With the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) now over seven months old. Supervising minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, will meet the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) on Tuesday in order to end their months-long strike.
According to an e-mail statement sent by the Special Assistant to the minister of Media, Simon Nwakaudu, the meeting is to resolve the last contending issue in the industrial dispute between the Polytechnic teachers and the Federal Government.
According to the statement “The Minister will, after the meeting, brief leaders of the National Association of Polytechnic Students on efforts of the Federal Government to improve Polytechnic education in the country.
“The meeting is aimed at reaching agreement on the last issue yet to be resolved from the list of demands placed by ASUP before the Federal Government.
“Last Friday, officials of the Federal Ministry of Education, briefed Polytechnic students on efforts of the Federal Ministry of Education and Federal Ministry of Labour to agree on the only outstanding issue of release of White Paper.”
The statement recalled that the “Minister had a meeting with ASUP leadership in October 2013 after the commencement of the strike, with both parties reaching key decisions” adding that “Since then, both the Minister of Education and the Minister of Labour have met with officials of ASUP at different points, briefing themon the key steps taken for the White Paper to be released.
“It has been on the premise of these negotiations that the Federal Government declared that ASUP leadership should call off the on-going strike and allow for the complete resolution of the outstanding issue of contention.
“For now, the Federal Government has resolved all other major demands of ASUP, including the setting up of Needs Assessment Committee to establish areas of infrastructural interventions in the Polytechnics and the constitution of Governing Councils for Polytechnics that hitherto had none.
“More than any other time in the recent history of the nation, the Jonathan administration has invested meaningfully in the revival of infrastructure in Federal and State Polytechnics.
“Under the High Impact Development Scheme through TETFUND, the administration invested N12billion to improve facilities in 12 selected Polytechnics. Each of the Universities got N1billion each.
“The administration also released a grant of N15billion to Federal and State Polytechnics for the provisions of state-of-the-art laboratories, refurbishing of old laboratories and the training of staff on the handling of newly acquired equipment.
The strike was to press home a 12-point demand, but the four major ones include: (1) that government should inject N20.8billion, for a start, into polytechnic education; (2) bridge the gap between the university graduates and those from the polytechnics; (3) constitute a need assessment committee for polytechnic education and (4) address the poor state of state-owned polytechnics
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