With great pain and dismay I want to draw the attention of the Federal Ministry of Education and other relevant authorities to the internal war raging in Kaduna Polytechnic chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics and the management of the institution. If not tackled in a timely and proper way, it may blow out of proportion.
Kadpoly, as it is fondly called, is becoming a shadow of itself. For several decades, the institution was one of the leading polytechnics in West Africa, known for its outstanding educational delivery, especially in the area of producing manpower with technical knowhow that has impacted immensely in the technological sector of the nation’s growth. But in recent times the image of the polytechnic has been going down gradually due to bad management.
A good number of the officials of the institution have been accused of misappropriation of funds. The funding gaps caused by this menace had often resulted industrial action by the local chapter of ASUP at the institution.
Just recently in the middle of the final semester examination, when the school was trying to meet up with the academic calendar disrupted over time by previous strikes, the union once again embarked on yet another strike over the recurring and lingering issue of unpaid allowances, for which the institution had received subvention from the Federal Government but the management refused to disburse the money to the lecturers. The other major issue is the infrastructural decay all over the institution. These issues have led to incessant strikes all through the tenure of the present and past rectors of the institution. The union has vowed to stand on its grounds until all dues meant for them are fully paid.
The primary and major effect of the frequent strikes is that students have been forced to spend extra years in Kadpoly. Four year programmes have in some instances extended to eight years. The average duration is about five years. Many students have been destabilized by the incessant strikes, and faced with an uncertain future.
I sincerely urge the Federal Government to come to the aid of this great institution and ease the plight of students who have always been at the receiving end of the internal war bedeviling the reputation of the polytechnic. ]The Federal Ministry of Education should as a matter of urgency set up a Special Intervention Committee just a former Minister of Education, Prof Rukiya Rufia, did to investigate all financial issues and allegations of misappropriation of funds made against top management of the institution. The government should ensure that funds released for payment of allowances to lecturers are disbursed. Moreover, the government should also expedite action on the prosecution of past and present officials found culpable in the misappropriation of funds belonging to the institution. They should be made to face the full wrath of the law.
► Maryann Nmeregini wrote from Abuja