By Gabriel Chy Alonta
The aggrieved lecturers said the action was triggered by government’s failure to address key issues facing Colleges of Education system and the nation’s education sector in general, Orient Education has learnt.
The coordinator, COEASU, South East zone, Dr. Tobechukwu Nwamaradi, told newsmen that the strike was total, urging all members of the union to stay at home until the government addressed their demands.
He explained that education has taken a deplorable plunge under the watch of the present administration, noting that the recourse to strike by her members was necessary after the government reneged on her promises to the union.
According to him, the federal government had failed to implement the 2014 NEEDS Assessment Report on the 70 public Colleges of Education despite the implementation of a similar report of 2015 for another tertiary institution patronised by the children and wards of the elites.
Nwamaradi said all the lingering issues that prompted the 2015 strike had not been addressed by the present government.
He expressed disappointment that while similar challenges besetting other tertiary institutions were being addressed by the same government, those of the Colleges of Education were left in perpetual abeyance.
He noted that the FG’s disposition towards the public Colleges of Education strongly confirms the perception of the union that the present administration does not care for the less privileged whose children constitute the majority of students in such colleges.
“History has equally shown that excess marginalisation almost always produces a violent reaction. Enough is enough of exploitative work. If this is the price we must pay to resuscitate the colleges of education system and reposition it for its onerous assignment, then let it be. We stand in solidarity for total and indefinite strike until FG accedes to our demands”, he stated.
The union further identified seven critical areas to the development of the colleges of education system in Nigeria, and urged the FG to implement without further delay, the 2014 Needs Assessment Report to reposition the nation’s colleges of education.
Other demands by the union include the payment of Peculiar Academic Allowances since 2010, as well as addressing the discriminatory/non-implementation of CONTISS 15 and the consequential movement of lower cadre.
The lecturers also urged the FG to address urgently the emerging unjustifiable discrimination against Colleges of Education by some education parastatals, and undue bottle-necks and lack of commitment in reviewing the laws establishing Colleges of Education and the National Commission of Colleges of Education (NCCE).
They also tasked the government to urgently revisit the non-approval and implementation of autonomous degree awarding status for certified CsOE, as well as the policy that out-sourced some services, thereby engendering porous campus security and unhealthy environment in the Colleges of Education.