NAAT decries inadequate funding of education sector
The National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) has bemoaned inadequate allocation of funds for education sector in the country. In a communiqué issued at the end of its National Executive Council (NEC) 36th regular meeting held at the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, the union said low allocation of resources is responsible for near-absence of teaching equipment in most higher institutions of learning.
The meeting, which was presided over by the President of union, Sani Suleiman, said NAAT is concerned about the trend, which has not improved under the present government.
The communiqué read in part: “NAAT expresses concern over the obvious decay or deterioration in the education sector as evident in the lack of quality graduates from the various levels of educational institutions. The deterioration affects several aspects including lack of adequate infrastructure for teaching and learning, such as workshop, laboratory and studio facilities. This has contributed largely to the unemployable status of graduates from the various institutions, including universities. Government should ensure adequate funding of the education sector, by mobilizing stakeholders and utilizing all necessary machinery at its disposal.
The union flayed government over its penchant for not implementing collective bargaining agreement, adding, “NAAT strongly condemns government’s usual attitude of not honouring agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) it signs with labour unions. Apparently, government uses the signing of agreements as a convenient tool to end workers strike action, even if that may be temporary, only to renege on its side of the bargain. A case in point is the recent MOU, which FGN signed with the Joint Action Committee (JAC) Unions of NAAT, NASU and SSANU that led to suspension of the strike action embarked upon by the unions on 15th March 2018.
“We are well over the five (5) weeks agreed upon in the MOU, which was signed on the 8/03/2018, and nothing has come out from government by way of implementation on all the issues. This insensitivity has remained the primary cause of instability in the University System. NAAT hereby advises FGN to always honour agreements and ensure effective communication to forestall the cycles of strike action. In particular, Government is hereby urged to release the N8 Billion agreed in the said MOU for payment of Earned Allowances, because the unions are already restive over the delay – and may resume the suspended strike action at any moment.”
The communiqué, which was signed by the General Secretary of the union, Hamilton Iyoyo, urged government to consolidate on its youth empowerment and capacity building programmes.
It said: “The Union expects the Federal Government to sustain the trend and advises the other tiers of government to contribute their quota in this regard, in order to drastically reduce the current unacceptable level of youth unemployment.”
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