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Aderinola Bunmi
LAUTECH
Science Laboratory Technology
Aspirant, Nigeria.

Incessant strikes by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and poor budgetary allocations to education by the Federal Government are major concerns of university teachers in Anambra State.

The first woman professor of Mass Communication in Nigeria, Stella Chinyere Okunna, and former Vice Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University (Unizik) in Awka, Prof Ilochi Okafor (SAN), expressed their concerns during the first International Conference by the Professor Ezenwa Ohaeto Resource Centre, held at the Chike Okoli Resource Centre at UNIZIK.

The event also featured a book presentation entitled: On Justice, Equity and Dignity: Recreating ‘Womanbeing’ in Contemporary African Society , edited by Dr Ngozi Ezenwa-Ohaeto and Ijeoma Nwajiaku.

Okunna, who has also served as the Anambra State Commissioner for Information and later Chief of Staff to former Governor Peter Obi, was the lead paper presenter.

She said poor funding results in the degeneration of teaching facilities and incessant strikes by ASUU.

Okunna said the government could improve teaching facilities in tertiary institutions by increasing both recurrent and capital expenditure.

She said: “The Federal Government’s intervention to tertiary institutions in Nigeria is nothing to write home about. The government at all levels must fund education properly if the economy must develop and move fast like the Asian Tigers.

“Collapse in education standards and disruption of academic activities are the consequences of government interventions in education sector while adequate and proper funding as well as reorientation of the private sector to take interest in funding education are the only ways to rejuvenate education sector in Nigeria.”

Okafor, who chaired the event, said there was enough money in Nigeria to fund education, but lamented that it was being mismanaged by politicians.

The duo was not alone. They were supported by a Zimbabwean Profesor of History, Vongai Nyawo, who identified cultism and lack of adequate funding as two major threats in the education sector of Nigeria and other African countries.

Convener of the event Dr Ngozi Ezenwa-Ohaeto said the conference was aimed at stimulating critical discourse among teachers in tertiary institutions.

She informed that the core values of the resource centre was built around Ezenwa-Ohaeto, who won laurels and brought fame to Nigerian and African literature.

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