You might describe this as an irony but while the Federal Government is converting Polytechnics to Universities, Rector of Kaduna State Polytechnic, Prof. Idris Bugaje, has suggested that the reverse should be the case.
He says government should instead convert universities to polytechnics as a way of moving the nation’s economy forward.
This is coming at a time when the federal government is converting all Federal Polytechnics to degree awarding institutions, thereby scrapping the Higher National Diploma (HND) programme.
Bugaje suggested that for a single university there should be five polytechnics in the country in order to make the economy work.
Bugaje, who said this while speaking with newsmen in Kaduna state urged the Federal Government to follow the example recently showed by China.
According to him, “China three months ago converted 160 universities to polytechnics so that they will provide the middle-level manpower to move the Chinese economy forward.
”But at the moment we have more universities than polytechnics, so we are doing it in the reverse order in this country.
“For every single university, there should be nothing less than five polytechnics so that we can support the engineers. An engineer is trained to do design, but who implements the design and brings it into reality? Who does the fabrication, commission and installation of every plant? Is it not the technologists? So, we need more technologist than engineers.”
Bugaje also said he is not against the Federal Government’s move to turn its polytechnics to universities, but he would like Kaduna Polytechnic to maintain the tradition of awarding ND and HND.
Recall that the Federal Government recently scrapped award of Higher National Diploma, HND certificates by Polytechnics.
The decision to scrap the degree was reached on Wednesday, June 6, 2018, at the Federal Executive Council, FEC meeting.
The award of HND will, therefore, be limited to only the students that are currently admitted for the programmes in Polytechnics across the country.