Members of the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) have begun an indefinite strike over what an official said were efforts to “salvage the institutions from total collapse.”

The strike was called on Monday, leading to the suspension of academic activities at Federal Colleges of Education and other similar colleges around the country.

The lecturers are concerned over the Federal Government’s Integrated Personnel Payment System (IPPS) as well as on the decaying infrastructure in the colleges.

The strike came soon after university lecturers ended a long-drawn industrial action that lasted nearly six months.

An official of COAESU, who does not want to be named because he was not authorised to speak, said the union went on strike because it appeared this was the “only language that the Federal Government understands.”

“Our colleges are rotting away; no befitting libraries, hostels, lecture halls and other structures. The books in our libraries today are outdated,” he said.

The official said colleges of education needed adequate funds for transformation to enable them provide the expected services to the nation.

“Another vital issue which COEASU wants government to address is the implementation of migration on its junior staff to the IPPS system…. COEASU wants government to stop the implementation of IPPS on the colleges of education because it will disrupt its progress,” he said.

He said “colleges of education as teacher-training institutions have unique features different from that of universities. We have teacher training and teaching practice programmes which are basic instruments for producing qualitative teachers but government is not allocating funds for these programmes.”

The official added that colleges of education are sponsoring their products for such programmes out of their salary allocations, and that if the IPPS was implemented these programmes would automatically be wiped out from the system.

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