The Senior Staff Union of Colleges of Education (SSUCOEN) and the Colleages ofz Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) have threatened industrial actions over the poor condition and neglect of Nigerian colleges of education (COE) as well of lack of payment of the salaries its members.
The President of SSUCOEN, Comrade Danladi Ali Msheliza, speaking to journalists in Abuja on Thursday said that the government’s lackadaisical attitude towards the needs of COEs and its neglect of the teacher education sector will lead to severe industrial actions.
Comrade Danladi said: “Our challenges are generally the government’s neglect towards teacher education in Nigeria and but in specific terms we have been having challenges associated with IPPIS, lack of funding of our sub-sector and the non composition of governing councils in our colleges.
“There is also the issue of demonstration schools which are a requirement for graduating our NCE students. Unfortunately government are saying we should use private schools but we cannot use private schools for accreditation. As a speak to you, our members in accreditation schools are left in the dark.
“We have engaged the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Labour as well as the accountant general of the federation severally on these issues and our worry is their attitudes towards responding to these challenges. And we want to make it clear that we are not going to guarantee industrial peace when schools are resumed for academic activities. We also are clamoring to the government to provide safety measures in the schools.”
Similarly, the President of COEASU, Comrade Nuhu Ogirimi, in a press conference in Abuja, announced that the union has ceased all its community services in all its institutions across the country as the beginning of what will end in a full scale strike if the Federal Government does not fulfill its demands.
“The persistent wanton neglect of COEs is evident in the non-response to the series of memo raised by the Union reminding FGN of her responsibilities. While some of the issues are administrative, which the regulatory agency, the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) and the
Colleges’ Management are expected to handie, others border on critical needs of the COEs for survival as a teacher-education industry. Yet, the government chose to ignore our plea,” he said.
Comrade Ogirimi further stressed that letters to the Minister of Labour and Employment, the Minister of Education and even to President Muhammadu Buhari have all not received responses. He said that the Federal Government’s consistent under-funding of the sector shows that it is irresponsible and encourages irresponsibility towards funding obligations.
“The industrial actions we will be taking will not start with a strike action but as time goes on, it could lead to a strike action. The first industrial action we have taken is the suspension of our services in colleges effective from today and it will cut across the six geopolitical zones,” he said.