By Gabriel Dike
No few than 32 graduates of the nation’s first private polytechnic, the Lagos City Polytechnic (LCP) recorded distinctions in their various courses at the 10th convocation ceremony.
The 32 students who obtained distinction were among 657 students conferred with national and higher diplomas at the convocation ceremony.
Speaking on the occasion, the proprietor of LCP, Mr. Babatunde Odufuwa revealed that 271 students were conferred with national diploma and 386 for higher national diplomas from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences as well as School of Business and Management Studies while out of 657 graduating students 32 recorded distinctions.
A breakdown of those with distinction revealed that national diploma produced 10 and higher diploma 22 with Computer Science recording the highest with eight distinctions.
The prize for best student graduating of LCP and at HND level went to Odede Gabriel Uguazoraro with 3.89 CGPA from the Electrical/Electronics Engineering department who also won chairman, governing council prize while best student at ND was won by Okerinde Ifeoluwa Kehinde with 3.69 CGPA.
Odufuwa used the occasion to blame the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) for the incessant disruption of university academic calendars due to numerous strikes.
Said he: ‘’There is urgent need to transform Nigeria universities system. Both the federal government and ASUU should take responsibility for the incessant disruption of public university academic calendars.
‘’ASUU occupies a very vital position in the development of standard and enhancement of education in Nigeria. We have witnessed frequent strikes by ASUU which had resulted into the extension of graduation dates and delay in resumption of fresh students. This has resulted in many undergraduates spending at least one extra year beyond the normal duration of their programme.’’
Odufuwa who is also the chairman, governing council of LCP stressed that only three institutions in the country made the list of the 100 best universities in Africa and none ranked among 1,600 in the World. He urged ASUU members to evaluate their work ethics and intellectual output and determine how adequate these are for the educational aspirations of the country.
According to him, ‘’ASUU is an appropriate organ to drive the processes of revitalization of the university system. It has to inculcate among its members a sense of mission, a sense of the critical steps that must be taken individually and institutionally to guarantee optimum performance in nation’s for manpower development.’’
On polytechnic education Odufuwa said it is obvious that the nation focus is shifting adding ‘’we have concentrated our attention in raising men and women who would only be fitted for white-collar jobs and neglecting those core areas that would make them self-reliant. The polytechnic is the training ground for practical experience. This is the time to refocus.’’
He said the nation cannot sit and allow foreign hands to take over construction works in roads, housing and other sectors and that the polytechnic is primary and preferred industry to produce the workforce and human capacity to deploy the skills to discharge these assignments.
The LCP boss observed that in many countries education is viewed as a good investment in national development as it is expected that the educational system would produce the quality and quantity of human resources for the economic growth of the country.