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Text of Press of Conference National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS)

TEXT OF JOINT PRESS CONFERENCE BY THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIAN STUDENTS (NANS) AND THE NATIONAL YOUTH COUNCIL OF NIGERIA (NYCN) ON THE STATE OF EDUCATION IN NIGERIA AND THE WAY FORWARD

Protocol:

Nigeria is our only country and we must all do all we can to ensure its rapid development. That is the basis on which we are addressing you gentlemen of the press today on the state of education in Nigeria and the way forward.

The quality of education in Nigeria is dropping every year though the standard can still compete favourably with what is obtainable in many advanced countries of the world. A lot of factors are responsible for this decline and have been numerously identified which is why the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (ASUU) is on strike now for over two months. This decline we must point out is not restricted to our tertiary institutions alone.

The level of decay of infrastructures in our tertiary institutions is the main reason for the current ASUU strike. Nigerian students have been idle for seventy eight days now. Hence, they have been the devil’s workshop for that time. Little wonder the reported increase in crime and criminality in the month of July and August.

It is in the light of this that we lend our voices to the so to say new lease of life in the education sector through the cabinet reshuffle to retool the government. While commending the President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for seeing the need to attempt a different approach in confronting the challenges in the sector, it is very important that as the principal beneficiaries and victims of the actions and inactions in that sector that we have our say. We therefore state the following:

1). ASUU and the Federal Government should go back to the negotiating table. Even after wars, issues are resolved at the round table. Nigerian students are tired of sitting at home and both parties are urged to please shift ground to ensure quick resolution of the crises.

2). We call for a NEEDS ASSESSMENT in our Polytechnics and Colleges of Education as was done for the universities to ascertain their level of decay. This may also stop unions in these institutions from embarking on their own strike.

3). That the President should not delay in filling the vacancy in the Ministry of Education as there are still many urgent needs in the Ministry requiring attention.

4). That in filling the vacancy, President Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan should take into consideration the choice of an individual from the education sector who;

a). has exhibited the necessary competence and has clear understanding of the challenges of the sector.

b). has capacity to command the respect of stakeholder unions in the sector. This is important because education suffers when any of the unions embarks on industrial action. We have lost almost 3years of study time in the last 10years due to strikes; the lost time being enough to graduate a student in Germany.

5). We commend the out gone Minister of Education Prof. Rukayattu Rufai for doing her best while she served as Minister and wish her the best in her future endeavours.

Thank you and God Bless.

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