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Strike: FG, ASUU to resume talks next week

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The Federal Government and the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) will resume talks next week with a view to ending the prolonged closure of Nigerian public universities.

The hint was dropped yesterday by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, while making the opening remarks at a meeting between the government side and the striking National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) in his office.

Ngige noted that multiple industrial disputes in the education sector could have been averted if the unions in the sector took advantage of his open door policy like those in the health sector, which he said culminated in the peace currently enjoyed in that sector.

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In a statement issued by the Acting Head Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Patience Onuobia, the minister who also decried the rivalry between the education unions, noted that everybody is important in the university system.

He assured that the government was tackling all the disputes in the education sector holistically, knowing full well that none of the unions could function effectively without the others.

He said: “If you are from any union, you don’t need to book an appointment to see me. The doctors started using that advantage and JOHESU also did the same. That is why the Health Sector is quiet.

“But the education unions don’t take advantage of my open door policy. We don’t have to cry over spilt milk. Let us look at your issues to see the ones we can handle immediately, the ones we can do in the medium term and the ones we can do in the long term.

Education

UNN ASUU directs members to withhold results over unpaid salaries

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University of Nigeria, Nsukka

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) chapter, has directed its members to withhold examination results of students in protest over eight months unpaid salaries by Federal Government.

The university lecturers’ union also directed its members to boycott, forthwith, departmental, faculty and Senate council meetings, aimed at approving results of students until the salary issue is addressed.

The lecturers had carried placards, and marched round the school premises to protest non-payment of their salaries. Some of the placards read: “We say no to intimidation by government,” “Kill education, kill the nation,” “No pay, no results,” “Lecturers are not casual workers,” among others.

Speaking to newsmen after their protest at the school premises, the chapter Chairman, Dr. Christian Opata, insisted that members are not happy with the half salary payment to them when the strike action was called off last month. He said: “We will continue to teach, but will not release results of exams or allow school Senate to seat and approve any result.

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“ASUU is saying no to government policy of ‘no work, no pay;’ but if government insists on the policy, ASUU will not handle any academic activity that falls within that eight months period.

“ASUU wants government to honour its agreement with the union since 2009, and stop further attempt that will keep students away from school.”
Opata described, as unfortunate, the attempt by government to treat lecturers as labourers by using the so-called ‘pro-rata’ format to pay them their October salary.

“This is the first time in history of the country when university academic staff are paid as casual workers; an indication that the current administration has no regard for education,” he said.

He threatened that ASUU is determined to embark on what will be known in Nigeria’s history as “mother of all strikes” should government fail to do the needful.

“If government thinks that implementing its policy of ‘no work, no pay’ and withholding our salary will prevent us from embarking on strike again, then it is a big joke. If government fails to do the needful soon, ASUU will return to indefinite strike action in public universities,” he added.

Guardian

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Education

BREAKING: ASUU members receive full salary for November, arrears withheld

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Lecturers under the aegis of the Academic Staff Union of Universities have received full salaries for the month of November 2022.

A senior member of the union at the Bayero University Kano revealed this in a chat  with journalists in Abuja.

He said, “Some of our members have started receiving salaries and I can confirm to you that we received our full salaries for the month of November. However, the arrears are still withheld.”

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It was learnt that the eight-month arrears remained withheld by the Federal Government.

The FG had refused to pay the striking lecturers for the eight months which the union embarked on strike.

The lecturers in October 2022 received a half pay, according to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige.

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Education

FEC okays mother tongue for teaching in primary schools

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The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the use of mother tongue as a compulsory medium of instruction in primary schools in the country.

Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, disclosed this to State House correspondents after the week’s council meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said the mother tongue would be used exclusively for the first six years of education and combined with the English language from Junior Secondary School.

Adamu said though the policy had officially taken effect, it could only be fully implemented when government develops instructional materials and qualified teachers are available.

He said the mother tongue to be used in each school would be the dominant language spoken by the community where it is located.

Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu

Adamu said the government was determined to preserve the cultures of the people and their peculiar idiosyncrasies.

He lamented that so much had been lost due to the extinction of some local languages.

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