Aggrieved members of the Colleges of Education Academic Union (COEASU) have proceeded on a one-week industrial action, accusing the Federal Government of neglect.
COEASU Chairman, Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education Owerri Comr. Bede Blaise Onwuagboke told journalists on Monday that the decision was taken after an emergency National Executive Council meeting held by the Union at their headquarters in Abuja.
“ Should government refuse to act as demanded, the Union shall be left with no option but to proceed on full scale nationwide industrial action as would be conveyed to government at the appropriate time,” COEASU said in a statement.
The Union accused government of not addressing issues of grave concern pertaining to the education sector with deserving expediency.
“NEC specifically observes with dismay, the time lag before the Union was given attention to discuss the issues in contention. NEC believes that the intricate nature of the issues should have compelled government to take pragmatic steps further than the seemingly innocuous understanding the NOC has reached with the delegation,” COEASU said.
What the NEC meeting deliberated on, included: the refusal of the Federal Government to implement, in totality, the 2010 FG-Union agreement, delay in releasing the report on the visitation panels of 2011 as well as conducting the Needs Assessment in the Colleges of Education, the non harmonization of the conditions of service of the academic staff of tertiary institutions to stem brain drain and ‘attempt to strangle the colleges by the illegal imposition of the policy of – Integrated Personnel Payment System (IPPIS)’.
At a previous meeting held at Okene, the Expanded National Executive Council (ENEC) resolved that the forceful introduction of the IPPIS was retrogressive and infringed on the laws establishing colleges of Education.
The 11-point communiqué condemned, among other things, the out-sourcing of security and ancillary staff, especially cleaners, gardeners and porters, frowns at the discriminatory conditions of service in the education sector and the delay in releasing the White paper of the presidential visitation of the federal colleges of education.
The Communiqué also recommended the review of the laws establishing colleges of education and also that the federal government should declare a state of emergency in the basic education subsector in areas of infrastructure, remuneration, learning resources, graduate and post graduate scholarships for primary and secondary school teachers, to save education from total collapse.