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Monday Nationwide Strike During WASSCE Exams Raises Concerns About Organized Labour’s Priorities

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A Nigerian professor of Anatomy based in Delaware, United States, Josephine Emmanuella-Fatolu has chided the organized Labour in Nigeria for embarking on a nationwide strike at a time when students are writing their West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

According to her, what Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress did is a reflection of a failed nation that doesn’t place value on the nation’s education sector because they (leaders) lack ‘qualitative’ education.

Her criticism was coming at a time when the country’s future leaders are writing their terminal exams at various secondary schools that are expected to prepare them into higher institutions and secure a better future for the nation as a whole.

In a statement the educationist made available to newsmen Sunday night, she said:

“It is appalling to see a nation like Nigeria trying its best to ruin the future of millions of its secondary school children in the name of strike. I have no apology to say that Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress have both failed as Union leaders to engage in nationwide strike on Monday, June 3, 2024 whilst the secondary school students are writing their West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

“The truth is that organized Labour had suspended their strike before, therefore repeating the same at a time like this won’t be termed as an act of cowardice or integrity deficit or impediment to labour movement policy thrust. The interest of the future of the country must be seen to be prioritized above anything else.

“This is a reflection of a failed state and the action must be condemned in its entirety and this further shows that leaders in Nigeria don’t place value on the nation’s education sector because they (leaders) lack qualitative education, therefore they feel so unperturbed by not placing high premium on it.

“It will take nothing away from the union leaders to suspend their strike at a time when these future leaders are writing their terminal examinations that will lay the foundation for them into higher institutions of their choice. Since most of these leaders have no idea of what education actually means, they are always finding it very difficult to actually define the space of education in a nation’s development. If you do not have something it is possible for you not to value it” she said.

Stating the exploits of Nigerians abroad in the academic world, Professor Josephine added that statistics show that many Nigerians abroad “either top their foreign colleagues or they fall within the top five often in any field of study”.

“Nigerians are born with wings to fly. This is why everywhere Nigerians get to in the world to study, they are always among the top five. It is time we start investing in education, especially the teachers and students by providing the learnable environment for our educational system.

“We must commit to investing in the future of the nation through a positive investment in to our education,” she said

She also commended WAEC for staying steadfast despite the challenges in the system, whilst also appealing to the government to do something fast about the minimum wage in the country.

The Anatomy Professor said:

“I strongly commend WAEC, its officials and other stakeholders in the examination value chain across the country for staying steadfast, committed and patriotic despite the challenges in the system by doing their best to ensure that the country gets a better future for her secondary school students. I also appeal to the Federal Government to fasttrack its negotiations with the labour leaders so that the ongoing examination will not be disrupted especially in terms of logistics and the integrity of the examination process.

“The minimum wage organized labour presented may seem to be realistic judging from the current socio-economic challenges in the country, the Federal government and the organized private sector, OPS, should try and shift ground on the N60,000 offers that they made so that there would be industrial harmony in the country especially for the sake of the students who are writing their examinations.” The statement concluded.

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