EDUCATION

Federal College of Education lecturers protest 6 years unpaid allowances

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LECTURERS of the Federal College of Education ( Technical), Umunze, Anambra State, yesterday protested over six years unpaid allowances.
They also alleged that despite their predicament, authorities of the the institution were intimidating and threatening them.

But the  Provost of the College, Dr Tessy Okoli, however, said the lecturers were only trying to cause panic and incite students, warning the students not to play into their hands.

She also warned that students who absented themselves from school during the examination period would have themselves to blame.

The chairman of institution’s chapter of the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), Dr Churchill Okonkwo had, a week ago declared a three-week warning strike against the management of the college and asked parents to withdraw their children and wards from the college in their own interests.

While warning the provost and management to stop intimidating them  and feeding the public with falsehood, Okonkwo said COEASU as a union, has been making sacrifices and  carrying on with their tasks in the College despite the neglect of their welfare packages by the management who he accused of applying divide and rule antics, instead of addressing the real issues.

He said: “The management didn’t care that we are owed the TETFUND intervention since 2016, neither were they sympathetic to the fact that Teaching Practice( TP) mobilisation hadn’t been paid since 2018.  The same nonchalance has also attended our demands for degree honorarium.

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“It means that our meagre salaries are tasked to pay for our transportation to supervise teaching practice exercise since 2016, whereas the management staff always collect their DTA everytime they travel or leave the college environment for official duties.

“They always think that justice can be pushed aside with injustice and this is quite unfair.

“Our College has been made a laughing stock to other Colleges in terms of our staff welfare, environment and governance. We’re the dirtiest and most unkempt College in Nigeria with overgrown grasses everywhere. There is no clean sanitary facilities, resulting in lecturers and students mostly relieving themselves in the highly overgrown grasses.

“Before this new management, lecturers were assigned pens, files and markers, but now we spend our money to buy these things. Before now, College generators power the entire school and departments, but now every school and department must buy their generator and also fuel it to make outputs.

“Also before now, accreditations were fully sponsored by the College but during last accreditation exercise, HODs and Deans were given paltry sums to run around for accreditation and most of them are still being owed what they spent. This is something that other sister Colleges do with ease and we ask; is our College created differently from other Colleges in Nigeria?:

“We have therefore resolved that any staff participating in any examination will be penalized the union. COEASU executive will also intensify  monitoring exercises to ensure total compliance and any staff that is harassed or intimidated by any management staff should quickly report to the executive.”

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The lecturers warned the  management against keeping the students perpetually in the  college when no academic work is  ongoing, describing such as  punishment and disservice  to the parents.

According to Okonkwo, at the union’s congress of Tuesday 23rd August 2022, the provost was given a fair chance to appeal to the lecturers and make promises that would postpone the strike, but she rather resorted to threats.

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