Unions reject FG’s planned reversal of education varsities to colleges
WORKERS of the four new universities of education that were downgraded by the Federal Government have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently intervene in the controversy and restore the status of the institutions.
They have also called the Acting Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Mrs. Hindatu Abdullahi, to withdraw the letter she purportedly authored and signed ordering the reversal of the conversion of the four institutions from colleges of education to universities of education.
The workers, under the auspices of the Joint Trade Unions of the four universities of education, namely Federal University of Education, Kano; Federal University of Education, Zaria; Adeyemi Federal University of Education, Ondo and Alvan Ikoku University of Education, at a news conference at the weekend in Abuja, vowed to resist the attempt to revert the institutions to colleges of education.
Haruna said that contrary to insinuations that the institutions were elevated in a hurry at the twilight of President Jonathan’s administration for political reasons; they had been running undergraduate programmes in affiliations with various universities for decades.
The staff unions who vowed to work against the planned reversal of the institutions under the Joint Trade Unions are: Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU), and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT).
Haruna stated that allowing the institutions to operate as universities would boost teacher education in the country.
According to him: “A controversy was sparked off by a letter from the Acting Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, dated August 19, directing former provosts of the universities to revert the institutions to their former status.
“We are aware that some unscrupulous elements within the academics of the colleges have, for their own personal interest, teamed up to overthrow the upgrade of the institutions.
“They are trying to do so by misinforming Mr. President on the circumstances which led to the emergence of the colleges as universities.
“We urge President Buhari to step in and address this issue because some individuals are trying to take advantage of their closeness to the Presidency to truncate the good intention,” Haruna said.