Education

The Importance of Polytechnic Education in Nigeria

Here in this post, we are going to outline and discuss the importance of polytechnic education in Nigeria. We hope you find this post informative.

 The mere mention of polytechnic education as a higher institution of learning sparks arguments and counter-arguments in Nigeria.

Over the years, while the emphasis of how important polytechnic education is has been laid on different platforms, in reality, we have seen quite a level of disparity in the way graduates of polytechnic are treated in comparison to their university counterparts.

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The Importance of Polytechnic Education in Nigeria
The Importance of Polytechnic Education in Nigeria – Photo Source: https://www.dailyschoolnews.com.ng

Interestingly, some organizations even some governmental agencies, do not allow polytechnic graduates to hold certain managerial positions.

For some reasons, they are treated as the inferior class. Going by the current realities on ground, despite the many statements on the fact that both polytechnic and university graduates should be treated the same, sadly the reverse is the case.

It might interest you to know that the first tertiary institution in Nigeria which interestingly happens to be an institution of technology; Yaba College of Technology was established in 1932. It was initially known as Yaba High College and commenced studies in 1934.

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As the subject of the importance of polytechnic education is under view, I believe it is worthy of note at this point, to underscore what polytechnic education is all about. I believe this would help better our understanding of its importance, going forward.

“Polytechnic education is the promotion of technical and vocational education and training, technology transfer and skills development to enhance the socio-economic development of the country”

While the definition provided above already points our attention to points that can be considered sacrosanct, highlighting them more particularly would help solidify our understanding of the importance of polytechnic education in Nigeria.

To further strengthen this positon, I took the liberty of drawing from some of the submissions of Ale (2004) on the importance of Polytechnic education. I would however, shed some light on some of these points afterwards. They include:

  1. Human resource development through the provision of skilled man power.
  2. Train people who can apply scientific knowledge to solve environmental problems for the convenience of man.
  3. Offers an opportunity for students to personally practice the theoretical models in the classroom.
  4. Provision of technical knowledge and skills necessary for agricultural, industrial, commercial and economic development of the nation.
  5. Provide people who can apply scientific knowledge to the improvement and solution of environmental hazard.
  6. Give exposure on professional studies in technology
  7. Give training and impact the necessary skills for the production of technicians, technologists and other skilled personnel who shall be enterprising and self-reliant.

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Human Resource Development through the Provision of Skilled Man Power:

Polytechnic education without a doubt is major contributor to our human resource as a nation. The fact is despite the many improvement in technology, computers cannot replace the human touch. Polytechnic education has helped to make skilled man power available across different sections of our nation.

In closing, considering how important Polytechnic education is in Nigeria, essentially as bedrock for development. It is however, sad, that based on the current realities on ground, Polytechnic graduates are considered as the easiest option for skilled but cheap labor.

Train People Who Can Apply Scientific Knowledge To Solve Environmental Problems For The Convenience Of Man:

The nature of the training made available in polytechnics in Nigeria is such that prepares the student to be able to apply the knowledge acquired to solve real time problems that cuts across various areas of human needs. Needs revolving around, environmental studies, construction, hotel management to mention but a few are holistically covered in polytechnics for the main purpose of solving measurable human challenges in such areas.

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Offers An Opportunity For Students To Personally Practice The Theoretical Models In The Classroom:

Students are generally exposed to many theories in the classroom environment. But being exposed to theories can at best provide with a wealth of knowledge to attempt exam questions and appear intelligent in theory.

However, polytechnic education goes a step further; to positon students for hands on experience of every theory they have been exposed to in class.

The polytechnic education in Nigeria is designed to make provision for SIWES (Student Industrial Work Experience Scheme) which lasts for 3 months after their first year and another 12 months of I.T (Industrial Training) after their second year in the polytechnic before they can obtain what is referred to as OND (Ordinary National Diploma).

Provision of Technical Knowledge and Skills Necessary for Agricultural, Industrial, Commercial and Economic Development of the Nation:

Polytechnic education in Nigeria, is a like a two edged sword. Asides providing knowledge, it also ensures that the required skills for agricultural, industrial and economic developed in transferred to students.

You would agree that these sectors are very vital in the scheme of things in any society. Many times than note, polytechnic students offering courses in these areas are exposed to rigorous training and exposure in their respective fields that prepares them to become solution providers in these areas subsequently.

Give Training And Impact The Necessary Skills For The Production Of Technicians, Technologists And Other Skilled Personnel Who Shall Be Enterprising And Self-Reliant:

Quite sadly, everybody in Nigeria is more interested in white collar jobs. While their fears are valid as the argument is that these jobs provides job security among other things, it is important to also be thorough and realistic enough to know, that not everybody can have a white collar job.

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Fact it, there are not many of such jobs to go round, enough to cater for the rising population of Nigeria. Without a doubt, polytechnic education had these in mind from the beginning.

Polytechnic education in Nigeria is more interested in training; equipping and deploying students are productive, purposeful, strategic, enterprising and self-reliant enough to add value to the society with or without a white collar job. This right here is the answer to the alarming rate of unemployment and under-employment currently bedeviling our nation.

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Victor Ogungbe

Victor Ogungbe is a Public Affairs Analyst and Content Developer at InfoGuideNigeria.com. InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Roberts. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Roberts. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly contact us.

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