As the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) clocks 40 years, students have called for a total overhaul of the education sector, while lamenting the continuous industrial strikes affecting higher education.
Speaking at an event to mark the 40th anniversary in Abuja yesterday, NANS national president, Comrade Sunday Asefon pleaded with Nigerians to rise and rescue the education sector.
He said the nation’s education sector was on the brink and the entire nation must rise to rescue it.
The event was celebrated under the title, “Public Education System On The Brink Of Collapse: Rescue It Now Or Prepare For The Alternative.”
Asefon urged state universities to pull out of the ongoing ASUU strike, saying state universities would not be beneficiaries of ASUU’s demand from the federal government as governors were responsible for the founding of their universities.
He also condemned the insistence of ASUU on the payment of six months arrears of salaries for the entire period of the strike before they can call off the strike.
Asefon said, “This demand is not only insensitive; it is also selfish, inconsiderate and uncharitable. The six months is a period of no work. As much as we encourage the government to pay their arrears irrespective, it is unfair to base the resumption of academic activities on full payment of the arrears.
“We have also unfortunately noticed that since the beginning of the strike, ASUU has refused to put the students who are the major losers into consideration whatsoever. They have hidden from us the major areas of contention. Every other stakeholder, except ASUU, has met with us directly to discuss the issues.”
The event also presented an opportunity to honour a few Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in the service of humanity.