A NANS group threatens widespread action in response to an extended strike
In Abuja, Kuni Tyessi
According to Goodluck Opiah, the minister of state for education, the federal government has guaranteed enough protection in schools in advance of classes starting up in partnership with security agencies.
In advance of the “International Day To Protect Education From Attack” in 2022, Opiah made this announcement during a news conference held yesterday in Abuja.
Another development is that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the federal government have been urged by the factional president of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Umar Faruk Lawal, to end the strike immediately or risk widespread student protests.
Because of the threat of a bandit assault, the Federal Government College Kwali and subsequently other schools in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were forced to shut.
“The closure was not permanent,” the minister added. “Schools are about to reopen, and the school would also be among the schools that will return.”
The government is working with the appropriate security authorities to protect all of our schools, so this is not an isolated incident. You may rest easy knowing that we place a high priority on our kids’ safety.
Opiah said that the “International Day to Protect Education From Attack” was established by Qatar in 2020 and endorsed by 62 other nations at the 76th United Nations General Assembly.
He said that it was the third edition, and the topic was “Implementing the School Safety Policy as a Tool To Protect Education From Attack: Our Collective Responsibility” as chosen by the ministry in a strategic manner.
He continued, “The theme highlights the education sector’s practical efforts to safeguard education from violent situations and armed conflict, upholding the right to education and its continuity in such emergency situations as enshrined in the Safe School Declaration that Nigeria ratified on March 20, 2019.”
The subject, according to the minister, was developed by the ministry to raise awareness about the School Safety Policy and the need for state governments, educational institutions, civil society organizations, the military, and the general public to operationalize its recommendations.
The Minister also pointed out that the School Safety Policy extensively outlines strategies for emergency preparedness in educational institutions, harm reduction measures, stakeholders to contact for assistance in case of an impending attack, ways to discourage the military from using educational institutions, and steps to ensure that instruction continues even in the event of an attack. Opiah highlighted a few of the events that were planned to commemorate the occasion.
The occasion will be commemorated by the Ministry with preliminary events and a spectacular finale. Call letters to educational institutions started the pre-activities so that students who would be performing at the event could start getting ready. The performance will include playlets or dance dramatizations of conflict scenarios at educational institutions, poetry interpretations, and a debate competition based on the issue.
“The schools that will play at the grand finale, where the deserving victors will be generously rewarded, have undergone the necessary preparations. At the ceremony, which will have all necessary parties in attendance, the Honorable Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, will provide the event’s opening remarks.
Umar Faruk Lawal, the president of a NANS group, has urged the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to end the strike right now or risk widespread student protests.
At a news conference yesterday in Abuja, Lawal made this statement.
Recently, NANS had its election, and two factional presidents—one headed by Lawal and the other by Usman Umar—emerged.
Speaking at the press conference, Lawal urged the federal government’s Ministry of Education to end the ongoing ASUU Strike within a few working days. Our students will be organized, and we will occupy the ministry of education until our demands are met.
In addition, he demanded that the federal government establish visitation panels to address the concerns of all rusticated and politically expelled students. He also urged stakeholders to ensure that education received the attention it deserved by increasing the budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Education in order to meet the UNESCO threshold.
“The lingering fuel crisis is not to be swept away easily,” he continued, “as it keeps impacting Nigeria’s economic posture, as evidenced by the attendant increase in the price of transportation, food, goods, and services. Therefore, a long-term solution is thus required for our economy to grow and for our nation to prosper.
The government must establish a favorable climate because of the growing unemployment, which has hampered the expansion and development of the Nigerian economy.