ASUP Strike And Its Implication On Polytechnic Education
Incessant strikes especially within the educational sector are one of the many travesties of social order in Nigeria.
Education is key to human development and growth of the society.
When there is a disruption or break down in the normal course of academic calendar in tertiary institutions, the effect on societal goals and expectations can better be imagined than experienced.
It would be recalled that for nine solid months members of the academic staff union of universities, ASUU, were on total strike to press home their demand for more funding to university education and better conditions of service.
The long drawn strike that unduly kept away students from their academic pursuit almost a year and with its attendant negative consequences was recently suspended by ASUU.
Now, the polytechnic community owned by the governments through the tax payers money is in the eye of the storm as the centre can no longer hold and things seem to have fallen apart.
It is a little over a month that members of the academic staff union of polytechnic, ASUP, have been on strike to press home their demand bothering on adequate funding and improved condition of service.
A recent meeting by relevant authorities to resolve the lingering crisis and allow normalcy to return to the polytechnic campuses was deadlocked.
Sadly, the elected representatives of the people in the national assembly have not taken any decisive position on the matter.
Philosophers have said it times without number that an idle mind is the devils workshop.
In this time of insecurity that is being witnessed inform of banditry, kidnapping, rape and cultism, keeping the students idle at home is injurious to the health of the nation in the fight against unrest and social upheavals.
The federal government must quickly move to resolve the on –going ASUP strike amicably.
President Muhammadu Buhari need to display the zeal to bring the strike to an end and not wait until ASUP grievances drag for long like that of ASUU.
As the factory for manufacturing technical manpower for the nation’s industrial growth, the polytechnics must be rescued from total collapse through adequate funding and provision of enabling environment for learning to thrive.
The national assembly should immediately direct the hierarchy of the federal ministry of education to deepen dialogue with the leadership of ASUP to resolve the crisis once and for all.
Also, the minister of labour and productivity, Dr Chris Ngige must devise a means of proactive engagement with ASUP leadership rather than making provocative utterances and issuing threats which can be counter-productive to the efforts being made to end the strike.
All relevant stakeholders in the education sector should also prevail on the federal government to meaningfully engage ASUP without further delay so that the students can go back to school.