Posted by Chinyere Nwachukwu | 29 December 2017 | 1,028 times
Nigerian universities can rank best in Africa if we they have a stable academic calendar, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos has said.
Ogundipe spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos against the backdrop of incessant strikes by labour unions in the nation’s university system.
According to him, there was need for everyone, especially the key stakeholders in the education sector, to look inward to ensure that crisis, which gave rise to strikes, were managed effectively.
“I make bold to say that universities, especially the first generation institutions in the country can be ranked best in Africa if we can have a stable academic calendar.
“There is need for everyone to look inward and manage the crisis in the system effectively so that our university system can be ranked among the best in the world,’’ Ogundipe said.
He said that there was need for Nigerian governments too to take the running of universities and other related issues seriously.
“If you want to run a university, you should go all out and do it in line with the best practices.
“We are talking about the global ranking of universities, and here we are still grappling with the issues of strike.”
The VC noted that such development do not speak well about the country as “lots of people around the world are reading and taking note of it”.
He explained that most of the facilities that would guarantee conducive teaching and learning environment were being handled by non-academic (support) staff that were on strike.
Ogundipe added that with the strike, their academic staff counterparts and others were now forced to adjust to the situation.
“The strike has affected the operations of the university indirectly,” he said.
According to him, issues of power and water supply, the use of laboratory and others have taken their toll on the operations of the university.
“I am sure that the academic staff will be up to their assignments.
“This group of staff is not on strike; the classrooms are open, lectures are going on since the inception of NASU (Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities) strike.
“Even, as we resumed on December 27, lectures have started in most faculties in UNILAG.
“The non-teaching staff have their grievances; the strike is a national strike and not a local one.
“To this effect, there is little the university authorities can do,” the Vice Chancellor lamented.
NAN reports that the unions, under the aegis of Joint Action Committee, had on September 11, declared an indefinite strike across all the federal universities over the non-implementation of an agreement they entered into in 2009 with the Federal Government
The strike was suspended while dialogue continued between the parties, only for the union to embark on another strike on December 5.
Mr Solomon Ugwoke, the National President of JAC, who also doubled as the president of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, one of the striking unions, had stated that there was no going back on the strike. (NAN)
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