Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Uniport Re-opens Academic Activities on December 9 After 5 Months Old Strike

Those that taught University of Port Harcourt will not bow to federal government's threat of sacking lecturers after refusal to return to classrooms on or before 4th December have got to have a rethink. For me, i have started dusting my school bag and books in preparation to heading back to school for the continuation of my second degree at the university.

Management of the University of Port Harcourt, Choba said it will reopen schools for academic activities from Sunday December 8, 2013.
Deputy Registrar Information of University of Port Harcourt, William Nwodi confirmed the date and advised students of the institution to return to campus with immediate effect.

William Nwodi also said the management of the institution took the decision after a senate meeting held today.
“The committee of Pro-chancellors met some time last week and directed the vice-chancellors of federal universities to re-open the universities and in compliance to that, we called a senate meeting this morning and the senate meeting was well attended and all the professors who spoke and all the members who spoke agreed that we should re-open the university.

“The senate of the university which is the highest academic policy making body met this morning and based on the situation, the senate directed that the school resume on the 8 which is on Sunday and lectures will begin on Monday 9,” Nwodi said.
He assured students that normal academic activities will commence at the University of Port Harcourt on November 9, 2013. 

He said arrangement has been put in place to assure that lecturers who resume work on the stipulated date receive the arrears.
“The vice chancellor assured every member of senate who attended that meeting this morning that anybody who enters the classroom on Monday, the 9 of December 2013, will be paid outstanding arrears. 

“The people who attended the senate meeting this morning, we formed more than a forum. They are all members of ASUU. So disproportionate member of lectures were at the meeting this morning. Those who did not attend sent apologies. What that means is that academic work has resumed,” he added. 

Meanwhile, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Uniport Chapter said there is no going back on its almost five months old strike until federal government honours its agreement.
Chairperson of ASUU, Uniport Chapter, Prof. Tonia Okerenge said after the meeting of ASUU that the union has no quarrel with Uniport management to reopen the school on the 8th of December.

“If some of them decide that they are going to resume, they can as well go ahead and resume. But if a negligible percentage of all of us, you can see that the hall was full. If all of us who came here this morning and agreed that we are still on strike are not there, the students will be wasting their time because that will mean that in a course that is taught by about three or four person, then one person will teach, that student will still not graduate and it will be a waste of time.” Okerenge added.

The chairperson of ASUU of University of Port Harcourt also said the union is not moved by the federal government’s threat to sack lecturers who fail to resume to work after the December 4 deadline. 

“We are not moved by that. No country ever does that. Where will you get the others to replace us? Where? From Ghana, form China or from Siberia. I am a professor of uninology and there are only three professors of uninology in Nigeria. I don’t know that any other person from another country will come and work under the conditions that we have been working. Nobody will want to come from Europe to come and work under these conditions that we are working.

“You can see our lecture halls, there is no light, there are no fans. Nobody will want to come and work here. So for me it’s just an empty threat to sack professors who were your teachers,” she added.

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