The Federal Government has assured that it will soon end its confrontation with the Union of Academic Personnel of Universities, since all but one of the problems have been resolved.
Although it described the strike as unnecessary, the government said there are other ways of doing things.
The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono, stated this in an interview with journalists in Abuja after monitoring the Professional Qualification Exam organized by the Nigerian Teachers Registration Council.
Echono said: “The government is working very closely. We are very concerned and the President is very concerned about this prolonged strike (ASUU) which, for many of us, is unnecessary. We believe that there are other ways of doing things.
“There is a shared acceptance of many of the problems and we are at a point where it will be resolved very quickly and soon. In reality, there is only one issue in dispute. The other issues have been resolved or there has been some kind of compromise that worked.
“We believe that reason will prevail and the general national interest will be the guiding principle in reaching a speedy resolution. I can assure you that they work assiduously on this.
“Just two days ago, ASUU executives were at the Ministry to meet with the Minister for certain consultations and we felt we had to tell them exactly what our positions are.
“We will examine the general interest of the Nigerian people. We know that we also operate in a government context that performs different segments, including at the university level.
“We have four different unions making demands and we have to balance this. We understand the quirks of ASUU and believe that the members are patriotic enough to know when to quit and how to call a compromise. “
Journalists reported that ASUU had embarked on an indefinite strike on March 24, 2020, over the federal government’s failure to comply with the 2019 agreement; the persistent disagreement over the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System and other factors.
But Labor and Employment Minister Dr. Chris Ngige had told Channels Television that if the matter was not resolved this week, he would explore the provisions of labor law and other channels.
He said the government had met six of the union’s nine demands and that they would meet again next week in hopes of ending the long strike.
Echono emphasized that the decision to set the benchmark in teaching was aimed at having only the best brains in Nigerian classrooms as teachers, adding that as of 2021, only qualified teachers would be able to teach in the country.
He said a national implementation committee would be inaugurated next week to ensure that the federal government’s agenda on teacher registration and revitalization is achieved, especially the entrance qualification for teachers in schools.
He said: “Starting next year, we will not admit or hire people as teachers if they do not meet a particular threshold. We are now limiting entry to only the best.
“You must have a First Class or 2: 1 minimum and if you have a grade in other subjects that are not in education, we will organize a conversion program that will be administered by the National Institute of Teachers, TRCN and any University that has Faculties of Education or this program because you also have to learn ways to communicate and manage the students.
“We are migrating teachers who are not qualified or do not have the required qualifications, proficiency, are not licensed or are not registered with Seamless. outside of our classrooms to make way for qualified personnel because we want to achieve learning and teaching and learning happens in our schools ”.