As the industrial dispute between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government continues to paralyse academic activities in Nigerian universities, the National Examination Council (NECO), has urged various educational unions to refrain from shutting down the sector.
ASUU has insisted there was no going back on the more that three months old strike, insisting that the Federal Government’s enforcement of the policy of no ‘work-no pay’ would not force it to back down from its demands.
Chairman, Governing Board of NECO, Prof. Paddy Njoku, who gave the warning, said doing so would “amount to a declaration of intellectual genocide.”
He gave the admonition in Abuja at a 2-day summit for North-Central Stakeholders with the theme: “Repositioning NECO for More Effective Service Delivery: A Collective Task.”
“A total shut-down on our education sector will amount to a declaration of intellectual genocide and academic blockade on the nation,” he said.
Njoku, who expressed fear that a shut-down would produce negative consequences on the nation, urged the Nigeria Union of Teachers, (NUT) and the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), to rescind their decision of embarking on industrial actions.
While enjoining teachers to play the role of intellectual parents to students, the NECO chairman urged government to ensure teachers are not constraint to make recourse to strike actions as a way of venting their complaints.
“We hereby appeal to ASUU, ASUP and NUT to realise that pupils and students entrusted to their care are their adopted intellectual and academic children,” he said.
Njoku also disclosed that NECO had in its fourteen years of existence, issued certificates to nearly twenty million Nigerian youths, while calling for more funding for the council to effectively carry out its mandate.