Academic Staff Union of Universities, (ASUU) has raised the alarm over degeneration in the education sector in and across saying it deserves urgent rescue.
ASUU at a symposium held at the University of Ibadan attended by some of the union past and present leaders declared its readiness to rescue public education in Nigeria.
According to the ASUU leaders at the symposium organised by the Academic Staff Union of Universities and Civil Societies and Civil Societies Committee held at the Institution’s Faculty of Art, University of Ibadan, noted that there is an urgent need for stakeholders to rescue the nation’s education sector.
Buttressing this, the ASUU leaders said in Nigeria, despite that primary education is officially free and compulsory, it has been reported that 10.5 million of the country’s children aged 5-14 years are not in school”.
The ASUU leaders maintained that the union is committed to the development of education in Nigeria and ensuring that the needed recognition is accorded the education sector in the country particularly at the university level.
Olusiji Sowande, National Treasurer, of ASUU in his presentation declared that the union” loves our country, and the people of Nigeria” and ready to ensure that education stands as a right according to the Nigerian constitution and as such, ASUU will continue in its patriotic struggle for adequate funding of education considering the fact that Education as public good should not be for sale
On his part, Ambrose Ayelari, former deputy vice-chancellor (Administration) of the University of Ibadan, a professor in his presentation at the symposium entitled ” The role of ASUU in the rescue of Public Education in Nigeria stated that the goals of Nigerian education are to build a free and democratic society, a united, strong and self-reliant nation, a great and dynamic economy and a land full of opportunities for all citizens”.
“Thus the philosophy of education is based on the development of the individual into a sound and effective citizen, the full integration of the individual into the community and the provision of equal access to educational opportunities for all citizens of the country at primary, secondary and tertiary levels,” he said.
Acctto Ayelari, there are 170 Universities in Nigeria comprising 79 Private, 43 Federal and State 48 as at January 2021 (NUC), and that in the same way, there are a total of 152 Polytechnics in Nigeria comprising 37 Federal, 51 State and 64 Privately owned Polytechnics.
” In 2021, over 600,000 candidates were found eligible for admission out of 1, 351,215 candidates that sat for the examination. The question is will the 170 Universities and 152 Polytechnics be able to absorb all the 600,000 eligible candidates?
Commenting on struggles by the union towards the growth of education in Nigeria, the former DVC recalled that it was the agitations by ASUU that resulted in the creation of TETFUND, saying, “Education Trust (ETF) Fund now Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) was established as an intervention Agency by education Tax Act No 7 established in 1993 as amended by the Act No 40 of 1998 (now repealed and replaced with Tertiary Education Trust Fund Act 2011).
” It emanated from one of the struggles of ASUU in which they requested that the Fund must be instituted. Education Tax Fund is a tax chargeable on all companies registered in Nigeria at chargeable profits as a contribution to the Education Tax Fund The tax is 2percent for all registered companies in Nigeria. TETFund scheme was established to disburse, manage and monitor education tax to government-owned tertiary institutions in Nigeria”.
Speaking at the symposium, Rasheed Olaniyi, a professor and the representative of the Dean of Faculty of Art, University of Ibadan emphasized that there is a need for ASUU and other stakeholders in the education sector to rescue public education in the country from bondage.