By Gabriel Dike
Academic activities in the nation’s polytechnics have been grounded following the industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP).
Lecturers in federal and state polytechnics, yesterday, began a two-week warning strike to press home the implementation of their demands.
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At Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH), academic staff stayed away from lecture halls in compliance with the National Council Executive (NEC) directive for the commencement of two weeks industrial action.
ASUP YABATECH chairman, Mr. Monday Ojo, told Daily Sun that members had to comply with NEC directive and did not report for work.
Ojo disclosed that YABATECH management was notified of the strike last Friday after the branch congress meeting.
He said during the strike, no academic activities including academic board meeting should hold in any public polytechnics.
“Academic board meeting is not supposed to hold within this period. Despite the branch notification to the college management, an academic board has been scheduled for today in violation of the strike,” he said.
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Reports from federal and state polytechnics indicated that ASUP members complied with the directive and did not attend classes even as their students waited endlessly in classrooms.
For polytechnics in session, students who were not aware of the strike waited and left after being informed of the strike.
Ojo listed ASUP demands to include non-release of N15billion revitalisation fund approved by President Muhammedu Buhari in 2022, scheme of service, non-implementation of 2010 FG/ASUP agreement, IPPIS with indiscriminate payment of staff salaries.
He said other outstanding issues include non-remittance of third party dues, discriminatory policy in appointment of rectors, 10 months minimum wage arrears and appointment of unqualified rectors in newly established federal polytechnics.
Speaking on the appointment, Ojo said that there are three policies in existence on appointment of rectors, one from the Federal Ministry of Education with it guidelines, which says applicants must have PhDs, National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) insisting applicants must have 22 years experience, while the Polytechnic Act 2019 stipulates chief lecturers should have five years experience to apply for the job.
“The three policies are conflicting and generating ripples in the polytechnic system. The FME and NBTE document is conflicting to the amended Polytechnic Act 2019. Some polytechnics have concluded the process for appointment of rectors, yet they have no rectors.”