The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has linked the rising wave of crime in the last two months to the idleness of students, who are currently bearing the brunt of the impasse between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), following the strike embarked on by the union.
The students’ body, therefore, appealed to the striking union and the federal government to resume negotiations and ensure quick resolution of the strike, which is now in its 13th week.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Monday, acting Senate President of NANS, Mr. John Shima lamented that about three years of study time had been lost to strikes in the last 10 years.
The lost time, he said, was enough to graduate from an undergraduate course in other climes.
“ASUU and the federal government should go back to the negotiating table. Even after wars, issues are resolved at the round table, Nigerian students are tired of sitting at home,” he said.
Shima added that although the lecturers were protesting the decline of infrastructure in the nation’s universities, the decline was not limited to the universities alone. This, he said, had led to the continual drop in Nigeria’s standard of tertiary education.
“We call for a NEEDS Assessment in our polytechnics and Colleges of Education as was done for the universities to ascertain their level of decay. This may also stop unions in these institutions from embarking on their own strikes,” he said.
The students’ body also appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan to urgently appoint a substantive minister to head the education ministry.
The candidate, it added, should be an individual from the education sector, who had exhibited the necessary competence, clear understanding of the sector and has the capacity to command the respect of stakeholder unions in the sector.
“We commend the out-gone education minister, Prof. Ruqqayatu Rufa’i, for doing her best while she served as minister,” Shima said.