Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, while responding to a media interview, stated that the responsibilities of his office does not include ASUU’s salary payment.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) had earlier before federal government’s subsequently observed lockdown, which is in line with Covid-19 containment measures, embarked on a 2-weeks warning strike as a result of financial disparities between her members and the federal government.
The State Minister, while disclosing his limitations to fulfil the terms of the union, stated that the existing salary controversies, remains an issue resolvable by the federal government who pays both his office and ASUU.
Speaking earlier in the interview, on plans to enhance learning for students amid the Covid-19 pandemic, The Minster raised concern on the risk of reopening schools yet, as it would endanger the health of students, urging everyone to remain calm, while observing all necessary precautionary tips to prevent the spread of the virus. The reopening of schools at all levels of education, remain suspended in line with federal government directives, The Minister said.
Furthermore, the State Minister, noted that the Ministry of Education has before now, been working on a couple of programs aimed at enhancing the system of education in the country. According to him, plans and modalities for online studies were put in place late last year, aimed at providing students with digital contents of study curriculum developed using proper content policy.
However, The Minister expressed concern on the challenge associated with availability of internet-enabled devices that would go round each student to achieve the purpose, as government may not be able to provide this need for all students nationwide. He continued that the online preparations were set to accelerate, using all state agencies working with Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) across all states of the federation, before the distraction of covid19.
Responding on the need for shifting exams like WAEC, JAMB, NABTEB and NECO as to avail students more time to catch up, The Minister announced that the dates were already shifted.