LAGOS – The Pastor of the Christ Mission Ecclesiastical Church, Isawo, Lagos, Mr Adedoyin Adenuga, on Sunday appealed to the Federal Government to end the polytechnic lecturers’ strike.
Adenuga told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that Nigeria was being shortchanged in human capital development by the over 13-month-old strike by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP).
He said in Lagos that education was the bedrock of development which any government should not toy with.
The cleric reiterated that technical education was fundamental to the development of the country.
“I am a product of one of our polytechnics, and I can tell you that the government needs to do much more for the institutions in terms of funding and welfare packages.
“We cannot be talking of economic growth while our polytechnics remain closed.
“It is not a good sign for our national transformation if technical education that polytechnics are instituted to provide is allowed to fallow and decay,’’ he said.
Mr John Oyibo, a teacher, whose ward is a second year student of the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, said that parents had become worried over the future of their children in polytechnics.
“We did not expect that this strike will linger for so long, considering what our country suffered from the last Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike,’’ he said.
Another parent, Mrs Mary Omole, told NAN that many families might no longer want their wards to pursue polytechnic education because of the strike and the impression that polytechnic certificates were inferior.
According to Omole, many dons were products of polytechnic education before they proceeded to acquire degrees in the university.
She alleged that the way the government was handling the ASUP strike negated its earlier policy to upgrade some of them to degree-awarding institutions.
“Our children in polytechnics who are staying at home are now a source of worry and discomfort to us.
“Many of them have started to constitute nuisance at home and around,’’ she said.
ASUP had gone on strike on April 13, 2013, over alleged Federal Government’s failure to meet the union’s demands.
ASUP is demanding that the National Board for Technical Education, as the regulatory body of polytechnics, should be replaced with National Polytechnics Commission.
It also wants the Federal Government to constitute a governing council for all federal polytechnics and release the White Paper on the visitations to federal polytechnics.
ASUP demands the implementation of the Needs Assessment of Nigerian Polytechnics by the Federal Government.
It equally demands an end to alleged appointment of unqualified persons as rectors and provosts .
It asks state governments to implement the approved salary packages (CONPCASS) for its members.
The union also wants the retirement age of polytechnic lecturers to be 65 years. (NAN)