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Varsity education not for everybody, says Umahi

The Imo State Governor and Chairman of South-East Governors’ Forum, David Umahi, has said university education is not for everybody.

This was as Umahi stressed that it was unreasonable for the Federal Government, led by the President, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to borrow over N1trn to meet the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities.

The governor spoke against the backdrop of the ongoing industrial action by lecturers at the nation’s varsities, when he received a delegation from the Nigerian Police Trust Fund by Dr Ben Akabueze, in Abakaliki, on Wednesday.

The governor, who said education and security were the most challenging problems bedevilling the country, also pointed out that the nation’s educational system is not properly articulated, adding that the basic education every nation strives to attain is secondary or vocational education.

Umahi said, “Our basic problems in this country remain security, health and education. Let me say a little about education which is in our public domain. I think that our education system is not properly articulated.

“University education is not for everybody and that is the truth. The basic education every country strives to attain is secondary school and vocational schools. These are the basic schools, and when you have these qualifications, you will be able to use it either to start up something or to be able to use it to be employed.

“There is a need to review our educational system. It mustn’t be for everybody. I am not ashamed that I have a first degree and my deputy is a PhD holder; it doesn’t matter. It is what you bring on board. So, I cannot see how we cannot sit down with leaders of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, and iron out this problem about the ASUU strike.

“I have read on social media, newspapers how students got into trouble just by sitting at home or engaging in means of keeping themselves busy instead of being in school.

“There is no way the country Nigeria will go and borrow N1.1tn to meet ASUU’s demands; it’s quite unreasonable. Are their demands genuine? Yes, but we can start little by little.

“So, it is important for ASUU to show some understanding and for those who are negotiating on the side of the government to also show some understanding. Let’s meet ourselves halfway and open the schools to save the fate of our children.”

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