BAUCHI – The Authorities of the Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi, has outlined a programme of academic activities to enable the recovery of the period lost to the nine months strike by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP).
The institution’s Public Relation Officer (PRO), Malam Mohammed Wada, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Bauchi Thursday, that academic activities resumed fully July 30, and that the semester would last for only two months.
Wada explained that lectures would hold for five weeks, while examination would commence on September 8 and last for three weeks.
“We were one month into the second semester of the 2012/2013 academic session when the strike commenced in October 2013.
“What we are trying to do now, is to see how we can complete the syllabus within five weeks, so that examination would commence in the sixth week and end in the eighth week.
“This is basically to assist the students make up for a complete session that was lost to the strike, especially final year students who are eager to graduate, “he said.
The spokesman further explained that fresh students were expected to start their screening and registration on August 22, before the commencement of the examination.
He advised students that were yet to resume, to do so immediately, stressing that no excuse for absenteeism would be entertained as full academic activities had commenced.
Some of the students who spoke to NAN however expressed mixed feelings concerning the five weeks slated for lectures.
While some welcomed the idea, others argued that five weeks was too short to cover the remaining syllabus and prepare well for examination.
Miss Sarah Timothy, a student undergoing Estate Management course, said that the five weeks of lectures was enough, having being idle for nine months due to the strike.
She commended the institution’s management for coming up with the two months calendar, within which to complete the 2012/2013 academic session.
“I am so happy that academic activities have resumed after nine months of wasting away at home. “I think five weeks of lecture is good enough; after all, were at home since October last year. At least with this arrangement, I would finish my HND 1 by September, “ she said.
Timothy appealed to the academic union and the federal government, to resolve their differences to avoid further disruption of academic activities.
According to her, most students, especially ladies, are eager to graduate and get married, but consistent strikes is robbing them of the opportunity to complete their academic pursuit and settle down at a reasonable age.
Another student, Patrick Mathias, studying Accountancy, described the five weeks of lectures as a ‘crash programme’ that may affect the performance of students.
According to him, students have stayed at home for too long to remember some of the things they learnt before the commencement of the strike, as such five weeks is not enough time to recover.
“We are happy that academic activities have resumed but the plan to hold lectures for only five weeks would have a negative impact on our performance; we need at least two months of lectures before examination.
“That way, we would have time to read and revise our notes for better performance, “Mathias argued.
NAN recalls that the ASUP embarked on an indefinite strike in October 2013 over the deplorable state of government-owned polytechnics, monotechnics and colleges of technology.
The polytechnic lecturers had also demanded the removal of dichotomy between HND and University Degree holders, as well as the release of the White Paper on the needs assessment of polytechnics.
Other demands included review of the Polytechnic Act by the National Assembly, payment of CONTISS 15 arrears and improvement in condition of service and infrastructure in schools.
The federal government had met some of the demands, including the inauguration of governing councils and setting up of the needs assessment committees.
The strike was then suspended for three months on July 12, to give the new Minister of Education, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, enough time to study the demands of the lecturers. (NAN)