Consequent upon the resumption of industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP),
The federal government, Monday initiated NEEDS assessment committees to review the challenges of all public polytechnics and colleges of education in the country, following the industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP).
The committees are expected to work within an established term of reference that include; to ascertain the state of facilities and infrastructures at the various institutions, carry out qualitative assessment of their peculiar needs and make appropriate recommendations to government within the next four months among others.
Inaugurating the committees alongside the governing boards and councils of the government parastatals under the Federal Ministry of Education in Abuja, Supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike stated in his remarks said that the government anticipates a thorough report from the committee on the detailed inventory and appraisal of all existing physical facilities, resources for teaching and learning in the polytechnics and colleges of education with particular reference to their adequacy, quality and relevance.
Wike explained that the committee would also examine the quality of the existing academic programmes offered in each of the institutions and determine their relevance while conducting audit of academic and non-academic staff in the affected institutions.
The audit, he noted, must include students and their programmes at all levels as well as the identification of institutions that are involved in approved affiliations with others or running part time programmes and number of students enrolled under such programs and affiliations.
The committees, which are headed by Mrs. Fatima Ahmed, for the polytechnics and Mrs. Hindatu Abdullahi, for the colleges of education, will equally identify the adequacy and the physical conditions of students’ accommodation in each of the institutions categorising them by ownership and capacity as against the students’ population.
Part of the grievances of the polytechnic lecturers which brought about the ASUP strike was the failure of the government to constitute the NEEDS assessment committee as it did for the various universities in the country last year.
Stressing that the government remains committed to improving the quality of education in Nigeria, Wike added that the committee members were carefully chosen to proffer proactive measures aimed at transforming the physical, academic and social phases of the various technical institutions into centres of excellence in teaching, learning, research and service to their immediate communities.
He also said government was getting worried by the frequency of industrial actions in the country’s tertiary institutions and as such was committed to seeking ways of avoiding same in spite of its limited financial resources.
Some members of governing boards that were inaugurated by Wike include former Minister of Education and former National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ahmadu Ali, as the chairman governing board of the National Universities Commission (NUC) and Mrs. Yejide Ogunde, chairman governing board of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE).
Others were Prof. Greg Iwu for Teachers Registration Council (TRCN), Emmanuel Edohoeket for Nigeria French Language Village, Tosin Awolalu, Chairman Nigerian Institute for Nigerian Language among others.