Malam Yusuf Yakubu-Arrigasiyyun, Sole Administrator, Shehu Idris College of Health Science Technology, Makarfi, on Thursday said the institution would introduce new Higher National Diploma (HND) courses in various fields.
He made the disclosure at a one-day training for academic staff held at the institution in Makarfi, Makarfi Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
The News agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the training was organised by the institution to enhance academic excellence.
Yakubu-Arrigasiyyun listed some of the new programmes in the institution to include; HND in Information Health Technology and HND in Social Development among others.
He said that the institution had already commenced pre-HND in Social Development to prepare students enroll in the HND programme.
He said that the essence of introducing HND information technology was to prepare such graduates for modern record keeping.
‘‘Hospitals have graduated from old system of record keeping.
‘‘Now, when you go to hospitals after five or 10 years and you need your record, all they need to do is to insert your number on computer to get your comprehensive information.
‘‘Initially, we run only diploma not HND, but discussion with National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) had reached advanced stage towards the realisation of our dream,’’ he said.
The administrator added that the institution was also planning to introduce Advance Diploma in Health Management and a Diploma programme in Pharmacy Technology.
Yakubu-Arrigasiyyun said in line with the vision and mission of the present administration of making Kaduna great again, series of capacity building for both teaching and non-teaching staff have been lined up.
He said since his assumption of office, he had been able to transform the security outfit of the institution to effectively discharge its legitimate functions.
Delivering a lecture, Prof. Salihu Shehu of Bayero University Kano (BUK), stressed the need for teachers to always refresh and update their knowledge.
NAN reports that Shehu spoke on ‘‘Quality and Productive Teaching in the 21st Century: Challenges and Prospects’’.
He said: ‘‘Time does not remain static, it changes and as it changes, challenges also change from one time to another, therefore, teachers will only remain relevant if they are up-to-date.’’
The don expressed regret over the increasing commodification of knowledge and increasing privatisation of education that had increased concerns about quality.
‘‘Knowledge today has been increasingly commodified, I mean knowledge today had already been put into a commodity for sale.
‘‘People pay to get knowledge, people invest in knowledge and therefore, there is concern about quality, whether the quality of teaching is such that it will provide value for the money that is being put.
‘‘Private schools are increasing by the day, in the early 1980’s, you can count the number of private schools in Kaduna on the your fingers tips, but now you can’t count them unless you undertake a baseline study,’’ he noted.
Shehu noted that the increasing competitions in life among nations, among conglomerates and business moguls, research organisations and individuals had also affected the quality of teaching.
He recalled that in the 1970’s and 80’s students who pass out of secondary schools with three to five credits speak sound English and write excellent essays.
‘‘But today, our children come out of secondary schools with nine credits in a stretch but can hardly write good sentences.
‘‘The fall in the quality of education has increased concerns about quality teachers.
“Do teachers really have the skills to teach? Do they do the right thing in the classrooms? Are they competent to teach?’’ he asked.
In his presentation, Prof. Na’iya Sada, former Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, said the monetisation of public service was the beginning of problems for Nigeria.
Sada, who spoke on ‘‘Service in Public Interest: A Sine Qua Non for Academic Excellence’’, defined ‘‘Sine Qua Non’’ as essential condition.
While describing teaching as a noble profession that gives the teacher honour and dignity, Sada urged teachers to see the profession as a trust from God and a means to inculcate morality.
In his speech, the Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP) of the college, Malam Muhammad Abubakar-Usman, said the institution now has a direction since the coming of the new director.
‘‘Unlike before, the college had initially lost direction but the coming of this new administrator, things are now taking shape, we have gotten so many things as far as development is concerned.
‘‘Organising this lecture testifies his efforts toward achieving the mission and vision of the college.
‘‘He saw reason in updating the knowledge of our members especially in line with 21st century,’’ he said.