Anglican Church Synod Laments Poor State of Educational System

The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has again deplored the continued deterioration in the nation's educational system, arguing that the frequency of strikes by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, is becoming too high for comfort.

It also appreciates the freedom of expression that has emerged as a result of our new democratic dispensation but urged the Federal Government to move the nation a step forward by inviting all ethnic groups within the country to a round table discussion to fashion out how best to live together in peace.

Delivering his presidential address at the third session of the 28th Synod of the Diocese of Lagos at the Faith Plaza, Bariga, the Archbishop of Lagos Diocese, Most Reverend Adebola Ademowo, described ASUU which began its last industrial action on December 29, 2002, as a group of academics that deserve respect and recognition.

According to him, the problem with our university education system did not start overnight. "The system has suffered from years of neglect by different administrations leaving it in shambles", he said, adding "the present funding cannot meaningfully address the lingering and deep-seated problems of the universities which ASUU tends to highlight".

While calling for a truce in the 5-month old strike in the interest of the nation's youths who had been idle since the unfortunate strike action, Ademowo also pleaded with the Federal Government never to enter into any agreement it cannot fulfill. "Government should also go beyond offering higher salaries each time the lecturers go on strike, rather it should work in conjunction with stakeholders to evolve a workable blueprint to thoroughly address the issue of university funding." he said.

The church also noted with dismay, that the nation's economy is still on a downward slide, calling on the government to find lasting ways of revitalizing our agricultural and industrial/manufacturing base.

In addition, he said: "The government must ensure that contracts are properly and correctly evaluated and priced and payment must be made promptly for properly executed contracts," he said.

On security, the Church noted with deep sense of concern the frightening level of insecurity of life and property in our country today. The Church therefore enjoined "the government and other vital security agencies to act immediately to halt the spiraling rate of armed roberries, murders and rising waves of assassinations.

"These and other related vices are not only seriously damaging the much desired economic recovery of this country but also very social lives of her people," the Church said.

Speaking on decaying federal infrastructure across the nation, Ademowo urged the Federal Government to hand over such structures in Lagos to the Lagos State Government. "I believe Lagos State Government deserves this gesture from the Federal Government because it still remains the commercial centre of the nation with steady influx of people from other states," he said.

In addition he also recommended that Lagos should be given special allocation in its task of looking after a heterogenous people and also federal interests in the state.