FROM: PAUL ORUDE, BAUCHI
President of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Comrade Yusuf Dutse, has raised the alarm that polytechnic education in Nigeria is endangered.
He attributed this crisis to neglect, underfunding and conflicting policies.
Dutse sounded the alarm, on Tuesday, while delivering his welcome address at the 14th National Delegates Conference of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), hosted by the Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi.
The ASUP President said that the union was deeply concern that polytechnic education in the country is riddled with obsolete instruments of operation, decay infrastructure, and poor conditions of service.
He stressed that the lingering issues of the non-passage of the Polytechnic Act, NEEDS Assessments, appointment of rectors, among several issues, were hampering growth of polytechnic education and undermining the growth of technology education in Nigeria.
“The neglect of the sector has also been responsible for the mass exodus from the system of the most experienced and well-trained intellectuals in the areas of dire need and for the low enrolment of students into polytechnics,” he explained.
He further said that, “Our sector is sector is discriminated against and our graduates are ridiculed at points of employment, not because they lack capacity, but because the marginalisation is enshrined in the policies and laws of the country.”
Dutse alleged that several efforts for the total removal of the dichotomy were being sabotaged by the Federal Government, saying that the struggle for the removal of the dichotomy should not be left to the unions alone.
He explained that ASUP is currently on strike due to the failure of the Federal Government at various levels to give the desired attention to the plight of polytechnic education in Nigeria.
According to him, as parts of efforts to resolve the current dispute, the timeline for the resolution of the lingering issues have been agreed to by the Federal Government and urged the government to match words with action.
Dutse appealed to delegates as well as stakeholders to rise up to the challenges confronting polytechnic education in the country saying that “It is only through collective efforts that polytechnic education in this country would be rescued from total collapse.”
Earlier in his welcome address, the out-going rector of the polytechnic, Dr. Shiubu Musa, regretted that polytechnic education in Nigeria has not reached the expected level of development and contribution to National Growth and development.
Musa said: “To me, the reasons are not far-fetched. Issues related to the low societal estimation of the sector and its products-artisan, technicians and technologists-readily come to mind.
“Inadequate funding cripples the broad and excellent existing national policies and programmes on polytechnic education. More specifically, issues related to the establishment of a Polytechnic Commission to efficiently and effectively cater for the sector”
The out-going rector called on the federal government to address the issues head-on to enable the country benefit from the huge potentials polytechnic education for the provision of skilled manpower for sustained economic growth and development.
Musa while enjoining the federal government to ensure that the mandates of the polytechnics are achieved by providing all the necessary support to the sector, “one cannot but acknowledge the effort of the federal government through TETFUND in providing interventions in the areas of infrastructural development, staff training and development, academic resources support through the funding of research, publishing books and journals.”
He expressed the hope that the FGN-Unions Agreements negotiation would provide opportunity for both parties to work out workable agreements that would move the polytechnic sector t greater heights