I wish to appeal to President Goodluck Jonathan to as matter of necessity listen to the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, who has been on strike since October 4, 2013. This strike has long term effects on our country’s political and economic development. Let these striking polytechnics teachers come back to classroom to continue with their academic programmes. As a one-time lecturer, a father and President of Nigeria, you know the importance of education to the national development and what strike does to a nation especially when it involves the education sector. Education is the driving force of other sectors. Without sound education, other sectors remain stagnant because it is through the training of manpower that available resources are effectively managed.
Nigerian universities have not fully recovered from the effects of the recent strike that lasted for five months. Our country’s educational system has depressed so gravely, Mr President. One of the dangers of academic strike is the poor performance of the students. Whenever students return from strike, most of the things they have been taught before they went on strike are often forgotten. Lecturers are not also left of this dilemma and so it will affect the country too.
Ironically, in the 2012 World Universities Ranking, none of the Nigerian universities ranked among the first 1, 600 universities in the world. Our universities and polytechnics are not ranked among the best in the world, yet, we are not bothered about it. If we bother, why should we allow public polytechnics and universities to be closed for about five months and government doesn’t care to do anything about it? This careless attitude towards education sector has for a long time dealt a fatal blow other sectors including the political structures in this country.
Which miracle does one expect lecturers to perform to produce sound intellectuals that would match the key sectors of our economy? If our universities and polytechnics must produce sound and competent graduates that would match key sectors of economy, education ought to be recognized as a major tool through adequate funding, good remunerations for our teachers and provision of functional and quality infrastructures.
Why are we busy playing politics with the lives and future of youths? How can we equal other nations that have placed high premium on education and providing quality education for their children? What legacy would you leave for us to remember you with after you have left the office as president?
Abagi Abubakar Akote,
IBB University, Lapai, Niger State