…Pleads with FG, ASUU to shift grounds in nation’s interest
…As Prof. Ihonvbere slams FG for reneging on agreement with ASSU
By Chris Ochayi
The governorship candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC, in the 2020 Edo State gubernatorial elections, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has appealed to the Federal Government and striking Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU to urgently resolve their issues and allow students to return back to class without further delay.
Pastor Ize-Iyamu, who made the appeal, while speaking with journalists during the opening of Emma’s ICT Academy (KodeKid) Nigeria, in Abuja, said it was dangerous to leave young people at home doing nothing.
The academy established to provide sustainable empowerment for the girl child to acquire digital skills and to close the gap on digital literacy, was sponsored by the British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC, in instance of ICT whiz kid, Emmanuella Oziofu Mayaki to secure the future for the girl child.
Emmanuella, a daughter of famous journalist, John Mayaki, at the age of 10 years got a teaching appointment with Southfields Primary School, Coventry, England, where she taught in an after-school Code dub before relocating to Nigeria.
She also at ten, enrolled at the FunTech Summer Camp in Kent, United Kingdom in 2019 and bagged a certificate in Python Coder and another, Java Coder.
Meanwhile, the Chairman, House of Representative Committee on Universal Basic Education Commission, Professor Julius Ihonvbere has blamed the Federal Government for the prolonged industrial action having reneged on some of the agreements it signed with the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
Speaking further on implications of allowing the students to remain at home, Pastor Ize-Iyamu recalled that, ’’Children are left alone. some people have said this EndSARS riot was even made worst for the fact that many of these children are at home. If they are in school, perhaps they would not have gotten so many people involved.”
According to him, ”It is sad but you see, I went public institutions, primary, secondary and the university but then the standard was very high and the strike was not even there.
”But today you will see parents, even if they cannot afford money to send their children to private schools and the reason is what you just mentioned not really they believed that private schools are better than public schools but this incessant strike that cannot be resolved quickly to the extent that erode on a full academic year and you know years are important.
”Before you know it people who are your classmates are now your seniors and for some children, psychologically it doesn’t augur well for them.
‘I want to appeal that areas like this should be seen as very critical institutions and whatever the issues are, they should try to deal with them as quickly as possible.
”Talking about areas like health, education, security. You can imagine what will happen if you say police or army are on strike, it will be disaster and it should be seen as the same way if our lecturers are on strike.
”Children are left alone. Some people have said this EndSARS riot was even made worst for the fact that many of these children are at home.
”If they are in school, perhaps the would not have gotten so many people involved. It is also dangerous leave young people at home because their parents cannot say because they are at home, they will not get work.
”If they go to work and live them at home and cannot guarantee what the children are doing at home. I think that is in our overall best interest that this strike are prolonged. whatever the issues are, let look for a way to resolve it and I think it will be better for our country.”
The Chairman, House of Representative Committee on Universal Basic Education Commission, Professor Julius Ihonvbere, while also addressing journalists said the Federal Government was responsible for the prolonged ASUU strike.
According to him, ”The house intervened. I have moved the motion on the floor about the need for the federal government to learn to respect agreements.
”You cannot go as a government to sign an agreement then you refuse to implement it. As far as I’m concerned, the problem is not that of the ASUU but that of the federal government.
”They’ve signed the agreement. there are three outstanding agreements which are not implemented signed by the government. People are not looking for money to feed or pay pay rents In fact, at the end of the day, they are talking about infrastructure, paying back unpaid salaries and allowances.
”They are talking about the need to review and upgrade infrastructure in the university system. the need for more teachers and make education conducive.
”Federal Government should sit down, reach agreement and understanding. live up to the term of agreements they have signed and ASUU will go back to work.”
While further defending the Union, the Federal lawmaker noted that, ”ASUU is prepared to shift ground. They’ve never said they not shift ground.
”They are ready to discus and negotiate. Let there be landmarks and let the government keep to it’s own words and that is the issue As you know, ASUU is not an unreasonable organisation.
”It is made up of professionals, well trained and best brains. some of our best minds that we spent public funds to train are in ASUU. They also have children who are at home. They are nit happy with the situations.
”They want the schools to reopen. Let government meet ASUU halfway, let them have agreement with the landmarks for implementation and insure the situation will be resolved.”