Highlights of events in 2013
This year would forever be known as the year of the strikes in Education sector. In the course of the year, all the major unions within the sector, had cause to down their tools, putting students, parents and the entire country into a state of frustration with government.
A bigger cause for distress came in September when Boko Haram terrorists extended their bloodletting to children in secondary schools. The Academic Staff Union of Universities in the course of their five month strike was hit with the death of one of its past presidents, Festus Iyayi; the National Association of Nigerian Students also lost its senate president; and a cabinet reshuffle saw the sack of Education Minister, Ruqayyatu Rufai.
1. ASUU’s “indefinite” strike
The Academic Staff Union of University, ASUU, began an industrial action on July 1, which lasted for six months, ending on December 23. The bone of contention was the non-implementation of the 2009 agreement between the union and Federal Government. Within the period of the strike, the Education Minister, Ruqayyatu Rufai, was removed in a major cabinet reshuffle. She soon joined ASUU in pressing for their demands from the Federal Government. President Goodluck Jonathan replaced the sacked Minister with Nyesom Wike, who was then Minister of State for Education. Shortly, after the removal of Ms. Rufai, a former ASUU President, Festus Iyayi, lost his life in a road accident. He was on his way to a meeting that could have brought the strike to an earlier end.
2. ASUP strike
The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic, ASUP, commenced a strike action on 16 July, which was called off after two months. However, on the 4 October, the union went back on strike that it is currently still on strike. The Federal Government on December 17 announced that it had met 80 per cent of the union’s demands.
3. Boko Haram massacre students
In September, gunmen launched a vicious attack on the College of Agriculture, Yobe State, killing an unspecified number of students. Most of the students were asleep in their dormitory when the attack began. The dormitories and classrooms were set on fire by the terrorists. The attack led to the school’s closure for 10 weeks.
4. NANS lose senate president
On June 13, NANS Senate President, Donald Onukaogu, and a few others died in an auto crash on their way to Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
5. Alamjiri school system gets N15.72 billion million for bilingual education
The Federal Government and the Islamic Development Bank signed a $98 million
(N15.72 billion) bilingual education deal to help the country educate Alamjiri. The money would be used towards bridging the gap between formal and none formal education in the country.