ASUU strike: APC chief blames SAP for crisis in educational sector
insist knee jerk ASUU approach not the solution
The National Vice chairman. (North West) of the ruling All progressive congress (APC), Dr Salihu Lukman yesterday blamed the structural adjustment programme for the crisis in the educational sector of the country.
Lukman in an interactive session with reporters in Abuja argued that the policy implemented when former Military President Ibrahim Babangida held sway in the 90s led to the drastic shortfall in the funding of the educational sector.
The Kaduna-born politician called on stakeholders to come up with a more sustainable Marshall plan to address the challenges bedevilled the educational sector of the country.
He faulted the knee-jerk approach of members of the Association of academic staff union (ASUU)in resolving the quagmire in the educational sector.
Said he: “I’m not very clear about ASUU demands, I must be honest. When I talk of plans, if you read some of my previous writing they come out very clear. It is about returning to the old framework which is about which was destroyed by IMF/World Bank policies when they imposed a situation of deregulation.
” US, UK, Germany, name them, all their public education is funded by the government. No country advances through private funding if the educational sector. This is something for me, the Babangida administration keeps escaping the criticism of the public, for me, this is something I can’t forgive because it is what brought education to its current level.
“For us to resolve all of that, it is not about throwing money at Universities. Go and read about my last write-up about the ASUU strike when they got an agreement of about N30 billion from the federal government, I asked a question after that N30 billion is expended, where would the next round come?
” Because it will be eaten again and that is the trap we are in and unfortunately we have also created the destructive culture, whether ASUU works or not, as long as they are on strike, whenever they resume, they get paid.
“As far as ASUU members are concerned, on this period they are on strike, the government is helping them to save. Meanwhile, our children are sitting with us at home. Those of us that have no time, we can’t even afford to feed them, we have to deregulate and allow them to go out.
“Whether they do criminal activities or not, it doesn’t matter. Who is government, when is convenient, we say the people are government, ASUU is part of the government, this is something I can’t reconcile. And that is why I said we have to do hard negotiations.
“And for me, those hard negotiations include the fact that anybody who is ready in the name of the strike to spend one week outside class, no matter the matter, doesn’t have to be in our classrooms. We can’t invest such responsibility because the life of the child cannot be suspended by one month.”