By Abdallah el-Kurebe
Having been lecturers and persons who are aware of the problems of the Nigerian university system, President Umaru Musa Yarâ€™Adua, Vice President Goodluck Jonathan and Education Minister, Dr Sam Egwu have been named by ASUU as the current detractors who Ã¡re contributing to the failing of university system.
At a symposium organized by the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, with a theme titled, â€œWhy ASUU is on strike,â€ chairman of the occasion, Dr. Tukur Baba of Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution, said that the concern of ASUU was mainly to improve the quality of the nationâ€™s university system.
According to him, while smaller nations of the African sub-region were taking away lecturers from Nigerian universities, Nigerian graduates were no longer employable.
â€œThe rot in the Nigerian university system is deeper than the surface dictates,â€ Dr. Baba revealed adding that â€œthe decaying university system now allows a lecturer to take 1, 250 students in a class of 30 students and our graduates are no longer employable in the international labour market.â€
One of the two discussants, Dr. Muhammad J. Kuna, in his paper titled, â€œMisconceptions, Evasions and Misrepresentations About the Struggle on the Transformation of the University System in Nigeria,â€ said that in a situation where most of the equipment used by all Nigerian universities were purchased between 1960 and 1980, the insensibility of the government towards the University system was more than visible.
Dr Kuna noted that the problems of the system were enormous but the calls by concerned Nigerians were being overlooked by the government.
According to him, â€œThe failing University system was resultant from lack of research skills in modern methods â€” there is disconnect between research and economy; under-funding, which result in constraints of equipment for carrying out state of the art research; over loaded teaching and administrative schedules, which leave little time for research, etc.â€
He observed that until Federal government takes the issue of the failing university system seriously, vision 20-2020 and the 7-point agenda will not be realised.