Employers of labour in the country have been charged to stop the discrimination between polytechnic and university graduates as many nations of the world that have gone far ahead are able to do so based on this knowledge.
Director of Polytechnics Programmes, National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Mr Ngbede Ogoh, stated this during the visitation of the accreditation team of the board to The Polytechnic of Ibadan, on Wednesday last week.
Ogoh, who led the accreditation team, decried the disparity and general assumption that university graduates are superior to polytechnic graduates, saying that “the reason why they discriminate against the polytechnic graduates is because they feel the university graduates are superior, which is not true. Poly graduates are equipped with necessary tools for survival and to compete favourably among their peers.
‘Employers of labour should look forward to polytechnic graduates because the curriculum with which they are groomed is 70 per cent practical. By the time our students graduate, they are expected to hit the ground running. No employer will have to spend much money in retraining them; they are ready for the market,” he said.
Speaking on the activities of the NBTE, he said, “what we are doing on the part of NBTE is to ensure that all polytechnic graduates in the country are equipped with relevant skills which are derived from hands-on experience, knowing that skill-acquisition is very important in the polytechnic education. We are not just after paper qualifications.
“This effort is intended to help us to meet the skill gap between us and other developed countries. By the time we are done injecting these skills in our students even the university graduates will be challenged to come to the polytechnics to pick up some skills.”
The rector of the institution, Professor Kazeem Adebiyi, while addressing the NBTE team at an opening ceremony, held at the Assembly Hall of the institution noted that the polytechnic was adequately prepared for the accreditation of a total of 35 programmes from both its OND and HND programmes.
He noted that the accreditation exercise, which ought to have been done some two years ago, could not be held due to COVID 19 and the arrangement of NBTE.
“We have left no stone unturned between the last accreditation exercise and now. We have put in place nothing less than 10 big projects, covering the welfare of our staff and that of the students.
“We have built nothing less than six lecture theatres; new faculty buildings for the faculties of Business and Communication and Sciences, and presently we are about to start building that of the Faculty of Financial Management Studies.
“Also, we have started building an office complex comprising 72 offices of a chief lecturer status, courtesy of the Executive Governor of Oyo State, Engineer Seyi Makinde. We have built a 300-capacity lecture theatre courtesy of TETFUND, among others.
While appreciating the NBTE team, the rector stressed that subsequent observations and recommendations from the previous NBTE accreditation exercise had since served as a drive for all-round improvement and infrastructure development in the institution.
In his remarks, zonal director, South West, Mr Olubode Majiyagbe, stated that the reason for the NBTE’s team visit was to carry out one of its statutory responsibilities which was meant to ensure quality assurance in the polytechnic.
He solicited the cooperation of the host institution throughout the period of the exercise, saying, “we are not here to witch-hunt you, but to support you and see to your own in ensuring the quality of your products are able stand the test of time.”
“I want to assure you that whatever report we come upon will be based on the information given by you, and as the tradition is, expect some reactions, if we are not satisfied with what you are presenting,” he warned.
The deputy rector of the polytechnic, Mrs Olubunmi Ademakinwa thanked the team on behalf of the management, wishing them fruitful deliberations.