Olamide Babatunde, Lagos
The President of the Yaba College of Technology Alumni Association, Mr Olufemi O Martins, has suggested that merging technical institutions, polytechnics and colleges of education under the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) policy is a misnomer.
He suggested this at the maiden edition of the alumni association of Engineering Students get-together in Lagos yesterday.
Martins said failure to understand the real goal of the Nigerian policy on education has led to the altering of NBTE curriculum.
“There is a big difference between these institutions but we have failed to realise that students in colleges of technology are trained to re-engineer the society and this is an area we need to look into. During my time, we never fought for the BSC/HND dichotomy, but the moment we began to realise the disparity, we have continued to agitate that technological education be recognised,” Martins explained.
“We are a practical oriented institution, trained to create jobs and not to be an employee. Technological education was meant to be our mainstay but our policy makers have continuously gotten it wrong.
“But I believe that people put together to support the alumni association of Nigeria will make a change and the best is yet to come.”
Martins urged government to identify and support engineering students with special talents as the case is with their foreign counterparts.
“We have good talents in Nigeria but the enabling environment is not there. During my days in school, students get employed before they graduate, but now we have graduates who are without jobs six years after graduation and we need to ask ourselves, what has gone wrong?”
He admonished undergraduates of the institution to take fate into their own hands, come together to speak with a national voice. He appealed to them to work closely with the alumni to learn the ropes and take over the mantle of leadership in the country.
The keynote speaker at the get-together Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Slot Systems Limited, Mr Nnamdi Ezeigbo, was a highlight of the occasion.
The entrepreneur cum author, who graduated with the 1992/1993 class, gave an inspiring and informative lecture on how to start a business in a challenging environment like Nigeria.
He disclosed that knowledge, partnership, integrity and a competitive strategy are key elements to succeeding in business.
“Always get the right information that aligns with what you do. Ensure you do it with integrity and always envisage that things can go wrong also. If we all do our businesses with integrity, we will make a positive impact in Nigeria, Africa and the world,” he concluded.