Are our Polytechnics A life Sentence for Mediocrity

The Roots Of Education Are Bitter, But The Fruits Are Sweet- Aristotle

The only time I ever seriously considered going to a polytechnic was when my SS 3 English teacher who was also the school’s assistant chaplain, was telling us about the “Benefits of Polytechnics”. Sure I had heard of Polytechnics before but for some reasons unknown to me at that time, I just had never given it a serious thought.

But here was my English teacher charismatically advertising the more hands-on approach of polytechnics. I began giving serious thought. It wasn’t long after that, I began to realise what I am about to tell you.

Though I was privileged to be in a secondary school where all of my teachers where university graduates and a large amount of them had masters degrees, the administrative workers as the school called them, such as the maintenance personnel, dining hall staff and hostel staff, either did not have any form of tertiary education or they had OND’s and HND’s.

After all the JAMB and WAEC bantering I realised that if you graduate from a polytechnic the odds are, you are going to get a horrible job (if you get a job at all), you are going to be promoted at a pace of snail square, not to mention your income would need divine supplements, generally you are a second class citizen in the work place. Believe it or not for some time I was happy that I didn’t take my polytechnic desires seriously.

Then it dawned on me that polytechnic graduates and university graduates, wrote the same WAEC and JAMB maybe even NECO and GCE (although the cut-off marks may differ).

Imagine my surprise when I found out that Auchi Polytechnic as the 11th best Tertiary institution in Nigeria in 2014 and was rumoured to have been the 2nd best in 2013 beating every single Private University except Covenant university and University sages like University of Calabar in 2014. I mean it’s absolutely dumbfounding and to think that Auchi polytechnic is in all probability more underfunded than most if not all of our Federal, state and private universities.

Gate Of Auchi Poly

To think that with such potential to develop our educational sector, our polytechnics have been on strike for eons now, simply because everyone has regarded them as inferior. Not just the federal and state governments but everyone.

I think ASUP deserves an audience as much as ASUU with the federal government. I also think employers should not employ based on certification alone but on character and capacity and if we simply won’t treat a HND degree as similar to a BS.C I think some of our polytechnics should be converted to degree awarding institutions. Most importantly I think it is embarrassing that any form of educational institution would be on strike for this long without any form of serious negotiations and discussions.

Anyway this is just my take what do I know, I just talk a lot. Tell me what you think, I would live to hear from you.

P.S. To see the Webometric Rankings check here


2 Replies to “Are our Polytechnics A life Sentence for Mediocrity”

  1. I think that Nigeria has a long way to go when it comes to the value placed on education. As i understand it, Polytechnics are meant to teach the practical/technical aspects of a discipline, while the bachelors delves more into theoretical/guiding principles of the discipline. In a sane society OND/HND’s bring a certain level of technical expertise to the table that a B.A or B.Sc holder may not possess. In fact it used to be that HND’s and B.A holders were hired side by side as a complete team (theory and practice) in companies.

    Once the Nigerian educational system lost sight of the distinction between the two, they effectively opened the door for the degree discrimination we see today. Polytechnics in the States are among the best ranking institutions in the country. I think there needs to be an overhaul of the entire education system in the country to rectify this problem.

    The ongoing ASUP strike is just terrible. One would think that the current administration would place priority on education, since our president was once in the system. Quite sad.

    Good piece.


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