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ASUU strike: Government-funded tertiary education no longer working, says Gbaja

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Speaker of the house of representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila on Tuesday said the current model of government-sponsored tertiary education is no longer working.

Gbajabiamila spoke while addressing his colleagues upon resumption of plenary after a seven-week recess.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) embarked on industrial action in February, halting academic activities in public universities.

The federal government has met with the leadership of ASUU multiple times to resolve the union’s demands, but there’s yet to be headway.

Speaking on Monday, Gbajabiamila said “evidence abounds” that the government-sponsored tertiary education system is “no longer working”.

He said, “It has become necessary for the house to intervene in the extended faceoff between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the federal government. This current impasse is due primarily to disagreements over conditions of service of the staff and funding of universities in general.

“It is long established that access to education, more than anything else, is key to unlocking prosperity and improving social mobility outcomes in any society. And we all agree that the government has a role in ensuring that our nation’s young people get a quality education that allows them to compete and thrive in the 21st-century knowledge economy.

“Yet, evidence abounds that the current framework of government-sponsored tertiary education is no longer working as it should and hasn’t worked for a long time.

“Our immediate goal is to do everything to get our children back to school. However, the time has also come to begin a candid assessment of the current system and to consider all available options for complete reform. We owe this to our children and our nation’s future.”

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