Friday, August 5, 2016

Scholars Kick Against Change Of Polytechnic To Varsity

Lecturers from the University of Lagos, UNILAG have kicked against the federal government’s directive to scrap the award of the Higher National Diploma (HND) by polytechnics in the country.

The lecturers claimed that the move would result in more unemployments for polytechnic lecturers.

The Federal Government had given a directive that Polytechnics should upgrade to campuses of the proximate universities with the Vice Chancellors of the upgraded universities appointing provosts for the polytechnics, subject to the ratification of the Universities’ Councils.

Acting Head, Mass Communication Department, UNILAG, Dr. Oluruntola Sunday, said that the move by Federal Ministry of Education will not augur well as certain machineries ought to have been put in place before declaring the outright scrapping of HND by polytechnics.

Prof Sunday noted that since most lecturers in polytechnics have to upgrade their degrees to a higher level so as to enable them fit into the university system, many lecturers may lose their jobs due to constraints of time, age , finance and even unfavourable structures.

“Although, in terms of financial benefits, polytechnic lecturers earn more than their universities counterpart. But, both qualifications and expectations as regard lecturing differ. So, for government to declare change of the status quo of the polytechnics; they have to put things in place.

For example, the consideration for lecturers in polytechnics to upgrade their degrees to varsity equivalent will and need to arise.

“If this arise, the implication is that some lecturers may lose their jobs due to certain constraint that has to do with their age, experience, time , finance and the issue of automatic change from what they were used to. The question is, what machineries are put in place to effect this change in policy?

Also, a senior lecturer from Mass Communication department, Dr. Tayo Poopola lamented that the constant change of policies without getting people’s opinions has been the bane in the education sector. Dr Poopola said that Nigeria, who operate a democratic rule, ought to set agenda for public discussion before declaring a new policy.

“This is a democratic era and in democracy, there is the Agenda Setting model. Government should set the agenda for public discussion. Let them get the views of members of the public. And take proactive steps that will be in the interest of the public,” he said.

”The era of somebody arrogating wisdom to formulating of policy that backfires is not good. This has been the bane of Nigeria’s education system. Before now, we had the 6-3-3-4 system which was scrapped. They brought 9-5-4. So, where are we going? This kind of policy changes in the education sector without due consultation is not good for national development,” he concluded.