Benjamin Babine, Abuja
The founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), has faulted the directive from the Federal Government ordering all tertiary institutions to shut down in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
He said that such a policy decision should be the prerogative of the Senate of each institution and not the government’s.
Babalola stated this during the commissioning of four projects at the Afe Babalola University Multi-Systems Hospital and the launch of two books, The Elusive Search for Nation Nigeria’ and ‘ABUAD: Pioneering Educational Renaissance.’
He said it was through a memo from the National Universities Commission last Thursday following an earlier directive from the Federal Ministry of Education that the order to shut down schools nationwide got to his knowledge.
“The one month closure would have adverse effect on the predictable academic calendar of private universities and reduce them to the level of public universities where four year programmes are not completed in eight years,” he said.
“The senate of the university is of the view that education is a delicate issue. Universities are not like parastatals of government like railway or Bank of Industry. Even the President who is the visitor to public universities has no right to dissolve the Governing Council, remove Registrar and dabble into other academic affairs.
“The Ministry of Education knows that it has no right to close universities; that was why it wrote a letter to NUC to close down universities. The NUC also knows that the power to close down universities under Section 22 of Education (National Minimum Standard) provides that it must afford the proprietor of the institution an opportunity to make representation for consideration within 70 days before it can close down a university,” Babalola said.