Last updated on October 29th, 2023 at 07:18 am
Due to marginalization of graduates of Polytechnics in Nigeria, there is an upsurge of upgrading Polytechnics in the country to University status by the Federal and State Governments.
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For instance, the College of Education, Ilesa, Osun State was upgraded to a university in 2022 which is now known as the University of Ilesa.
Colleges of Education are not also left out in the conversion being undertaken by the government.
For instance, Kano State-owned Saadatu Rimi College of Education was formally converted to a university on February 15, 2023. It is now known as the University of Education, Kumbotso, Kano.
While the government continue to convert Colleges of Education and Polytechnics to Universities in Nigeria, does the move pose a threat for the purpose of which they were set up?
The objective of setting up Polytechnic
The idea behind polytechnic education is borne out of the need to provide technical and vocational training, technology transfer and skills development to enhance the socio-economic development of Nigeria.
To address national manpower needs in a technical/technological direction
Purpose of College of Education
According to the National Policy on Education, Colleges of Education were established to train and produce professional teachers for vocational and technical secondary schools.
Why Polytechnics and Colleges of Education Are Being Upgraded To Universities
1) There is BSC/HND dichotomy, a situation whereby a university graduate feels that they are superior to their polytechnic graduates.
2) University graduates get more accelerated promotions than polytechnic graduates.
3) To increase access to university education for citizens, according to the Executive Secretary, NUC, Prof Abubakar Rasheed
4) In most of the private and government vacancies, graduates from Universities have an advantage over those with HND certificates.
5) Anachronistic policies of the government on degree-awarding status for the polytechnics.
6) In most cases, HND holders either go for a conversion programme from HND to BSC or obtain a Direct Entry form into the university to get a university degree.
7) Drop in enrolment figures in polytechnics due to the discrimination against the polytechnics.
The Move By Lawmakers and Stakeholders
To eradicate the discriminatory dichotomy, “A Bill for an Act to Abolish and Prohibit Dichotomy and Discrimination between First Degree and Higher National Diploma in the Same Profession/Field for the Purpose of Employment; and for Related Matters” was passed by the House of Representatives on November 23, 2021.
Earlier, The Senate did the same, thanks to Senator Ayo Akinyelure.
“The enactment of the bill to abolish and prohibit discrimination between First Degrees and Higher National Diploma for the purpose of employment in Nigeria will no doubt freeholders of HND from stagnation and ensure balanced treatment with their counterparts from other higher tertiary institutions in Nigeria”.Ibrahim Shekarau said in 2021.
And by June 2, 2021, the Senate passed the bill, which at the time of publication is awaiting the consent of the president.
The bill was presented to President Muhammadu Buhari for his assent, but he didn’t sign it into law before leaving office (May 29, 2023).
If the plan to remove BSC/HND dichotomy fails, then upgrading the polytechnics to universities will partially solve the issue of discrimination between HND holders and BDC/BA holders.
However, upgrading Polytechnics to Universities will most likely defeat the essence of technical education in Nigeria.
But if the upgraded polytechnics can follow the technical curriculum, then the issue may be partly solved.
So, which Polytechnics and Colleges of Education have been converted to university status in Nigeria?
List of Polytechnics Upgraded To Universities in Nigeria
Here is the date the below state and federal polytechnics were converted to university status:
- Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro NOW Delta State University of Science and Technology, Ozoro (March 26, 2021)
- Abia State Polytechnic NOW Abia State University of Science and Technology, Aba (October 27, 2021)
- Yaba College of Technology NOW Federal University of Technology, Yaba (May 19, 2021)
- Kaduna State Polytechnic NOW Federal University of Technology, Kaduna (May 19, 2021)
- Lagos State Polytechnic NOW Lagos State University of Science and Technology, Ikoodu (got approval of NUC on February 8, 2022)
- Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro NOW University of Technology, Ilaro (June 1, 2021)
- Federal Polytechnic, Offa NOW Federal University of Technology, Offa (February 1, 2022)
- Abia State College of Health Sciences and Management Studies NOW Abia State University of Health Science and Management Studies, Aba (October 27, 2021)
List of Colleges of Education Upgraded To Universities in Nigeria
- College of Education, Agbor NOW Delta State University of Education, Agbor (March 26, 2021)
- Abia State College of Education NOW Abia State University of Education, Arochukwu (October 27, 2021)
- Adeyemi College of Education NOW Federal University of Education, Ondo (January 11, 2022)
- Alvan Ikoku College of Education NOW Alvan Ikoku University of Education, Owerri (May 20, 2015)
- Emmanuel Alayande College of Education NOW University of Education, Oyo (December 5, 2022)
- Osun State College of Education, Ilesa NOW University of Ilesa (November 10, 2022)
- Merger of Michael Otedola College of Primary Education and Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education NOW Lagos State University of Education, Ijanikin (February 8, 2022)
- Shehu Shagari College of Education NOW Shehu Shagari University of Education, Sokoto (March 21, 2022)
- Saadatu Rimi College of Education NOW University of Education, Kumbotso, Kano (February 15, 2023
Concerns Over Conversion of Polytechnics and Colleges of Education to University
1) The future of technical education system in Nigeria is at risk
2) The National President of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) Anderson Ezeibe said the upgrade is not only frivolous but also a “manifestation of lack of consistency in pursuit of vision by proprietors of public polytechnics in the country.”