The groups said details of the protests would be announced next week.
Civil society groups and stakeholders in the education sector, Tuesday, said they have intensified efforts to organize a national protest in solidarity with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
In a joint statement, the Joint Action Front (JAF), a coalition of labour and civil society groups said the national protest was to “save public education.”
Public universities in Nigeria are currently in the third week of a nationwide strike embarked upon by the ASUU.
JAF said it held a meeting in Lagos, Sunday, with zonal and state representatives of ASUU, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), and College of Education Staff Union (COESU).
Dipo Fashina, JAF chairperson, said that the meeting was a furtherance of the resolution passed at a previous meeting to rally Nigerians to join forces with ASUU and other unions in the academic sector to compel the federal and state governments to increase funding to public schools.
The meeting identified ASUU’s demands as failure of federal and state governments to fund facilities and infrastructures in universities; failure to implement the NEEDS Assessment Report as agreed in the Memorandum of Understanding on January 24th, 2012; and failure to pay “legitimately” earned allowances of the academic staff.
It specifically called for the implementation of the agreements as well as the freedom and autonomy in the administration and running of tertiary institutions, according to Mr. Fashina.
“The meeting resolved that a national protest to save public education has become inevitable,” Mr. Fashina, a former ASUU president, said.
“The meeting took notice of the irresponsibility of the federal government and state governments to the collapsing state of public education because all political office holders and civil service top functionaries at all levels of government have unhindered access to looting of public fund.
“With these funds, they sustain their children and cronies in private schools and universities in Nigeria and abroad,” he added.
Abiodun Aremu, JAF’s Secretary, stated that a template for the national protest had been agreed upon, adding that a programme of actions would be made public in the next one week.
“We urge all stakeholders in the education sector – parents, students, ASUU, ASUP, COESU, SSANU, National Union of Teachers, workers’ unions and the oppressed Nigerians to hold consultative and mobilization meeting and rallies,” said Mr. Aremu.
“JAF declares its total support for the ongoing strike and demand that the federal government and state governments concerned in the management of the various tertiary institutions should implement without further delay the agreements reached with the unions,” he added.
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