As education funding remains a major challenge for the country, Professor Taofeek Ibrahim, the Vice Chancellor of Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin, has called for a law banning public officers from sending their wards to study oversea pointing that this suggestion is viable to get Nigerian leaders to prioritize the sector.
This is coming as the nationwide strike action embarked on by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, to protest poor funding of universities in the country entered the fourth week this week.
Scooper had reported that ASUU decided to embark on the industrial action on Monday, November 5, after the union’s National Executive Council meeting held at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State the previous night, directing all academic staff across universities to withdraw their services immediately.
According to the National President of the ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, all entreaties made to the Federal Government to honour the agreement with the union fell on deaf ears and they had no other alternative but to begin the strike action.
Professor Taofeek Ibrahim
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He said, “Having waited patiently for action and meaningful negotiation with reasonable men using the principle of collective bargaining that ASUU at its NEC meeting of 3rd and 4th November 2018 at the FUTA, resolved to resume the nationwide strike action it suspended in September 2017 with immediate effect.
“This strike will be total, comprehensive and indefinite. Our members shall withdraw their services until government fully implements all outstanding issues as contained in the MOA of 2017, and concludes the renegotiation of the 2009 agreements.
However, Prof. Ibrahim said the ban would help to curb incessant strike in Nigerian tertiary institutions.
The Vice Chancellor who spoke Tuesday at a pre-convocation ceremony of the institution said, “A law should be in place to disallow public office holders from sending their children/wards to foreign countries for education.”
This will put an end to incessant strikes by staff of the tertiary institutions in the country.
“My candid advice is for the political office holders to allow their children acquire higher educational qualifications in Nigeria this will ensure adequate funding of education in the country.
“The moment we can do this I think that will end constant strikes in the universities,” he said.
On the convocation, he said a total of 876 students would graduate from the university this year, adding that 798 are undergraduates, 61 postgraduates and 17 sub-degree diplomas.
Nigeria’s education funding is at any rate minimal to a point where it directly contributes to its poor graduates which are believed to lack the 21st century skills required to revolutionize the economy and move it forward.
The poor funding is evident as only 7.04% of the 8.6 trillion was allocated to the sector in the 2018 budget, a percentage which does not come close to the 26 percent recommended by the United Nations.