Members of the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union are currently staging a peaceful protest over what they called unaddressed issues resulting from the upgrade of the Osun State College of Education to a university.
The protesting lecturers are led by the National President, Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union, Dr Smart Olugbeko, to express their displeasure about no communication from the state government what would be the fate of lecturers there and the students as well following the upgrade.
Olugbeko said, “There is need for consequential amendment of certain laws of the state, such as (butnot limited to) the Pension Reforms Law and other establishment regulations that designate the institution as COE Ilesa. This all-important step would remove legal landmines from the path of the ‘new’ university.
“We use this medium to request a certified true copy of the law establishing UNILESA via the
upgrade of COE llesa. As critical stakeholders, it is pertinent for us to interrogate the law with our concerns on certain transitional issues.
“Most critically, it is necessary to establish the answer of the UNILESA Law or for the implementation guidelines to pay due consideration to the all important questions of what happens to the COE Ilesa? Will the college be obliterated or, is it to be relocated or will it be merged with another college?
“What happens to the existing students of COE Ilesa offering NCE programmes and affiliated degree programmes? How do they graduate appropriately after the take-off of the university.”
The Vice President South-West, who is the Zonal Coordinator of COEASU, Olusegun Lana, told our correspondent on the telephone that the protest was staged to draw the attention of the state government to the fears of the union as well as the students and other stakeholders.
Lana said, “The state government must provide answers to our questions before the implementation of the upgrade of the college to a university. Till this moment, they have not given us the law of the university contrary to their promise and we need to interact with this law.
“They have not also called us to negotiate the transitional issues that we identified. To us these issues must be negotiated and agreed upon before they can implement the upgrade otherwise there will be crisis. But they seem to be in a hurry and are not concerned about our fears. What will happen to the students, the staff, staff pensions? We need answers to these before the implementation.
“We need more than verbal assurances, we must sit to negotiate these issues to avoid future problem for us and the university. They have been elusive and this is creating anxiety.”
Governor Adegboyega Oyetola had while signing the bill for the upgrade of the college to a university in September, said the proposed university had been carefully conceived as a “thoroughly entrepreneurial and innovative institution.”
The governor also said the institution would be funded through mix of sources such as the government, community, industry, and other stakeholders without exerting unnecessary pressure on the finances of the state.
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