ASUP demands immediate reconstitution of governing councils of polytechnics

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By Michael Oche

Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has urged the federal government to immediately reconstitute all dissolved governing councils of polytechnics in accordance with extant rules.

The Union President, comrade Anderson Ezeibe while addressing journalists on Tuesday in Abuja said Federal Polytechnics in the country have been operating without the full complement of their governance structures since June, 2023

Ezeibe said the government’s decision to dissolve the governing councils of all federal polytechnics in the country despite the certainty of tenure of three years guaranteed by the Federal Polytechnics Act (2019 Amendment) has left the institutions in deficit of the required governance structures for their smooth operations.

He said, “Some of these polytechnics are actually in confused states as processes for the appointment of principal officers have been disrupted, staff appraisal processes cannot be concluded, staff disciplinary processes cannot be concluded and other statutory duties of the governing councils cannot be executed.”

Speaking on other issues bedeviling the sector, he said the Nigerian Polytechnic System remains the only arm of tertiary education in the country operating without a dedicated commission.

According to him, “Polytechnics in Nigeria remain in the irregular mix of other sub tertiary level education institutions totaling over six hundred with the adverse effect of inadequate regulation for the polytechnics. It is in this light that we welcome the decision of the government to include the establishment of a National Commission for Polytechnics in the Roadmap for the Education Sector 2024 – 2027 in the hope that such shall see the light of the day.”

The ASUP president also called for the faithful implementation of the approved roadmap for the education sector particularly as it affects the establishment of a national commission for polytechnics and granting of degree awarding status for polytechnics

This is the surest way to end the persistent HND/Degree dichotomy which has defied every intervention thus far. We are equally of the belief that this will mark an upturn in the fortunes of polytechnics in the country currently facing an existential threat due to dwindling students’ enrollment and qualified manpower flight away from the system.

On budgeting, he called for the upward review of the budgetary provisions for education in the 2024 appropriation bill before the National Assembly to reflect actual needs for the sector

He said, “Funding of existing polytechnics has remained a huge issue. The appropriation bill which represents minimally seventy five percent of funds for polytechnics has continued to be inadequate. Budgets for personnel, overhead and capital have been insufficient consistently over the years with institutions exhausting their personnel allocations each year prematurely.”