ASUP had declared an indefinite strike last Tuesday over alleged poor funding and neglect of the institutions.
However, the union has kicked against the appointment of principal officers for the six new federal polytechnics.
When THISDAY sought for an update on the ongoing strike, the President of ASUP, Mr. Anderson Ezeibe, said the union had not been invited for negotiations by the federal government.
He said since the last meeting they held on Tuesday with the Federal Ministry of Education, which yielded no positive outcome, the union had not been invited for talks again.
“You know we held a meeting with the Federal Ministry of Education last Tuesday but since that time, all we have been hearing was that there will be meeting but we are yet to get an invitation,” he added.
Also, it was gathered from a source at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment that the ministry can only wade into the matter if the Ministry of Education refers the issue to it for conciliation.
However, the dispute has deepened as ASUP has kicked against the appointments of rectors and other principal officers for the six new federal polytechnics, saying it did not meet the required standards.
In a statement by Ezeibe, the union said: “Our union’s attention has been drawn to a recent press statement from the Federal Ministry of Education announcing the appointment of rectors and other principal officers for the six new federal polytechnics situated in Enugu, Oyo, Cross River, Plateau, Borno and Benue states.”
The union stated that the appointments violated provisions of the Federal Polytechnics (Amendment) Act, 2019, adding that five out of the six new rectors were not qualified for the position having fallen short of the requirements captured in Section 8, 2 (a) (i )of the Act.
Ezeibe said the profiles of the appointees showed that five out of the six persons did not fit into the requirements of the law for the appointment of rectors in federal polytechnics.
According to him, these beneficiaries include the appointees for federal polytechnics Ohodo (Enugu), Ugep (Cross River), Shendam (Plateau), Monguno (Borno), and Wannune (Benue) .
“It is regrettable that the government, through officials of the Federal Ministry of Education has become principal violators of the laws governing the operations of Nigerian polytechnics.
“This latest assault is despite the contents of a recent ruling of the National Industrial Court in Abuja where the provisions of the Federal Polytechnics (Amendment) Act, 2019 was affirmed by the court and the Federal Ministry of Education and her officials undertaking to observe the provisions in totality.
“Despite the contents of the judgment of the court in NICN/ABJ/12/2020 involving our union and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Minister for Education and five others in a similar issue, our union had drawn the attention of the Federal Ministry of Education on the need to adhere to the provisions of the law in this appointment process more than a month before this recent naked display of impunity,” he added.
Ezeibe said part of the union’s current engagement with the government was to reverse the trend of administering polytechnics outside extant laws and regulations.
NYSC Trust Fund Bill Passes 2nd Reading
A bill sponsored by Hon. Akinfolarin Mayowa for an act to establish a trust fund for National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has passed the second reading stage in the House of Representatives.
Mayowa, the representative of Ileoluji-Okeigbo/Odigbo federal constituency, on Thursday at the plenary, stated that the bill seeks to provide a sustainable source of funds for Corp members.
The National Youth Service Corps Trust Fund (NYSCTF) aims at equipping corps members with skills acquisition, training and empowerment. Training and retraining of NYSC staff is inclusive
The bill sponsor mentioned that the funds would also be used for the development of NYSC camps and maintenance of its facilities.
He added that it would have a long-lasting impact on job creation and the empowerment of youths.
Hon. Mayowa stated that the NYSCTF Bill would further complement the purpose of the scheme and enhance entrepreneurship among corps members.
He said, “in the early years of the establishment of NYSC, the scheme was able to carry out its objectives under the National Youth Service Corps Act.
“The management of the scheme had not only trained, equipped and empowered corps members enrolled under the scheme, but had instilled patriotism and the spirit of nationalism in corps members.
“My colleagues and I have sincerely considered the significant role this NYSCTF Bill will play if passed by this honourable house and assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Corps members and supporting staff will be trained and introduced to various skills which will make them establish a self-sustained business after the mandatory service year.”
Calling for its reading to continue and moved to the relevant committee of the house for further legislative actions, Mayowa pointed that the bill will reduce the adverse effect of COVID-19 on the nation’s economy and create employment opportunities for the youths.
“The call had become imperative in view of the effort currently being made by the government to diversify the economy, and considering the passion and willingness of the house in reducing poverty,” he said
In turn, the Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, referred the bill to the relevant committees of the house for further legislative actions following the consent of the house.
Nigeria Launches e-Learning Platform to Combat Education Challenges
The Federal Government of Nigeria has commenced plans to improve the educational standard in the country, which will promote open education and provide certified access to high quality of education across all levels. In view of this, the Federal Government has decided to launch a new e-learning programme to aid the plan.
The Nigerian Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu launched the new e-learning platform in Abuja, saying that it would help the country in combating the problem of children who are currently out of school, and also help to bolster the delivery of education for all people through the use of technology.
Since the initial stage of the pandemic, schools across primary, secondary and tertiary levels have started to make use of online methods to deliver their lessons. This has seen platforms like Zoom, WhatsApp, Telegram, Google Classroom, Google Meet, etc. take the stage as the leading learning platforms.
The new e-learning platform will not be making use of an app, but will instead be done through the web. He said that about two million people will be able to use the platform at the same time. In terms of execution, Adamu – who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Sonny Echono – said that those who have direct access to the internet will obviously be able to access all the materials provided. However, these learning materials will also be made available on other channels like radio and television, among others. He said that this is to consider potential learners living in rural areas.
According to Adamu, the Federal Government is not turning a blind eye to the growing need for an improvement in technologies and innovation, in order to improve digital skills and create new job opportunities for youths in this increasingly digitalised world.
Adamu referred to the COVID-19 pandemic and cited how the educational sector had to undergo a revamp concerning teaching and learning methods, calling it a new normal. This made the Federal Government develop a new COVID-19 education strategy.
Adamu stated that the country turned to the internet and technology so that those who would benefit from it would be able to access the learning materials at any place, and at any time.
Atlantic Hall Alumni Holds Association First Induction and Hand Over Ceremony
The Atlantic Hall Alumni association held its first-ever induction and handover ceremony on the 6th of November 2021. The Saturday night event was hosted in the Seattle Residences and Spa Victoria Island with plenty of champagne and hors d’oeuvres for all who attended at the Seattle Residences and Spa Victoria Island.
The evening started with the farewell speech of the outgoing president and first-ever head boy of Atlantic Hall Ayomide Smith. He gave accounts of his stewardship, reeling out various projects executed with the support of his excos. This was followed by a speech from Elizabeth Okogun who spoke about the journey of the Alumni association from its inception to the present day.
Part of the highlights of the evening’s activities was the presentation of awards to outstanding Alumni members and members of the outgoing excos in recognition of their dedication towards the growth of the Atlantic Hall Alumni association. Shortly afterwards, the President of the Atlantic Hall Alumni Association Terfa Tilley- Gyado gave his speech where he charged members of the Atlantic Hall alumni to invest in their relationships, both professional and personal which he hopes will turn the association into a place where members can share ideas, discuss opportunities, and create a network to manifest their full potentials.
The Oath taking and induction of new exco members and appointees was conducted by Barrister Isioma Idigbe-Agba. The new inductees took an oath to serve the association and to uphold the charter of the Atlantic Hall Alumni Association and the values of Atlantic Hall through excellence and integrity.
The induction and handover ceremony created a wonderful environment for all the alumni and an opportunity to engage in quality networking in a convivial atmosphere where old school shared fond memories of their days in Atlantic Hall.
The Atlantic Hall Alumni is a constellation of stars wonderfully spread across Nigeria and the world. It is a community of like-minded individuals ready to contribute their quota to the development of Nigeria.
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