FG should pay attention to technical education —Rector
The rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti, Dr. Hephzibar Oladebeye, has advised the Federal Government to take a cue from China which converted 600 universities to polytechnics, saying this is an eloquent testimony that no country can relegate technical education and expect economic progress.
He further advocated the creation of a National Polytechnics Commission to boost technical education in the country.
Speaking in Ado Ekiti at a press conference to mark his two years in office, Oladebeye accused the Federal Government of according too much attention to the funding of the universities at the expense of polytechnics.
He said the poor funding of polytechnics and other instititions that can equip the youths with skills and entrepreneurial expertise in Nigeria had been a great impediment to the progress of the nation.
Oladebeye said, “If the Federal Government had removed the dichotomy between bachelor degree and the Higher National Diploma, and if the universities can have National Universities Commission and the colleges of education can have the National Commission for Colleges of Education, then the polytechnics deserve a commission.
“However, I have heard some people saying the National Board for Technical Education takes care of polytechnics. This argument is wrong, because the NBTE oversees over 560 instititions, including polytechnics, colleges of agriculture, colleges of fisheries and acquatic studies and many others. This has made it ineffective.”
“If China could convert 600 universities to polytechnics, because of technical education, then one would know that this country will witness no progress until this issue is addressed, because technical education is now the engine room of the economy.”
The rector advised the government to allow graduates of universities and polytechnics to prove their mettle to ascertain their capacities so that the best can be injected into the system on the basis of merit.