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Stats: 17,521 members, 69,855 Topics, 15,483 Comments. Date: Jun 27 2019, 5:22 am

Habeeblah Olamilekan
Kwara state polytechnic,ilorin
Graduate, Nigeria.
Polytechnic lecturers play a prominent role in the academic pursuit of students but the strike they embarked upon late last year led to the shutdown of academic activities nationwide until a deal was reached with the government a week ago.

Minister of Education Adamu Adamu said at a media briefing that most of the demands of the lecturers were addressed before they returned to work.

The arrears and shortfalls in salaries for the lecturers were said to have been tackled ‘across board’ and government had released N16.8 billion to settle outstanding arrears. “Disbursement is ongoing through the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation,” Adamu said.

The minister stated that government was committed to the revitalization of facilities in public tertiary institutions and had directed the Minister of Finance to source for additional funding to the tune of N30 billion for the purpose, with particular reference to polytechnics and colleges of education.

In the case of state-owned polytechnics, the National Board for Technical Education was directed to strengthen its regulatory mechanism, including developing a new template for accreditation to address weaknesses and ensure that proprietors of polytechnics, including state and private owners, meet their obligations to their staff, he said.

Students in Kaduna Polytechnic said as much as school can be demanding and stressful, lecturers’ strikes over a long period of time should not be allowed.

They said strike actions in public tertiary institutions were becoming the norm whenever academic staff unions disagreed with the Federal Government over one demand or the other.

Daily Trust spoke with a cross-section of students who shared their pains and pleas to the ‘two elephants’.

Abdullahi Gimba Mohammed said thousands of students were affected by the strike which lasted for over two months. He said HND 2 students who could not finish their first semester tests as a result of the strike have to do so immediately the lecturers returned to class.

He said students won’t graduate at the stipulated period due to the strike, adding that “by August or September this year, I should be rounding off my programme and getting ready for national youth service.”

According to him, the strike had changed the academic calendar and in most cases shattered the plans of both students and parents. “The polytechnic would be forced to make adjustments in its initial plan while working hours would eventually exceed approved hours, until missing classes are completed,” Muhammed observed.

He said most of his colleagues were redundant and appealed with the government to always resolve disagreement with lecturers through dialogue.

Oguche Godwin Oguche said “Strike by lecturers is quiet disheartening” because it was seen as the only legitimate means of achieving their demands.

“As a student, I totally frown at strike and I am not happy about the just ended strike action by lecturers,” he said.

A member of Student Union Government (SUG) who gave his name as Abdulmaleek also said the recent strike has affected the academic pursuit of students and there was nothing the SUG could do to persuade the lecturers to return to work.

He said the SUG had on several occasions met with the poly management on ‘how they should resolve disagreement so that academic activities won’t be put at risk.

“Though I have finished my programme, but as student representatives, we still go to school to see what is going on. Students were tired of idling and eager to return to school before the strike was suspended,” he noted.

Another student, Michael, said strikes have altered his graduation time. “I got admission in 2012, and barely two months after, lecturers went on strike. Recently, in my HND programme, again, another strike action sent us away from school. It’s truly unacceptable.”

He said it was inappropriate for students to stay at home idle and called on the authorities to find acceptable ways of resolving conflicts.

Zubairu Mohammed Kaita said strike actions by polytechnic lecturers have extended his graduation time. He said he was supposed to complete his programme in August but that with the previous strike action, it was difficult to predict the actual graduation time.

He said lectures may not start until after the presidential and governorship elections running into next month.

He said “the academic calendar has been affected; I just wish they will not down tools again; we are tired of staying at home.

“In fact, I had to engage myself in a small business to make use of my time rather than staying at home doing nothing.”

source:- www.dailytrust.com.ng/lecturers-strike-extends-graduation-date.html
Lecturers’ Strike Extends Graduation Date - Campus Gists & Events

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