By Oluwaseun Akinlade
Suleiman Bogoro, the executive secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has charged Nigerian polytechnics to give industrial training and practical experience for students all the seriousness it deserves.
Bogoro made the call at a two-day capacity building workshop for public polytechnics with the theme; “Improving Skills Development in Nigerian Polytechnics for Economic Growth, Entrepreneurship and Social Inclusion” held at Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
According to the TETFund executive secretary, prioritising industrial training and practical experience for students will allow room for meaningful progress to be made on the delivery of the polytechnics’ mandates.
Bogoro said the reason polytechnics offer industrial training is for students to gain practical field knowledge in the industry, adding that students create and develop skills and competencies that they require to operate during the hands-on industrial attachment.
“The student must be monitored and supervised accordingly by their institutions to enable them to understand the work environment, through carefully selected and supervised industrial training programs,” he said.
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He reiterated that for Nigerian polytechnics to thrive, they must focus on manpower development for teaching and practicals, and those polytechnic lecturers must acquire relevant teaching skills to impart the required industry-tailored knowledge to students.
“Our polytechnics appear to be missing this very important requirement. Without these relevant teaching skills, our polytechnics can only turn out graduates with certificates but regrettably, without technical knowledge or skill.
“The acquisition of skills and entrepreneurship development in polytechnics cannot be underestimated because skills are needed in all critical sectors of the economy, technology and non-technology alike. Entrepreneurship on its part is seen as an entire process in which individuals in society pursue opportunities and fulfill needs through innovations.
“We can draw our lessons from the Asian tigers, who have greatly developed their local technology not only for national development but also for export. We cannot afford to continuously and wholly rely on the importation of technology for national development, knowing fully well its shortcomings and deficiencies,” Bogoro said.