The polytechnic lecturers in the country have expressed their disappointment that only about one percent of admission seekers into tertiary institutions in the country are actually applying to polytechnics on a yearly basis.
They said more than 90 per cent of Nigerian youth who are sitting for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) being conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) prefer to go for bachelor degrees in the universities while the rest go either to polytechnics or colleges of education.
The national president of ASUP, Dr Anderson Ezeibe, revealed this in an exclusive interview with Nigerian Tribune, saying there are statistics to back up the figure.
While describing the development as a pity to the country which aims to attain economic prosperity, he, however, blamed the situation largely on the policies of the Federal Government.
According to him, the various policies of successive governments, especially at the national level on polytechnic education are making the system less attractive to many who are seeking skills, knowledge, and good character.
He said government policies that favour bachelor degree holders over holders of Higher National Diploma at workplaces had greatly relegated the products of the latter.
Explaining this, the national president said, “the situation whereby the government would come out to say if you are an HND holder, you will not be promoted beyond a certain level,’ which is Level 14 in the civil service while their counterparts from the university system can get to the highest level is, to say the least that the polytechnic education is inferior to that of the university.”
“People ought to be recognised based on their productivity as regards what they can offer and not about the colour of certificates they carry. Until this is done by giving priority to productivity over paper qualifications, we go nowhere as a country,” he said.
Speaking further, ASUP boss said, by now and particularly because of the high unemployment situation in the country, Nigeria is supposed to focus on technical and vocational education so as to produce more people who can establish businesses on their own and also employ others rather than producing those who will be looking for white collar jobs after graduation.
“Another way to achieve this is to allow polytechnics that meet up with accreditation requirements to award bachelor and master degrees in technology just as being done by the federal universities of technology to do so using university of technology curriculum.
“Once all these were done and proper funding and staffing were carried out, polytechnic education in the country would also become attractive to many Nigerians,” Dr Ezeibe.