ASUP has been on strike since October 1.
Many students have lamented the ongoing nationwide strike by the Academic Staff of Polytechnics, ASUP; calling for a quick resolution of the dispute with the federal government.
ASUP has been on strike since October 1, 2013. The lecturers are demanding, among others, better working condition, infrastructure improvement, and an end to the discrimination of polytechnic graduates.
A HND 1 student from the Federal Polytechnic, Ede, Osun State, Kehinde Marthins, asked the Federal Government to take polytechnics and the education sector more seriously.
“The Federal Government has kept promising and procrastinating about certain issues concerning the polytechnics. I know that most of these things ASUP is demanding for are not just in their own interest but also to improve the standard of schools and in particular polytechnics,” he said. “I think it’s only right the Federal Government focused more on education, especially the polytechnics. I mean, it’s not fair. We have been home for almost four months now and nothing is being done by the Federal Government.”
Mr. Marthins said pending the resumption of his school, he had taken to working on his father’s farm.
“In order not to be idle, I decided to go join my father in his farm so I can raise little money to start a handwork; you know how it is in our country today.
“In fact, it’s one thing to go to school, it’s another to graduate without strike and yet another to get a job with your certificate – not to talk of us that will graduate with HND. I’d rather start planning for my future before I face the discrimination when I graduate,” he said.
A National Diploma, ND, 2 student from Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Ogun State, Fadefola Ojamomi, said the strike had rendered most students useless at home.
“We are at home doing nothing and its four months now. What most of us do now is to wake up in the morning, eat and sleep and the way the country is now, no company can incorporate us as technical students,” Mr. Ojamomi said.
He lamented what he considered the discriminatory treatment of polytechnic students and graduates.
“(Academic Staff Union of Universities) ASUU just called off its strike about a month ago and we are still waiting. If I must ask, is it that polytechnic students are not students? Is it that we are not needed in the society or is it that our certificate it doubted? If the Federal Government can actually give in to ASUU’s demand then what about ASUP? We are the bench mark for engineering framework of this nation; every company in this nation needs people like us to work with. The government has rendered us redundant,” he complained.
He however added that thanks to the strike, he had decided to try his hand at fashion.
An ND1 student from Auchi Polytechnic, Mustapha Awesome, also complained about idleness.
“All I do now is to wake up in the morning eat, watch movies and then sleep again. In fact, it has become a routine for me since the Federal Government has refused to answer (ASUP). Like the popular saying goes, an idle mind is the devil’s workshop,” Mr. Awesome said. It’s the Federal Government that will go and make laws against robbers or prostitutes or ritual killers but they forget they have refused to make provision for us go to school to be better leaders of tomorrow
He also complained about the shoddy treatment meted out to polytechnic graduates by prospective employers.
“Not as if with my HND certificate I can work in the same place where B.Sc. holders work or avoid being discriminated against. Okay, make provisions for us to go back to school and be serious, (government) has refused,” he said.