From Mfon Ekefre, Uyo
Educationists in Akwa Ibom State have expressed concern over the proliferation of polytechnics in the state and called on the state Ministry of Education to check the trend in order not to destroy the credibility of polytechnic certificates.
The educationists, who featured on a panel of discussants on a private radio programme on the topic “Educational Development” observed that a drive around the state capital and its environs will reveal bill boards advertising such institutions.
They observed that between 2008 and 2015 polytechnic institutions has witnessed phenomenal growth. “While there is nothing wrong with the private sector providing opportunities for Nigerians who are in need of polytechnic education, government has a duty to protect its citizens from being swindled by callous businessmen who are ready to sell polytechnic certificates to desperate members of the public,” they said.
The panellists recalled that the Federal Ministry of Education had banned the establishment of sandwich centres nationwide.
One of the discussants said: “What most private polytechnics do is to bribe well established institutions to absorb these fake candidates in defiance of what the Federal Ministry of Education had done because they cannot meet up with the required standard of certified of students, hence their resolve to run fake polytechnics.”
The discussants also alleged that some of these institutions never sat for nor passed JAMB examinations and those who were appointed lectures in these schools do not possess the basic qualification requirements to teach in tertiary institutions.
“Today, we have private secondary schools which are nothing but ‘examination success centres.’, and such schools do not have qualified teachers or teaching facilities and during WASSCE they register students with thousands of naira with which they bribe examination bodies and law enforcements to turn blind eyes to the massive examination malpractices and at the end they record 100 per cent success in WASSCE and NECO examinations,” a panellist said.
They advised the state ministry of education to convene a meeting of private polytechnics in the state and screen their letters of approval by NBTE for verification.
They said: “Government should look at the courses they are running if they agree with what they are given approval for, and most importantly, find out if their students sat for JAMB.
“Government has a duty to protect its citizens and the quality of certificates they have, after all, the students will use same certificates to look for jobs in the state.
“The Ministry of Education should inspect the facilities in these institutions and help NBTE to approve or close down those not good enough and to also help to educate ignorant parents to know where they send their desperate children to.”
From Mfon Ekefre, Uyo