The outgoing Rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti, Dr. Theresa Akande , has advised that the only way the polytechnics can regain its lost glories and make them be at par with the
universities, is by allowing them to award higher degrees.
Akande said polytechnics in some Francophone African countries were allowed to award Masters and Doctorate degrees, saying this accounted for why technology education was better in those countries than in Nigeria.
Akande spoke at a press conference held at the Polytechnic on Monday marking the end of her tenure as the institution’s Chief Executive officer.
The former Rector called on the federal government to rejig polytechnic education in Nigeria so that the country can operate at the same level with other advanced countries that are making waves in the world of Information and Communication Technology(ICT).
“Francophone countries like Cote D’Ivore, Guinea Bissau, and Guinea were allowed to award masters and doctorate degrees. I have been there and saw it work, so Nigeria must adopt this because no country can grow in this modern days without better technological innovation.
“Even in Germany, you would have to be proficient in technology by acquiring better training and do internships before you can be employed. So, Nigeria must come to terms that polytechnic education is very essential and should not be treated as being too low to
universities”, she advised.
The former Rector added that the Polytechnic under her was rated as the best in terms of promotion of staff welfare in the country, urging her predecessor to build on this lofty achievement.
She said she has upgraded the polytechnic’s vocational and entrepreneurial education through investment in Olusegun Obasanjo Engineering Innovation concept of the institution to train students in skill acquisition for them to be self-employed after graduation.
Akande added that the promotion of staff was an issue of priority to her while in the saddle, saying : “When I became the Rector, we had less than 10 PhD holders in this polytechnic but today we have over 100 of them.
“This didn’t happen through magic, I encouraged our lecturers through overseas scholarship which was funded through TETFUND and internally generated revenues of this institution to train them.
“Let me say this, our lecturers in this institution are better than those in the universities. I can beat my chest for them and that is what we should do to build the appropriate human capital development that can drive technology schools in Nigeria”.
On the persistent labour restiveness that greeted her reign in the polytechnic, Akande , described the scenario as unwarranted attacks targeted at vilifying and portray her as being incompetent by those he branded as enemies of progress.
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