The new National President of the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (ASUU), Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi has frowned at the delay of President Buhari’s administration in implementing its agenda for the education sector even after one year in office.
The Ogunyemi also noted the disconnect between the Federal Government and the states; including those controlled by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), stressing that this has impeded the implementation of the party’s manifesto in the area of education.
Prof. Ogunyemi in an interview with in Abuja said that President Muhammadu Buharí’s democracy day speech gave the union nothing to cheer about. “From our understanding of that speech; I will say he has tried to do three things. He has tried to present the circumstances under which he came to power; he has tried to excuse himself from some of the promises.
“The school feeding programme that was promised Nigerians; for one year, that has not happened. Compulsory education up to secondary level has not happened and the promise of free science education has not happened too. The third thing he tried to achieve is to raise the hope of Nigerians, to reassure them that he will still deliver on his promises.”
He expressed shock that while the ruling party mouthed free education up to secondary level, some APC-controlled states were about to privatise education.
Prof. Ogunyemi argued that the liberalisation of education runs counter to the aspiration of building a united, free and democratic country full of opportunities for all.
“That is why the party that is in power now is saying that it will do everything at the federal, but because there is no connection within the framework of the manifesto, people at the state level cannot hold that party responsible; cannot expect the same level of delivery from the federal government.
“Take an illustration; here the government is saying because we value education, we are going to provide education free for the first nine years in children’s lives. But we have states today, governed by the same political party where they are saying they are going to privatise education.” He said.