The Academic Board of the Federal Polytechnic, Oko in Anambra State yesterday announced the withdrawal of the institution from the ongoing national strike of Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP.
Meanwhile, the academic board and the governing council of the institution have directed immediate reopening of the polytechnic and resumption of lectures with immediate effect.
The Registrar of the polytechnic, Mr. Tony Nwaokolbia directed students to return to school immediately, adding that the suspended 2012/2013 second semester examinations and lectures for fresh students will commence on Monday, July 7, 2014.
Rising from the emergency meeting at Oko, the academic board said that while it is in support of the agitation of the unions, it had to put the fate of students who had remained at home for almost one year into consideration, adding that the withdrawal from the strike was to enable students write their second semester examinations and be at par with students of other institutions.
A member of the board and dean of the School of Engineering, Dr. Nsionu Ifeanyi, who addressed reporters after the meeting of the board praised the efforts of ASUP in putting up a good fight, noting that their withdrawal was not to dissuade the union from the struggle, but in consideration of the students who have wasted a lot of time at home.
Ifeanyi said the management of the institution would work out modalities for the examination which, he stated, would commence as soon as possible.
According to him, the academic board, which is the highest decision making body of the polytechnic, deliberated on the ongoing national strike of ASUP and the fate of our students who have been at home for nearly one year and decided to take the decision.
He said: “While we are supporting the union’s fight, we said it is important that we see what we can do for our students to help them because they have lost so many months. The board therefore decided that the students be called back to write their examinations and continue with lectures, while we wait for the outcome of the engagement of the union with government. We don’t want them to fail in their demands. We only want to bring ourselves at par with our colleagues in other institutions.”
However, the national president of ASUP, Dr. Chibuzor Asomugha, said in an interview that the academic board was not competent to call off the strike.
Asomugha said he was not aware that Oko Polytechnic had withdrawn from the national strike.