BY DAYO ADESULU
In its bid to boost Technical and Vocational Education (TVE) the federal government has supplied laboratory and work shop equipment to 51 polytechnics and monotechnics across the country, the Minister of Education, Professor Ruquyyatu Ahmed Rufai disclosed on thursday at the 15th convocation ceremony of the Federal Polytechnic Ilaro. The Minister said the action was taken to promote effective implementation of the new and revised curricula by NBTE. The equipment supply was also to ensure that the institutions have a full complement of the equipment needed, based on the programmes currently offered by the institutions.
According to Professor Rufai, the intervention to these tertiary technical institutions was done through the Petroleum Trust Development Fund (PTDF) and Education Trust Fund (ETF). She also disclosed that the Federal Scholarship Scheme has been restored by the Federal Government just as the commonwealth scholarship Scheme has also re- commenced provision of scholarships to deserving students in the commonwealth countries.
The Minister encouraged the graduands to go into small scale enterprises with a vision of being job creators.On the need for peace on the campuses, she said that staff and students need to appreciate the fact that learning can only take place in a peaceful and conducive atmosphere.
Her words , “I enjoin all students to seek dialogue, through the appropriate channels in finding solutions to their grievances rather than taking the negative approach which could be destructive “.The Rector of the polytechnic Dr Raheem Oloyo disclose that 19,120 students graduated consisting of graduands from 2002 to 2010. He added that the management had maintained a firm policy on discipline among staff and students by prosecuting a rigorous campaign against cultism and examination malpractice. This resulted in the dismissal and rustication of about ten students who the Academic Board found guilty of involvement in examination malpractice. Cultism had also been drastically curtailed following the Federal Government directive of July 1999 which empowered the polytechnic management to take firm decisions. “As at today, we can proudly say that cultists that have not renounced their membership have completely gone underground and consequently, threat to life and property of staff and students has been completely eliminated”, Dr oloyo said.
The Rector disclosed that the management discovered that the number of the candidates who seek admission into Business and management courses are far more than those who seek admission into science and technology programmes . He said the trend is found in all admission exercises conducted by Nigerian Tertiary institutions. The situation does not augur well for the scientific and technological development of the country.
The Polytechnic is trying to reverse the trend by ensuring that 70% of admission offers are given to science and technology students while 30% are given to business and management science students. The Rector also noted that there is a need to improve on the teaching of science and mathematics in all secondary schools to enable more students qualify for admission to study science and technology courses.
The polytechnic has increased its academic programmes from 24 to 37. In the last one year the National Board for Technical Education, NBTE has also approved the running of new programmes in the polytechnic at higher National Diploma (HND). These are Architectural Technology, Quantity Surveying and Geo- informatics, statistics, computer Engineering and Hospitality Management.