The union said appointing professors from Nigerian Universities to head polytechnics across the nation is one of the problems killing the polytechnic system in Nigeria.
The tenure of the current management of Ibadan Polytechnic led by Prof. Kazeem Adebiyi will elapse March 2024.
Speaking with The Nation, the chairman, Ibadan Polytechnic chapter of ASUP, Dr. Kola Lawal, said chief lecturers, who have served the institution in various capacities should be appointed as rector of the institution, saying they are in the best position to turn around the fortunes of the institution.
He said some of the chief lecturers have spent like 20 to 25years in the polytechnic system, they understand how polytechnic works and will keep the ground running after the appointment.
He stated: “We have alot of qualify Chief Lecturers in the system, alot of them have been Directors, HODs, and Dean’s of Faculties and have served in one capacity or the others, they have academic and administrative requisite to lead and govern the Polytechnic.”
“To make it easy, alot of lecturers in Polytechnic system now has PHD, Poly Ibadan have more PHD holder than even some Universities, there is no departments you have here that you won’t have close to half of the lecturers with PHD and alot are still on PHD program, the era of Polytechnics lecturers having nothing to drive things has gone.”
“In terms of administration, we have people that have risen to Chief lecturers which is the highest one can attain in a Polytechnic system, just as the Professor is the highest position you can attain in the University system.”
He stated that the institution cannot afford to have a Professor as Rector of the institution again, saying ASUP will not take anything less than a Chief lecturer from the institution as its Rector.
He noted that Ibadan Polytechnic is a breeding ground for Rectors in Nigerian Polytechnics because the institution has Chief lecturers who understand the system and can govern Polytechnics.
He maintained that the last four to five Rectors Ibadan Polytechnic had are all Professor’s from a particular University in Nigeria, saying Nigerian Polytechnics can no longer continue to become an appendages of universities.
Adebiyi noted: “NBTE recently sent a memo to all state owned institutions, and the provision for this guidelines must be strictly adhere to in appointing management staff in the Polytechnics, the letter also reads that any Polytechnic that fail to comply might have it’s accreditation widrawn or won’t get further accreditation from NBTE because they have seeing the deservice a Professor heading Polytechnic done to the Polytechnic system.”
“Now that we now have a regulation from our regulatory body approved by Federal Ministry of education that henceforth, whoever want to be a Rector of Polytechnics must be a Chief lecturers from the Polytechnic system, so, it has become our mandate as a union and ASUP chapter in Poly Ibadan.”
“We have gotten approval from the National Assembly and Federal government, ASUP recently told government to cut appointment of Professors as the Rector of Polytechnics, and the case has been determined and the rulling was in favor of ASUP which means that henceforth, only a Chief lecturers from Polytechnic can govern Polytechnic.”
“In Nigeria, most of our government rely on importing people from the University system to come and rule over the Polytechnic system, and this is one of the problem that kills the Polytechnic system in Nigeria because when they come, they are bringing the culture of the University.”
“NBTE said 70% practicals should be Polytechnic content and the remaining 30% should be theory, whereas reverse is the case in the University system because we have more content of theory than practical, so when someone from the University come to head us here, they will look at us with the eyes of the University they are coming.”
“They don’t understand the system, if you go round and take survey of Rectors of Polytechnics in Nigeria, you will see that all of them are professors, whereas, we have Chief lecturers in the Polytechnic system, professorship is just a promotion.”
“When we want to appoint Rector for Polytechnic, we go to University and bring professor who have not work or understand the working of the Polytechnic system, he does not understand the practical is what we dwell on here.”
“It has cause alot of problem because many Polytechnic now trend towards University structure, practical content is now going off the Polytechnic because they don’t understand where we are coming from, that is why our union at the national body started the agitations that henceforth, we will not allow Universities professors to come and be Rectors of Polytechnics in Nigeria.”
“The advocacy has gotten to the National Assembly which gave birth of National Polytechnic Act that clearly stipulated that anybody that must be a Rector must be a Chief Lecturer from the Polytechnic sector.”
“Years back, we have one of us that has brief taste of been a Rector, and that era was one of the best the institution has ever withness just because the person has worked and understand the system perfectly which make it easier for him to hit the ground running.”
“We’ve once had a Rector at a first meeting that said he has never set his feet inside The Polytechnic, we know what most of them use to say about Polytechnic, but when it now come to Rectorship position, they start to run hecter and sceter, so, they are coming to take from a system they don’t believe in, a system they have run down with their mouth and a system they have castigated in the past, and we are saying enough is enough.”
“We have qualify hands in Polytechnic that can govern, with the backing of the National Polytechnic Act, NBTE Act, and with the backing of the Governing Council of this institution, because we have taken this document to our Governing Council.”
“With the documents in place, we know that our governor, who is a law abiding person who will not go against the lay down rules and regulations.”