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ASUU Says no Resumption Yet, Extends Strike by Another Three Months

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ASUU Strike

Following the failure to reach a consensus with the Federal Government, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has extended its ongoing strike by 12 weeks. This is coming two months after the first phase of the strike commenced.

Investors King recalls that ASUU had previously gone on a warning strike which commenced on February 14, 2022 and was meant to come to an end on Monday, May 9, 2022.

In a statement on Monday, the National President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke revealed that the decision to extend the strike was unanimously taken during the association’s National Executive Council meeting, which commenced on Sunday night at the University of Abuja’s Comrade Festus Iyayi National Secretariat.

According to him, the decision is aimed at giving the government adequate time to resolve all remaining concerns satisfactorily.

He noted that the NEC had earlier authorized the national leadership to commence on an indefinite strike if no significant results were achieved during the eight-week warning strike.

“After extensive deliberations, noting the Government’s failure to live up to its responsibilities and speedily address all the issues raised in the 2020 FGN/ASUU Memorandum of Action (MoA) within the additional eight-week roll–over strike period declared on 14th March 2022, NEC resolved that the strike be rolled over for twelve weeks to give Government more time to satisfactorily resolve all the outstanding issues.

“The roll-over strike action is with effect from 12.01 a.m. on Monday, 9th May 2022″, the statement read.

Investors King gathered that while ASUU was on its warning strike, other university staff unions also went on strike. They include: Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU); The National Association of Academic Technologists; (NAAT), and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Education and Allied institutions, (NASU).

Meanwhile, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has vowed to disrupt all political events by the two major parties, as well as all candidate selection activities if the ASUU continues with the strike action.

The association condemned politicians for being unconcerned about students’ situation while being preoccupied with their own ‘selfish and irrational quest’ to contest for presidency.

In view of this, students from various institutions have continued to stage protests in Ibadan, Abuja and Lagos, calling for the strike to end, as well as the reopening of universities.

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WAEC: Over 8,000 Candidates Register for First Series of Computer Based-WASSCE in Nigeria

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WAEC results

Over 8,000 candidates have registered for the inaugural Computer Based-West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in Nigeria.

Dr. Amos Dangut, the Head of National Office for the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), made this announcement during a press conference held in Lagos.

Scheduled to commence from January 31 to February 17, 2024, the Computer Based-WASSCE for private candidates represents a significant shift in examination methodology.

WAEC, in November 2023, had revealed its plans to conduct the WASSCE for private candidates using a computer-based model.

Dr. Dangut, while addressing the media, expressed WAEC’s commitment to implementing this innovative approach despite initial resistance.

He noted that the acceptance of the innovation, as evidenced by the substantial number of entries received, bolstered the council’s resolve to move forward with the computer-based examination.

Out of the 8,285 candidates registered, 47.66% are male, while 52.3% are female, indicating a relatively balanced representation across genders.

The examination will cover 19 subjects comprising 26 papers in a hybrid mode, blending objective and multiple-choice questions with essay and practical components.

Dr. Dangut urged candidates to familiarize themselves with the requirements for the CB-WASSCE by accessing WAEC’s e-learning portal.

He underscored WAEC’s collaboration with educational authorities, security agencies, and stakeholders to ensure the seamless conduct of the examination and maintain its credibility.

The advent of the Computer Based-WASSCE heralds a new era in standardized testing in Nigeria, marking a significant stride towards modernization and adaptability in the education sector.

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Canada Raises Cost-of-Living Requirement for Study Permit Applicants

IRCC Announces Adjustments to Financial Guidelines and Student Work Hours Effective January 1, 2024

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EU-Canada Trade Deal

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has revealed changes to the cost-of-living requirement for study permit applicants, effective January 1, 2024.

The new requirement, set at $20,635 for a single study permit applicant, more than doubles the existing amount of $10,000 established in the early 2000s.

The adjustment aims to align with the rising cost of living in Canada, preventing instances where students’ funds fall short of covering their expenses.

This financial guideline applies to study permit applications received on or after January 1, 2024, and is in addition to the first-year tuition and travel costs.

Furthermore, IRCC states that the cost-of-living requirement will now be annually adjusted based on Statistics Canada’s updates to the low-income cut-off (LICO), reflecting the minimum income necessary in Canada.

In addition to the financial adjustments, IRCC has extended the waiver on the 20-hour-per-week work cap for international students until April 30, 2024.

This extension applies to students currently in Canada and those who submitted a study permit application by December 7, 2023.

The waiver, initially introduced on November 15, 2022, allows students to work more than the standard 20 hours per week during the academic term.

Minister Miller also announced two updates related to the Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).

The provision allowing international students to include online study terms toward their future PGWP, as long as it doesn’t exceed half of the total program duration, will be extended until September 1, 2024.

However, there will be no further special extensions for PGWPs beyond this period, emphasizing IRCC’s commitment to maintaining clarity and stability in its policies.

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Nigerian Federal Government Initiates 40% Deduction From Universities’ Internally Generated Revenues, Prompting Concerns

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University - Investors King

The Nigerian federal government has embarked on the implementation of a controversial policy that imposes a 40 percent automatic deduction from the internally generated revenues (IGR) of federal universities and partially-funded institutions.

This decision, aligned with the Finance Circular dated December 20, 2021, aims to limit the annual budgetary expenditure derived from IGR.

In a letter issued by the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Madein, the policy of a 40 percent auto-deduction was communicated to universities and institutions.

The letter, approved by the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, was signed by the Director of Revenue & Investment in the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, Felix Ore-ofe Ogundairo.

The new directive enforces that agencies and parastatals must remit up to 50 percent of their gross IGR, channeling the remaining 50 percent to the Sub-recurrent Account.

All statutory revenue lines, such as Tender Fees, Contractor’s Registration Fees, and Rent on Quarters, are to be remitted entirely to the Sub-recurrent Account.

While the federal government hinted at granting universities more autonomy to explore financing sources, this move has sparked controversy within the education sector.

Critics argue that the policy will stifle institutional activities, hinder critical projects, and potentially force institutions to increase fees, thereby impacting students and their families.

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has also voiced concerns, highlighting the potential repercussions for universities.

University authorities, meanwhile, argue that the policy contradicts the government’s perception of universities as revenue-generating entities while providing inadequate funding and inhibiting their development.

The policy raises questions about the government’s approach to education financing and may lead to increased financial strain on students.

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