Polytechnics crucial to economic diversification, says rector
Polytechnics remain some of the most relevant academic institutions that have the capacity to assist the Federal Government to realise its economic development plans, as well as diversify the country’s economy.
Therefore, they must operate at a high level in their bid to execute their mandate, especially in the area of developing middle-level manpower skills.
According to the acting Rector, Federal Polytechnic, Offa, Kwara State, Dr. Kuburat Olaosebikan, since developing middle-level manpower is one of the major tasks of polytechnics, they constitute one of the most relevant sectors capable of assisting the government to realise its economic development agenda.
Speaking at a workshop in Offa, Olaosebikan said, “It is very obvious that Nigeria is under a relatively new administration at the federal level and the mantra of the administration is “change”. Therefore, as a federal institution, we cannot stand aloof from what is happening in the country, if we are to remain relevant in the scheme of things.
“The present Federal Government is looking forward to tertiary institutions to compliment its economic diversification efforts. More importantly, it is the statutory responsibility of all of us staff and other stakeholders, to ensure that the institutions fulfill their mandates as envisaged by the society.”
The event was part of efforts to engender a strong synergy among stakeholders in the nation’s polytechnics towards getting them to contribute meaningfully to the nation’s Gross Development Products, (GDP).
She reminded the participants of the National Policy on Education (1998 revised edition), which lists the objectives of polytechnics to include: provision of trained manpower in science technology and commerce particularly at sub-professional level; preparing people who can apply scientific knowledge to the improvement of environmental problems for the use, and convenience of man, and giving an introduction to professional studies in engineering and other technologies.
The Rector said the Polytechnic should continue to give training and impact the necessary skills in their students leading to the production of craft-men, technicians and skilled; personnel who will be enterprising and self- reliant.
She said to enable young men and women to have an intelligent understanding of the increasing complexity of technology, Nigerian polytechnics must upgrade their teaching and learning modules.
She added “Just last week Monday, the Federal Government, through Federal Ministry of Education, launched a new four-year strategic plan for the development of the education sector. From the above, it is clear that our polytechnic cannot afford to remain behind in the current feverish efforts to rejuvenate the nation’s social and economic space.”
While harping on the imperative of entrenching the culture of academic excellence at the school, she explained that the concept would require all academic and administrative staff to have, as their cardinal objective, the academic success of students.
She said, “It requires deans of schools and heads of departments to ensure that the curriculum and course contents are up-to-date and delivered as required. It requires lecturers to attend lectures as time-tabled. It requires that tests and assignments are given and marked. It discourages academic corruption in every form, including staff influencing marks for students for whatever reason.
“We are in a technology-driven world. So for effectiveness and efficiency, and for the fact that the polytechnic is a technology institution, we must use relevant technology for job performance. Academic and administrative staff should encourage one another to acquire skills in ICT for teaching, learning, research enhance all our processes including administration, accounting, admission, registration, examination and so on.
“You may be aware that the Federal Ministry of Education is planning for new teaching methods, especially digital mode of instruction as different to the chalk-and-talk method of teaching. The Federal Polytechnic Offa must brace up for this new challenge.”
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