• August 13, 2022

WE ARE ABOUT TO MISS IT ON POLYTECHNIC AND UNIVERSITY EDUCATION

 WE ARE ABOUT TO MISS IT ON POLYTECHNIC AND UNIVERSITY EDUCATION

…the rivalry between B.Sc. and HND Holders should give rise to collaboration rather than everyday fight.

The growth of any society depends solely on the leadership provided by the elected representatives. This will have an appreciable effect on every area of the economy including the education sector which is known for innovation and grooming.

Of great benefit to note is that Education increases the chances of better employment opportunities. Not just that, it also helped to make an informed population by boosting economic growth and increasing the GDP of a country.

This usually leads to a healthy lifestyle and low level of crime. Once the youths are engaged, they hardly have time for scheming. All this leads to a healthy lifestyle.

Lately, the National Assembly is inundated with bills on upgrade of polytechnics to University while some State Governors had also embarked on conversion of age long polytechnic to Universities. This was the case in Lagos recently when Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu upgraded Lagos State Polytechnic,(LASPOTECH) to a University now called Lagos State University of Science and Technology (LASUST) and Lagos State college of Education to Lagos State University of Education, Ijanikin (LASUED). The same was the case in Ogun State under Former Governor Ibikunle Amosun, up till now, Moshood Abiola Polytechnic(MAPOLY) is yet to recover and the proposed University, dead on arrival. This is a good initiative with bad implementation. Why is this so? Nigeria has easily forgotten the essence of polytechnic education which is to boost and scale up technical education.

Technical education was established to boost innovation and enterprise which is what Nigeria needs to drastically reduce the issue of unemployment which has taken us back for a while. Instead of technical education, the country embraced grammar school education which was designed to train employable graduates. As time passes, the jobs available become smaller compared to the large chunk of graduates and NYSC members churning out yearly. Statistics shows that Nigeria has a population estimated at over 210 million in Nigeria, and youths constituting a dominant demography, the unemployment rates keep soaring.

We will notice that in most Universities, there are laboratories as well which are managed by technologists whose training is especially different from just anybody who has no experience in that area. This is to say that there are different roles for University and polytechnic graduates without blocking each other.

Instead, “ego” had set in and suddenly begun conversations on HND/BSc dichotomy. There is no dichotomy anywhere except for people whose training is in another thing and they are beginning to admire other people on another scale with the intention of occupying the same role and jettisoning their own for extra benefits instead of seeking support to further fortify their own role to make it attractive.

It is advised that the rivalry between B.Sc. and HND Holders should give rise to collaboration rather than everyday fight.

It is good to have more Universities and Polytechnics but the Government is suddenly losing focus by deserting the established mission of certain polytechnics to upgrade to University.

This is happening because of the low level of education of our lawmakers and those in charge of education policies.

Despite the cry of Academic Staff Union of Universities, (ASUU) on low pay for University workers, it is on record that polytechnic chief lecturers which is an equivalent of a professor earns more than a professor who needs to publish lot of academic articles in well rated journals before he can be considered for an appointment as a professor but a chief lecturer does not need that to rise.

Despite all these incentives, I wonder why polytechnics lecturers are running to have a PhD to cross to the university. Is it because of the professorial title? There, we will notice a brain drain in the educational sector. Many don’t have passion for teaching but find themselves in teaching to make ends meet.

To be modest, there should be a minimum of qualifications that should be needed moving forward to be a federal or state lawmaker. This will have influence on the choice of law/bill to be introduced moving forward while more academics need to join the political race in order to legislate on issues that raise education in Nigeria.

Nigeria is static without appreciable progress; leadership is it if we can fix it.

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