Fed Govt, please listen!
THE Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) is on strike over a number of issues. The Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) is threatening strike to go on from May 31. Ironically, both unions have similar grievances they want the government to address.
Their demands border on an institutionalization of how the institutions are run ? including a system to the appointment of provosts, governing council members, extension of retirement age to 65 years, among others.
Two among the demands that interest me are the ones that deal with appointments of people that manage the institutions ? the principal officers, and the governing council.
Management slots in our educational institutions should not be used to reward party loyalists or godfathers. The appointment on governing councils of our tertiary institutions should not be viewed as an avenue for appointees to eat a portion of the national cake but to serve. That is why I think the Federal and state governments should listen to workers in our institutions who are demanding that seasoned academics, educationists, administrators and business men who are not hungry should be appointed on the councils. It is a call to serve, not one to extend ?tunnels? from the institutions to their private bank accounts.
I will always remember the likes of Chief Afe Babalola and Chief Wole Olanipekun, both learned men, who served as the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council of the Universities of Lagos and Ibadan. They gave of their resources to improve both institutions. Chief Babalola donated his sitting allowances to the University of Lagos as part of an endowment fund for scholarships. He sponsored the construction of an auditorium, and attracted people to give to the university. Chief Olanipekun was bold to challenge anybody at the University of Ibadan to stand up and point out areas of corruption during his tenure.
We need people like them, who seek the best for their institutions, not people that will award contracts to themselves. We need people who are literate, not those that need interpreters to participate in intellectual discourse that hold during council meetings.
Regarding the appointment of rectors and provosts, we need qualified people, astute administrators, not yes men of the government.
Our institutions are struggling already under the burden of under funding and other challenges. We should not add to their woes by appointing enemies of progress.