Nigeria needs Polytechnics’ more – V.C.
The relevance of Polytechnic Education in enhancing and fast tracking the development of Nigeria has been enphasised with the assertion that the “impact of Polytechnic education on entrepreneurship and development cannot be overemphasized as a lot of entrepreneurs in Nigeria derive their impetus and capacity from the Polytechnics”.
Pontificating on the assertion, while delivering the 18th Convocation Lecture of The Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti, Professor Olufemi Victor Adeoluwa stated that the efforts of Polytechnics in producing middle level technical manpower to drive the small and medium scale enterprises really need to be commended, because Polytechnic graduates are everywhere contributing their quota to the industrial development of both public and private sectors in Nigeria.
Professor Adeoluwa, a seasoned Professor of Educational Technology and pioneer Vice Chancellor, Bamidele Olumilua University of Science and Technology, Ikere-Ekiti (BOUESTI) on Friday 18th November 2022 delivered the 18th Convocation Lecture of the Polytechnic titled: “Imperatives of Polytechnic Education in Enhancing the Economic Development of Nigeria”.
The Convocation Lecturer affirmed that Polytechnic education builds in a student not only the capacity for employability but also the capacity to create his own employment and when unemployment is tackled, poverty gradually fades away and further stated that the skills training in the Polytechnic is also capable of making the teeming youths acquire the appropriate technology needed to convert raw materials and agricultural goods into finished products through the fabrication of machines made for the purpose in order to boost economy.
Professor Adeoluwa however noted that if care was not taken and Polytechnic graduates were not given proper recognition by totally eradicating the dichotomy between them and University graduates, Polytechnics may go the way of Colleges of Education, which is currently closing down and turning into Universities.
He therefore called on the government to adequately equip the Polytechnics more than ever before and also grant them more intervention funds for entrepreneurship even more than Universities because according to him, “they need it more”, while stressing further that for the Nigerian Polytechnics to make their expected impacts and rescue the economy, the Federal Government has to encourage local entrepreneurs by limiting the taste of Nigerians for foreign goods to only those which cannot be produced in Nigeria and enacting strong sanction against culprits.
In a related development during another lecture titled: “Imperatives of Alumni Interventions for Sustainable Alma Mater Development” at the Alumni Reunion event as part of the activities marking the 18th Combined Convocation Ceremony; a reknown entrepreneur, philanthropist and an alumnus of the Polytechnic, Pastor Oluwatoyin Alabi charged Alumni bodies of Institutions to be more responsive to their alma mater, since the Alumni intervention funding had become an imperative income source for sustaining Higher Educational Institution in Nigeria.
Pastor Toyin Alabi who spoke through another alumnus and the current Deputy Rector Academic, Dr. Olusegun Dada emphasized that research has shown that Alumni interventionist funding is gaining global ascendancy as an alternative funding mechanism for sustaining Higher Educational Institutional Institutions.
He added that though alumni funding and donations have always existed, but never in history had it gained a front page attention with so much topical elevation as in recent times, especially since after COVID-19 pandemic, with all of its attendant financial pressure and financial cutback in government grants and decline in budgetary allocation for the Nigerian education sector, which is just 10% and a far cry somewhat below the UNESCO recommended 26% for the education sector in the budget of Nations.
Pastor Alabi posited that the alumni method of funding has become attractive and competitive and that many higher institutions today owe their mainstay and development to the philanthropic received through the effective activities of their alumni bodies even in the developed countries.
He further hinted that apart from monetary interventions, alumni can also support their alma mater in many other ways, which range from intellectual support, physical support to even social laundry and being global ambassadors of their respective institutions.
Pastor Alabi, a Food Technology graduate of the Polytechnic and CEO of Promise Confectionary and Eatery across the South South surmised that for the alumni bodies of Institutions to continually function well, there is a need to open a sustainable communication channel empowered with website tools that will warehouse the data of all alumni of their Institution with satellite bodies created across each state and city in the country with a Diaspora Relation’s Manager.