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House To Intervene In ASUP, COEASU Strike

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BEVERLY HILLS, CA, April 30, (THEWILL) â€' Following the protest carried out by members of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP) and Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), the House of Representatives Wednesday mandated its Committee on Education to intervene in the 10-month old strike embarked upon by the lecturers.

The decision was arrived at after a motion on matters of urgent national importance moved by Hon. Raphael Nnanna Igbokwe (PDP, Imo) was approved at the plenary.

Leading debate on the motion, the lawmaker expressed concern that the continuous work-to-rule action by the teachers causing idleness on the part of the students was inimical to their personal and educational development.

'It is worrisome that the Polytechnics and Colleges of Education have been shut down for 10 months, moreso that ASUP and COEASU began their agitation even before the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) embarked on their strike. And I remember that a platform was created by this House for its resolution, but surprisingly, nothing has been done about their agitations,' he lamented. He maintained that 'the continuous closure of these institutions is inimical to the wellbeing of our society.'

Deputy chairman of the House Committee on Education, Hon. Rose Okoh (PDP, Cross River), who was called by the deputy speaker to brief the House on the findings of the committee, disclosed that it was unfortunate that the strike had not been given the attention it deserves.

She noted that for a long while, no meeting has been held between the striking unions and the Federal Government delegation, thereby prolonging the early resolution of the disagreement.

According to her, issues surrounding the agitation have been haphazardly handled. 'Agreements reached between the Federal Government and the Unions were not implemented even when the Unions agreed to make concession on their demands and which they did. The government has allowed the crisis to linger,' she disclosed.

Consequently, the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, who presided over the plenary ruled that the Education Committee should step into the matter and make appropriate recommendations to the House leadership on the how to resolve the impasse once and for all.