Sunday, January 23, 2022

    ASUU strike: FG needs to increase allocation to education sector to prepare Nigerians for global competitiveness – Afe Babalola

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    Gbenga Samson
    Samson Gbenga Salau [Editorial Board Adviser] Gbenga Samuel Salau is a professional journalist with over 17 years experience in journalism, he is a graduate of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan. On completion of his youth service, he joined The Guardian as a freelance journalist and was later absorbed as a staff. While in the University, he was a campus journalist reporting for the Independence Hall and Faculty of Arts Press Clubs. As a campus journalist, he won the following awards; Independence Hall Press Best News writer; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best News Reporter/Writer; First Runner-up, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism; Association of Faculty of Arts Students’ Press Best Reporter; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Political Writer; Winner, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism, and University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Interviewer. He served the Association of Communication and Language Arts Students, as the Public Relation Officer, the same year he was appointed the News Editor of the Association of Faculty of Arts Students Press. The following session, he was made the General Editor, and a member of the 13-man University of Ibadan Students’ Union Transition Committee. As a reporter in The Guardian, in 2014, he won the Promasidor Quill Award Best Report on Nutrition and DAME Business Reporting category. In the 2015 edition of the Promasidor Quill Award, he won the best Report on Nutrition and Brand Advocate Categories, while in 2016, he won the NMMA Print Journalist of the Year, first runner-up Golden Pen Reporter of the Year and SERAs CSR Awards. Gbenga Salau loves traveling, reading, and listening to songs with good lyrics no matter the genre.

    By Rasaq Ibrahim, Ado Ekiti

    Founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti(ABUAD), Chief Afe Babalola(SAN), has decried the poor funding of public universities, stating it accounts for the despicable condition of tertiary education in the nation.

    Babalola lamented the Federal Government has consistently underfunded education sector with meagre allocation of seven percent of the national budget.

    He spoke in ABUAD on Friday during a ceremony marking the 9th anniversary of the institution.

    According to him: “It is worrisome the FG could earmark seven percent budgetary allocation to fund education, when the United Nations Educational and Socio Cultural Organisation(UNESCO) recommended 26 per cent.

    “I have been Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, University of Lagos(UNILAG) and I knew that the universities lack facilities and equipment to be of high standard.

    “In our universities, students are not resident in schools, some stayed outside the lecture theatres to receive lectures.

    “Some even use forest as toilets, lecturers are not paid as and when due, all these are intolerable.

    “FG must look for funds to make our universities be of high standard.”

    He backed the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on the ongoing strike action, saying it was a justifiable move.

    The legal luminary said: “ASUU’s case is strong this time and I support them in spite of the fact that I have been criticizing them in recent past, but I stand with them this time.

    “ASUU alleged that over 70 percent of the projects in our universities are uncompleted for lack of funds and corruption, this is wrong.

    “In ABUAD, we complete our projects in time. We built our Planetorium within six months. Some federal universities started theirs 10 years ago and they have not completed it.”

    Babalola explained that ABUAD has attained enviable height and become one of the best universities in Nigeria within nine years of its operation because the management works extra hard to make its vision a reality

    “In the law school examinations conducted in 2018, 12 ABUAD students got first class with one emerging overall best.

    “They presented 36 prizes and our students carted away 24 of them. This showed that ABUAD is a haven where sharpening of intellectual mind is our priority.”

    He saluted the tenacity of the staff in their commitments in contributing to ABUAD becoming a leading university in Nigeria, warning the management shall deploy stringent measures those not supporting the vision of the institution, which was to bring a paradigm shift to university education.

    He said: “We shall continue to celebrate those staff who are working to keep the standard we set and we have achieved for ourselves. But whoever wants to bring it down among the students and teachers shall be sanctioned, those who don’t want to share our vision must go away.

    “From next week Monday, we will begin teachers’ annual assessment to be able to know those who are working for our glory here and they shall get their rewards”.

    He urged Federal Government to increase budgetary allocation allotting to education sector to prepare Nigerians for global competitiveness and monitor the uses of the appropriated fund.

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