A legal luminary and Chancellor, Bamidele Olumilua University of Education, Science and Technology, Ikere Ekiti, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), has adjured to the federal government to honour all the agreements reached with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to avoid nationwide strike in the country.
Olanipekun, who is also the Pro- Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo, said the country can’t afford to witness another strike barely a few months after the universities that were closed for half a year were reopened for academic activities.
ASUU, through its national body, had last week, threatened to declare another nationwide strike over pending issues yet to be fulfilled by the federal government.
But at a truce parley held last week in Abuja, it was resolved that the N30 billion revitalization fund should be released to the universities within the next one week, while the N22.1 billion Earned Academic Allowances are to be paid and the University Transparency Accountability Solution designed for payment of salaries was to be tested by relevant agencies to ascertain its viability.
Addressing journalists during the 25th edition of Chief Wole Olanipekun Scholarship scheme Saturday, the legal icon, represented by the General Manager of the Newcruize FM Radio Station established by the senior lawyer, Mr. Jide Ogunluyi, said: “The federal government must honour all agreements with ASUU to prevent any strike that could affect the system.
“We are just recovering from the effect of the global Covid-19 pandemic. The effects are still being felt. So, I advise that all agreements should be honored for our universities to be fully operational.”
Olanipekun revealed that a total of 134 students, comprising 50 secondary school students, 50 Ikere Ekiti undergraduates, five Law School students and 29 non-indigenes, who are also undergraduates of universities across the country benefited from the 2021 scholarship edition.
“My happiness is that, since inception of this scheme in 1996, 1,075 secondary school students of Ikere origin had benefited from this scheme in 25 years.
“At the university level, the scheme has produced 231 graduates, made up of 40 medical doctors, 38 agriculturists, 27 engineers, 37 linguists, 25 accountants, 16 political scientists and many others and it was operated at higher altitude without petty jealousy, partisanship, hatred, bickering, animosity, infighting, enmity, resentment, antagonism and other mundane considerations,” he said.
In his lecture at the event titled: ‘The Politics Behind Covid-19 Pandemic and its Effects on Educational System’, a Professor of Geography, Dr. Abiodun Olatunji, said the global disease had increased school dropouts, academic decay, reduction in students cognitive prowess as well as poverty level.
Speaking generally, Abiodun, a lecturer at the Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti, added that the menace has also brought global economic recession, triggered by increased joblessness, low investments and erosion of human capital basis of some countries.
Olatunji expressed regret that the six-month shutdown of schools also exposed some students, particularly those of higher learning to criminality, thereby reducing their performances in schools.
“Though, the pandemic also brought a lot of inventions and aroused interest in virtual learning techniques, particularly in private schools while many schools invented sanitizes and drugs to help contain it, which nobody would have ever thought could happen in Nigeria,” he said.
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