The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Thursday, charged the National Assembly to make a law that would compel government officials to send their children to public schools in Nigeria.
The ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, made the call in his address at a meeting between the union and the Federal Government team in Abuja.
The federal government team was led to the meeting by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige.
The meeting was convened after ASUU threatened to resume its suspended strike over the federal government failed to honour some of the agreements signed by both parties last year.
The ASUU chief commended the minister for his show of uncommon faith in the university system by sending his children to public schools in the country.
Osodeke encouraged other government officials to emulate Ngige.
He blamed the insecurity in the country on the government’s neglect of the education system.
He said: “I hope other ministers will follow the same step as you. I think you are the only minister whose children are in the country. We see others standing by their children outside the country during graduation. But, we saw you standing by one of your children who graduated in Lagos, proudly.
“We hope all others will emulate you and that government will make it mandatory that if you accept a government appointment, your children must attend universities in the country.
“The National Assembly must formulate a law that if you take an appointment, your children must study here. If you know that your children cannot be here, don’t take a Government appointment.
“When you hear those in government who send their children to schools abroad say that ASUU goes on strike, they should know that strike is not the problem. The problem is the issues afflicting the universities; nobody is interested in tackling them. Look at the budget we have seen recently, it is the same thing we have been seeing. Nothing has changed.
“And this country is paying the high price for neglecting education, the banditry you see, the kidnapping and what have you, are because people are not being taken care of. That is why ASUU has been struggling so that Nigerian universities will be revamped so that as our children go outside for learning, other children from other countries will come here too and pay to this country in hard currency.”
In his remarks, Ngige assured that the federal government would do all within its power to make the nation’s educational system better despite the paucity of funds occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges.