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.

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

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).

5 thoughts on “E-Conference: FG-ASUU Faceoff: The Issues Within”

  1. 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 some exams and what not’s primarily because of work since I was working out of Lekki Phase One then so attending lectures was a bit of a task ….. I had to seek audience with the Post Graduate Co-ordinator.

    My encounter with her not only revealed the rot in the educational sector but also made me take a quick decision to abandon that program. I could have weathered the storm by ensuring my name is inserted in the seminar papers, hustling to write tests, manage through the exams and just managing all the way and at the end of the day have an LLM at the back of my name but no, I wanted to do LLM the way it is done ….. Proper research and all!

    I remember telling her then that if this is what it takes to do an LLM program, if this is the kind of counseling and guidance meted out, then she can forget about it! Why? Because her response was some frustrated outburst all because I stated that she was NEVER in the office at the times (three times) I came even though those were the times she wrote boldly on her door that she will attend to students! I had paid all my school fees at that time so the money was not the issue. She did not even understand or was not ready to understand my challenges even though she was the Coordinator.

    For those who think ASUU is making noise….. Kayode Ogundamisi’s post brings to fore the rot, the decay, the madness and the need to fight this war to finish! Some weeks ago while I was at Pretoria, I met Lekan (hope I am right), he was a Nigerian Graduate, but he was also a security guard at my friend’s apartment in Pretoria. I still remember him, sitting at the gate in the cold as a watchman shivering with his jacket on!

    Please enjoy these pictures! Pictures do not lie…. this is a validation that the fight by ASUU is not only justified but a fight that is long overdue!


  2. Olayele Awosika's Blog

    1. Less than 10% of the universities have Video Conferencing facility.
    2. Less than 20% of the universities use Interactive Boards
    3.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 Universities
    5. Nigerian Universities Library resources are outdated and manually operated. Book shelves are homes to rats/cockroaches
    6.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 projects
    8. Some of the abandoned projects in Nigerian univeristies are over 15 years old, some are over 40 years old.
    9. 76% of Nigerian universities use well as source of water, 45% use pit latrine, 67% of students use bush as toilet
    10. UNN and UDUS have the highest number of abandoned projects (22 and 16 respectively).
    11. All NDDC projects across universities in Niger Delta States are abandoned. About 84.6% of them are students’ hostels
    12. 77% of Nigerian universities can be classified as “Glorified Primary Schools” Laboratories are non existing
    13. There are 8 on-going projects at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi. None of them is funded by the State Government
    14. 80% of Nigerian Universities are grossly under-staffed
    15. 78% of Nigerian Universities rely heavily on part-time and visiting lecturers
    16. 88% of Nigerian Universities have under-qualified Academics
    17. 90% of Nigerian Universities are bottom-heavy (with junior lecturers forming large chunk of the workforce)
    18. Only 2% of Nigerian Universities attract expatriate lecturers, over 80% of Ghanian Universities attract same
    19. 89% of Nigerian Universities have ‘closed’ (homogeneous staff – in terms of ethno-cultural background)
    20. Based on the available data, there are 37,504 Academics in Nigerian Public Universities
    21. 83% of the lecturers in Nigerian universities are male while 17% are female.
    22. 23,030 (61.0%) of the lecturers are employed in Federal universities while 14,474 (39.0%) teach in State Universities.
    23. The teaching staff-students ratio is EMBARRASSINGLY very high in many universities
    24. LECTURER STUDENT RATIO: National Open University of Nigeria 1:363 University of Abuja 1:122 Lagos State University 1:11
    25. (Compare the above with Harvard 1:4; MIT 1:9; Yale 1:4, Cambridge 1:3; NUS 1:12; KFUPM 1:9; Technion 1:15).
    26. Nigerian Universities Instead of having 100% Academics having PhDs, only about 43% do so. The remaining 57% have no PhDs
    27. Nigerian University medical students trained in the most dangerous environment, some only see medical tools in books
    28. Only 7 Nigerian Universities have up to 60% of their teaching staff with PhD qualifications
    29. Photo of a typical lecture hall of MOST NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES
    30. While majority of the universities in the country are grossly understaffed, a few cases present a pathetic picture
    31. There are universities in Nigeria which the total number of Professors is not more than Five (5)
    32. Kano University of Scienc andTechnology Wudil, established in 2001 (11 years old) only 1 Professor and 25 PhD holders.
    33. Kebbi State University of Science and Technology, Aliero, established in 2006 has only 2 Professors and 5 PhDs

    Culled from Kayode Ogundamisi’s Blog

  3. 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 visiting
    38. 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 anualy than 20 Nigerian universities under ‘Amnesty Scam’
    40. 80% of published journals by Nigerian University lectures have no visibility in the international knowledge community.
    41. No Nigerian academic is in the league of Nobel Laureates or a nominee of Nobel Prize.
    42. There are only 2 registered patents owned by Nigerian Academics in the last 3 years.
    43. Numerically more support staff in the services of Nigerian universities than the teaching staff they are meant to support
    44. More expenditure is incurred in administration & routine functions than in core academic matters in Nigerian Universities
    45. There are 77,511 full-time non-teaching staff in Nigeria’s public universities 2 Times number of academic staff
    46. University of Benin, there are more senior staff in the Registrar cadre (Dep. Registrars, PARs, SARs) than Professors
    47. Almost all the universities are over-staffed with non- teaching staff
    48. There are 1,252,913 students in Nigerian Public Universities. 43% Female 57%Male
    49. There is no relationship between enrollment and the tangible manpower needs of Nigeria.
    50. Nigerian Uni Horrible hostel facilities, overcrowded, overstretched lavatory and laundry facilities, poor sanitation,etc
    51. Except Nigerian Defence Acadamy Kaduna, no university in Nigeria is able to accommodate more than 35% of its students.
    52. Some universities (e.g. MOUAU),female students take their bath in d open because d bathrooms are in very poor condition.
    53. Laundries and common rooms in many universities have been converted into rooms where students live, in open prison style.
    54. In most improvised cage called hostels in Nigerian Universities, there is no limit to the number of occupants.
    55. Most State universities charge commercial rates for unfit and unsuitable hostel accommodation
    56. In off-campus hostels, students are susceptible to extraneous influences and violence prostitution, rape, gang violence
    57.Nigerian Univeristy Students sitting on bare floor or peeping through windows to attend lectures
    58. Over 1000 students being packed in lecture halls meant for less than 150 students
    59. Over 400 Nigerian University students being packed in laboratory meant for 75 students
    60. Students use the bushy areas of their campus for toilet because lavatory facilities are too hazardous to use
    60. University administrators Spend millions to erect super-gates when their Libraries are still at foundation level
    61. Expend millions to purchase exotic vehicles for university officers even though they lack basic classroom furnishings
    62. Spend hundreds of millions in wall-fencing and in-fencing when students accommodation is inadequate and in tatters
    63. Govt interested in spending money on creation of new uni instead of consolidating and expanding access to existing ones
    64. Govt keen to award new contracts rather than completing the abandoned projects or standardizing existing facilities
    65. Govt Expend hundreds of millions paying visiting and part-time lecturers rather than recruiting full-time staff
    66. Govt spending hundreds of millions in mundane administration cost instead of providing boreholes and power supplements.

    Culled from Kayode Ogundamisi’s Blog

  4. 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

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