Calls on FG to Avert another Prolonged Closure of Public Polytechnics and Colleges of Education
Wednesday 15 October 2014 marks the expiration of the 3-months grace the unions in the Polytechnic and Colleges of Education subsector gave to the Federal government for the implementation of their demands failing which they would resume their suspended strikes. The unions are the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) and the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU).
Three months after, several of the fundamental demands of both unions especially as pertain to funding, working conditions, removal of disparity between HND and B.Sc certificates and migration of lower cadres on CONTISS 15 have not been met.
The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) therefore calls on the Federal government to immediately meet and begin implementation of all outstanding demands of ASUP and COEASU in order to avert resumption of industrial action.
In announcing suspension of their indefinite strikes in July 2014, both unions had expressed hope that the new Minister of Education Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau going by his antecedent as a classroom teacher would facilitate the process of resolving the outstanding issues of the strike. Three months after, this hope is being dashed. While the Ministry of Education claims to be holding several meetings over the demands of the unions, there has been no real positive outcome to show for it.
The ERC is concerned that the President Jonathan-led Federal government is so contemptuous of public education that it would risk the possibility of another prolonged closure of the Polytechnics and Colleges of Education. Evidently, this anti-poor capitalist government needs to be taught a lesson that workers, students and ordinary Nigerians would not tolerate being taken for granted.
The ERC wholeheartedly supports the struggle of ASUP and COEASU aimed at repositioning the public polytechnics and Colleges of Education. We shall also be prepared to offer solidarity to the unions at all times until the agitation for the repositioning of the public polytechnics and Colleges of Education is accomplished.
Hassan Taiwo Soweto Michael Ogundele
National Coordinator National Secretary