Anderson Ezeibe, national president of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), says only one percent of Nigerian youths has been applying to study in polytechnics in the past four years.
Ezeibe spoke on Thursday when he featured on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme.
According to the ASUP president, the figure is indicative of how the federal government has continued to demarket polytechnics in the country through its policies.
He also alleged that polytechnics in the country have suffered supervisory and regulatory functions expected to be carried out by the federal government.
“If you consult the JAMB figures with respect to applications, it is easy to come out with 1.7 million applicants for JAMB in a particular year, 1.9 million for 2020 and thereabout. If you look at the number of Nigerian youths applying to go into the polytechnics, it is about 1%, consistently for the past four years,” he said.
“For the universities, I think the University of Ilorin is at the peak with more than 100,000 applicants last year.
“The demarketing process has been there sustained by the deliberate policies of the government. For instance, in 2016, out of the struggle of our union, we successfully saw to the removal of the entry point dichotomy — a situation whereby HND holders enter the civil service on level 7 while degree holders enter the civil service on level 8. That was resolved by the national council on establishment meeting in Minna, in 2016.
“There is what we call the glass ceiling, this does not allow HND holders to progress beyond a particular point- Level 14- in the civil service that one is still there.”
Buttressing his point, Ezeibe cited a polytechnic in Abia state which has experienced a lack of regulatory and supervisory functions, resulting in the institution having five different chief executives, three governing councils, four bursaries and three registrars within a period of five years.
The ASUP president said the federal government must stop establishing new polytechnics if they are not ready to fund, regulate and supervise the established ones.
The union had announced an indefinite strike on Tuesday over the non-implementation of its demands by the federal government
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