The Dual Award Open Distance programme of the Federal Polytechnic Edeh has been approved by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), contrary to claims in some quarters.
The programme which formed part of the 21 grounds given for the suspension of the rector of the Institution, had long received the backing of the NBTE, a source close to the institution and the programme told our correspondent.
He said that the NBTE had already written to the institution proposing a visit for December 14 to 16, so as to evaluate the progress made by the programme.
Dual Award Open Distance Programme (an academic collaboration between the Polytechnic and other institutions) is aimed at awarding Diploma Certificates and NCE certificate to students upon completion of the programme.
According to the source, the suspension of the rector was a collusion between two top officials if the institution who stampeded the Academic Board meeting held on Friday 11th December, 2020.
Citing the report of a Committee Chaired by Dr. Mrs. Adewusi with members drawn from various Schools, the DUAL Award ODFeL programme started in the 2018/2019 Academic Session when an active Governing Council was fully on ground.
The Dual Programme was approved by the Academic Board on January 21, 2019 as an offshoot of the Open Distance Flexible Learning (ODFL) facilitated by NBTE since 2016.
“The NBTE had approved ODFeL for pilot implementation in 2016 for 27 other Polytechnics upon the successful pilot by the polytechnic.
“The programme adopted a blended and collaborative implementation approach at inception and was embraced by all and sundry seen as an innovative tool in achieving some of the unexplored technical vocational skills content enshrined within NBTE.
“The ODFeL approval has been confirmed on NBTE’s website and periodic NBTE bulletins.
“Since the inception of the programme, members of ASUP have taught, examined and graded students of the Dual Award programme to which they have equally being well remunerated according to the terms and conditions of their engagement. The academic staff, however, frowned at the enumeration model which is based on the actual hours worked and signed attendance.
“The academic board did not pass a vote of no confidence on the rector, because it is not within their powers to so do. The meeting of the academic board was only hijacked by some members who in collusion with the union invaded a peaceful meeting and disrupted proceedings because they wanted to have their way by all means,” the source said.
Quoting a dean in the institution who preferred not to be named, the source said that the programme had the full support of the NBTE and that students were already writing their examination .
“For the avoidance of doubt, the DUAL AWARD ODFeL programme is not an illegal programme and has the full support of and NBTE for pilot ODFL implementation. It is a collaboration that has been applauded by the regulatory bodies for it’s ingenuity and smooth operational structure.
“As of the time of this report, students in the DUAL AWARD programme are writing their second semester examinations with NBTE scheduled for the Dual Award Programme evaluation for Dec. 14 – 16, 2020.”
He, therefore, called on relevant authorities to stop the ASUP chairman and his collaborators from going ahead with the disruption of the programme, stressing that the rector should be commended for standing with the truth.
“The rector remains the chairman of the board. As concerned members of the Polytechnic community, we would advise the warring factions of the Academic Board to sheath their swords and engage more in intellectual and sound academic discussions rather negative acts that heats the polity.
“Let’s move the polytechnic forward. Anyone nursing the desire to be rector should do so peacefully and wait for the seat to be declared vacant in the next two years instead of seeking a coup detat approach.”