The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) Tuesday faulted the establishment of new polytechnics in the country while the existing ones are regarded as the last option.
ASUP president, Comrade Anderson Ezeibe, who said this at a workshop tagged: “Advocacy Roundtable on the Future of Nigerian Polytechnics” organised by his union, lamented government’s neglect for technological development in Nigeria.
“We do not agree with the continued establishment of new polytechnics on the largely unsubstantiated premise of providing greater access to tertiary education for young Nigerians as the existing ones remain unattractive to young Nigerians. Our polytechnics are fast becoming mere constituency projects established to satisfy political convenience.
“Our polytechnics are currently facing an identity crisis as we are not convinced that sectorial mandates as envisioned and captured in the National Policy on Education are being met. Our products are under-appreciated, discriminated against and traumatised by the prospects of an uncertain future after their training. Our members (teaching staff in the sector) are demotivated as there is little or no sense of fulfillment or self actualisation in their chosen careers. This is adversely affecting productivity and leading to consistent migration of qualified manpower away from the sector.”
Comrade Ezeibe said: “The Polytechnics are nowhere close to preferred destinations for Nigerian students seeking tertiary education as the sector suffers from deep seated discrimination in different facets mainly driven by anachronistic tendencies.
“The nation has equally been reaping bountifully from the tale of woes in the sector as shown by different economic indices which constitute an embarrassment to a nation with so much promise.
“Funding is abysmally poor leaving widening infrastructure gaps; legal and policy frameworks are insufficient leading to suspect levels of supervision and regulation; cutting edge research and innovation activities are virtually nonexistent as attempts at research remains at subsistence level with little or no impact in society.
“The famed triple and/or quadruple helix structure which provides a meeting point between institution, industry and government thereby guaranteeing consumption of research products for national development are currently difficult to attain.
“Curricula review is irregular, therefore leaving the sector with obsolete curricula which is out of sync with the dynamic needs of industry and society. Indeed the current unemployment figures in the country tell the entire story of a sector with diminishing impact to the nation’s economy.