The management of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) and members of the school’s Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) are currently at loggerheads over the reopening of the school to academic activities with the ongoing ASUU national strike still in force.
A release dated January 3, 2019 and signed by the University Registrar, Mr. Jacob Agboola, had announced that academic activities would kick off immediately for all students as the school resumes for the 2018/2019 session.
So, following reports that academic activities had resumed in the institution on Monday, January 7, 2019, the institution’s ASUU swiftly issued a statement warning parents and guardians not to allow their children to be used against their lecturers.
It was gathered that following the announcement of resumption, some students reported to campus expressing gladness that social and academic activities had resumed.
NAN in a report, quoted LAUTECH Students’ Union President, Abiodun Oluwaseun, as saying: “We are all happy and impressed that lectures are actually taking place in all the places we visited.
“As a union, we cannot ask for more, we only want to appeal to those of our lecturers who are still not cooperating to join hands with their colleagues to salvage LAUTECH. The number of students who have resumed is also very encouraging and we thank stakeholders for this New Year gift that is most appreciated”
The report also said the Chairman of the institution’s Parents and Teachers Committee, Rev. Israel Olaniyan, expressed happiness at the reported resumption, stating: “We are pleading with the governors of Oyo and Osun states to help ensure that workers are paid as and when due, so that we can hope for an uninterrupted academic sessions”
But LAUTECH ASUU, in a statement jointly signed by its Chairman, Dr Biodun Olaniran, and Secretary, Dr. Toyin Abegunrin, declared that “there is no academic activities going on at LAUTECH as the union is still on national strike, which has been complied with by our teeming members”.
The union regretted that “it is surprising that the management that has barely one month to the expiration of its tenure would want to create frictions among members which has never happened in the 29 years of existence of the University”.
It said “the union is monitoring the activities of the University management at sowing the seed of discord among members, which the Union would use all instruments at her disposal to forestall.”
The statement explained that “representatives of Ogbomoso Parapo and Parents’ Forum met with the leadership of ASUU, LAUTECH chapter today 7 January, 2019 to discuss their involvement in the on-going national strike of ASUU.
“At a meeting that lasted more than 2 hours, the position of the union in the spirit of national struggle of ASUU was explained. At the end of the meeting, the group was satisfied with explanations of the lecturers for their participation in the strike, which is hoped to be resolved very soon.
“Therefore, the union commended the parents for their understanding, urging them not to allow anybody to use their children against their teachers, noting that the Union is still on national strike in LAUTECH.
“Recall that LAUTECH has been in the eyes of the storm for quite a while. This is due to no other reason than the problem of chronic underfunding of the institution by the owner states of Oyo and Osun. At a point, salaries could not be paid, the laboratories and workshops were ill-equipped for practicals in a science and technology university, simple drugs became unavailable in the university clinic, sporting activities became relegated to the background due to non-funding of the unit, etc.
“In spite of the outcry by the staff unions, government insisted that the university should continue running on IGR. The improbability of this was made clear by the Wole Olanipekun’s Visitation Panel who recommended, among others, that the owner states of Oyo and Osun should live up to their funding responsibilities to the university as a public institution . Tired of working without salary, all the staff unions on campus went on strike which lasted for months before the governments made some epileptic response by releasing money for payment of few months salary without shifting position from their insistence that LAUTECH should fund itself. To summarise the long story, the failure of that experiment has brought the institution to its knees.
“The situation would have been worse in the area of infrastructure but for the periodic interventions from the Federal Government in terms of ETF, TETFUND, NEEDS ASSESSMENTS, etc, put in place by the patriotic struggles of our union, ASUU. It is such realities that has once again forced our union at the national level to embark on the current struggle. For the avoidance of doubt, LAUTECH as usual is fully part of it and will not back out until the national suspends the action. Backing out at this stage, LAUTECH risks being denied all the benefits accruing as dividends of the struggle. This obviously will be too monumental for the institution.
“Nobody should be left in doubt that the recent attempt to break the strike so that students can resume and pay their tuition, is purely altruistic. We are aware that this is the transition period in LAUTECH, and the outgoing officers need to take their ‘take- home- perks of office ‘ aka severance package. Money has to be available to be able to do this before they leave office. The only sure source of such money is the almighty IGR.
“The frenzy for resumption even while ASUU national strike is ongoing can only be understood within such context. That is why our members should open their eyes before being hoodwinked into acting against the national directive. It is saddening and curious that few of our members are lending themselves to such ploy. This is the time for deep and sober reflection. The struggle continues and victory is certain”.
The announcement by the university reads as follows:
Further to the notice of resumption for the 2018/2019 Academic Session, the attention of Staff and Students is hereby drawn to the Academic Calendar for the 2018/2019 Harmattan Semester.
Wednesday, January 2 Resumption for 2018/2019 for all students
Registration without Penalty for stalites
Thursday, January 3 Commencement of Lectures for all students
Tuesday, January 15 Registration without Penalty for fresh students ends
Wednesday, January 16 Registration with Penalty for fresh students begins
Wednesday, January 23 Registration without Penalty for stalites ends
Registration with Penalty for stalites begins
Wednesday, February 13 Orientation for fresh students
Friday, February 15 Registration with Penalty ends for fresh students
Thursday, February 21 Matriculation for new students
Friday, February 22 Registration with Penalty for stalites ends
Monday, March 11 Lecture-Free Week begins
Monday, March 18 Harmattan Semester Examinations begins
Friday, April 19 2018/2019 Harmattan Semester Break begins
J. A. Agboola