Educationists urge minister to pay lecturers eight months’ salaries
Director of Distance Learning Centre (DLC), University of Ibadan, Prof. Emmanuel Omobowale, a lecturer from Political Science Department, Kola Daisi University (KDU), Ibadan, Dr Adebukola Ayoola and Prof. Gbade Ojo of the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, made the call in separate interviews with The Guardian.
Omobowale pleaded with the minister to facilitate the payment of outstanding eight months’ arrears of salaries owed lecturers, saying this would endear him to academics who are presently disillusioned.
He also tasked Mamman to reopen negotiations with ASUU on outstanding issues, especially the new salary structure for university workers.
‘’Finally, he should prevail on the National Universities Commission (NUC) to suspend the implementation of the Core Curriculum Minimum Academic Standard (CCMAS) recently unveiled to replace Benchmark Minimum Academic Standard (BMAS).
“Right now, many academics see it as an intrusion against university autonomy and the right of the University Senate to come up with appropriate curricula for the different programmes being offered by each university. The point is that there is no place in the world where universities operate the same curriculum for all their courses. It defeats the innovative spirit that is integral to university education,’’ Omobowale said.
Ayoola, who is the Head of Department of Political Science and International Relations at KDU, said a complete overhaul of the sector is key.
Besides, she stated that all agreements with ASUU and other staff unions should be honoured in the interest of peace.
“Mamman must ensure that all our institutions are well-equipped with modern facilities, while staff salaries should be reviewed in line with current economic realities, while the principle of autonomy should be upheld. University managers should be allowed to run their affairs and not be placed under a desk officer in the ministry. It is a mismatch that has been messing up the system.
‘’If all these are done, the issue of japa can be reduced for those migrating abroad for quality education. If we have a functional system, no one would contemplate the idea of running away. Besides, the due process of recruitment into our universities should be allowed to follow through. The ministry should stop forcing and dumping inexperienced and unqualified workers on universities, it is a disservice to the system and the country at large,’’ Ayoola said.
While calling for the convocation of a summit to enable stakeholders to come up with pragmatic solutions to the myriad of challenges confronting the sector, Ojo reminded that no country can develop beyond the quality of education given its citizens.
Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox every day of the week. Stay informed with the Guardian’s leading coverage of Nigerian and world news, business, technology and sports.