ASUP, COEASU Strike: JAMB records decline in applications

The protracted strike by the academic staff unions of public polytechnics and colleges of education in Nigeria has adversely affected the interest of candidates in pursuing further studies in the institutions.
This is indicated by the low number of candidates who chose Polytechnics and Colleges of Education as first choice in the 2014 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME)
Registrar and Chief Executive of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, Professor ‘Dibu Ojerinde, while presenting the breakdown of application by institution of the just concluded Paper Pencil Test and Dual Based Test last modes of UTME in Abuja, said only 13,761 out of 1,015,5054 applicants for the two modes chose polytechnics as first choice.
According to the figures he presented, only 20,558 candidates made colleges of education their first choice, while 32 applicants made innovative enterprise institute as first choice.
Ojerinde said the universities had the highest number of applications as first choice with a total number of candidates put at 995,901.
He, however, explained that some of the applicants that chose universities as their first choice also chose either college of education or polytechnic as second choice.
He said the board deliberately made it compulsory for each applicant to spread his or her choices to all the institutions.
Unfortunately, substantial number of candidates that made the polytechnics their first choice or applied for the institution last year, had to reapply for UTME this year and chose universities as their first choice.
Most of the polytechnics and colleges of education that are on strike could not conduct their last year admissions.
President of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Dr Chibuzo Asomugha, said this confirmed his earlier accusation that the Federal Government wants to kill polytechnic education in the country.
The polytechnics have been on strike for about 10 months now and the lingering crisis had consumed one academic session.
Asomugha, has also warned that plans have been concluded by the striking polytechnic lecturers to embark on a massive protest in Abuja.
He decried the unfortunate way and manner the Federal Government is handing the 10-months-old strike of the union.
According to the ASUP boss, in spite of the meeting held on March 26 between the striking lecturers and the government team, which was led by the Minister of Labour, Emeka Wogu, the government had not got back to them.
ASUP had earlier expressed dissatisfaction with the manner the Supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, was handling the issue and wanted President Goodluck Jonathan to intervene.
The president said among the concession made at the last meeting was the two instalments payment of arrears by the Federal Government and the setting up of an inter-ministerial committee to review other issues.
The union agreed that the government delegation would brief President Goodluck Jonathan and come up with a “Memorandum of Understanding” that will be signed by both parties.

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