Sometimes last week I read about a group of Nigerian students stranded in different parts of the world because the government has not been up to date with tuition and living expenses payments. The students, as always reached out to Nigerians online home and diaspora to echo their voices.
This is not new, last year a group of students studying in UAE were recalled as the state responsible for the scholarship could not keep up with the costs.
Firstly, I emphasise with students in this situation. I wish them all well and hope the government would listen and do the needful.
Sometimes stating the obvious is the least that we want to hear, however, many of the promises (some blatantly ignorant) that Nigeria government made a few years ago were based on oil prices so now almost everything and everyone is affected as the prices has gone down significantly. The only people that still in the bubble are the government officials.
That is for study abroad students.
For home students, who is looking after the interests of millions who are ready to learn but were left unattended to?
The other day, a friend ranted endlessly about the state of LAUTECH and the fact that the school on no lecture. Both Osun and Oyo are supposed to sort out maintenance of the institution – the school is not free by the way, state university tuition is still higher than most of our federal universities.
In January Governor Ajimobi of Oyo got backlashed after addressing students with disdain attitude in public. A week later in February, there were news saying students are now back in school after 8 months strike orchestrated by unpaid lecturers’ salaries. They were only back to write 2015/2016 first semester exams. Lecturers were not happy enough with the settlement received in February as they are still being owed 5 months salary so the school is back to no activity after exam.
Being enlightened and educated is one thing that we like to talk about in the SW, but sometimes I wonder who have we been educating for 2 decades with public schools in terrible state.
Our governors are happy to spend hours unending to recite same story on Obafemi Awolowo and his education policies but yet, public education don’t get necessary funding in the same region.
LAUTECH has a teaching hospital too, the story is the same. Workers protest half salary that started last year. I have a friend with three children whose husband works at this hospital, she has a side hustle of a grocery shop to supplement her teaching wage. Even with that it is hand to mouth.
Yoruba elders especially love to remind us how much being older means they know all.
Bola Tinubu is the Chancellor of the school. As far as politics goes in the SW, whether we admit it or not, he is very powerful. Yet, I don’t see him getting involved in this.
Governor Aregbesola is arguably the best governor Osun has ever had in terms of restructuring public education. From what I have heard, he is the least bothered about the strike of LAUTECH lecturers, does it make sense to continue with many projects, most of which are on credit which all of us are going to eventually pay for and yet finds no money to pay existing workers?
Same goes for Governor Ajimobi of Oyo – why do our governors find it easy to unite on endless Owambe events but yet can’t see the damage being done to future of the country when adult students spend more time to protest strike on the streets than they do in classroom?
I hear they plan to reduce the workforce. Then go ahead. Pay staff owed salaries and let them go. Everyone will be alright in the end.
No point talking about the former president Baba Obasanjo, he doesn’t care about anyone at all, also the fact that he too owns a private university so no incentive to care for children of unimportant people – being a two-time president is a lucrative venture in Nigeria.
So when are we going to learn? Good luck to LAUTECH students and shame on Aregbesola, Ajimobi and all Yoruba elders who are indifference to the plights of these students.
Why do I relate home school to the study abroad students? Their stories is similar now. Imagine if all these money were spent on providing quality education at home, perhaps w’ll be a bit better off.
Now both home and abroad suffer the same fate of government neglect.