“It is disheartening to note that students in 200, even 300 level cannot write simple letter, this has shown how poor our education standard is,” Mohammed Aliyu, chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, branch said on Monday.
Aliyu said this while addressing a news conference in Zaria, KadunaState.
The chairman blamed the decay on setbacks caused by the federal and state governments.
He said that the on-going strike embarked upon by the union was not to demand increment in salaries, but to compel the federal government to honour an agreement reached in 2009 with the union.
The agreement, according to Aliyu, is aimed at addressing the rot in the Nigerian university system and enhancing its overall efficiency.
“The agreement focuses on funding requirements for revitalisationof the Nigerian universities, federal government assistance to state universities, progressive increase in annual budgetary allocation to education to 26 per cent between 2009 and 2020 and amendment of the pension/retirement age of academics on the professional cadre from 65-70 years,” he said.
The listed other issues to include, the non injection of N100 billion intervention funds in 2012 as federal government assistance to state universities, payment of earned academic allowances, raising education budget to 26 per cent and setting up research units in companies.
He however, expressed regret that after signing the agreement, both the federal and state government developed cold feet, forcing the union to embark on a warning strike before proceeding on an indefinite action.
Aliyu said that the union tried to avoid the present situation when it wrote to the Secretary to Government of the Federation and the Minister of Education in February, reminding them of the pending issues.
The letter, he said, highlighted outstanding issues in the 2009 agreement and the subsequent 2012 memorandum of understanding.
However, failure for both parties to reach an understanding led to the announcement of the on-going strike action on July 2, as an option of last resort.