BusinessDay

ASUU strike more complicated than Nigerians think — FG

...approves 109 e-learning centers for primary schools

The Federal Government on Wednesday said that the issue concerning the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU and other three university based unions is not as simple as people think.

This is as the government has approved the establishment of e-learning centers for primary schools across the 36 States of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, at the cost of N964 million

The Minister of information and Culture, Lai Mohammed disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the virtual Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Council Chambers, Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Minister however noted that the government was disturbed over the long closure of the public universities adding that it is making frantic efforts to ensure that all the contentious issues are resolved.

It will be recalled that ASUU had embarked on strike on February 14, over unresolved issues with the federal government and since then, all the public universities have been shut down.

Besides, other university-based unions, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, Non-Academic Union of Universities and Associated Institutions, as well as the National Association of Academic Technologists, have also withdrawn their services over the alleged government insensitivity to their demands.

Fielding questions on why the government approved the establishment of e-learning centers but was unable to resolve problems with unions in the public universities for the students to go back to school, the Minister said the issue with the unions was not as simple as many may think.

According to Mohammed who briefed on behalf of the Minister of Education “And then the other question has to do with the ASUU strike. I think if I remember this e-learning, I think has to do more with primary schools and not universities.

“And I don’t think because we’re having challenges with the university lectures, we should stop primary school students from continuing with their education.

“And I wish that the ASUU issue is as simple as many of us think it is. I don’t think it’s that simple. But I want to assure you that a lot is going on behind the scenes.

“And I think probably the Minister of Education will be better positioned to give the details. But like any government, if we’re not concerned, we would not set up all the committees which have been working on. If we are not concerned we will not be looking for means to even assuage the feelings of the Union.

Read also: ASUU sues Obaseki, others over suspension of unions in Edo-owned higher institutions

“We’re worried we’re concerned, and we’ll continue to work towards finding an early resolution of the problem.”

Mohammed revealed that “ The Minister of Education had sought approval from Council for the award of contracts for the provision of a satellite- based education system for 109 e-learning centers across the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

“The contract was for the sum of N964 million and is in favour of Messrs Nas Navigation. The purpose of the memo is to provide each senatorial district in the country with e-learning provision, each states has three senatorial districts and the FCT has one senatorial district

“The scope of the project is the provision of a satellite based education system for about 4,360 users in the 109 senatorial districts and it was through the installation of 109 receiver satellite unit model antennas in three schools in each state.

“Installation and provision of 109 vast mile servers in three schools in each state connecting up to 100 device installation of 109 server units for receiver terminals and deployment of 4,360 Android tablets.”

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