July 15, 2019

Technology, Health and Mega cities

Academic Industrial Actions

Recently, a young undergraduate called to ask if university teachers, under the aegis of the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (ASUU) were considering downing chalk again. I told him no. But that response of

mine was served with a cocktail of emotions.

First, answering in the definite negative was more a falsehood than a state-ment of fact as the ever-suffering, ever-agitating, and ever-ignored Nigerian academic unions before long have their backs against the wall of industrial action again because the government never takes action after signing agreements with the unions. Yet, these are the professionals entrusted with grooming the future of the nation, “in character and in learning.”

A second emotion that coursed through me was that Nigerians are spending more money on ‘educational tourism’ outside of the country than they spend on their own institutions. Nigerian nationals reportedly spend N160bn (US$1bn) in two Ghanaian institutions alone while the Federal Government proposes to spend only N426bn (about US$3bn) on the education sector that comprises over a hundred tertiary institutions. Needless to say, the institutions are underfunded and very few opportunities for non-public funds exist. Funding for university education has been pared down to the barest minimum: paying the salaries of lecturers and non-academic staff. Endowing of professorial chairs, funds for research grants and scholarship opportunities are all but extinct in the Nigerian academic universe.

The third strand in the cocktail of emotions was the overall education-related ‘brain drain’, which characterises much of Nigeria’s net migration of minus 300,000, as reported by the World Bank for the year 2010. That estimate implies that 300,000 more people leave the country every year than the number that comes in. An unknown fraction of these migrants travel via irregular routes and often fall victims of nefarious persons who smuggle migrants, making the migrants remain undocumented in foreign lands.

And the plights of the migrants are like those of education and knowledge generation in Africa: they are embarking on some strike action, it seems. Academic journals need to be revived. More opportunities for academy-industry-society linkages will need to be created. At the moment, data and knowledge from the universities, industry and society stand in different silos that desire each other but are either too full of pride to reach across to the other warehouses. The new digital methods of information storage, dissemination/retrieval and collabo-ration would find greater use in African ivory towers.

Most industrial actions in Nigerian universities have cited “poor working conditions”, absence of teaching aids and research support. A number of sup-ports from donors like the MacArthur Foundation have focused on equipment and infrastructure like computers, but there is a yawning gap for ‘soft’-content support for Nigerian universities. If the academics are more able to develop solutions for Nigerian industrial concerns, perhaps old things shall pass their exams and move to a new level of no industrial disharmony

–OdohDiegoOkenyodo

Banner
Related Posts

Human Rights

August 20, 2018

August 20, 2018

Bringing this first volume of West Africa Insight to an end provides an opportunity for a backward-directed glance at developments...

Nigeria’s Economy and a Possible Mint Future

August 20, 2018

August 20, 2018

We are happy to be back after a three-month hiatus. This edition marks the beginning of another phase of West...

Beyond Numbers: the Real Cost of Boko Haram Insurgency

August 20, 2018

August 20, 2018

Beyond Numbers: the Real Cost of Boko Haram Insurgency The current Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria sends shivers down spines...

Making Medicine

August 20, 2018

August 20, 2018

Many factors contribute toward a conducive environment in which the pharmaceutical industry will invest in a country or partner with...

ECOWAS yet to decide on Morocco’s membership

August 20, 2018

August 20, 2018

Economic Community of West African States has said it was yet to decide on the request by the Kingdom of...

Armed Conflict

August 20, 2018

August 20, 2018

The just concluded U.S-Africa Leaders Summit brings to mind the Otto Von Bismarck hosted Berlin Conference of 1884-1885 where Africa...

Local governance, decentralisation and anti-corruption in Bangladesh and Nigeria

August 20, 2018

August 20, 2018

Research reports and studies | April 2018 Hamish Nixon and Alina Rocha Menocal, Nieves Zúñiga, Debapriya Bhattacharya, Syed Muhtasim Fuad, Idayat Hassan, Kelechi C....

Conflict Risks

August 20, 2018

August 20, 2018

The past two decades have witnessed rapid escalation in prominence of security threats such as terrorism, state fragility, nuclear proliferation,...

ECOWAS AT 40

August 20, 2018

August 20, 2018

ECOWAS: Forty Years on, What Prospects for the Future? ropelled by a strong desire to reposition West Africa onto the...

Women’s Human Rights

August 20, 2018

August 20, 2018

It seems evident from the direction of political developments in Africa that public consciousness about the negative implications of gender...

ARMED CONFLICTS IN AFRICA

August 20, 2018

August 20, 2018

The just concluded U.S-Africa Leaders Summit brings to mind the Otto Von Bismarck hosted Berlin Conference of 1884-1885 where Africa...

Modifying Madrasa

August 20, 2018

August 20, 2018

Islam is under the spotlights. That didn’t begin with Fukuyama’s The End of History and the Last Man, nor Huntington’s...

Deforestation

August 20, 2018

August 20, 2018

it was thought to be a novel, path-breaking intervention when the United Nations declared in the late 1980s that the...

Energy and Poverty

August 20, 2018

August 20, 2018

improvisation of infrastructures for survival are becoming the Inorm as governments further recline chairs and create deep chasms between them...

Food Security

August 20, 2018

August 20, 2018

Of shortage of food,shortage of will “POOR RESEARCH CAUSES FOOD SHORTAGE.” “LOCAL TOMATOES WASTING AS N11.7BN FOREIGN IS IMPORTED.”“GOV WADA...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *