Nigerian Universities Can Handle Their Problems If Given Autonomy ― UNIJOS VC

The Vice-Chancellor, the University of Jos, Professor Tanko Ishaya, has stated that the last eight-month strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) would have been averted if the provosts and governing councils were allowed to handle the lingering issues, saying Nigerian universities can handle their problems if given autonomy.

Addressing reporters at the Council Chamber of the University on Thursday as part of the activities marking his one year in office, Professor Ishaya pointed out that one way to prevent future occurrences of the ASUUU strike is to give autonomy to the universities as enshrined in the Act establishing universities.

“The last strike was avoidable, and if the last strike was allowed to be handled by the provosts and council, I can assure you that the strike won’t probably last for a week.” Let the government address the issue of education.

“If everyone is serious and sincere about education, most of these problems will be addressed.” If the government wants to fund education, let it provide adequate funding. If the government is not funding education 100 per cent, let it come out and tell Nigerians that it can only fund 50 per cent of it and let Nigerians provide the remaining 50 per cent. Then we would now begin to look at ways we can support students who cannot support themselves.

Professor Ishaya also stated that “no work, no pay,” as applied by the federal government during the recent ASUU strike, was not something that should be applied to the academic staff and the university environment.

“No work, no pay” is not something that can be applied to the university environment in terms of a strike. The responsibility of the academic staff is summarized in terms of academic and other activities; the academic also do administrative work. “We have appealed to the Committee of Vice Chancellors and Council for consideration in this regard because they have been working from home,” he said.

On the achievements recorded by the university under his watch in the past year, the Vice Chancellor said that despite the strike actions by the unions, some teaching staff and relevant units were gainfully engaged in research activities that yielded positive outcomes for the university, adding that through their activities, they were able to attract research grants and funds.

He added that 90 per cent of undergraduate programs in the university were granted full accreditation status by the National Universities Commission, adding that the percentage was an increase from the 57.3 per cent of programs with full accreditation status in the university before the last exercise.

The Vice-Chancellor further added that one of the greatest achievements within the period was the successful induction of the first graduands from the faculty of veterinary medicine, adding that the university will leave no stone unturned in making it consolidate the achievement recorded in this regard.

Tribune

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