The Federal Government has pleaded with Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP)and the Colleges of Education Staff Union (COESU) to call off their 10- month old industrial action, saying it is committed to resolving all issues in the education sector.
The Supervising Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, stated this in Abuja over the weekend at a meeting with members of the Committee of Provosts of Colleges of Education.
Wike said government had never at any point compromised the future of education, but had been making concerted efforts through funding and good policies for the development of the sector.
According to the Minister, the challenge government is having is that the sector is being always politicized by people within the system.
He said, however, that government was on top of the situation and was willing to solve the problems in the sector.
“We are not happy that our children are not in school, we want people to know that these are problems that have accumulated over the years.
“It is therefore impossible to solve these problems overnight, so what we all need is sacrifice from all stakeholders to move the sector forward,” the Minister stated in reference to the current strike by staff of Polytechnics and Colleges of Education.
Wike noted that government had met some of the demands by the unions such as the constitution of governing councils and NEEDS Assessment Committee for the institutions. On the financial demands, he assured that government had agreed to pay, but had made it clear that it would do so in installments.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the Committee, Dr Eziem Nwanze said the current face-off between the government and unions of the institutions had become a source of serious concern to all.
Nwanze said the administrators of the institutions were often caught in the middle of the crossfire between the government and the unions.
He said they were often accused by unions of colluding with government, while the government on the other hand often assumed they were doing nothing to douse tensions.