By Najib Sani
Stakeholders in the polytechnic system across the country have decried the neglect of polytechnic education, saying it had undermined the growth of technology in the country.
National and state leaders of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) and rectors of polytechnics made the observation yesterday at the opening ceremony of the 14th National Delegate Conference of the union at the Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi.
Speaking on the occasion, the national president of SUP, Comrade Usman Yusuf Dutse, alleged that polytechnic education in the country had become endangered “owing to persistent neglect, underfunding, unfavourable/conflicting policies, obsolete instruments of operation, decay of infrastructure and poor conditions of services.”
“As major stakeholders in the sector, we cannot ignore the fact that problems of polytechnic education in Nigeria are becoming increasingly worrisome. Our sector is discriminated against and our graduates are ridiculed at points of employment, not because they lack the capacity, but because marginalisation is enshrined in the policies and laws of the country.
“From records available to us, 1.5 million persons apply to universities while less than 40,000 apply to the polytechnics. Several efforts for the total removal of the dichotomy are still being sabotaged by some government interest,” he said.
In his address, the Rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi, Dr Shuaibu Musa, lamented that inadequate funding had crippled the broad and existing national policies and programmes of polytechnic education.
According to him, these issues need to be tackled to enable the nation benefit from the huge potentials of polytechnic education for the provision of skilled manpower for sustained economic growth and development.