IFATIMEHIN OLAYEMI OLUFEMI JUNE 9, 2023, 12:45 AM
The Nigerian educational sector has long grappled with numerous challenges, and the protracted struggle between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the government has significantly hindered the progress of higher education. As President Bola Ahmed Tinubu aims to achieve timely graduation for students, it is imperative that he addresses the pressing issues faced by ASUU. An attempt is made to highlight the struggles faced by ASUU and emphasizes the urgent need for President Tinubu to address these issues to fulfill his goal of ensuring timely graduation and overall educational excellence.
ASUU, as a prominent union representing academic staff in Nigerian universities, has consistently raised valid concerns regarding inadequate funding, poor infrastructure, limited research opportunities, and the welfare of lecturers. These issues have had a direct impact on the quality of education and the overall student experience. Frequent strikes, resulting from the failure to implement past agreements, have disrupted academic calendars, prolonged students' time in university, and created uncertainty among stakeholders. This cycle of struggle and frustration compromises the education system's integrity and the aspirations of both students and lecturers.
To achieve his goal of timely graduation for students, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu must prioritize the following key areas:
Adequate Funding: The government must allocate sufficient funds to the education sector, ensuring that universities have the resources necessary to provide quality education. Adequate funding would facilitate the improvement of infrastructure, research facilities, and the overall learning environment, ultimately enhancing the educational experience and expediting students' progress.
Timely Implementation of Agreements: It is crucial for the government to honor its commitments and promptly implement agreements reached with ASUU. This would prevent prolonged industrial actions, safeguard academic calendars, and enable students to complete their programs within the designated time frame.
Improved Welfare of Lecturers: To attract and retain qualified lecturers, President Tinubu must address the issue of poor remuneration and working conditions. Competitive salaries, regular payment of allowances, and better welfare packages will motivate lecturers to deliver their best and contribute to a conducive learning environment.
Infrastructure Development: The state of infrastructure in Nigerian universities requires urgent attention. President Tinubu should prioritize the provision of modern facilities, classrooms, libraries, laboratories, and accommodations to create an environment that fosters effective teaching and learning.
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu's vision of timely graduation for students can only be achieved by addressing the struggles faced by ASUU and implementing much-needed educational reforms. By allocating adequate funding, honoring agreements, improving lecturer welfare, and investing in infrastructure development, President Tinubu can revitalize the Nigerian educational sector and provide students with a conducive environment for their academic pursuits. Timely graduation is not only a testament to the efficiency of the education system but also a crucial factor in shaping the future of the nation. It is through concerted efforts and collaborative partnerships that Nigeria can overcome these challenges and establish an educational system that fosters excellence, innovation, and the holistic development of its students.
Ifatimehin Olayemi Olufemi, PhD, Teacher
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