Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Nigeria: President Yar'Adua Must Save Nigerian Universities From Total Collapse

Nigeria: President Yar'Adua Must Save Nigerian Universities From Total Collapse

President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua and Vice President Goodluck Jonathan were university lecturers before dumping their academic gowns for Nigerian politics. And millions of their old boys expect the best things to begin to happen to Nigerian education, because of these two former academics that are now in power. That is why they are not surprised that President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua is going to end the three months old strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).The pragmatic measures of President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua ended the last nationwide workers strike and he is employing the same pragmatic approach to end the protracted ASUU strike.

President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua knows the cause of disagreement between the government and Nigerian university lecturers, because he had been through similar trials and tribulations of Nigerian academics in the past. And it would be unfortunate if he fails to end their plight.

The terrible state of Nigerian universities can be traced to the ignorance of previous leaders who misappropriated the revenue allocations meant for the sustainable development of higher institutions in Nigeria and neglected the welfare of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). Nigerian universities have been relegated to bottom of the accredited universities in the world. No Nigerian university is even rated among the best 1, 000 universities in the world. And only one Nigerian university ranked among the top 50 universities in Africa at the 44th position.Nigerian administrators neglected Nigerian universities, sent their children to the best colleges and universities in America and the UK, and then misappropriated revenues to establish private universities. But none of their private universities made the list of the best universities in the world in the latest global rankings. And the best private university, the Christian Covenant University is at the bottom of the rungs in Africa at the 98th Position..

The Nigerian Tribune reported on June 17, 2007, that many stakeholders are calling for the"De-unionization of university lecturers as a way of saving the nation’s ivory towers from incessant strike actions.” But the leadership of ASUU disagreed that strike actions have stymied the advancement of Nigerian academic institutions.“I think we should ask ourselves this pertinent question. Do we want to produce graduates for the sake of doing so or we want to produce quality graduates? In the latest ranking of world universities, no Nigerian university made the list of the first 1,000 in the world. This is because of the rot in the system. The government should address the issue and rid the system of the rot. Proscribing ASUU will not solve the problem,” said Dr. Suleiman Kano, ASUU President.
“It is very disappointing that some people are saying that university lecturers be de-unionized. We are not fighting for our comfort; we are fighting for an improved society. This is a country where the government itself says we need 47,000 university lecturers, now we have 16,000. What are we doing about getting the balance? Good students do not want to join academic staff, they prefer to work elsewhere. Many medical students do not get to see, let alone use, the equipment they will need when they start practice. What kind of graduates are we producing?” Dr. Suleiman told the Nigerian Tribune.

The ASUU strike is in the best interest of Nigerian education. President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua and the ASUU President, Dr. Suleiman Kano are both well educated to address the academic crisis and save Nigerian universities from total collapse.

By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima

The Publisher/Editor-in-Chief
Nigerian Times International

4 comments:

tony said...

Good morning.

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The preview version of The Nigerian Super Blog was launched on the 1st of July 2007 and the site is still very much in active development (thus you might experience a bug here and there). We'd be happy if you can find time to check it out (I promise you are going to love it because you will be able to read all your favorite blogs and more from one place!). Plus it will help much more people to find and enjoy your blog.

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Other ways you may support this FREE project is by helping us with links or pointers to Nigerian blogs so that we can add them if they are not already there.

Thanks a lot and keep up the good work!

Orikinla Osinachi. said...

Well done Tony.

Cheers and God bless.

Chxta said...

Where have you been?

For what it is worth, Obasanjo's greatest legacy is probably the post UME exams as all the gist I am hearing about it is that it has greatly contributed in improving the quality of undergraduates in our institutions of higher learning. What needs to be done now is to isolate the wage structure of the universities from that of the civil service (they are supposed to be on different planes in an ideal scenario), then make it attractive so that Nigeria's academia can retain its best minds.

Orikinla Osinachi. said...

Chxta,
I have been active on my forums.

President Umaru Yar'Adua has the common sense to address the problems in Nigerian universities.

God bless.