The National Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Anderson Ezeibe, has called for a review of the law establishing polytechnic education in Nigeria to meet the emerging realities of the nation’s technological development.
Ezeibe, who made the call on Thursday at Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot Osurua, while delivering a keynote address of the union’s three-day international conference noted that some policies of the Federal Government are demarketing polytechnic education in Nigeria.
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Speaking on the theme “Redefining The Mandate Of Polytechnic Education For Economic Diversification And Sustainability”, Ezeibe disclosed that the government has tactically killed technological education in Nigeria through unfavourable policies.
He listed some of the Federal Government policies working against polytechnic education, including the HND/BSc dichotomy, the inability to enhance academic continuity for HND graduates, and the disparity between HND/BSc holders in government circles, among others.
The National Chairman of ASUP lamented a situation where welders were hired from India for the Dangote Refinery project at the expense of polytechnic graduates, adding that such attitude encouraged capital flight while homegrown polytechnic manpower walloped in unemployment.
He regretted that the mandate of polytechnic education has failed over the years as the government has not integrated them into national planning, especially in the technological development drive.
“Negligence of polytechnics mandate has resulted in a high level of unemployment, poverty and poor entrepreneurship.
“Polytechnic education is not encouraged. In some polytechnics, the student population is less than 1,000, while some state governors change their polytechnics to universities instead of developing them.
“Government is demarketing polytechnic education through their policies. The law that established polytechnic education must be reviewed to meet emerging realities in our nation’s technological development,” he said.
Ezeibe, a lead lecturer at the three-day conference, urged the Federal Government to integrate polytechnic education to lift quality of life in the sustainable development goals.
“Government should migrate away from monolithic economic model through diversification and promote skills education to meet skill need of the nation,” he said.
He charged all stakeholders in education to work in synergy to mainstream polytechnic education into the nation’s development plan.