The newly appointed minister of education, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, has pleaded with the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), to call off its 11 month old strike, promising that he will as a matter of urgency ensure that the issues that resulted to the strike are addressed as soon as possible with the support of government and his colleagues.
The minister made the call yesterday in Abuja, as his first official assignment, when the leadership of the union, led by its national President, Comrade Azomugha Chibuzor, paid him a courtesy visit in his office.
Shekarau said missing one lesson by a student can retard the progress of a student not to talk of missing for long.
He appealed to the union to give him more time to study the issues raised, which he said he believe they are not insurmountable.
The minister commended the leadership of the union for their concern on the standard of Polytechnics in the country, saying he will ensure that standard is set at all levels as it is the only way to guarantee quality in the education sector.
The minister also assured the union that he will also address the issue of gross underpayment of the lecturers.
Earlier, the national President of the union, Comrade Asomugha Chibuzor, said the courtesy call paid on the minister was to welcome him and to intimate him with the issues at stake that resulted in the 11 months’ old strike by Polytechnics.
He said all the union asked for, is for government to make commitment on how the issues will be resolved.