ASUP urges government to pay attention to polytechnics
President of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Comrade Chibuzo Asomugha has renewed the union`s call for the government to address critical problems facing the polytechnics across the country.
Speaking to journalists Friday in Abuja, Comrade Asomugha lamented that for over one year after the union suspended its strike action, which was necessitated by failure of government to address critical problems facing the sector, majority of the issues remained unresolved.
Some of the outstanding issues, according to the ASUP boss include, review of the Polytechnic Act, needs assessment and funding of public polytechnics; dichotomy between HND and degree graduates, nonimplementation of CONTISS 15 migration for the lower cadres and 7% academic allowances.”
Others, according to him are: “lopsidedness in funds disbursement and intervention by TETFUND; non-establishment of the National Commission for Polytechnic (NCP).”
He said that the union in 2012 drawn the attention of government to very critical needs of polytechnics in the country which was repeatedly ignored and as a result led to a strike action from October 2013 to July, 2014.
“When the strike was suspended, the issues at stake were not sufficiently tackled by government. We suspended the strike because of the exigencies of the moment and in order to provide the necessary space for government to address them.
“Today, over 85% of these problems are still pending and we are compelled to bring them to the attention of the present administration driven by the hope that the government will bring to bear on these issues the same seriousness and passion for excellence it has approached national development,’’ he said.
He decried what he called ‘discriminatory cut off mark between polytechnics and universities’ by the Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB), saying the policy makes polytechnic a less desirable destination for pursuit of tertiary education.
According to him, candidates seeking to be admitted into the polytechnics should be placed on the same benchmark as their university counterparts.
The union leader said there is an urgent need to stop public perception that the polytechnic sector is inferior to the universities.
He said “It will no longer be acceptable by the union, a situation, where candidates sit for the same examination but are allocated discriminatory cut-off points into the universities, polytechnics and colleges of education respectively.”
While speaking on the Treasury Single Account (TSA), Asomugha said the union though commended government’s intention, said the educational sector should be exempted due to its peculiarities.
“The tertiary sub-sector is purely service-oriented and its revenue is specifically tied to the daily running of the institutions and for the provisions of consumables needed for teaching and learning.
The TSA,he said, though well intended will tie down the processes of provision of daily needs of the institutions and therefore hamper efficient service delivery.
“As well, if strictly applied in its present format, the full operations of tertiary education institutions will be greatly hampered with regard to service delivery, personnel mobility, and global aspirations,”he added.
President of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP),Comrade Chibuzo Asomugha