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Vice Chancellor wives plan Turkey trip amid ASUU strike

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Wives of Vice Chancellors of public universities are set to travel to Istanbul, Turkey for a five-day conference, The PUNCH has learnt.

This is as the ongoing strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities since February 14, 2022, entered its third month.

According to a letter by the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, the programme is scheduled to hold from 18 to 23 July 2022, in Istanbul.

The letter which was dated May 5, 2022, and sighted by our correspondent, was signed by the Committee’s Secretary-General, Yakubu Ochefu.

Ochefu noted that each of the VC wives would pay a sum of N1.5m as course form to attend the programme.

The letter addressed to vice chancellors was titled, ‘Invitation to the Istanbul 5-Day Leadership & Management Masterclass, Fellowship Induction for Spouses of Vice Chancellors, Women in Academics and Higher Education Leadership’.

It partly read, “We understand the vital role spouses play in supporting Vice Chancellors as they execute their day- to day administration of universities. It is therefore imperative, that capacity building exercises be put in place for the Women in Academics and spouses of Vice Chancellors in Nigerian Universities.

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“In this regard, the Committee’s Secretariat, In Partnership with Win Institute for Gender Studies, Nigeria in collaboration with her Turkey-based learning partner, Istanbul Egitimler, have put together a 5-day Leadership & Management Masterclass, and Fellowship Induction for spouses of Vice Chancellors, women academics and higher education leadership in Africa.”

Similarly, the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities Spouses is set to hold a two-day conference at the Tayo Aderinokun Memorial Hall at the University of Lagos.

The conference slated for May 9, 2022, has UNILAG VC, Prof O.T. Ogundipe, and his wife as hosts while former Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria, Dr Ibukun Awosika, is pencilled as one of the speakers.

ASUU had on February 14 embarked on industrial action.

The union led by Prof Emmanuel Osodeke said it made the decision for the Federal Government and its agencies to meet the lingering demands of the union.

The National Association of Nigerian Students has since threatened fire and brimstone, censuring the Federal Government for abandoning students of public universities but politicians including current ministers have shunned the striking lecturers and protesting students.

Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba; as well as Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige; both of the ruling All Progressives Congress recently picked up the party’s N100m presidential nomination and expression of interest forms each while lecture rooms remained shut for about three months this year.

Students of public universities had also been at home for nine straight months in 2020 when ASUU and the Federal Government had a face-off over unpaid areas, choice of payment platforms, amongst other contentious issues.

Education

FG Introduces menial studies, others to varsity curriculum

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Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu

“The Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards has been revised to Core Curriculum and Minimum Academic Standards.

“The CCMAS, provides 70 percent of what should be taught along with the expected outcome, while the university will provide 30 per cent based on their individual contextual peculiarities and characteristics.”

The National Universities Commission yesterday unveiled a new Core Curriculum and Minimum Academic Standards (CCMAS) with 17 disciplines and 238 academic programmes to replace the Benchmark Minimum Academic Standard (BMAS) used in Nigerian universities.

The Federal Government also approved three new courses in the university system, namely Allied Health Sciences, Architecture and Communication, and Menial studies.

Speaking on the CCMAS at NUC celebration of 60 years of regulating university education in Nigeria, NUC Executive Secretary, Prof. Peter Okebukola, said the new curriculum addressed the knowledge and skill gaps as it was replacing in comparable in contents to similar curriculum in the best university system in the world and relevant to Nigeria’s social cultural context.

He said while the CCMAS provided 70 per cent of core curriculum as minimum for all Nigerian universities, it allowed universities to customize the curriculum by adding 30 percent of courses to reflect their uniqueness, missions and peculiarities.

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“It places assent on 100 percent entrepreneurship, practical rather than theoretical knowledge and skills and the development of the 21st century skills in line with contemporary global best practice, a change of nomenclature has happened from BMAS to CCMAS,” he said.

He said the new curriculum was to stimulate greater learning in its delivery and strategically configured to produce future fit graduates, provide essential foundation for lifelong learning, nurture deep thinkers and problem solvers and graduates highly skilled in their professions and disciplines and encourage interdependencies of disciplines.

He said over 16,000 participants were involved in the development of the curriculum.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said the core curriculum had taken cognizance of the need to provide greater academic autonomy to universities with regards to development of some percentage of course contents.

He commended the commission for sharing the minimum graded units required for graduation with universities in the ratio of 70 to 30 per cent.

He said the recent industrial action by university based unions had necessitated a revisit of the issues that called for universities autonomy by government.

 “This will lead to the review of university autonomy laws to appropriately address funding, including staff remuneration, institutional governance as well as issue of internally generated revenue.”

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In the new curriculum, Mass Communication was unbundled to Advertising, Broadcasting, Development Communication Studies, Film and Multimedia, Information and Media Studies, Journalism and Media Studies, Mass Communication, Public Relations and Strategic Communication.

Agriculture was unbundled into programmes in its contributing components of B.Sc Agricultural Economics, B.Sc. Animal Science, B.Sc. Crop Science and B.Sc. Soil Science;

There is also the unbundling of Architecture and introduction of Architecture as a new discipline with programmes like Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Architectural Technology, Interior Architecture design Architectural Technology and Naval architecture.

There is also the split of the Basic Medical Sciences discipline into Basic Medical Sciences and Allied Health Science;

Also is the reduction of the General Studies course from 36 credit units to 12 credit units of 6 courses such as Communication in English; Nigerian People and Culture; Philosophy, Logic and Human Existence; Entrepreneurship and Innovation; Venture creation; and Peace and Conflict resolution.

Entrepreneurship has been repackaged with the introduction of programme-specific entrepreneurship;

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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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