Nigeria:- Concept Note for the MOOC 2016 Localisation Campaign & In-MOOC Workshop
The localisation campaign is expected to result in a much larger number of enrolment in Nigeria (than in 2015), with the active involvement of both public and private sector unions, as well as the trade union federations (with NLC as primary federation-target). With this thrust of the campaign and the buy-in of the trade union movement, post-MOOC activities, including a blending of the MOOC into the 1-week 2016 NLC Rain School mi-year, would as well flourish.
Two workshops are envisaged in March/April (i.e. when the MOOC is ongoing). These would be in Lagos (targeting private sector unions’ activists, mainly) and Abuja (targeting public sector unions’ activists, mainly). These would take on pressing issues of concern to the working class in Nigeria, at the moment.
The Local Promotion Campaign
Efforts already taken regarding the local promotion campaign are as follows:
Discussions with the NLC Education & Training Department and within the NLC Education & Training National Coordinating Group (in November, 2015);
A concise presentation to the NLC leadership on the MOOC (the draft was presented to the Education & Training department in November, 2015 & to the office of the NLC President at the beginning of January, 2016);
Discussions with GLU Alumni in different unions and the NLC (November 2015 till date);
240 copies of the MOOC flyers circulated to the 38 State Councils of the Medical & Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria & their Women Committees’ officials, after speaking on the subject, utilising the Annual MHWUN National Women Leadership Development Workshops series, for 2016 (January 12-22, 2016);
Dissemination of information for enrolment into the MOOC on WhatsApp groups of trade unionists, including alumni of the different NLC Schools and civil society activists (commenced in January).
The following are concrete steps to be taken to deepen promotion of the MOOCs:
• Letters (with MOOC flyers attached) to the Global Union Federations’ Nigeria National Coordinating Councils, starting with the Public Services International, whose NCC will meet on January 26, 2016;
• Dissemination of information on the MOOC to members of the NLC’s Central Working Committee and leaders of the major civic organisations at a meeting of the NLC’s leadership and stakeholders, that I will be attending as National Convener of the United Action for Democracy (UAD), the leading pan-Nigerian radical coalition of civil society organisations (on January 28, 2016, at Lagos);
• Dispatching letters (with MOOC flyers), specifying areas of expectations from, as well as calling for promotion of enrolment within their circles/spheres of activities to the: Federal Ministry of Labour; ILO Country Office; Friedrich Ebert Stiftung; Solidarity Center & Federation of Informal Workers’ Organisations of Nigeria (last week of January/first week of February, 2016);
• Dispatching letters to ALL the affiliates of the NLC (& TUC) with flyers, on the MOOC, while engaging the leaderships of those known to have robust education & training traditions, as hitherto identified, in further discussions for dissemination of information on the MOOC to their members (at the January 28 CWC meeting. Note: the CWC comprises the elected NLC leadership and the National Presidents & General Secretaries of all NLC affiliates);
• Utilising opportunities presented by symposiums, and meetings within and outside Nigeria, to popularise the MOOCs. Immediately identified for now are a symposium at the Obafemi Awolowo University (to commemorate the 70th birthday of a leading left academic, Prof Idowu Awopetu) on January 29 & the PSI English Speaking (East & West) Africa Sub-Regional Advisory Committee meeting at Kigali, Rwanda, on February 16-17, 2016;
• Writing to and having discussions with leading academics, particularly with Industrial Relations backgrounds, to be involved in and disseminate information on the MOOCs in their circles. Specifically, these would include Prof. Dafe Otobo (Ind. Rels & Pers. Mgt dept., Unilag), Prof Dung Pam Sha (Pol Sc. dept. of Unijos, which housed the NLC-FNV APADEP Labour Law & Labour Relations Certificate Course, where I participated as part of the training faculty, till it was rested) & Dr Umar Kari (Sociology dept., Uniabuja);
• Involvement of the Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS), including enjoining it to disseminate information on the MOOCs to participants in its ongoing programmes. A letter would be dispatched in that regard in the last week of January, 2016 (Note: Dr Edwin Anisha, a GLU Alum whom I’ve discussed with, has already been stepping down aspects of the 2015 MOOC to lawyers hoping to serve in the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, in the near future, and is enthusiastic about getting MINILS actively involved towards MOOC 2016’s success & localisation)
The In-Course Workshops
Two workshops are to be held, with the first in Lagos and the second at Abuja. The dates, which for now are tentative, whilst expecting endorsement of this by the NLC, within the next two weeks, are: March 18 and April 7, respectively.
The topics being considered for the workshops are: Combating Privatisation in Nigeria: National Mobilisation and Global Solidarity, for the Lagos workshop & Minimum Wage and Workers’ Rights, for the Abuja workshop. The 2011 National Minimum Wage Act is due for review this year and the Governors’ Forum has already indicated (with tacit support from the Presidency) that the states are keen on foisting a downward review of the $60 minimum wage on workers, while the menace of privatisation is taking up ever greater steam. Thus, both topics are of great concern to the trade union movement, currently.
With the ongoing pace of mobilisation, it is expected that each workshop would have about 70 participants, the bulk of whom would be enrolled in the MOOC. FES would be invited to both (as it has offices in both Lagos and Abuja) whilst Solidarity Center would be invited to the Abuja workshop. Officers of both would be expected to join in facilitation. MINILS would also be invited to both (albeit, as with FES and ACILS, it would be made clear in our letter to the institute that it would be responsible for the travel costs of its officers’ participation) as well as its mother ministry i.e. the ministry of labour, and academics such as Prof Otobo for the Lagos workshop & Dr Kari for the Abuja workshop.
With sincere apologies for the lateness in submitting, due partly to reasons beyond the undersigned’s control, we can assure the tutoring team as a whole of robust work towards promoting and localising the MOOC in Nigeria.
It is apt at this juncture to point out that, for practical reasons, towards ensuring optimum results, the undersigned would be coordinating in Nigeria, as part of the tutoring team, with Comrade James Eustace (GLU Alum/LPG1) of the NLC’s Education & Training. I would thus advise that he be formally included in the tutoring course, please.