Stakeholders Fault Polytechnic Upgrade, Harp On Skill Acquisition, Capacity Building

Stakeholders in the Education Sector have unanimously stressed that the Polytechnics in Nigeria lacked basic relevant skills that will enable them compete favourably with other countries in the 21st century.

Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund(TETFund), Prof. Suleiman Elias Bogoro disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday, January 26, 2022, at a 2-day Capacity Building Workshop Organised for Polytechnics from the northern geopolitical zone of the country.

TheFact Nigeria observed that majority of polytechnic graduates were unemployable because they were handicapped with regards to modern technology.

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Bagoro explained that the capacity building program organised by the Fund was a support aimed at strengthening beneficiary polytechnics to fulfil their mandates of providing the needed manpower that will put the nation on the path to economic growth and development.

He added that polytechnic education was introduced in Nigeria to basically provide technical education for the middle level that will produce graduates with industry-tailored technical knowledge and skills.

Correspondingly, the TETFund Boss said although polytechnics have justified their establishment in Nigeria, there was still much left to be desired:

“The glaring gap in indigenous technological development for national growth is one of the many areas our Polytechnics need to address.

“We can draw our lessons from the Asian tigers, who have greatly developed their local technology not only for national development but also for export.

“We cannot afford to continuously and wholly rely on importation of technology for national development, knowing fully well its shortconmings and deticiencies”, he said.

Bogoro therefore urged the Polytechnics to buckle up to foster the country’s development:

“Our polytechnics must rise to the challenges of a 21st century knowledge economy by reinventing themselves to providing the needed skill gaps for sustainable technological growth.

“Despite the considerable efforts on the part of Government in Nigeria’s public polytechnics, there is still a lot to be done by the Polytechnics themselves, particularly in the area of promoting entrepreneurial development for the Nigerian society.

“This will no doubt go a long way in solving some of the perennial challenges of unemployment and social unrest amongst our youth”, the TETFund Boss said.

In agreement, Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Prof. Idris Muhammad Bugaje lamented that Polytechnic graduates lacked the necessary hands-on training to make them relevant to the society.

He however said the solution was not in upgrading polytechnics to universities but in mproving the skill content of technical education, enhancing entrepreneurship in the Polytechnics and harping on social inclusion in skill training.

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