This obviously is not the best of times for state owned tertiary institutions in Cross River State. The institutions, Cross River State University of Technology, CRUTECH, College of Education at Akamkpa and the College of Agriculture at Obubra, are in serious financial straits. Investigations by Newsworld have shown that both teaching and non-teaching equipment in these institutions are obsolete.
For about one year now, the Akwa Ibom State University, AKSU, the 34th state university in Nigeria, was alleged to be enmeshed in power crisis. The principal characters in the brawl were said to be the pro-chancellor and chairman of the institution’s governing council, and members of the university senate led by the vice chancellor. The scuffle, Newsworld gathered was that Okon Eminue, an associate professor of political science, who is the pro-chancellor, had been exercising arbitrary powers since becoming the chairman of the governing council.
Hope seems to be coming alive again for the Nigerian educational system with the federal government enthusiastically pledging to improve the sector. The latest assurance came in response to discredit against the system by Nigerians and particularly, members of the academia working in the universities.
Barely six months after its vice -chancellor, VC, was sacked based on the recommendations of a visitation panel, the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma in Edo State is again engulfed in the trenches of crisis. The VC was removed over his inability to supply needed information about the university’s total population of staff and students, revenue and expenditure profile and liabilities: a move which was viewed by the government as indicative of a corrupt system.
In 1997 when the dethroned Libyan leader, Col. Moummar Ghaddafi, visited Kano, northern Nigeria, his host and late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha had treated him to retinue of armed security personnel on a visit to Friday Muslim Juma’at prayers. Besides the prayer session, which witnessed the full presence of many Muslims in the city, it was regarded as a mark of special privilege for the visitor, and Ghaddafi too felt honoured when he delivered a public lecture.
he Cross River State College of Education was excised from the state University of Technology, CRUTECH in 2008. Since the excision of the institution from the university, the college has not known peace. Academic activities in the college have severally been disrupted due to industrial action by staff of the institution.
Students at the University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan are drumming for war. Their grievances are based on alleged arbitrary school fees increment. For four straight years, the leadership of the community health officers’ programme at UCH has been pushing up the school fees to the ceiling. The officially recommended school fees for students who study for this course is N35,000. But in 2008, the coordinator of the community health officers’ programme, Mrs. F.B. Ibitoye was said to have collected N77, 000 per student. By 2009, the school fees had been moved up to N88, 000 per student.
For members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, University of Uyo Branch, ASUU-UUB, it was more than reasonable to have been part of the one week warning strike embarked on nation-wide by lecturers in government-owned universities. Even so, it was a precursor to call government to order on the quality of education that has not shown any sign of improvement since the cry of its decay began.
The federal government has said that the introduction of the new school curriculum was to include subjects such as Information Technology, Wood Work, Craft Art, and more which in a sense, should guarantee development, self-employment and professionalism among secondary school leavers in the nearest future.
The West African Examination Council, WACE, on August 10, released results of Senior School Certificate Examination conducted in four West African countries including Nigeria. As it were, the results had revealed that a total of 1,540,250 final year students in secondary schools in Nigeria wrote the examination. Of that number, 1,460,003 had their results fully released and published. 80,247 results were pending, arising from “sins” committed by the affected candidates; while 81,573 results were withheld for various examination malpractices.