Saturday, 31 August 2013

ASUU Strike: Give Them Their Money ––Parents Tell Jonathan

It’s been two months since the Academic Staff Union of Universities embarked on a nationwide indefinite strike. This was as a result of the inability of the Federal Government to implement the issues contained in a 2009 agreement it had with ASUU.

Some Nigerian parents have sent out strong messages to President Goodluck Jonathan to intervene and put an end to the prolonged strike immediately:

Here's what the affected parents told Vanguard on the issue...

Government not feeling the strike because their children are in private universities
— Ohwaguono Onos
Mr. Ohwaguono Onos, a parent and a post graduate student of University of Lagos( UNILAG), who was affected by the strike has this to say.

“The ASUU strike has made my children shift focus to other things that are costing me additional funds I didn’t budget for. And parents who cannot engage their wards in these suffer distress and heart-aches because of the nuisance the students constitute at home. One thing I have learnt is that after each episode of strike, the students are no more focused even when they resume lectures because they have been out for so long. ASUU went on strike because they want the government to come to their plight and help them.

“If the Senators can have sitting and sleeping allowances, then the builders of these characters should be considered; they are the lecturers. My only pain is that these ones in government are not feeling it because their own children are not in the Federal and State universities. Their children are abroad schooling, their children are in private universities. Most of the people in sensitive government positions are the owners of most private Universities which are funded by our own money. How can the strike affect the government? Our plea is for the government to listen to the masses, listen to ASUU and help them; that way they are helping us and saving the future.

Federal government should meet the demands of the lecturers 
—Oluranti Olushola
Mrs Oluranti Olushola, a teacher who said her son was affected by the strike pleaded that the Federal Government should help them so their children can go back to school. “I am seriously appealing to the Federal Government, on behalf of Nigerian parents, to end the strike and make education a top priority and also save the education sector from imminent collapse.”

She noted that the government voluntarily entered into an agreement with the union in 2009 to fund universities better and meet some other demands of the union. “The Federal Government must at all costs meet the demands of the union to save the future of our children,” she said.

Government should avoid workers’ strike 
—Mrs Ruquiyat Adebayo
Another teacher, Mrs Ruquiyat Adebayo disclosed that that ASUU’s demands were genuine. She urged the government to make any sacrifice to improve the education sector. Mrs Adebayo also advised the government to avoid workers’ strike by meeting their demands early.“ASUU is not asking for too much. It’s demands are justified. We have the resources in this country, and we must set our priorities right. Education must come first in all our plans.“Whatever it will take, Nigeria must improve the welfare of the University teachers,” she said.

Government should resolve the conflict with ASUU 
—Moturayo Madandola
Mrs Moturayo Madandola whose child was affected by the strike said government should resolve the conflict with ASUU quickly to save the University system from collapse. “The Federal Government should accede to the demands of the striking union so that our children can go back to school,” she said.

Government should be considerate 
—Malik Alabi
Malik Alabi, a businessman expressed his feelings with anger saying, “don’t mind those people in government , all their children are schooling abroad. How would they remember us? They only plan to travel to Dubai for vacation, travel out of the country for medical check up, send their children to Harvard and all the good schools abroad. These people should also consider the parents who suffer to pay school fees for our children . I have two children at OAU and they are both at home doing nothing and it pains me a lot . My only plea is that Federal Government should help us because the parents are the ones suffering it more”.

Four-year course is running six years because of the strike 
—Deaconess Joy OsewengieDeaconness Mrs. Joy Osewengie, a mother of two students in the University of Benin (UNIBEN) expressed her concern saying, “The ASUU strike has turned into something else; my children are not doing anything at home. Courses that are supposed to run for four years are now running six years and above. When will the children finish their programmes in the Universities and become very useful to their family and the society?

“The government should know that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. We should bear in mind that these ones are the future of this great nation and if they are half baked because of strike and crisis, then we may end up with a very sick nation.”

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