Polytechnic lecturers resolve to continue strike
Striking lecturers in federal polytechnics yesterday staged a protest rally in Lagos, saying they would not end their six monthold strike until the federal government meets their demands.
The rally which was led by the ASUP chairman Aromolaran Adeyemi started from the Yaba College of Technology at about 9:00am after a heavy rainfall.
Addressing journalists, Adeyemi said the lecturers had resolved not to resume academic activities until the government meets all agreements reached with the body which includes establishing a commission for polytechnics as the National Universities Commission (NUC) in the case of universities.
Adeyemi said it is unfortunate that of all the 13 demands, only two;-the constitution of governing councils for polytechnics and assessment of polytechnics’ needs were addressed by government.
But Supervising Minister for Education Chief Nyesom Wike said in Bauchi Monday that the strike would have been over had the lecturers accepted the federal government’s offer of payment of N40 billion emolument in two instalments.
“In 2009, the federal government reached a 13 point agreement with lecturers but government has failed to meet the demands. And major among these demands is the need to set up a commission for the polytechnics because universities already have a commission, colleges of education have, nomadic education also has, so we are demanding the establishment of a commission for Nigerian polytechnics as well,” Adeyemi said.
According to him, the federal government must also ensure that the age-long disparity between polytechnic and university graduates is removed. He added that issues relating to the review of the Polytechnic Act, proper funding of the polytechnics and payment of CONTISS 15 to lower cadre officers in polytechnics are also included.
“It is unfortunate that the president has been paying lip service to polytechnic education, forgetting the fact that a good polytechnic education is the bedrock of the transformation agenda government is championing. This is the reason we are shouting to the world that polytechnic education must be rescued,” Adeyemi said.