The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday came hard on the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, saying the President lacked the commitment to use education to solve the challenges of poverty in the country.
ASUU Chairman, University of Ibadan chapter, Prof. Deji Omole, in a statement made available to THISDAY, described the recent Buhari’s position that education remained the only way to end poverty as a mere political statement.
He said Nigerians do not need the President to tell them what has been proven by serious countries as a way to edge-out poverty, stating that beyond uttering such statement, Buhari and his team through their education policies have shown hatred to fund and offer Nigerians qualitative education.
The ASUU boss, who expressed pessimism about the ability of the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, to transform the education sector, maintained that the minister was not different from his employer.
Omole added that Adamu made several political statements in his first term which he never acted upon, recalling that the minister had promised to declare state of emergency in the education sector but refused to act on his words.
He insisted that the country would and could not develop beyond the quality of education offered by the government to her citizens.
According to him, “He is back to a familiar terrain. We are also in that same terrain. He spent more than three years in his first term and made so many political statements, which were never implemented.
One of such statements was the fact that they were going to declare state of emergency in the education sector and till he left office in his first term that was not done. In fact, there was no attempt towards that direction. Rather than moving towards declaring state of emergency, what we saw was further reduction in the budgetary allocation to education.
“I don’t think anyone should expect any radical change from what happened to education in his first term and from what is going to happen. The administration has demonstrated its hatred for education by constantly reducing the budgetary allocation to education. Most of their policies are anti-university. For example, in UI today, it’s almost impossible to recruit new staff, meanwhile people are dying as a result of excess work and people are retiring and you are not employing new people.
“So I don’t expect sharp departure from what it used to be. He does not need to tell us. We all know. All developed world have been able to solve their problems through education and that is why we have always been engaging different governments that the only antidote to poverty is putting adequate attention to educating the masses. No nation can ever grow beyond the quality of education given to its citizens. Nobody will come from America to develop Nigeria. Nigeria can only be developed by Nigerians themselves and they can only develop if they have quality education to grow the economy. So it is not enough to make a political statement, you must follow it up with action.”
Source: This Day Live