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“The University System Allows For Sabbatical” There Is Nothing Wrong With Lecturers Teaching In Two Universities- ASUU President

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU says there was nothing wrong with lecturers teaching in two universities as that would only add to the system and afford opportunity for lecturers to borrow and learn ideas from each other

The National President of ASUU Prof. Biodun  Ogunyemi, at  the News Agency of Nigeria Forum in Abuja on Sunday decried the recruitment system in the universities, regretting that many people not qualified to teach had found their way into the system, adding that it was not a crime for lecturers to teach in two different universities. “The university system allows for what we call sabbatical. It is part of university tradition and practices all over the world.

“The purpose that it serves is that you create window for peer review. In other words, what you are doing in university A, you go to university B and see whether that is what obtains exactly, or you need to borrow something, or you share some ideas.

“Sabbatical is a mechanism for assuring comparability of standards. Anybody that goes out for sabbaticals, when he or she comes back to the university, he adds value to the system.”

He said, “Some lecturers have no business in the classrooms, but they found their way in due to political interference. You find that some lecturers probably have no business being in the universities but you know politics has done so much damage to us that sometimes merit is sacrificed on the altar of mediocrity and political connections.

“We hope that we shall restore the credibility of the system as we have been trying to argue over the years. A key step to achieving that is for government to create the enabling environment for us to go back to the renegotiation table.”

“Teaching is all about passion and not about preference of any sort. It is something natural,” he said.

“Concerning the publications, Nigerian academics are still doing their best within the limit of their environment. The student population is equally a distraction from research and, without research, you cannot publish.

“Talking about research, one must have access to current materials which is becoming increasingly difficult because our libraries are no longer stocked as regularly as it used to happen in the past.

“The laboratories are bereft of chemicals and reagents. Modern facilities for conducting cutting edge research are hardly there.

“So, when you talk of publications, our colleagues are still publishing, but, may be, you do not see as many books as we used to have in the past,’’ he said.

He said that ASUU would continue to advocate for restoration, resuscitation and repositioning of the university system in order to reclaim its enviable position and also blamed the poor attention students get from lecturers to the poor learning environment across universities and increasing students’ population.

On how to tackle cases of intimidation and harassment of students in tertiary institutions by lecturers, Ogunyemi, who described the trend as “sad,” said ASUU had set up an ethics committee in every university to ensure that its members did not go out of their bounds.

He advised students to report cases of intimidation and harassment at the ASUU secretariat on the campuses. On the controversial Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, Ogunyemi pledged the readiness of ASUU to fully support any step that would eradicate corrupt practices from the university system. Insisting that the union had developed a prototype of the IPPIS, called University Transparency and Accountability Solution, which it urged the government to implement rather than the IPPIS.

He also debunked the insinuation in some quarters that the union had a splinter group.

 

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