As the ongoing strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) continues, wives of Vice-Chancellors across Nigerian universities are set to travel to Istanbul, Turkey, for a five-day leadership course.
This was contained in a letter by the Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities.
The programme is scheduled to hold from 18 to 23 July 2022, in Istanbul.
The letter addressed to vice chancellors dated May 5, 2022, was signed by the Committee’s Secretary-General, Prof. Yakubu Ochefu.
It was titled, ‘Invitation to the Istanbul 5-Day Leadership & Management Masterclass, Fellowship Induction for Spouses of Vice Chancellors, Women in Academics and Higher Education Leadership’.
Each of the VCs’ wives would pay a sum of N1.5m as a course form to attend the programme, the letter stated.
It partly read, “We understand the vital role spouses play in supporting Vice Chancellors as they execute their day- to-day administration of universities. It is therefore imperative, that capacity building exercises be put in place for the women in academics and spouses of Vice Chancellors in Nigerian universities.
“In this regard, the Committee’s Secretariat, In partnership with Win Institute for Gender Studies, Nigeria in collaboration with her Turkey-based learning partner, Istanbul Egitimler, have put together a 5-day Leadership & Management Masterclass, and Fellowship Induction for spouses of Vice Chancellors, women academics and higher education leadership in Africa.”
With the ASUU strike becoming worse by the day, students, many of whom are idle at home, are getting frustrated.
Meanwhile, Nigerians have taken to social media to express anger over the plan.
Reacting, Olumuyiwa Oke, a Facebook user wrote, “Nigeria’s problems are multidimensional. This is disheartening and disgusting amidst the ongoing strike action in our public institutions.”
Also, Victor Balogun, another Facebook user said, “Most of them are rogues and not different from politicians they always condemn. If not, who are the ones rigging the politicians into power with inflated figures?”
Akinbade Olumide wrote, “Wahala for naija. ASUU on strike yet VCs’ wives are travelling. Isokay.”
Tweeting via @biggybanty, one Tunde Bakare said, “Most of them were appointed by politicians. We are not surprised. What is Vice-Chancellor wives again. They have an association now?. I hope FUTO VC husband will be joining them.”
@SChukwusa said, “Qwam! I guess it’s their turn, after all the first ladies do go Dubai 👋come and school self no de.. Wetin remain, na to flex jó👋”
@Aiyegbusibiodun wrote, “hmmm…they need to visit Turkey to find out how the tertiary education system of that country is being managed.”
Students at government-owned universities have been out of classrooms since February 14, 2022.
Other unions such as Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) have also declared strike, shutting down the university system completely.
The unions said the strike action was to compel the government to implement various agreements reached with them, but both parties failed to reach a truce after several negotiations.