COEASU wants Jonathan to take charge of education sector crises
President Goodluck Jonathan should take and manage crises in critical sectors like education to evade an ominous gloom in the teacher educator sector, the College of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) has said.
A press statement jointly signed by COEASU President Emma Asagha and Secretary General Nuhu Ogrima said the continuous neglect of the college of education sector will “culminate in regrettable and near irreparable circumstances if not addressed.”
The union accused the supervising Minister of Education Nyesom Wike of trying to blackmail it out of its strike action.
The union, which has been on strike since the 18th of December, 2013, accused Wike of insensitivity, accusing him of making comments that are “highly unbecoming and appalling… he never mentions colleges of education in his briefs. Wike has never offered anything to COEASU so let him stop the lies and deal with the issues.”
The union’s grouses include the “non accreditation of programmes and its implications on the entire system,” as well as what it termed the corruption of the security architecture of the colleges through outsourcing to settle political allies at the detriment of staff and government’s huge investment.
COEASU is also protesting the non-payments of pension/ death benefits to families of deceased workers due to “corrupt modes of appointments of the underwriters against the provisions of the 2004 Pension Act,” as well as the non-release of an April, 2012 Visitation White Paper on the need of the colleges.
The union, which is seeking the expansion of access to specialised teacher education degree spaces by granting COEs the autonomy to award degrees not in affiliation, saying most post NCE students spend years in frustration seeking admission to non-existing spaces in Nigerian universities.
COEASU also wants a comprehensive implementation of migration for lower cadre which had been “discriminatorily implemented in the other systems since July, 2013,” while also seeking the standardization of sabbatical leave programmes for qualified academics in the colleges.
It wants an urgent review of the laws establishing the colleges and National Commission for Colleges of Education to reflect contemporary realities in the interest of students and the staff as well as statutory budgetary allocations for the payment of Peculiar Academic Allowances (PAA), amongst other demands.