By Levinus Nwabughiogu
A bill seeking to establish a Federal Polytechnic in Tombia, Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State has scaled through a second reading at the House of Representatives.
The proposed piece of legislation when eventually passed into law will enable the birth a tertiary institution that will provide studies in Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM).
Titled “A bill for the Establishment of Federal Polytechnic, Tombia for training of graduands in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics (STEAM) and for related matters (HB. 1333)”, it is sponsored by Hon Doctor Farah Dagogo who represents Degema/ Bonny federal constituency of Rivers State in the House.
Leading debate on the general principle of the bill for its second reading, Dagogo explained that the Federal Polytechnic, Tombia, will be tailored towards achieving the STEAM model of education.
He said STEAM is a learning acronym that stood for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics with the goal of helping students develop the skills they needed to be successful in the future.
He said: “The application of STEAM will further benefit the students to graduate with a set of well-rounded skills that allow them to adapt to an evolving and fast-paced society.
“Today, STEAM education is all about preparing our future leaders for a digital age, and understanding the new world around them. Mr. Speaker and my Colleagues, may I use this medium to submit that if you are looking for an area of study that will prepare you for a successful career, consider entering into the STEAM field, because it is the future of every nation.
“With a STEAM Education, you would be well-equipped to enter into a satisfying and lucrative field after graduation, with provision of skills that can translate favourably to any workplace environment.
“The imperatives of STEAM education cannot be under estimated, because it equips students with competencies that will enable them to overcome personal challenges, pursue careers in technical fields such as software engineering or artificial intelligence, find creative solutions to difficult problems, and understand how the world works.
“Mr. Speaker and my distinguished colleagues, the idea of STEAM brings together five major disciplines that create an inclusive inter connectivity in learning environment and this encourages active participation and collaboration of all in problem solving. Thus, the Polytechnic Tombia, Rivers State aims to offer a holistic approach for students to simultaneously exercise from both left and right sides of their brain in creativity, innovation, critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills that will galvanise them to become champions of the new age, as they would need to do in the 21st century working environment.
“Furthermore, the proposed Polytechnic will also focus on other field of learning as the institution may determine periodically with regards to the manpower needs of the state in particular and Federation in general.
“The Institution would promote technical and vocational education and training, technology transfer and skills development to enhance the socio- economic development of Nigeria.
“Indeed, all of us here are aware of the fact that polytechnic education plays a vital role in human resource development of a country by creating skilled manpower, enhancing industrial productivity and improving the quality of life of our people. A ride through the Bill clearly elucidates these imperatives, especially from the object.”
The bill when put to voice vote got the support of the House and was referred to the House Committee on Tertiary Education for futher legislation by the Speaker of the House, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila.