years,” Mohammed lamented.
Responding, the Commissioner for Higher Education, Dr. Mariya Bunkure, who was represented by the Director, Academics Planning, Musa Gambo, assured the students that the Ministry would convey their message to Kano State governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, for onward submission to President Muhammadu Buhari.
He appreciated the manner the students conducted themselves peacefully during the protest.
Protest in Osun
Some students in Osun State, under the aegis of National Association of Nigerian Students and Joint Campus Committee, NANS/JCC, Osun axis, yesterday stormed the streets in the state capital, Osogbo, protesting the FG\ASUU debacle.
Addressing journalists at Oke-Fia, the Chairman, NANS/JCC, Osun Axis, Comrade Oyelayo Afeez, said the protest was to make ASUU and FG realise that their action was at the detriment of students, who paid to access education.
“We are demanding an end to the incessant dispute between ASUU and the FG, it affects students. We are paying to access education in Nigeria, yet, government and the union seem not bothered about our situation,” he said.
Meeting of the two parties
Meanwhile, another round of meeting by the two sides is slated for today in Abuja.
The government’s team is expected to include the Education Minister, Adamu Adamu, and his Labour Ministry counterpart, Dr Chris Ngige, while the National President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, will lead the union’s team.
Their previous meeting did not achieve much, as the union accused the government’s delegation of not preparing for anything and acting as if they were not familiar with the issues in contention.
ASUU had been on strike since February 14 because of the failure of the FG to renegotiate the 2009 agreement, the replacement of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System, IPPIS, with the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, UTAS, as the payment platform in the university sector, among others.
WAEC releases 2022 WASSCE results
The West African Examinations Council has released the results of the 2022 West African Senior School Certificate Examination for school candidates.
Speaking on Monday at WAEC office, Yaba, the Head of Nigeria Office, WAEC, Mr Patrick Areghan, said, “The results are being uploaded on the results website. Candidates who sat the examination and who have fulfilled their financial obligations to the Council can access their results on the Council’s results website within the next twelve hours.
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“Copies of the Result Listing will be sent to schools shortly. I need not restate the fact that the results of candidates who are sponsored by states indebted to the Council will not be released now until they pay up. We appeal to them to do so to enable the affected schools/candidates access their results.”
He added that some schools failed to upload their students’ Continuous Assessment Scores Capturing System at the stipulated time and many failed to meet registration deadlines, to the extent that some schools ended up not presenting their students for the examination.
“Yet, some who registered their students off-line failed to upload their entries! This showed unacceptable level of nonchalance. Again, others failed to meet deadlines due to criminal ‘shopping’ for candidates. By the time they realised it, the window had closed,” he said.
Oyo denies returning schools to original owners
Oyo State Government has denied a report that it is planning to return some schools to their original owners, whether to missionaries or individuals.
The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Abdulrahman Abiodun Abduraheem, said there was no time the government took such decision.
He said that the only recent event where Governor Seyi Makinde spoke about ownership of schools was at Loyola College during the commissioning of a hall named after the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, where he only advised members of the old students association of the school to direct their request to the Ministry of Education.
“There is clearly no truth to the story making the rounds that the government of Oyo State was about to return schools to their original owners.
“The government does not have the such intention and there was nowhere Governor Seyi Makinde, made that statement.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the governor was confronted about a possible return of Loyola College, Ibadan, to the old students association and he urged the association to direct its request to the Ministry of Education for necessary engagement.
“He did not give any directive on the return of the school or any school, whatsoever.”
It also stated, “It is true that the state has developed a proof of agreement with the Incorporated Trustees of GCIOBA, but that does not in any way amount to a blanket return of all schools to their original owners.
“While the state will not shy away from productive partnership with stakeholders in the education sector to support its policy of free and qualitative education, it will not take any step capable of upsetting the cord of alliance already existing in a highly treasured sector like education.
“Let me use this opportunity to address some interests who appear bent on twisting the submission of the governor on this subject upside down to look for other things to do as it is clear they will not succeed in the inglorious path of attempting to whip up religious sentiments on this issue.”
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