Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has hailed the decision of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) to suspend the 10-month old strike action which has left polytechnic students across the country out of their classrooms.
The former Vice President in a statement signed by his media office in Abuja today welcomed the opportunity for students to return to their campuses, while particularly urging the Federal Government to take a holistic approach in solving the problem of education development in the country through the convocation of a national education summit.
According to him, the unwholesome situation whereby government and lecturers will continue to trade blames while the future of our youths remains on a pause is to say the least, unacceptable.
He noted that through the convocation of a national summit on education such issues relating to building more capacity for our tertiary institutions of learning will be addressed.
“It is noteworthy that the issue of funding is very germane to the management of our public sector education; and so, both government and practitioners in our public education system must come to terms with the parameters of the existing budgetary allocation for education and also create new methods of sourcing funds. They must do this without causing harm to the future of our youths,” Atiku said.
The former Vice President particularly mentioned that gaining from his experience of running a world-class university in his home state of Adamawa, there are far greater challenges facing the Nigerian tertiary education system beyond the issue of funding.
He listed those issues to include capacities to measure and report quality of education on a school by school basis, to hold each school accountable for learning and morals, to recruit and retain the best teachers, failure to tap into the world of Information Technology to boost teachings and the inherent disconnect between our ivory towers and the national economy.
According to him, “biting as the problem of youths unemployment might be everywhere around the globe, countries now device new ways of getting out of the quagmire, and one approach which I find attractive is teaching our young school leavers the skills of being entrepreneurs and having a line of core interest along their academic discipline where they can take off from after graduation.”