Polytechnics in Nigeria have lost focus, says rector
Decries unhealthy rivalry among graduates of tertiary institutions
Polytechnics are to turn out wealth creators and not job seekers. This was the submission of the Rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, Dr. Olusegun Aluko.
Addressing a news conference to herald the institution’s 40th anniversary and 19th convocation yesterday in Ogun State, the administrator regretted that these citadels of learning that were by their enabling law meant to graduate entrepreneurs on account of the skills internalised by their products, had lost focus and the essence of their establishment.
His words: “The way polytechnic education is structured is for its graduates to be able to use the skills they have acquired to create wealth for themselves, but Nigeria is just dodging, but we will still come back to it.“We are talking about unemployment, but when we say unemployment, the percentage of those that are unemployed are those that are university graduates and the problem is that they have no skills.
“Majority of the small-scale entrepreneurs in the country today are polytechnic graduates, and that is the essence of polytechnic education.”He continued: “In the past, people don’t work in government establishments. All of them wanted to work in factories and industries because they know you earn more there than working with government.
“But the problem of Nigeria is that all those industries have collapsed, hence the polytechnic and university graduates that ordinarily should not be competing are now competing. But I know that Nigeria will rise again and that is when the country will realise the essence of polytechnic education.”
The don is further saddened that the B.Sc and HND dichotomy was worsening the situation.According to Aluko, the one-week event, which holds between October 9 and 16, would witness a fellowship conferment on the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi.
The rector noted though that the dearth of industries was at the centre of the unhealthy rivalry between products of the two cadres of learning and a development that had aggravated the nation’s unemployment woes, he, however, implored polytechnic products to make good use of the skills acquired in school to create wealth instead of searching for non-existent white collar jobs.
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