Today, we're going to further the discussion on staff training i.e. victimization of lecturers themselves. For example, why does ASUU choose to watch helplessly when the management denies deserving lecturers the right to go for further studies?
However, this time, we had very few contributors, because the lecturers (yes, ASUU members) are too yellow-bellied to talk even though many of them have complained to me so bitterly of how they were bypassed or denied sponsorship of higher degrees - although there's free money from TETFUND specially set aside for training of tertiary institution teachers. But who would blame individual lecturers when they're almost certain that if they make their cases public, the vindictive management would hunt them down like bush meat. That's why we advocate that ASUU as a body should fight this war collectively.
We still got some insightful comments, though - even though some were not exactly on target. Enjoy.
Anonymous: Salam, don't reveal my name please. Some ASUU officials are moles in the association. They have been employed as cronies or they are looking for favours from the Management. Employment in Nigerian universities is based more on politics and cronyism than academic competence. In one of our universities, a graduate with above 4.10 points was denied employment and a 2.2 graduate who just managed to graduate after adding an extra year was employed. What will you expect when such a person became an ASUU executive council member? He has to serve his masters (people who brought him). Also in another university, one of the best master's Student doing a PhD was denied appointment but someone with only a master's and who was working elsewhere - he had not even stepped into the academic community for some years - was employed.
Muktar Garba Maigamo: Striving for academic excellence, discipline and student's welfare doesn't seem to be the primary objectives of ASUU; because I've never heard ASUU talking about anything other than their immediate welfare. Whenever they embark on strike they surely do it for their needs but not for students.
Hussaini Jibrin: One aspect that is largely not given consideration in lecturing is professionalism. Lecturing, in Nigerian universities, isn't a profession but a means to an end (the end mostly being whimsical). For example, you can hardly find a lecturer labouring to be that person that came up with a fantastic economic model that revolutionized, say, marketing in a given city or educational model that eased teaching and learning at secondary school level but you always find them talking about what opportunities are open that are bound to put more naira in the pocket. You often find them lecturing at three to four universities at the same time in the name of guest lecturers. This makes them jump between universities thereby being on the road all the time.
My point is, most of our lecturers don't really take education as that thing that shapes the society. They don't see it as the air and water needed for sustenance of life on earth. And since ASUU is populated by this same group of people they can't see the need for fighting student victimization. How can they even fight it when victimization is one of the ends they work towards achieving?
We need a systemic change. We need a system that will check these excesses.
Ibrahim Abdul-Azeez: Dr Dooba, I have witnessed multiple cases where extant laws are translated and dispensed according to whom it is being applied; it's where handwork and excellence is punished while truancy and lobbying are rewarded handsomely. Nigerian universities are a typical microcosm of the larger Nigerian society. Sometimes it bothers me that we who are supposedly the custodians of intelligentsia, customs, traditions, due process, objective critical thinking and unquestioned discipline are currently the advocates and promoters of the complete opposite of such qualities.
Ibraheem Dooba: Mal Hussain, this is quite insightful " For example, you can hardly find a lecturer labouring to be that person who came up with a fantastic economic model that revolutionized, say, marketing in a given city"
Ibraheem Dooba: Dr. Ibrahim, as an ASUU member, could you tell us what ASUU is doing about the problems you enumerated? If nothing, what do you suggest ASUU should do to bring back "unquestioned discipline"?
Ral Mustafa: They can only bring back such discipline by having students' interest at heart -all the time.
Update on the Algebra Project: