THE President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Emmanuel Osodeke, a professor, has suggested a new hashtag ‘#BringBackYourChildren’, which is to be targeted at public officials whose children are studying abroad.
Osodeke spoke on Wednesday while speaking on a Channels Television program Sunrise Daily.
“We are insisting that pressmen in Nigeria should come up with a hashtag to tell Nigerian leaders, ‘if you want to take a Nigerian position, you must bring back your children (who are studying abroad)’ because if they are in a Nigerian university, secondary and primary schools will be funded.
“The hashtag will be titled #Bring BackYourChildren,” he said.
With the 2023 election approaching, Osodeke urged Nigerians to be more critical and ask the right questions.
“Our appeal to Nigerian people today, in terms of education, is that when people campaign to you, ask them where are your children schooling? That, until you bring your children here, we will not vote for you; that’s what we should be preaching; that’s what we should be going for in the next election.”
According to him, the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is not prioritising the education sector hence the problem ASUU has with the government.
Commenting on reports that the government was broke and does not have enough money to fund education, Osodeke said, “Definitely not; it’s setting a priority, any day the Federal Government, whether at the state or federal make education their priority, we will not have this problem.
“When you look at the country’s doing well educationally in the world, they give between 16 or 26 per cent of their budget to education, because its number one. Whether you are a doctor, soldier, a journalist or whatever, you must go through the educational system but today what do you have? You are giving six per cent to education.
“When Awolowo was the prime minister of the Western Region, he was giving between 30 and almost 30 per cent to education, and we saw the effect.
“When you have a government that doesn’t take education seriously, you have these problems, and you know why we are having this problem, and until you solve this problem, it will not change.”
Osodeke blamed the problems in the education sector on politicians enrolling their children in schools abroad.
“All of those who control our funding, all those who manage the fund have their children outside the Nigerian university system. All of them, whether ministers or governors or whatever, you see them when they go for convocations hanging around their children and laughing.
“They have all their children outside; if they have their children in the Nigerian university system, they will solve the problem.”
ASUU is currently preparing for a nationwide strike after the union blamed the Federal Government for reneging on agreements reached during previous negotiations.