By: Wisdom Acka
The National Association of Nigeria Colleges of Education Students (NANCES) has issued a 14-Day ultimatum to the Federal Government to resolve with striking Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union( COEASU) on their demands or risk another nationwide mass protest.
The aggrieved students, who issued this ultimatum yesterday, in Abuja, bemoaned that Colleges of Education lecturers have been on a warning strike since 14th June, 2022 for Government to heed to their demands.
The students regretted that the perpetual industrial actions by the College of Education Academic Staff Union was unfortunately the only tool to press home demands, saying it as an organized crime against students’ career and educational progress.
National President, NANCES, Comrade Aminu Habibu, noted that the lingering COEASU strike has been destructing students’ quest and thirst for knowledge, hence the decision to embark on a mass protest tagged #BringUsbacktoourcampuses* with economy shutdown as the major target.
Habibu declared that the government has failed to prioritize the Colleges of education sector, hence the failure to deploy necessary fund for complete over hauling of colleges of education sector and total revitalization of teachers education in Nigeria, through a meaningful budgetary allocation to the sector in line with the importance of teachers education to the development of Nigeria as a nation.
According to him, “NANCES leadership has emphatically mourn and sorrowfully shared the grievance with our students who are idle doing nothing loosing time,material and resources while both Government and COEASU lose nothing at the end of every strike actions, both salaries, promotions and other remuneration among others.
“But, students are the greatest losers as their careers are delayed, years stay on Campus extended, House Rent/Hostel Fee Incurred, Federal/State Job age requirement exceeded among other negative effects and impacts on general life plan of our innocent Nigerian colleges of education students”, he bemoaned.
His words: “Our Colleges of Education are currently under key and lock because of the ongoing strike by our lecturers as most of our colleges are under developed, and need to be revitalised, so as to promote and enhance the production of quality and qualified teachers for the consumption of our basic and secondary education.”
According to him, “And for that, we demand that federal government should declare state of emergency on our Colleges and pump more funds to get standard building that will be conducive for teaching and learning.”
“The COEASU are the most considerate lecturers in Nigeria Tertiary institutions because they are always asking and pleading many times on account of their demand before they announce any strike as such, we want to categorically state it clear that the students are tired of this continuous strike and we don’t want to be pushed to the wall,” he said.
The students further called on the Federal Government to immediately implement the 50,000 naira bursary allocation approved by the current Government as an appreciation and encouragement for all teachers in making and N70,000 for education students.
They equally called for the compulsory engagement of the NCE students to into Federal Teachers Scheme (FTS) as they are the renowned, trained and qualified teachers for basic and secondary education.
It was gathered that the striking lecturers’ demands are review of Federal College of Education Act 1986 and 1993; rejection of IPPIS, implementation of 2010 Federal Government and COEASU agreement; and release of N15 billion revitalization fund among many others.