The National Conference Committee on Social Sector has proposed the immediate removal of the dichotomy on University/polytechnic graduates in Nigeria.
Conference Committee in its report urged the federal government to remove the dichotomy in other to restore dignity in our tertiary education.
The Committee chaired by Iyom Josephine Anineh, in its recommendations which was debated on Wednesday, argued for equal recognition for University and Polytechnic education
” Tertiary education in Nigeria is provided by colleges of Education, Polytechnics, Monotechnics, Vocational Enterprise Institutions and Universities establishment by Federal and State government as well as private organizations,” it stated.
Adding, “Despite the number and variety of tertiary institutions, admission challenges are huge and seem to be perennial. There is a disparity in the cut-off of entry score into universities and other types of tertiary institutions, with universities required higher scores.
“Despite this, yet most candidates prefer the universities, most probably because of the difference in status and salary accorded the university graduates vis-a-vis those of other types of institutions.”
The chairman of the Committee maintained that “graduates of Polytechnics and similar specialized tertiary education institutions are geared towards more practical-oriented education than University graduates whom they compliment in the world of work.
“Each type of institution therefore has different mandates in terms of preparing graduates for society. Given this understanding, both institutions should be adequately equipped and funded to achieve their goals. Government should facilitate the removal of dichotomy on polytechnic/university graduates,” Anenih argued.
In his reaction to the proposal for removal of the dichotomy, Professor Femi Mimiko, who kicked against the proposal warned the committee against proposing a wrong question.
He said that what is important is making sure each of the institutions perform based on the purpose it is set up, arguing that they have different purposes and objectives. Mimiko stressed the need for adequate funding of the educational
Another delegate, Isa Aremu, who represents the labour group, blamed the country’s educational woes on the collapse of the social sector. He suggested the inclusion of history in primary education curriculum to enable succeeding generations know where we are coming from.
Nasser Kura, a delegate from the civil society organization, called for the restoration of certain values that has attachment with our educational system. He stressed the need for the mainstreaming of the Almajiri schools by incorporating it into normal educational curriculum.
Professor Laraba Gambo, representing Bauchi State suggested that the Almajiri schools should be married with the western education. But another delegate, Professor Nnenna Oti, said that funding of education should be taken seriously given the numbers of children out of school.
She argued that “If we must develop, every child must be in school. We are talking of a world without barrier where sex will not be a barrier on what you want to become,” she said.