…As students protest ‘poor state of education’
From: Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Efforts to find lasting solution to the crisis rocking the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta (MAPOLY), hit the rocks, on Tuesday, as the Ogun State Government asked the institution’s Rector, Prof. Oludele Itiola to proceed on a terminal leave.
The Rector, who was asked to proceed on the leave with immediate effect, was, however, replaced by Mr. Ayodeji Salimon Tella, as the Acting Rector.
The Secretary to the State Government, Taiwo Adeoluwa, said in a statement that the decision was part of the general transition programme involving MAPOLY and the new Moshood Abiola University of Science and Technology (MAUSTECH).
Itiola, who was appointed on November 10, 2013, Daily Sun gathered, was fallout of the furore over the upgrade of the polytechnic to a university by Governor Ibikunle Amosun.
In a press release signed by the SSG, a copy obtained by our correspondent, the state government stated that the appointment of new Rector was “with immediate effect.”
Apparently to stave off the backlash, the state government, on Tuesday, summoned the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) into an emergency meeting.
The outcome of the meeting was still being awaited as at the time of filing this report.
Scores of students, under the aegis of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Ogun State axis, on Tuesday, stormed the Governor’s Office, Oke Mosan, Abeokuta, to protest what they termed “parlous state of education in Ogun”.
The protesting students, who had earlier driven around major streets in the state capital city in several buses and tagged their protest “Rescue Ogun State Education Campaign (ROSEC)”, also carried placard with inscriptions such as “Save Ogun State education “, ” Education must survive” and “MAPOLY must survive”.
Speaking on behalf of the students, the Chairman of NANS in Ogun State, Olawale Balogun, declared that the students were not happy with the state of education in the Ogun, urging the government to address the issue as a matter of urgency.
He specifically mentioned the delay in the commencement of the examination at MAPOLY, saying the action would affect the future of the students.
Balogun said the association was not happy with the cancellation of the payment of West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) and the hike in the acceptance fee of Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye.
While addressing the protesters, Governor Amosun said the state government was working hard to improve the standard of education in the State.
On MAPOLY, Amosun accused the lecturers of deliberately delaying conduct of exams and said the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP) of the school would be invited immediately to address the issue.
He, however, allayed the fear that students who are currently running various programmes at different levels in MAPOLY will be relocated to the Ogun State Polytechnic, Ipokia saying “they would be allowed to complete their programme”.
“I am not happy because this my school. What is happening today is because those that have been given the privilege to serve us are not serving well”
” Everybody here (current MAPOLY students) will finish their courses, it will take four years before MAPOLY will go into extinction, You are not going to Ipokia. If the lecturers don’t want that, we will sort them out”, Amosun stated.
On the delay of exams, the governor fumed: “They cannot hold us to ransom, they will explain to us why there is delay but it cannot be because we are creating new schools”.
“We are only admitting ND 1 students, but if you have carry-over you are going to Ipokia. We are not admitting any student to MAPOLY. We are not sacking anybody, we are not taking them automatically. Why should we carry another place problem to new one”?