The Federal Polytechnic Mubi chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has berated the Federal Government for waiting until the start of the strike declared by ASUP before calling for talks with the national leadership of the union.
Officials of the Mubi polytechnic who addressed newsmen at the Yola campus of the polytechnic on Wednesday, said the Federal Government rushed a meeting with ASUP as the strike was already beginning on Tuesday, when it should have convened the meeting long ago.
“The notice of this strike was given well ahead of time but the Federal Government took no steps to possibly avert it until yesterday when it convened a meeting, and of course, it was deadlock, ” Chairman of the Federal Polytechnic Mubi chapter of ASUP, Comrade Hussaini James said.
He said such delayed action by the Federal Government shows how unserious it had always been over issues relating to polytechnic education.
According to him, when it comes to this education sub-sector, “Government lies down on otherwise simple things: things it can do without breaking a sweat.”
Stressing that almost everything comes to a standstill in any given polytechnic without a governing council, he asked, “What does it take government to constitute governing councils? What does it take to pay minimum wage arrears?”
He emphasized that polytechnics generally suffer acute neglect: “Technical and vocational education is very important, but most aspects have been neglected and abandoned. We are like orphans. We have nothing to hold on to. If you see most of our laboratories, you will shed tears. Everything is inadequate. Most of what exist are obsolete.”
He said his chapter was fully in the strike declared by the national leadership of ASUP because, in his words, “We are suffering greatly in the polytechnic sector. This strike had to start. We hope that parents and students will understand.”