Reacting to a special report published by HumAngle, the management of The Polytechnic, Ibadan, has justified its treatment of part-time lecturers who are paid N19,800 monthly though many of them put in work hours similar to regular staff members.
In a rejoinder by Modupe Theresa Fawale, Registrar of the institution, shared with journalists on Wednesday, management of The Polytechnic Ibadan described allegations in the report as unfounded and unauthenticated.
“We want to categorically state that The Polytechnic, Ibadan (TPI) is not guilty of any of the charges alleged,” Fawale said.
HumAngle’s report had featured accounts from over 10 part-time lecturers at the school who complained of extreme financial hardship and depression as a result of underpayment and generally poor working conditions.
Part-time lecturers in the school number over 200 and constitute about half of the academic staff. Some of them have worked in that capacity for 18 years for a monthly pay of N20,000 (formerly N10,000).
In its reaction, however, the school maintained that the practice of employing part-time lecturers into full-time roles without adequate compensation is universal.
“All over the world and in all institutions of higher learning, you find part-time lecturers who offer their services as the name indicates,” Fawale stated in the document sighted by HumAngle.
“Some do it as a stop-gap while searching for other jobs, some do it as a hobby, some do it to beef up their curriculum vitae while some do it to gather experience required to meet other job specifications.”
The polytechnic said no lecturers were being owed a dime and that its staff members received their salaries by the 25th of every month. But according to part-time lecturers who spoke to this paper, they had not received their October salary as of Monday, November 9.
“That part-time lecturers are with the institution on agreed terms is a fact. The institution has not promised any of the part-time lecturers employment in the agreed terms, although, if an opportunity comes such part-time lecturers found to be worthy by qualification, experience and character could be considered for appointment,” she said.
“The Polytechnic, Ibadan (TPI) has not in any way and will not in any way tie down the prospect of any individual be it a full-time staff or a part-time staff. A number of highly qualified teaching and non-teaching staff had migrated to other places for greener pasture in the past. If this is so, why would The Polytechnic, Ibadan prevent part-time staff from going for greener pastures if such opportunities come their way.”
“Alleging that the school had robbed part-time lecturers of a huge part of their lives is a fallacy and utter blackmail as a part-time lecturer could simultaneously feature in such capacity in other institutions as well,” she added.
The polytechnic further blamed paucity of funds for its inability to engage lecturers on a full-time basis “in some areas”.
A study of some of the school faculties’ brochures, however, revealed that many of its departments relied more on part-time lecturers than full-time staff members.
For example, in the Department of Architecture, there were five part-time lecturers and three full-time lecturers, in Banking and Finance, there were 10 part-time lecturers and nine full-time lecturers, and in Surveying and Geoinformatics, there were seven part-time lecturers and only three full-time academic staff members.
“On the alleged withdrawn letters of appointment issued to some individuals, this should not be turned into a political matter as the institution will always do what is considered best as a corporate entity at any point in time,” the polytechnic continued.
It added, “The alleged letters were withdrawn to enable the institution to put all would-be lecturers and staff on equal footing for employment, not on the basis of having served as a part-time staff.
“Serving as a part-time staff does not mean the individual will emerge as the best in a competitive recruitment exercise in an institution of the status of The Polytechnic, Ibadan (TPI). Surely, when teaching staff are to be recruited, the best-qualified materials with the interest of The Polytechnic, Ibadan at heart will be considered.”
The school management was silent on the allegations that it repeatedly presented its teaching assistants as full-time lecturers, through fake appointment and promotion letters, during accreditation exercises conducted by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE).
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