E-Conference: FG-ASUU Faceoff: The Issues Within

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E-Conference! E-Conference!! E-Conference!!!

“FG-ASUU Faceoff: The Issues Within”

YOU are cordially invited to Spaces for Change (S4C) e-conference featuring Dr James Okpiliya, ASUU Chairman, University of Calabar, Cross Rivers State.

Date: Saturday, October 5, 2013

Venue: SPACES FOR CHANGE Facebook group

Time: 4-6 p.m.

BACKGROUND
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been on indefinite strike for over 90 days and counting, due to some unmet demands and dishonored agreements they reached with the Federal Government in 2009. There seems to be a lot of controversy regarding the real issues and factors fuelling the strike action. Is ASUU hell bent on improving the Nigerian educational sector? Is ASUU strike politically motivated? Is it true that the political opposition is taking advantage of the strike to toy with the future of the youths just because they want to take over power come 2015?
These and many more questions informed the convening of the above e-conference. S4C has collated a wide range of questions in advance, submitted by a broad spectrum of concerned Nigerians at home and in the diaspora.
If you have any device at all (mobile phones, laptops,  iPads, tablets, androids, playbooks et al) connected to the internet, all you have to do is to log on to Facebook social networking site and join the conversation. Recognizing that the youth bear the brunt of recurrent strike actions, the conference will afford over 3500 young Nigerians an opportunity to understand the demands of striking lecturers, ascertain the status of FG-ASUU negotiations and proffer recommendations on the way forward.
You can submit your won questions  or view submitted questions via this link: https://m.facebook.com/groups/106878672727240?view=permalink&id=525241164224320&p=30&refid=18
Excerpts:

Tony O. Adams: Why can’t ASUU take the FG to court for not honoring their agreement instead of punishing the students with strike? Must ASUU strike to bring FG to honor their agreement? Why did they not seek a legal redress in the law court?
Olu Kayode What is ASUU doing to curb plagiarism by students and researchers in our universities? What most research students do is travel to other universities to get someone else’s work, change a few things and submit. This unabated practice has ensured that our students have become lazy and cannot exactly claim/demonstrate earning their qualifications at the end of the day. Exam malpractice and plagiarism in universities overseas are taken seriously. There are technologies to aid examiners detect plagiarism such as ‘turnitin’. Is ASUU thinking of adopting applications such as this?
Idris Mohammed: When is it possible for Nigerian universities to be equipped with state-of-the-art-modern laboratories (all subjects/courses) and materials for research and development?
Olu Kayode What is ASUU doing to encourage their members to produce publications (not handouts) that we can use in our own universities. These books will take into cognizance our peculiar realities including local examples. The Indians write their own books and have their own standards such as the Indian building codes, etc. What is stopping us from putting together our own codes and cease using the British codes verbatim after all the British colonialists were also in India.
Secondly, there is a wide disconnect in Nigeria between the academia and industry to the extent that graduates are hardly employable. I know there is the one year Industrial Training which is a requirement for some courses, but we do know that this arrangement is fraught with challenges such as the inability of students to get appropriate placements and failure of the University departments to evaluate and monitor the quality of training/experience these students are getting such that it complements the theory being taught in class. What is ASUU doing to redress this?
And finally, does ASUU think that they are pushing their lecturer-members enough to develop themselves? To write and publish materials in international journals? To enter into international contests? To proffer indigenous solution to local industry’s problems? Thank you.
Mark KaluHow many Vice Chancellors kids attend school in Nigeria University?
Tony O. Adams How much is ASUU willing to take as part payments from FG to call off the strike? Does ASUU think that they are punishing the FG or the students with this strike? Why can’t ASUU seek other mean of asking the government to honor the agreement other than this strike? How long will ASUU hold sway to the strike tool if the FG insist that they can only pay 130 billon Naira now and pay the rest later?
Can ASUU use internally generated revenue to pay off their accumulated allowance? Why must state-owned universities join in this industrial strike by the federal universities? Don’t you think it is time ASUU accepted the 130Billion Naira and call off the strike if they really have the interest of students at heart and take government to court if they fail to honor and pay the balance as at when due?
Ejikeme Azukaeme Does it occur to ASUU that our youths, and I am talking of the children of common men that suffer the full brunt of this strike action? Sometimes its good to shelve arrogance for the good of greater percentage of the nation. When will the strike be called off?
Joeonyeisi Agafie Why would ASSU member’s children be going to universities in Ghana and South Africa but they are busy accusing the fed and state govt’s of neglecting the education sector?
Kelechi Chinonso Question: the president on the media chat said dat wat Asuu is demanding for ought to be secured from internally generated revenue of universities. How feasible can this be?
Kelechi Chinonso There have been claims from FG that ASUU strike is politically motivated; its a strategy for the opposition to wield power come 2015. How true can their claim be?
Adesoji Adebisi: Is there a comprehensive template that fuses research and development within the tertiary Institutions with the consumer expectations as regards ‘made in Nigeria’ products as against what we import please? If yes, HOW IS THE TEMPLATE UPDATED PLEASE? If No, WHAT IS ASUU DOING TO BRING FIT FOR PURPOSE R&D INTO THE 21ST CENTURY NIGERIAN MARKET PLEASE?
Olu Kayode Question: What is ASUU doing to check their members who indulge in the practice of sleeping with students to pass them? Thank you.
Kelechi Chinonso What are the demands of ASUU in retrospect? And what do students stand to gain from this stand-off?
Idris Mohammed Is it possible for Nigerian government to fund university education to world standard, and privatize it later?
Pamela Braide A call for use of internally-generated revenue IGR or internally generated revenue to meet university needs is obviously a call to pass on costs to students and their guardians. Will ASUU bow to FG’s thinly veiled attempt to increase fees and ‘levies’?
Omezue Slik Austin 1. From the various news media, we read that ASUU demands N3 trillion from FG. Is this true? If yes, please can you break down for us what these trillions are meant for?

2. ASUU has been embarking on strike ranging from salary increment, retirement age, allowance, university autonomy, UNESCO recommendation, research grants, budgetary allocation, pension, reinstatement of some sacked lecturers (Uni Ilorin 44), appointment of VCs, general welfare, solidarity strike.

And since 1999, the students have wasted over 32 month at home during ASUU strike:

1999—5 months
2001—3 months
2002—2 weeks
2003—6 months
2005—3 days
2006—1 week
2007—3 months
2008—1 week
2009—4 months
2010—5months and 1 week
2011—3 months
2013—12 weeks and still counting

Has going on strike helped ASUU and our educational system? If yes, in what aspect? If no, how do you think we can solve this problem? Is it possible for the universities to start marketing themselves to multinational corporations (MNCs) in the country to secure more research grants with the help of the government as it’s done in developed nations?

3. Why is it that students are not given their scripts after exams/tests? I ask this question because this is one of the ways to eliminate sex-for-mark; cash-for-mark etc. Some of us that were privileged to school in Nigeria and abroad understand that abroad, just 2 weeks after the exams, the results are uploaded online and the scripts given to the students on demand without any hassle. Their test scripts are given to them just one week after the test – whether they demand for it or not. These countries doing this are developing countries like ours but in Nigeria, exam results are released towards the end of the next semester.

4. We all know that internet is a vital tool, not only in an academic environment, but also in business, why are our universities still lagging behind in having internet-ready campuses? I don’t think ASUU should wait for government to do this. Putting like additional N500 (internet fees) to students’ tuition fees will solve this problem because by the time about 20, 000 students would pay this, the money will provide the best internet facility anyone can think of. And the students would be more engaged in e-learning; sending & submission of their assignments via e-mail, research work etc. This is how it’s done abroad.

5. Why does it take like 3-5 years in Nigeria to complete a master degree of 1 year in other developing countries?

6. Why don’t our universities use plagiarism checker like TURNITIN to solve the plagiarism problem in our campuses?


Pamela Braide Government agreed to aggressively upgrade infrastructure in schools. From 2009 until now 2013, how much has been committed to the 1.5 or some say 1.2 trillion plan?
Obi Trice Emeka What does state universities stand to gain or has gained since the strike? How many of the agreements reached in 2009 has the federal government implemented? What is ASUU doing as a union to make sure it members fall in line with the ethics of the profession?
Bayode Okelola Olutayo Why is it difficult for lecturers to face their primary assignments in government-owned institutions and stop offering part-time services in other entities?
Chijioke Onuchukwu Can these demands when met, make ASUU members to do their work very well, stop taking bribes for marks and sexual harassment? How can ASUU checkmate their members that indulge in these shameless acts? What does this strike have to do with state universities?
Chike Awuzie What plan is ASUU making towards improving the current academic curricula to meet the society’s current demand, in order to make students employable? Are there any plans to scrap or remodify some courses that have little or no importance to the society?
Chike Awuzie World class universities have an excellent Student-Lecturer relationship, built on mutual respect for both parties, thereby enhancing optimum academic transfer of knowledge. Does ASUU have any plan to address this issue? Or would it still be a case of ‘Intimidating Professor’ vs ‘Fearful Undergraduate’?
Chike Awuzie Is there any written down criteria for salary increment in the country? What happens when (say… 100,000 Naira plus earned by a graduate assistant in a federal university) becomes peanuts because of an inflationary economy? Would ASUU go on strike again to press home their demands, again? Whichever method they use, is there any stipulated percent increment on these salaries? Is such percent increment, if any, proportional to the health of the economy?***** WHAT WOULD ASUU DO IF THEY WOKE UP ONE DAY TO DISCOVER THAT THE FG IS BROKE. WOULD STUDENTS PERPETUALLY STAY @ HOME, till the economy recovers again?
Stanley Onyebuchi Iroha What is ASUU doing to bridge the gap between theory and practical learning in our universities? What is ASUU also doing to ensure that lecturers cover their respective syllabus in any given semester (not-go-and-read-up phrase they normally use).

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What are your thoughts?

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Olayele Awosika's Blog
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Olayele Awosika's Blog

The other day I saw the president of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) not sure whether he is the outgoing, incoming, sit tight, sponsored or whatever….. but he said sompn about his political detractors (yeah …. the new catch phrase and defence for incompetence) witch hunting him and that he is the authentic leader. This minion came on national TV to posit that the ASUU strike is meaningless, that the lecturers are basically fighting for their pockets. Some years ago when I started my Graduate Study at the University of Lagos, I had issues coping with lectures, missed… Read more »

Olayele Awosika's Blog
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Olayele Awosika's Blog

1. Less than 10% of the universities have Video Conferencing facility.2. Less than 20% of the universities use Interactive Boards3.More than 50% don’t use Public Address System in their lecture OVERCROWDED rooms/theatres.4. Internet Services are non-existent,or epileptic and slow IN 99% of Nigerian Universities5. Nigerian Universities Library resources are outdated and manually operated. Book shelves are homes to rats/cockroaches6.No university library in Nigeria is fully automated. Less than 35% are partially automated.7. 701 Development projects in Nigerian universities 163 (23.3%) are abandoned 538 (76.7%) are PERPETUALLY on-going projects8. Some of the abandoned projects in Nigerian univeristies are over 15 years… Read more »

Olayele Awosika's Blog
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Olayele Awosika's Blog

34. Ondo State University of Sci & Tech Okitipupa, established in 2008, has a total of 29 lecturers.35. MAKE-SHIFT LECTURING SYSTEM: Out of a total of 37,504 lecturers, only 28,128 (75%) are engaged on full-time basis.36. 9,376 (25%) Nigerian Lecturers are recycled as Visiting, Adjunct, Sabbatical and Contract lecturers.37. In Gombe State University, only 4 out of 47 Profs are full-time and all 25 Readers are visiting38. In Plateau State University, Bokkos, 74% of the lecturers are visiting.39. In Kaduna State University, only 24 out of 174 PhD holders are full-time staff.39. 700 EX-MILLITANTS in Nigeria are receiving more funds… Read more »

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Spaces for Change

Thanks Olayele Awosika. We will ensure that the issues raised in your comments are addressed during the e-conference.

Spaces for Change

Daniel Efosa Uyi
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Daniel Efosa Uyi

nice post meh, It reminds me of an equally interesting blog on my reading list which is Daniel’s Dating And Personal Development Blog .
keep up the good work meh and also, please visit my blog and drop a comment even if it’s a simple “nice post” reply.

Regards

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