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ASUU President: Asking Court to force Lecturers to Resume could affect Quality of Teaching

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Emmanuel Osodeke, president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), says the quality of teaching will be affected if lecturers are “forced” to resume work.

Osodeke spoke on Tuesday during a meeting with the leadership of the house of representatives and the ministry of education.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) embarked on strike in February, halting academic activities in public universities for over seven months.

The federal government has met with the leadership of ASUU multiple times to resolve the union’s demands, but there is yet to be headway.
The federal government had also recently filed a suit against the union at the national industrial court over the lingering strike.

The court is scheduled to rule on the matter on Wednesday.
Speaking at the meeting, Osodeke said it spells danger for the nation’s public universities if lectures are forced by the court to resume teaching without the federal government addressing their demands.

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“The problem we have in this country is that we look at the strike as a problem, but strike is a symptom of a problem in the system,” he said
“Nobody will go round our universities today and say that our universities are good, whether federal or state universities.

“If the court forces the lecturers to go to work tomorrow, which type of teaching will they do? If the court forces the Nigerian academics — say ‘go and teach against your will’ — just like the court forcing a doctor to go and treat a patient against their will, how many of us will go and meet that doctor.”
Osodeke also criticised the ministry of education for not doing enough to address the demands of the union.

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According to him, the ministry has “never” invited ASUU for an official meeting with the goal of finding a lasting solution to the strike.
In his remarks, Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house, said the meeting is aimed at proffering short-term and long-term solutions to the union’s industrial action.

He said the leadership of the house will “take it upon itself” to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari towards ensuring that there is a permanent solution.
Osodeke, Gbajabiamila and Goodluck Opiah, the minister of state for education, entered a closed-door session after the presentation by ASUU

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