Education

Polytechnics Can Offer Degree Programmes Under Extant Laws –

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Polytechnics Can Offer Degree Programmes Under Extant Laws

Information reaching Ibom Focus says that Polytechnics Can Offer Degree Programmes Under Extant Laws

The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, has insisted that Nigerian Polytechnics are empowered by extant laws to offer degree programmes provided they have the requisite competences.

President of ASUP, Comrade Anderson Ezeibe in a statement Thursday faulted the alleged directive from the National Board for Technical Education, NBTE, banning Nigerian Polytechnics from awarding degrees.

According to him, “Our Union will not be deterred by this directive. Rather we are going to get more energized in our demand for liberation from the plot to completely destroy the Nigerian Polytechnic System through such deleterious policies.

“Our policy makers should also be liberated from the captivity of conservative and indolent thought processes into an era of a vibrant tertiary education system marked by intellectual adventure and other requisites needed to make us globally competitive and nationally relevant.”

He explained that the Federal Polytechnics Act (2019) amendment provides the legal framework for the Polytechnics to award degrees provided such Polytechnics have the requisite competence in terms of curricula, manpower and infrastructure to award degrees.

Degree Programmes

Comrade Ezeibe in the statement titled: “Re-ban on Nigerian Polytechnics from awarding degrees and the indolence of Nigerian Education Planners and Administration,” described the alleged ban as an extension of the discrimination against Nigerian Polytechnics whose foundation was laid and is still nourished by policies of the Nigerian government as seen in the infamous HND/ Degree dichotomy.

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The statement read: “Our Union’s attention has been drawn to a certain directive by the National Board for Technical Education instructing the dismantling of degree programs currently being run by some Nigerian Polytechnics in affiliation to some Nigerian Universities.

“We understand that this is a regurgitation of a directive flowing from a meeting in the Federal Ministry of Education on same issue sometime in June 2022.

“As a critical stakeholder group in the sector, we hereby react as follows:

The directives and the outcome of the so called meeting in the Federal Ministry of Education is the product of indolent thought processes by persons who are more interested in unnecessary gate keeping, policy and administrative inertia as well as conservative dispositions as against the new order of liberal thinking and dynamism which is associated with tertiary education globally.”

Continuing, he said, “It is even funnier when such a directive is yet to be seen for Universities offering diploma programs and other sub degree certifications. This is an extension of the discrimination against Nigerian Polytechnics whose foundation was laid and is still nourished by policies of the Nigerian government as seen in the infamous HND/ Degree dichotomy.

“The conservative disposition and indolence as seen in undue regimentation in the name of supervision and regulation of tertiary education in Nigeria has seen the nation completely derail in providing functional education to its teeming youthful population.

“As a nation we have been left behind by the rest of the world including fellow and less endowed African nations in terms of educational development due to our backward and retrogressive disposition. Institutions are awarding degrees up to post graduate levels irrespective of their name in other climes as long as the requirements for such certification are met. Why should Nigeria be different?

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“It is even more baffling that the Federal Government has not come out to say that the Polytechnics do not have the requisite manpower, infrastructure nor the curricula for degree certification. Even the legal framework for such is in place for the Polytechnics in the Federal Polytechnics Act (2019) amendment.

“Yet the nation’s educational development is bogged down by conservative and archaic thought processes and policies by functionaries, institutions and agencies of the government.

“Policy makers in our tertiary education space should hold more liberal and constructive positions in the national interest by allowing Polytechnics with the requisite competence in terms of curricula, manpower and infrastructure to award degrees and at the same time expand the access to degree certification for desirous young Nigerians as the current space is not satisfying the huge demand.

“Such a step will enhance competition in the sector at the global and national levels and at the same time improve relevance at the national level. The constant manpower migration from our polytechnics will be arrested and the age long dichotomy against HND certification will be put to rest once and for all.”

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