• The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to establish polytechnics commission, to ensure a better coordination of such institutions.

    The call was made on Wednesday by the YABATECH SSANIP Chairman, Mr Olorunmbe Omopariola, who said that the polytechnics would be better managed and coordinated by the commission than the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), which had a lot of shortcomings.

    “There has been a lot of agitation by various unions in the polytechnic sector for the establishment of a commission to oversee the affairs of polytechnics in the country.

    “The universities and colleges of education have their own commissions; so, why should our own be different. Presently, the NBTE oversees the polytechnics.

    “Why can’t they give us a commission? If we have a commission, definitely the workings and general administration of the polytechnics will be better than what they are today,” Omopariola said.

    Omopariola urged the Federal Government to urgently address the dichotomy between university and polytechnic graduates, to ensure industrial harmony.

    He said that for over 16 years, various governments had promised to address the problem without any concrete solution.

    “There are a lot of anomalies in the placement of our graduates– the employers will tell you that the Higher National Diploma (HND) holders are inferior to university graduates.

    “Unfortunately, this is the practice in most federal and state government organisations; they give regard to the university graduates more than their polytechnic counterparts.

    “The new government must make it a priority to end the dichotomy between university and polytechnic graduates.

    “Former presidents, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Dr Goodluck Jonathan, inaugurated various committees to address the problem and make recommendations, but none was successful.

    “The government policy that discriminates against the polytechnic is not fair to the lecturers, who produce the students,” he stated.

    Omopariola urged Buhari to pay more attention to the education sector and increase the budgetary allocation to 26 per cent, as recommended by UNESCO.

    He also called for the payment of the arrears of the Consolidated Tertiary Institutions Salary Structure (CONTISS) 15, to avoid incessant strikes in the education sector. (NAN)

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