Students of Nigerian polytechnics under the auspices of the National Association of Polytechnic Students, have called on the Federal Government and Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) to resolve the lingering dispute between them in the interest of the students.
National President of NAPS, Comrade Sunday Ogbonnaya, also condemned the policemen for tear-gassing some lecturers penultimate week during a peaceful protest over the lingering strike.
“Actually, the issue of this strike has gotten out of hand and the truth is that we the students are at the receiving end. It is said that when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers it. And that is what is happening today.
“We want to appeal to ASUP to device other means of achieving their goals instead of putting students at home,” he said.
He also called on the Federal Government to genuinely address the demands of the lecturers, saying there was no way “the country could develop without proper investment in the technological development of the nation,” he said.
The students, who have lost an academic session to the strike also condemned in totality the discrimination against polytechnics graduates in public service and urged the Federal Government to remove the obnoxious ceiling against Higher National Diploma (HND) holders.
Ogbonnaya said that the association was in full support of the move by the Higher National Diploma Holders Association of Nigeria to drag the Federal Government to court over discrimination in work places.
“Honestly, it’s a cancer. It’s what we have heard of and seen in public service. But we students don’t have any regret of being polytechnic students. We make bold to say it anywhere, anytime, because we feel and we believe that it is from polytechnic that we get good and quality practical education.”
“Instead of celebrating practical aspect of what one can do, our system celebrates certificate and that is what is killing our system today,” he said.