In what can only be a reflection of the falling standard of the nation’s education sector and the quality of graduates produced by government owned universities, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, chapter, yesterday said it embarked on strike action to save the university system from total collapse, as some students in some Nigerian universities according to it, “cannot write simple letters”.
In a press statement signed by the chairman of ABU-ASUU, Dr. Mohammed Kabir Aliyu of the Department of Archaeology and made available to Journalists, the union said “It is disheartening to note that some 200 and even 300 level students can’t write just simple letters. This has shown how poor our education standard is. Therefore, ASUU embarked on strike not because of salary increase but to make the Federal Government honour the agreement it reached with the union in 2009.
“After three years of serious negotiation, government signed the October 2009 agreement with our union. The agreement was aimed at addressing the rot in the Nigerian university system and enhancing its overall efficiency. The agreement focuses on funding for revitalisation of the Nigerian universities, federal government assistance to state universities, progressive increase in annual budgetary allocation to education to 26 per cent between 2009 and 2020 and amendment of the pension/retirement age of academics on the professional cadre from 65-70 years,” he said.
Dr. Aliyu added that before embarking on the latest strike action, the union had written the Secretary to Government of the Federation and copied the minister of education, but that the authorities failed to show serious commitment on its negotiation with ASUU.