As public tertiary institutions prepare to resume academic activities, the Minister of State for Education, Dr Tanko Sununu, has called on all parties involved to avoid any action that could disrupt the smooth running of the schools.
He made this call on Wednesday in Abuja when he received the leadership of the Congress of University Academics (CONUA) in his office.
Dr Sununu said that the ministry is engaging in constructive dialogue and consultation with various stakeholders on how to address the issues of students’ welfare, staff remuneration and infrastructure development in the nation’s tertiary institutions.
He expressed the government’s commitment to ensuring a stable and conducive environment for learning and teaching.
He also acknowledged that prolonged strikes and non-utilization of facilities could lead to deterioration and decay, and assured that President Bola Tinubu is determined to prevent any situation that could result in further industrial actions.
The President of CONUA, Niyi Sunmonu, who led the delegation, raised some concerns that could affect the resumption of schools.
He mentioned the new increase in school fees, which he said could trigger unrest and agitation among students and parents. He appealed to the government to look into ways of improving the condition of service of both academic and non-academic staff of universities, which he said had suffered due to the removal of petroleum subsidy.
He also requested that the government should revisit the issue of the 8-month salary arrears that some lecturers are owed as a result of the last strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
He said that members of CONUA did not participate in the strike and should not be penalized for it.