Commissioner Fault Post-UME Debate

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Prof. Patrick Muobaghare, Basic and Secondary Education Commissioner in Delta, has advised the Senate to drop the post-University Matriculating Examination debate, describing it as meddling in the universities’ internal affairs.

Muobaghare told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Asaba on Wednesday that the post-UME exercise was a step taken by the universities within their legal limitations.

He said that conducting entrance examinations was one of the areas where the institutions had autonomy to operate as desired.

The commissioner said that rather than dissipate energy on the issue, the Senate should concentrate on legislating for good governance in the country.

“The universities are autonomous and have powers to decide on certain issues, which include conducting entrance examinations to admit students for programmes.

“The Senate should not dwell on such trivial issues that do not concern it. The lawmakers there should concern themselves with making laws for good governance and for welfare of Nigerians.

“They should tackle the fuel subsidy issue, on the side of their constituents, tackle Islamic Banking and other pressing issues.”

Muobaghare wondered why the upper chamber of the National Assembly had not taken up issue of adequate funding of universities and other matters.

He said that one of such matters was the Federal Government’s refusal to implement its agreement with Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

The commissioner challenged the legislators on the falling standard of education and allied issues in the sector, which ASUU and stakeholders had been highlighting.

He also urged the lawmakers to support ASUU in its quest for improved standards in the universities.

Muobaghare said, “If they cannot support the union on the quality agitation, they should leave the institutions alone.

“Too many issues affecting the lives of common Nigerians need the urgent attention of the lawmakers and those are what the people want to see them do.”

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