The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Owerri Zone has warned the Federal and State Governments against the proliferation of Universities across the countries when the existing ones are suffering from so much neglect.
Recently, six new Federal Universities of Medical Sciences were given the nod to open in the six geopolitical zones, while six other universities had their bills passed at the Senate.
This is in addition to the numerous private universities granted the license to operate across the country
Reacting to this in a question put to him by TNC correspondent in Awka, the ASUU Owerri zone Coordinator, Uzo Onyebinama, queried why the Federal Government will continue to create new universities when they cannot effectively fund the existing ones.
“It has been an ongoing struggle of the ASUU.
“It is not about opening more universities but about adequately funding and sustaining the universities.
“The universities we have on ground now are a shadow of themselves.
“If government can effectively fund the existing universities, expand their facilities and adequately equip them, they can comfortably absorb whatever number of students seeking admission.
“Why we are saying this is that with the state of affairs presently in the education system, we are sure that tomorrow, these newly created universities will join the ones existing before them and be complaining of lack of funds and educational equipment and the new government will continue creating new ones.
“So, government is not doing the system any good by creating new universities when the existing ones are suffering from lack of funds and equipment,” he said.
While noting that government is actually playing politics with the issues, Onyebinama revealed that ASUU is also working to get the National Universities Commission, NUC, to regulate how governments create new universities indiscriminately.
“As the country approaches 2023, we know that it is typical of government to be doing such thing just to make the people believe that it is working.
“We know all their gimmicks and both the Federal and the State Governments are guilty of this.
“So what we are doing is to get the National Universities Commission, NUC, to review its Act to empower it to regulate how governments create new universities indiscriminately, when they cannot fund the existing ones,” he said.
The ASUU Owerri zone coordinator solicited the assistance of the citizenry towards ASUU especially in its agitations for a better education system in the country.
Regretting that ASUU is now being perceived as the enemy by many, Onyebinama maintained that all the Union is interested in is to get government to play the required role in making education in public universities, of good quality.
According to him, this will ensure that the children of the common man are not denied quality education on the basis of their inability to afford the very costly fees of the private and overseas institutions of learning.