Conversion of Polytechnics to Universities, Misplaced Priority — MAPOLY Alumnus

An alumnus of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY), Abeokuta, Chief Shina Luwoye, has described the conversion of polytechnics to universities by federal and state governments as a misplaced priority.

Luwoye, who is the President of the 83/88 Set of the Department of Accountancy of the institution, stated this at the foundation laying of a proposed accounting building to mark the set’s 35th anniversary of graduation, held in Abeokuta over the weekend.

He explained that the country needed graduates who could provide practical solutions to the nation’s problems.

The 83/88 Accountancy Set president lamented that the country currently lacked artisans and technicians due to the prevailing mentality that prioritises university education.

“This action of converting polytechnics to universities is a misplaced priority. Not everyone needs to go to the university. What we need in Nigeria’s economy is not a large number of university graduates.

“80 per cent of those going to university today don’t have to be in the university. What we need are artisans and professionals who can provide practical solutions to the nation’s problems.

“Today in Nigeria, we are lacking professionals and technicians. You don’t have to go to university to become a journalist. You can go to the Nigeria Institute of Journalism, a monotechnic. Our people have a strong inclination towards university education.

“We are producing technocrats and administrators who end up working as civil servants. It is the industries that can make Nigeria great. The country must invest in technology-driven education that equips people with marketable skills.

“If you have a B. A. or B. Sc. in history, what value does the holder of such a degree have for us in the society? How can such a person compare him or herself with someone with a national diploma in building technology? A degree in history is not particularly useful in the society. I’m not saying it’s not good to study history.

“University education is preparation for life. You need to acquire a skill that is marketable in the labour market, and that’s what polytechnic education is supposed to provide to drive the economy technologically, which is what we need.

“Our policymakers consistently convert polytechnics to universities, and every community in Nigeria wants a university. However, we find ourselves in this situation. Despite almost sixty years of university education, we can’t maintain a car in Nigeria, we can’t launch satellites into space, and we can’t even govern ourselves,” he added.

Luwoye applauded the management of the institution for its great transformation and urged them to find lasting solutions to the incessant strikes in the institution.

He also charged students of the institution to avoid any actions that could jeopardise their future.

The proposed accounting building will include a theatre hall and a laboratory for accounting students’ training.

The institution’s Rector, Dr Adeoye Odedeji, called for adequate funding of polytechnics to sustain academic excellence.

He appreciated the 83/88 Alumni Set for proposing to construct the accounting building on the campus.

Odedeji lauded the set for producing the nation’s Accountant-General of the Federation, Dr. Oluwatoyin Madein, noting that the institution had continued to produce Higher National Diploma graduates who qualify as chartered accountants before they graduate from the school.