Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics has urged the National Assembly to make legislations that will rejuvenate the polytechnic education system towards technological revolution in Nigeria.

Former Chairman of ASUP, Kaduna Polytechnic Chapter Comrade Mustapha Yahaya Bida made the call while delivering a paper at the ASUP Week organized by the Kaduna Polytechnic Chapter of the Union.

He said a situation where the polytechnic sector is deprived of funding and discriminated against in favour of the university, will keep under developing the country.

“We need an attitudinal change that shows that, we have realized that it is only technical education that can give us a new direction in Nigeria. There is need for the legislative arm of government to rejuvenate the Polytechnic education system, so that, we can really have a new technological revolution we have been clamouring for, that will lead to technological development of Nigeria. Only the Polytechnic can provide that” he said.

“Polytechnic education is the basis for technological development. The sector is very creative and the government has forgotten that it is most costly to run. A situation where as a parents you gave birth to two children and you are giving support to only one and you tell the other one go to hell, this is what is happening to polytechnic education now”.

“Even the press has given much attention to the university, immediately they cry out the press is there to support them; traditional institutions, religious leaders always support the university forgetting that the polytechnics are in dire need of reactivation of laboratories, workshops, at times those in the sciences especially those in the chemical engineering, applied sciences, the agents they require at times, they don’t even have access to them. Sometimes, the institutions will go and look for internally generated resources and try to augment, so that these laboratories can run so that the students can learn”.

“Polytechnic education is practically oriented. When students go on SIWES, the polytechnic students are more productive because of our nature but government is not giving attention to polytechnic education. Twice the government has intervened directly or indirectly to fund the universities, rehabilitate universities, when you go round some of the universities are surviving because of the state funds. There is lopsidedness, for example, one university that is not even up to a college in Kaduna Polytechnic will receive N200million in a year while the Polytechnic counterpart will get less than half of it because of the lopsided policy.

“Again what the polytechnic gets for academic staff training development and research is always 50% of what is given to the universities, why this kind of lopsidedness? The implications is that the government is not out to see the productive nature of the polytechnic system; the technological reactivation of our system.

“We have had innovations not from the universities but from the polytechnic. The polytechnic programs have won even at the world body because of the skills, attention. polytechnic education is trying to link theory with practicals but universities rely on literature and just go like that.

“ASUP tried recently to get approval of N15bn, but it has not seen the light of the day up till this very moment. Why this kind of discrimination? Polytechnic can change the structure of this country, and the dependence on foreign products,” he said.

Speaking to journalists at the exhibition stand where some of the Kaduna Polytechnic’s technological innovations were on display, Deputy Rector Academics, Dr Rosemary Kato called on the Federal Government to do all it can to improve the funding for the technical education sector to enable Nigeria achieve its goals of technological development.

She said, “when we don’t fund technology, it means our dreams are not realized at the end of the day, we are not able to go beyond a particular limit. The better we improve the finding, the better our chances of meeting our national goals.”

Earlier, the ASUP Chapter Chairman, Comrade Mohammed Mohammed said the week-long event which is themed; ‘broadening the frontiers of our bond’ was designed to further promote and entrench the existence of brotherhood amongst members for they share a common destiny.

Cov/Adamu Yusuf/Kaduna