The ASUU strike in 2013 continues and the latest update is that the Committee of Pro-Chancellors of Federal Universities ordered universities across the country to re-open, defying the teacher’s union.
The strike has appeared to come close to ending numerous times over the past several weeks, but it has not.
The union voted to end the strike over the weekend—but attached three new conditions to the vote which superseded what was agreed upon in a meeting a week ago between union leadership and President Goodluck Jonathan. Minister of Education Nyesom Wike, after hearing about the conditions, called them “outrageous.”
Now the Committee of Pro-Chancellors of Federal Universities in a communique told universities across Nigeria to re-open, even though the ASUU has not called off the strike. The decision was unanimously agreed by all Pro-Chancellors in the interest of the country, the committee said. It directed all Vice-Chancellors to comply with the decision.
The committee also recognized the efforts of President Jonathan and government officials to end the strike, calling the president’s actions a “bold and supportive intervention.” The committee also noted that the union itself voted 60 to 40 to end the strike.
“The communique explained that the committee’s decision was based on the negative impact the strike had had on the university system, students and the parents,” reported PM News Nigeria. “It, however, appealed for the understanding from the leadership and members of ASUU to ensure speedy restoration of academic activities on campuses.”
The move comes amid reports that at least two universities already re-opened this week without union consent. President Jonathan said several weeks ago that the universities would re-open if the ASUU would not end the strike, according to sources.
At the same time, it’s unclear how much authority the Committee of Pro-Chancellors of Federal Universities has, and whether its order will be followed. It could be followed by some universities but ignored by others.