By Oginyi Ruth
The Chairman Ado Ekiti Federal Polytechnics Governing Council, Chief Austin Igwe Edeze, and two Governors of the South-South geopolitical zone of the country, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Delta State, his Bayelsa State counterpart Seriake Dickson on Tuesday received awards of Excellence for their outstanding contributions to the development of polytechnics education in the country.
He was honored by the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics. (SSANIP)
Gov. Okowa was represented by the Deputy Director, Delta State liaison office, Abuja Mrs. Ije Ifeoma, and Dickson was given Award of Excellence, meritorious service to Education Award while Chief Edeze, was honored with the award of Best Performing Council Chairman.
Citizens’ Advocate gathered that the award took place at Nigeria National Merit Award House, Maitama Abuja, during the 5th national delegate conference of Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics. (SSANIP).
Speaking at the event, Chief Edeze who doubles as BoT Member of All Progressive Congress (APC) called on unions to embrace dialogue in their agitation rather than being confrontational.
He assured that federal poly Ado will continue to embrace policies and programs that will better the welfare of staff and students of the institution and beyond.
Austin Edeze, further noted that theoretical education in Nigerian universities cannot accelerate the nation’s technology or boost the economy of the country.
He said the whole world was moving into robotic technology which according to him Nigerian universities cannot advance because of their major focus on theoretical education.
He explained that it was in line with the development that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was paying much attention to polytechnic education by signing the polytechnic act and establishing 3 new polytechnics in the country within one year.
He noted that it was only through polytechnic education that the country can move forward because they produce graduates who don’t depend on the white-collar job, rather turn to employers of labor at the end of their academic pursuit.
He said, “Initially, polytechnic education was aimed at producing middleman manpower for the country, but you can be sure now that the way it is, it is producing not the middleman manpower but the first-grade manpower because technologically, no nation can develop without a sound foundation in technology education.”
“European countries are converting their universities to polytechnics. The whole world is moving into robotic technology and there is no way you can get there with theoretical education in the universities, you need practical education; practically oriented technological education.”
“Technology and polytechnics are taking the center stage and it has to take the center stage if we must develop. At least, the difference between HND and B.Sc is already cleaned off. With all these, I think we are heading in the right direction.”
He commended President Mohammed Buhari for signing into law Nigeria Polytechnics Act.
“The President has signed into law the Polytechnic Act which means he is visionary, realizing that it is through polytechnic education, technological advancement that this country can move forward.”
“The President is also funding polytechnic education and he has within this year established more than 3 polytechnics. He is realizing the fact that polytechnic education is very important”, he said.