Knowledge is power and the power deals with knowledge and practice for students to excel and prosper in their areas of studies and to meet the demands of the nation and its citizens.

The words of Professor Idris Bugaje, the Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), go well with the future development of countries with philosopher Jim Rohn.

Rohn said, ‘Don’t bring your need to the marketplace, bring your skill. If you don’t feel well, tell your doctor, but not the marketplace. If you need money, go to the bank, but not the marketplace’ and it is for this reason the most fast growing economies put skill in practice than school certificates.”

In many developed countries, skill is being applied to prosper in every sphere of knowledge. But in Africa the story is different and it is for this reason Professor Idris Bugaje is canvassing to changed the African tarmac of development that skill is what matters to Africa and not certificates.

Bugaje, a renowned professor of chemical engineering from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria lays emphasis on skills in academics than in certificates. Knowledge and the induction of skills both make a perfect student and to Professor Bugaje this is the pillar of building a very strong and viable nation and which an under-developing countries and which developing countries can deploy to get to the apex of development with this practical logic and notion as stated by August Comte.

China converted 600 universities to polytechnics to empower its economy and enhance its technological advancement. Even before this trend of China’s conversion, Professor Bugaje has been advocating skill rather than paper evidence of knowledge to measure employment criteria. African nations should overhaul their educational curricula to meet the needs of the world educational standard of the NBTE – Skills Not Degrees.

On July 15, 2018, the Guardian newspaper carried a story of Professor Bugaje urging the Nigerian government to convert some universities to polytechnics to create a good path of improving its economy, science and technology.

In his book,  Skills not Degrees; the New White Collar Job, 2018 Professor Bugaje highlighted that most under-developed and developing countries need skill than certificates for their students and emphasised that skill is the way out for economic development and job creation.

Professor Bugaje’s research proved that the fastest way to wipe out insecurity and restore peace is through building students of all schools with knowledge of entrepreneurship to make the learners independents after schools.

Professor Bugaje gave the example of Europe and Asia as regions that developed with skills and stated that Africa must make changes to its education curricula from the grassroots to meet the Millennium Development Goals on education.

Though some countries and Nigerian polytechnics are not attracting much concern and patronage like universities by students and parents but the two institutions have different missions and regulations.

The Modern Ghana on May 5,  2014, reported that the main objective of polytechnic education “is the promotion of technical and vocational education and training, technology transfer and skills development to enhance the socio-economic development of the country, universities are established to give much theoretical knowledge.

Thus, Professor Bugaje said university students are to work in the companies or firms established by polytechnic students as administrators to meet the demands of people but “at the moment we have more universities than polytechnics’.

The NBTE scribe said for skill to satisfy every nation “for every single university, there should be nothing less than five polytechnics so that we can support the engineers”.

Bugaje explained that a university “engineer is trained only to do design, to implement the design, but a polytechnic engineer is to do the fabrication, bring it to reality, commission and install it. So, we need more technologists than engineers.” (Pulse Nigeria, 2017)

With all the opportunities in the polytechnics, many African students and government pay little attention to polytechnics. In Nigeria, there is priority in job offerss for university graduates whereas graduates of polytechnics have more skills than their university counterparts; the dichotomy should be abolished to promote polytechnic education.

The former Registrar and the Chief Executive Officer of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof Dibu Ojeri, corroborated Bugaje .

He said, “For Nigeria to be advanced technologically and scientifically the political will to implement national objectives and plans must be formulated and implemented.

Nigeria must get serious with the issue of technology and science-based education because this is where to begin

Developing Nigeria and any other developing or Under – developing nation requires the need to readjust all the retro-progressive  effects that are not suitable to the needs of the people in the education sector.

Culled from

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