The Supervising Minister of Education, Mr Nyesom Wike, says the government and the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP have made progress towards resolving the over eight months strike.
Addressing reporters in Abuja on Friday, Mr Wike asked polytechnic students to remain optimistic, as talks between the Federal Government and Vice-Chancellors to end the strike.
He however criticised some heads of public institutions over the internal appointments of vice-chancellors, rectors and provosts in tertiary institutions which might impede on the growth of the sector in future.
Wike stated this while meeting with Heads of Federal Tertiary Institutions to discuss challenges facing Public higher institutions in Nigeria.
On the ongoing discussion on dichotomy between polytechnics and universities, he said the strife among polytechnics lecturers is not creating enabling environment to build capacity for adequate teaching in polytechnics.
On dichotomy between universities and polytechnics in Nigeria, he said “Internal strife among lecturers in polytechnics is making it difficult for the federal government to solve the problem of dichotomy between universities and polytechnics.
“The same people who are calling for dichotomy don’t want Professors in their schools, yet you want to award degrees like universities and don’t want to have professors amongst you.
“It is imperative for us all to allow efficiency to rule. We might not be 100% right but we must do the right things all the time”.
As the Chairman of Governing councils colleges of Education, Emmanuel Nosike, said the on-going strikes by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP and Colleges of Education, COEASU will in few days be called off.
It has been nine ‘long’ months for polytechnic students and about a year for students in colleges of education who have waited anxiously for schools to re-open, pending the resolution of outstanding issues with their academic union.
ASUP had gone on a warning strike in April 2013 to demand a better salary scale from the Federal Government, among other pressing issues.
The government has apparently taken its time to resolve the lingering issues at the heart of the strike.
Above all that took prominence at the broad-based meeting is the issue of security.
The Federal Government has taken steps to straighten out major grey areas and Nigerians would now be expecting to see a paradigm shift in the nation’s tertiary institutions to aid development.
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