The lingering face-off between the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, should be resolved without further delay, as the consequences of the action is not only negatively affecting the university system, but the entire education sector.
An educator, who is also a school proprietor, Pastor Felix Opata, who gave the admonition, noted that education is too vital to the growth of any society to be left to drift aimlessly.
Opata, who is also the Director of Studies, Ferscoat International School, Lagos, noted that some admission seekers might be forced to stay one more year at home, as most public universities grapple with backlog of admission exercises to handle.
Opata, while briefing the press on the activities lined up to mark the 30th anniversary of the school, noted: “What has become quite worrisome in recent times is the incessant Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strikes battering our public universities for over seven months. It has become imperative for the academic union to fight for the improvement of decaying educational system and for the government to listen to their pleas and yield to their demands. Individuals especially youths when kept idle will tend to misuse the period of idleness.
“For the sake of the innocent students, I want to appeal to government not to ignore the demands of the university teachers who are making enormous sacrifices for the future of the students in spite circumstances that are not encouraging.
“Education is the bedrock of any growing or developing economy. No country can develop her human resources without quality education. What then is education? It is the body of knowledge acquired while being educated. It is also the process of receiving or giving systematic instructions, especially at a school or university.
“In Nigeria, the literacy rate as at 2018 was 62.02% according to Statista. According to Wikipedia, Lagos State has 92% literacy rate [UNESCO 2012]. This can be attributed to the fact that private individuals have joined hands with the government in providing quality education to individuals in the state,” he said.
On recent developments in the face-off, he opined that if the lecturers had to go back to work grudgingly, it could affect their performance, while innocent students would be the ones at the receiving end.
The best way out out of the situation, he opined, is an amicable resolution of the crisis.
Opata, who gave the historical background of how Ferscoat International School started in September 1992, said from its humble beginning as a primary school, the secondary arm was added five years later.
“This year marks the school’s 30th year of existence having made positive impact in education within and outside the country in terms of its contribution to the human capital development needs of the country.
“In these 30 years we have seen the school grow in infrastructure from rented block of 4 flats to a two–storey building made up of 28 rooms and to a three-storey building made up of 40 classrooms, 12 offices, all the special rooms including a library that can seat 40 learners at a time, Labs for Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Food and Nutrition, Home Management, Art Studio, Music room and PE room, a 100 seater ICT lab ,Basic tech Lab and two (2) big halls that can accommodate a total of 1000 learners in all.
“It is worthy of note to say that the school has produced graduates in various fields of endeavor including Medicine, Engineering, Law, and in the Academia. Presently Ferscoat Learners are all round the world doing great things.
“In the last JAMB our best 10 performers scored 306,304,296, 291, 290, 289, 289, 286, 284, 281, and they are all in top universities already including CU, OAU, BOWEN, UI, UNILAG and so on.
One of our learners, Master Adeniyi Damilayo, presently is in SS1, came second overall in Lagos State in the Matheletics Competition for the junior category, and is soon to be on his way to Delta State for the finals coming up in November 2022 .In Ferscoat, we not only train our learners academically we also give them sound moral and spiritual training,” he added.
Opata said as part of giving back to the society, the school would give 10 scholarship awards to the people of its host community, the Olude Community.
He listed activities lined up to mark the anniversary to include health check for parents, students and community people, literary and debating day, health walk day among others.