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‘Don’t open schools till 2021’ – ASUU tells FG

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities has said it supported the decision of the Federal Government to stop Senior Secondary School 3 pupils from partaking in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination earlier scheduled to commence on August 4.

The union advised the government to shut down schools until 2021 to ensure adequate preparations, citing the case in some countries such as Kenya. Our correspondents had reported on Saturday that the Federal Ministry of Education met with officials of the West African Examination Council in Abuja and resolved to announce a new date for the examination. The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, had also said the government would consult with the four other countries under WAEC to set a new date, while announcing COVID-19 mandatory guidelines for schools which must be kept before July 29.

The ASUU President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, who made the recommendations in an interview with Sunday PUNCH, said no reasonable government would take such chances unless parents would be told to sign an undertaking. Ogunyemi said, “Look, Kenya has said they have closed all their schools till next year (2021); they too have exams to write. Safety first. If it means closing the schools until next year to safeguard the lives of Nigerian children and safeguard the health of all Nigerians, so be it. “So, if that will help us to address cases that can lead to increase in mortality, I think Nigerians should go that way and all of us should see reason for it. If they need to cancel admission for the year, it is good for them. Life matters first, people must have life first before they can go to university. Are the universities ready to work now? “Our position is that they should not experiment with the lives of our children. Nobody can tell; the situation may soon normalise and they can do their exams and there is another opportunity for external candidates around November. So, it’s not as if the door is totally closed.” The ASUU president added that the union had not seen any evidence to show that schools were secured for students to go back.

He said, “The first thing that should be tackled is whether schools are safe. And if the schools are not safe, why do you want to carry out an experiment with the lives of our children? An attempt to send back the children to school at a time there is a spike in COVID-19 cases in Nigeria is like experimenting with the lives of our children.

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ASUU might end strike as FG shifts position on meeting demands.

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The federal government has agreed to provide an additional sum of N15 billion to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

This means a cumulative sum of N65 billion has been provided for the settlement of the lecturers’ allowances and the revitalization of the university system. During a 7-hour meeting on Friday, November 20, it was also agreed that ASUU will be exempted from the Integrated Personnel Payroll System (IPPIS) which has been generating hiccups against the end of the strike action. Legit.ng notes that this is coming weeks after the federal government insisted that the lecturers’ body could not determine how it should be paid to its employers. Reading the communique at the end of negotiations, minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige disclosed that the federal government shifted ground on some demands of ASUU.


The minister also stated that the salary arrears of the body’s members from February to June 2020 will be paid using the old salary payment platform, GIFIMS.

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