• Varsities re-open after 6-month ASUU strike
As the various universities resumed yesterday for academic activities after the almost six-month strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the union leaders assured the Federal Government and parents that its members nation-wide are ready for the students.
Investigations revealed that majority of the universities resumed for the truncated academic session this week and while several students travelled to their various campuses depending on the distance at the weekend.
Few of the lecturers told their students to be prepared for weekend lectures to catch up with the lost time but stressed that it is not compulsory since it is not sanctioned by the university management.
ASUU went on a prolonged strike on July 1, 2013 after government failed to implement its demands. The union suspended the six-month-old strike on December 17.
Reports from some universities indicated that several ASUU members resumed lectures yesterday while those with answer scripts have promised to mark and return them to the various Heads of Department (HODs).
The University of Ibadan (UI), ASUU Chairman, Dr. Olusegun Ajiboye, in a text message, confirmed that academic activities took off yesterday and said his members were fully ready for the returning students.
His words: ‘’UI has fully resumed academic activities today with lecturers teaching their students. UI has resumed its second semester which was truncated due to the strike’’.
His University of Benin (UNIBEN) counterpart, Dr. Anthony Monye, also in a text message, said: “UNIBEN has also fully resumed. There is no case of withholding scripts as exams have been held. We are continuing academic activities where we stopped’’.
ASUU, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta branch Chairman, Dr. Biodun Badmus, told our correspondent on phone that his members have resumed work and also started marking answer scripts.
Former ASUU national president, Dr. Sule Kano, of Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, said the examination that will conclude the first semester 2012/2013 academic session started yesterday after which the students would go on a short break to resume the second semester.
Badmus said: I can confirm to you that our members have resumed lectures, no mark-up lectures because we finished our exams before the strike. We have started marking the answer scripts of the students which were in our possession before the strike’’.
His counterpart at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Prof Peter Akinola, said his members went to lecture rooms and that he was on his way to his office after lecturing when Daily Sun phoned him. He assured the students that their answer scripts would be marked and the results sent to various HODs.
The Zonal Coordinator, ASUU Ibadan zone, Dr. Nasir Adesola, said lecturers at Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) have resumed and are participating in the on-going examinations that were disrupted at the start of the strike, noting: “We were two weeks into the 2012/2013 academic session exams. Once we are through, we will start a new academic session without delay’’.
At the University of Lagos, (UNILAG), the branch Chairman, Dr. Karo Ogbinaka, said students have resumed and lectures have commenced in all faculties, stressing, “the union is ensuring that all lecturers return to classrooms. There has to be a catch-up programme that should not compromise quality deliverance.
His words: ‘’The university had a few weeks to round off lectures for the session when the strike was declared. The new calendar has taken care of lost grounds. Even the newly-admitted foundation students have resumed. We are very sure no students of UNILAG will be adversely affected. However, sacrifice, commitment and hard-work are required from all stakeholders.
“Our members are fully ready to commence work. Nevertheless, we have mandated the students’ leadership to report cases of truant lecturers, if any. The union will consider such to be cases of professional misconduct. Actions will consequently be taken to deter such.Since we are yet to conduct examination for the second semester, the case of held marked scripts does not apply in UNILAG’’.
A year-two UNILAG student at the Faculty of Arts told Daily Sun that he received three lectures on Monday, noting that others have slated their lectures for tomorrow (today). He also confirmed that majority of the students are back on campus.
Investigations revealed that the universities came alive at the weekend with the arrival of students from their various homes.
At some of the motor parks in Lagos, many of the returning students were seen with their personal effects struggling to enter buses to their various campuses despite increases in the transport fares.
A parent, Mr. K. L. Adesoun, who has two wards at OAU, confirmed that they departed to the campus on Saturday and was happy with report from one of them on Monday that he has received two lectures.
According to him, his son would have been talking of completing his studies if not for the protracted industrial action by ASUU and hoped the situation would remain normal and revealed that it was not easy having them at home through out the strike.
The University of Abuja Deputy Registrar (Information), Waziri Garba, said lectures took off fully yesterday even though the institution resumed on December 1 while the students have settled down for serious business.