The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Abuja, Abdul Rasheed Na’Allah, has announced the commencement of virtual learning for students despite the ongoing ASUU strike.
While disclosing this on Wednesday December 9, 2020, Na’Allah stated that the lectures are being conducted by adjunct lecturers.
“The students had already registered before the strike began so that made it easy for the university to develop a virtual classroom system to migrate them there. It was very easy,” he said
According to Mr. Na’Allah, all courses offered by the university are currently being taught virtually.
ASUU began its nationwide strike on March 23 to press for the release of funds for the revitalisation of universities and university workers’ earned allowance, constitution of visitation panels for the universities, payment of shortfall in salaries of lecturers, and a stop to the use of the payment platform, Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), for payment of salaries in the universities.
The union proposed the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) as a replacement for the controversial IPPIS.
As part of the efforts to end the eight-month-old strike, the federal government last week reconstituted its team to renegotiate the 2009 agreements with lecturers.
He said it would deny a good percentage of the population who do not have access to the internet and electricity, access to education.
However, the UNIABUJA VC during the press briefing said about 5,000 students are currently receiving lectures on the new virtual learning platform.
“The truth is that this is a major development. We can teach all our courses virtually. We have that capacity,” he said.
Mr Na’Allah said because the academic staff is currently observing the ongoing ASUU strike, what the university leadership did was to look for adjunct staff, “who are like part-time staff and not members of our school to conduct a pilot test and ensure it works.”
The Vice-Chancellor said although the strike is “real and very effective”, the university is very much open and that its activities are still ongoing.
According to him, the adjunct lecturers still receive their salary from the government because they are not part of ASUU.
“Government is paying people salaries. All the government says is that, if you don’t want to get your salary because of certain issues, which I think is the issue the government is negotiating with them on, then you will not collect a salary.”
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