The National Industrial Court, NIC, sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday, struck out a suit the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, filed to compel the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, and the Federal Government to call off the ongoing strike action.
Justice Polycarp Hamman terminated further proceedings in the matter, after it was withdrawn by factional President of NANS, Umar Faruk Lawal.
Lawal had told the court that he filed the suit marked NICN/ABJ/273/2022, for himself and on behalf of NANS.
A side from ASUU which was cited as the 1st Respondent, the Minister of Education and the Attorney-General of the Federation were listed as 2nd and 3rd Respondents, respectively.
When the matter came up on Tuesday, Lawal, notified the court that he filed a motion for discontinuance.
He premised his decision to withdraw the suit on account of the challenge by the student body which contested his standing and denied that he is the President of NANS as he had deposed to.
Though the other two Respondents were not represented, however, counsel to ASUU, Marshal Abubakar, informed the court that he was not opposed to Lawal’s application to withdraw the suit.
Consequently, Justice Hamman struck out the matter.
It will be recalled that two NANS presidential candidates had claimed victory at an election the students’ body conducted recently.
While Lawal who is of the Department of Library and Information Science of the Bayero University, Kano, insisted that he won the election, the NANS Convention Planning Committee declared Usman Barambu as the President-elect of the association.
ASUU had since gone before the Court of Appeal in Abuja to set aside the NIC judgement that ordered it to call off its over seven-month old strike action.
The union, in a 14-ground of appeal, also applied for a stay of execution of the judgement.
The NIC had in the judgement that was delivered on September 21, ordered the striking varsity lecturers to return to the classroom, pending the determination of a suit the Federal Government filed to query the legality of their strike action.
The interim injunction directing ASUU members to resume work followed an application FG filed through its lawyer, Mr. James Igwe.
Justice Hamman held that the order was both in national interest and for the sake of undergraduates in the country that have been at home since February 14.
He held that the strike action was detrimental to public university students that cannot afford to attend private tertiary institutions.
“The balance of convenience tilts in favour of the applicant.
“I hold that this application is meritorious and this application is granted”, Justice Hamman ruled.
However, ASUU, in its appeal, maintained that Justice Hamman “erred in law and occasioned a miscarriage of justice when he decided to hear and determine the Respondents’ motion for interlocutory injunction when he knew or ought to have known that the substantive suit was not initiated by due process of law”.
It argued that the mandatory steps and procedure stipulated in Part 1 of the Trade Dispute Act, TDA, was not followed by FG.
More so, ASUU averred that the trial judge acted utra vires and misdirected himself when he unlawfully assumed jurisdiction to entertain the matter, adding that what was granted as an interlocutory order was the same relief FG sought in its substantive suit.
Adopt ICT to tackle exam malpractices, FG urge agencies
By Francesca Iwambe
The Federal government has called on Examination and Assessment Agencies in the country to adopt ICT in tackling the menace of Examination Malpractices in the country.
The minister of education mallam Adamu Adamu who made the call while declaring open a one day National Sensitization Workshop on Malpractice in Nigeria jointly organised by the National Examinations Council NECO and the National Assembly also emphasised the need to build multi- dimensional approach to address the menace.
Represented by the Registrar Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board,Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, tye minister lamented that Nigeria is under develop in tackling issues of examination malpractices hence the weaponising of exams to candidates is an unfair assessment.
“Examination malpractices is a major problem affecting the conduct of public exams in Nigeria and let me say that Nigeria is under develop in tackling issues of malpractices in our exams”
“ICT is the way to go in curbing this menace it has become most critical that we must adopt we must become creative in adopting ICT devices to protect the sanctity of our examinations across Nigeria”
The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education, Andrew Adejo in his keynote address called on the National Assembly to enact laws for sanctions on consequent actions.
According to him, complexities arises following the lost of core values in the Nigerian societies ,”because we have forgotten our value system, they have collapsed and untill we fix this it may take a long time before the system recovers we should look at the ways of correcting our value system”
He suggested that culprit of examination malpractices must be made to face the law and advocated for conducive learning environment.
He called on government to prosecute offenders of examination malpractices while legislators enact laws that would stop the trend.
Deputy Chairman Senate Committee on Education , Senator Akon Eyakenyi, said the National Assembly frowns at Examination Malpractice and it hopes to tackle it with holistic mind.
“The Committees on Education (Basic & Secondary) is using this opportunity to appeal to stakeholders, particularly to the parents and teachers of the students to sensitize themselves to ensure the spirit of Examination Malpractice is thoroughly purged out from their lifestyle before sensitizing their children, wards or students as they are “In pari delicto” (equally at fault) by aiding and abetting these students”
Effectively Tackling The Menace
Senator Eyakenyi said to effectively tackle examination malpractices, there is a need for operators to collaborate with professional associations who wield certain levels of influence on their members.
She called on the government to hold private school operators to account while further challenging stakeholders to rise to the task of speaking out and taking informed decisions when and where needs arise.
“The media community should particularly lend its support to this patriotic fight. It is also my thinking that Monitoring and Evaluation should be taken seriously across board in the education sector. Supervision of both our learners and educators at all levels should be stepped up” She added.
The Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Education (Basic & Secondary), Prof.Julius Ihonbere, call for collective responsibility to tackle problems of examination malpractices.
According to him, stakeholders must work together to produce results that will work for the betterment of the Nigerian education sector.
He acknowledged the efforts of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board JAMB, in fighting malpractices in public examinations.
“Unless the nation addresses the issue of infraction in public exams the nation may not move forward it is a criminal offence but it is disappointing that children are no longer afraid because for their participation in examination malpractices there are no longer sanctions”
Earlier in his welcome address, the Registrar of the National Examination Council, Prof. Dantani Ibrahim Wushishi, noted that major challenge facing conduct of public examinations remains issues of examination malpractices.
He also said that the workshop was jointly organised with the National Assembly to address issues of exam malpractices.
Wushishi added that it is to find ways and means that can be adopted to curb the menace and re orient the minds of the youths concerning the cankerworm.
“No doubt, examination malpractice has the tendency to discourage hard work among serious students, lowers educational standards, discredit certificates, and lead to the production of quacks, thereby affecting the manpower needs of the nation.
He called for collective responsibility to rid them of the bad habit of wanting to cut corners.
The Head of WAEC Nigeria, Patrick Areghan ,represented by Dr Amos Dani commended NECO for advancing assessment to greater level.
He applauded the role of the National Assembly in tackling the examination malpractices menace.
Areghan disclosed that WAEC has begun the deployment of technology in the fight against exam infractions.
“WAEC has developed a technology called IDP to detect collisions in the objectives segment of our exams other technologies are being currently developed to tackle malpractices in our essay papers”
Immorality:Another Institution Bans Hugging, Indecent Dressing, Others On Campus
Disturbed by the rate at which students dress as they are call girls, a polytechnic in the South Western part of Nigeria has banned hugging, kissing and indecent dressing to curb immorality.
To this effect, the management of The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Oyo State, on Thursday, banned hugging, indecent dressing, use of tinted vehicles, and other forms of immoral conduct by students of the institution, while on campus.
According to the management, violation of the new rules, according to the management of the institution, will attract stiff sanctions ranging from a semester suspension, rejection from classrooms or hostel for erring nursing mothers, and impounding vehicles from any student using a vehicle with tinted glass.
According to a source, a notice of the new rules stated that some of the forbidding dressings and postures include, multi-colored braids for females, colored hairstyles, dreadlocks, spangled hairstyles for males, earrings for males cowries for females, the unconventional wearing of fez caps, wearing of tattered jean, micro/mini dress, crop tops/ jump tops, off shoulder clothes, backless clothes, transparent wears, bum shorts, nose, mouth extra earrings, sagging and tattoos.”
The notice reads: “Certificates of the Polytechnic, Ibadan are awarded to students who are found worthy in both academic pursuit and good character.
“Students are required to abide by the institution’s standard and code of conduct, of which indecent dressing/posture is one.
“The management, on behalf of the Governing Council has approved for implementation of the under-listed sanctions for the following categories of indecent dressing/posture.”
ASUU: Govt pays varsity lecturers full November salaries, withholds 8 months arrears
By Francesca Iwambe
The Federal Government has paid lecturers under the aegis of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) their November salaries in full, while also withholding the eight month arrears, a period when ASUU was on strike.
“Some of our members have started receiving salaries and I can confirm to you that we received our full salaries for the month of November. However, the arrears are still withheld”, a senior member of the union at the Bayero University Kano revealed in Abuja on Wednesday.
The Federal Government had insisted it will not pay the lecturers within the period they were on strike, a decision union members have since challenged.
The lecturers, in October 2022 were also paid pro-rata (half-pay) according to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige.
According to reports, the lecturers were paid only 18 working days in the month of October, quoting a senior member of ASUU who spoke under strict confidence noted.
“We were only paid for the days after the strike. I received half salary. Other members are angry right now, they are blaming the NEC for calling off the strike” the anonymous union member said.
Lecturers across the country have been protesting against this decision by the Federal Government.
ASUU called off its eight-month-old strike on October 14, 2022. Lecturers were encouraged to resume back to work by the union on that same day.
There are indications that the union’s leadership may meet in coming days over the withheld salaries.
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