The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Bauchi state chapter have lambasted the supervising Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, for gambling and jeopardising with the future of polytechnic students in country.
ASUP’s National Vice-President, Usman Dutse, who stated this yesterday during an interview with newsmen in Bauchi, saying that the Minister is only interested in his political ambition and has not shown enough commitment towards resolving the issues that have sustained the indefinite strike.
According to him, although the struggle was in the interest of the students and to address the rot in polytechnic institutions, the lingering strike will definitely affect the quality of graduates produced in polytechnics.
He criticised the minister for giving the public a wrong impression that ASUP is strong-headed by embarking on propaganda and spreading falsehood.
Dutse lamented the high-level discrimination that exists between the polytechnic and the universities, saying, “Polytechnics in Nigeria are treated by the government as second-class institutions, whose certificates are not job-worthy. For instance, in the area of funding, TEPFUND gives polytechnics and Colleges of Education (COEs), half of federal funds while the funding received by one university is more than five polytechnics put together”.
Dutse also raised doubt concerning the setting up of a committee to address the dichotomy between Higher National Diploma (HND) and degree holders, which was announced by Wike, at a retreat in Kaduna.
He lamented that due to the refusal of the government to harmonise working conditions across tertiary institutions, the COEs, usually lose their lecturers to the universities.
ASUP resumed its strike on October 4, 2013 and the union has been negotiating with the Federal Government over the strike.