The Federal Government has said that the issue concerning the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and other three university-based unions is not as simple as Nigerians think.
This is as the government approved the establishment of e-learning centers for primary schools across the 36 States of the federalion and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed this to State House correspondents after the weekly federal executive council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa.
Recall that ASUU embarked on strike since February 14 over unresolved issues with the federal government and since then, all the public universities have been shut down.
Fielding questions on why the government approved the establishment of e-learning centers but was unable to resolve problems with unions in public universities for the students to go back to school, the Minister, who briefed journalists on behalf of the Minister of Education, said the issue with the unions was not as simple as many many think.
He also said that the government was worried over the long closure of the public universities and was making frantic efforts to ensure that all the contentious issues are resolved.
He said, “And then the other question has to do with the with ASUU strike. I think if I remember this e-learning, I think it has to do more with primary schools and not universities.
“And I don’t think because we’re having challenges with the university lecturers, we should stop primary school students in continuing with their education.
“And I wish that the ASUU issue is as simple as many of us think it is. I don’t think it’s that simple. But I want to assure you that a lot is going on behind the scenes.
“And I think probably the Minister of Education will be better positioned to give the details. But like any government, if we’re not concerned, we would not set up all the committees which have been working. If we are not concerned, we will not be looking for means to even assuage the feelings of the Union.
“We’re worried, we’re concerned, and we’ll continue to work towards finding an early resolution of the problem.”
On the approval for e-learning centres nationwide by FEC, he said, “The Honourable Minister of Education has sought approval from Council for the award of contracts for the provision of a satellite-based education system for 109 e-learning centers across the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.
“The contract was for the sum of N964 million and is in favour of Messrs Nas Navigation. The purpose of the memo is to provide each senatorial district in the country with e-learning provision, each states has three senatorial districts and the FCT has one senatorial district
“The scope of the project is the provision of satellite based education system for about 4,360 users in the 109 senatorial districts and it was through the installation of 109 receiver satellite unit model antenna in three schools in each state.
“Installation and provision of 109 vast mile server in three schools in each state connecting up to 100 device installation of 109 server units for receiver terminals and deployment of 4,360 Android tablets.”