The Service Compact with all Nigerians (SERVICOM) has decried insufficient equipment in some Polytechnics, saying the situation has defeated the purpose of establishing such institutions in the country.
Mrs Nnenna Akajemeli, the National Coordinator of SERVICOM made the observation on Tuesday in Abuja, when she presented the SERVICOM Compliance Evaluation Reports (SCER) of 23 out of 37 Polytechnic in Nigeria, to National Board for Technical Education (NBTE).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that SCER assessments by SERVICOM are to identify gaps and lapses, the strength of MDAs in the course of service delivery and make recommendations to address the weaknesses to improve customer satisfaction and accountability.
“The aim of establishing Polytechnics in Nigeria is to train technologists, technicians, ND, HND, and Advanced Professional Diploma which are relevant to the needs, aspirations and the development of the nation’s diverse economy and industries.
“In the other words, the main objective of Polytechnic education is the promotion of technical/vocational education and training, technology transfer as well as skills development to enhance the socio-economic advancement of the country among others, ” she said.
According to her, polytechnic education plays a vital role in the human resources development of a country by creating skilled manpower, enhancing industrial productivity, and improving the quality of life.
On the assessment of these institutions across the country, she said the agency’s team in its interactions with students noted some lapses that needed urgent attention to meet the required standards of education in those institutions.
She listed some of the lapses such as poor funding/low budgetary allocation, lack of power supply, dilapidated toiletries, lack of water, late attendance of lectures by lecturers, inadequate materials for practical, and poor library/laboratory facilities among others.
She said the situation had made learning difficult for students which had made graduates from these institutions to be ineffective to society.
According to her, the majority of Polytechnics visited complained of a shortage of both academics and non-teaching staff, which has led to over-working of the available staff, thereby impeding efficient and effective service delivery.
Akajemeli, however, commended other Polytechnics that have come up with some innovative ideas to improve technological development in Nigeria.
“Management of Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Owerri has produced ‘SMART CAPUS’, where screening and clearance, registration of courses are done online thereby reducing hardship faced by students.
“The Polytechnic has come up with several innovations such as electric car, drones. This shows that the inspection is achieving its mandates and also improving technological development,” she said.
While commending other Polytechnics for their innovative ideas, the SERVICOM boss called on NBTE management and relevant agencies to ensure that Polytechnics were adequately funded.
She said such an initiative would guarantee a smooth running of the institutions to achieve their mandates for the benefit of the students and the general public.
In his response, Prof. Idris Bugaje, the Executive Secretary of NBTE, commended efforts by SERVICOM to have come up with tremendous reports of both strength and lapses to improve service delivery in the Polytechnics institutions in Nigeria.
“SERVICOM is doing well and we are calling on all Polytechnics to strengthen all areas of weaknesses and improve more on their strength.
“The reports we have received from the 23 Polytechnics today is an eye-opener, is an independent assessment and we have seen gaps and lapses, we have also seen areas of strength and we are calling on all Polytechnics to improve and close the gaps,” he appealed.
Speaking on challenges, Bugaje appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to approve the recruitment of lecturers for all Polytechnics institutions in the country as the capable ones were retired and needed replacement, adding that inadequate funding was also a big challenge.