The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has charged the national assembly to work out legislation mandating the children of public office holders to be schooled in Nigeria.
Emmanuel Osodeke, ASUU president, was speaking to Chris Ngige, the minister of labour and employment, on Thursday during a reconvened meeting between the union’s leadership and the federal government in Abuja.
Osodeke said the minister demonstrated an uncommon faith in the university system by sending his children to Nigerian public schools.
He also said that Ngige’s commitment to the growth of the educational system should be emulated by other ministers.
“I hope other ministers will follow the same step as you. I think you are the only Minister whose children are in the country. We see others standing by their children outside the country during graduation,” he said.
“But we saw you standing by one of your children who graduated in Lagos. We hope that government will make it mandatory that if you accept a government appointment, your children must attend universities in the country.
“The national assembly must formulate a law that if you take an appointment, your children must study here. If you know that your children cannot be here, don’t take a government appointment.”
Osodeke also lamented the decay in public universities which he said necessitated the union’s repeated strikes.
“When you hear those in government who send their children to schools abroad say that ASUU goes on strike, they should know that strike is not the problem,” Osodeke added.
“The problem is that the issues afflicting the universities; nobody is interested in tackling them. Look at the budget we have seen recently, it is exactly the same thing we have been seeing. Nothing has changed.
“And this country is paying the high price for neglecting education. The banditry you see, the kidnapping and what have you, is because people are not being taken care of.
”That is why ASUU has been struggling so that Nigerian universities will be revamped for our children to attend and stop going outside the country to study.
“Children from other countries will come here too and pay to this country in hard currency.”
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