It is very disturbing that while university students hopelessly remain at home because the government has convincingly failed in their commitment to the lecturers and education in the country over funding issues, political leaders are spending billions of Naira on party jamborees ahead of 2023
Many Nigerians will agree with us that, one of the legacies of the Buhari administration is the fact that quality education, especially university education, crashed. This is a historical fact. Many years from now, the current university undergraduates who have been at home for the most part of 2020, 2021 into 2022 academic calendars will remember President Muhammadu Buhari administration with anguish, regrets and frustration depending on when they will eventually graduate.
The same situation affects successful candidates who have been offered admission into universities through JAMB but cannot go for registration because the gates of government universities in Nigeria are effectively closed due to the ongoing protracted industrial dispute between university lecturers and the federal government. There have been back and forth negotiations over vexed issues of allowances, mode of payment of the lecturers’ backlog of salaries, allowances and other benefits without any meaningful conclusion in sight.
We, therefore, find the situation very disturbing that while university students hopelessly remain at home because the government has convincingly failed in their commitment to the lecturers and education in the country over funding issues, political leaders are spending billions of Naira on party jamborees ahead of 2023. Those who understand the nexus between education and the future have continued to express pessimism about Nigeria’s bleak future. What is the destiny of any society without functional and qualitative education?
These are the hardest questions begging for urgent answer today that the present administration is evading with pretension, and because children of our leaders and the rich are in foreign schools where they enjoy what our government failed to provide here, why should this sad recurrent situation bother them? This was the highlight of the biennial conference of Pro Chancellors of State-Owned Universities in Nigeria (COPSUN) held at the Osun State University-Main Campus in Oshogbo last week.
While the body disagreed that strike action is the best way to express grievances, it acknowledged the fact that,
“Since the future of any nation depends on the quality of its education and the recognition accorded it internationally, the current state of our universities leaves much to be desired. “Therefore, greater attention should be devoted to improving the fortunes of the university education system in the country”,
The communique signed by COPSUN chairman, Mallam Yusuf Alli, SAN, stated. We indeed have reservations over the use of strike which forces universities shut down; however, for how long will the government continue to pretend that it has done well enough to make our universities functional academically? We want to, once again, join many concerned Nigerians to ask the present administration this all-important question: when will our universities reopen so that our children can return to school?