Minister of Education, Professor Ruqqayattu Ahmed Rufai, has called on members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), to embrace dialogue with government and end its strike in the interest of the nation and students.
Speaking at the 19th convocation ceremony of Auchi Polytechnic recently, the minister said â€œI urge ASUU and other staff unions of similar tertiary institutions to seek redress through dialogue and consultation with the government and their institutions in order to avoid unnecessary disruption of academic activities and call off the strike in the interest of the nation as well of the students.â€
She stressed that government will always remain committed to the welfare of the academics and in provision of basic teaching and learning facilities at all sectors of tertiary education.
The minister also frowned at the current challenges facing the education system. According to her, they include â€œpoor performance of students in the school certificate examination, decrepit infrastructure, outdated equipment, inadequate funding, cultism and lack of commitment of teachers.â€
She added that government is determined to ensure that the youths are given quality education that would afford them decent livelihood and enhance their ability to contribute effectively to nation building.
The ceremony was attended by dignitaries from all walks of life including the governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole; the former Chief Judge of Edo State, Justice Constance Ayashe Momoh; Prof. Abraham Inanoya Imogie and royal fathers, among others.
Addressing the gathering, Rector of the Institution, Dr. (Mrs.) Philipa Idogho, appreciated the effort of the governor for identifying with the aspiration of the institution which, according to her, is now making a greater development in the area of technical vocation and capacity building.
She said for the past three and half years, the management of the institution has consciously put in place polices aimed at furthering distinguishing the citadel of learning, citing the recent 2011 webometricks report ranking of world universities and other tertiary institutions which ranked Auchi Polytechnic among the best 19 institutions that made the list in Nigeria and the only polytechnic ranked in the category of universities since the ranking began in 2004.
Idogho also lauded the effort of some students of the institution who have distinguished themselves and made it proud in various competitions, especially the Nigeria Model United Nations Summit (NIGMUNS) and taking the first prize in a debate organised by the Federal Ministry of Education and the Speech Academy.
Earlier, the Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole, appreciated the effort of the management of the school for repositioning it particularly in the area of restoring balance integrity to the its academic calendar system to enhance leaning.
He described quality and sound education as bedrock for positive development of any society and enjoined the graduating students to remain good ambassadors of the polytechnic and as well contribute their meaningful quota to the development of the country at large.
High point of the ceremony was the conferment of Honorary Fellowship of the Auchi Polytechnic on the governor and the former Chief Judge of Edo State, Justice Constance Ayashe Momoh, among other personalities.