From Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka
The Federal Polytechnic, Oko in Anambra State has put in place measures to establish seven new courses in its determination to meet the nation’s technical manpower need in key areas. The new courses include: Mechatronics, Foundry, Fishery, Metallurgy, Nutrition and Dietetics, Animal Health and Aeronautics Engineering.
Already, officials of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) visited the institution recently for resource inspection preparatory to the takeoff of the new departments.
The NBTE resource persons made up of experts from various professional fields and drawn from all the geo-political zones of the country, who were in the polytechnic, assessed the readiness of the institution and quality standard of Insurance Department with a view to re-accrediting it at the National Diploma level.
Speaking on behalf of the visiting team, the leader, Rufai Ibrahim, stated that their visit was a normal exercise being carried out periodically in all the Polytechnics, Monotechnics and other technical institutions in the country.
Ibrahim explained that the exercise was routine and not intended to witchhunt any institution but to ensure quality control in technical education and thanked the management of Federal Polytechnic Oko for the warm reception and the enabling environment.
Responding, the Rector, Prof. Godwin Onu said the new courses were meant to increase access to students and reposition them to face the challenges of the time, adding that the Polytechnic had already signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with School of Aviation Zaria to aid research and collaboration with the new Department of Aeronautics Engineering.
Onu promised to give the team the necessary assistance to ensure a smooth and hitch free exercise, assuring that the school management would provide necessary logistics for them to move round the campuses and see things for themselves.
The Rector disclosed that in the face of their dwindling resources, the institution has embarked on aggressive resuscitation of dilapidated and uncompleted structures and building of new ones on campuses, through the prudent management of their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
He said: “We believe so much in federal government’s transformation agenda, particularly in the area of technical and vocational education and as such, we have developed the policy of creating offices of the 24th century. We have resuscitated all the temporary campuses. We are building structures in our extension site. We are working hard to make up for shortcomings. We engage in capacity-building. The essence of that is to send our staff abroad to go and bring quality education back home for our students.”
He disclosed that the institution would soon complete an international Conference Centre with Deluxe Suites, which will be handed over to the Department of Hospitality Management and Tourism, while the virtual resource centre, fully equipped with internet facilities, is awaiting commissioning by the Minister of Education.
He said works were ongoing in the three campuses of the polytechnic with a view to increasing the carrying capacity of the institution. He maintained that the infrastructure in the institution exceeded that of many universities and called for the upgrading of the polytechnic to a degree awarding institution.