The Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, has charged Nigerian polytechnics to give industrial training and attachment all the seriousness it deserves, for any meaningful progress to be made on the delivery of their mandates.
Executive Secretary of TETFund, Prof Suleiman Bogoro, gave the charge at a 2-day capacity building workshop for public polytechnics, held in Abuja, with the theme: “Improving Skills Development in Nigerian Polytechnics for Economic Growth, Entrepreneurship and Social Inclusion.”
Prof. 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 understand the Work environment, through carefully selected and supervised industrial training programs,” he said.
The TETFund boss, who noted that for Nigerian polytechnics to thrive, they must focus on manpower development for teaching and practical, said polytechnic lecturers must acquire relevant teaching skills to impart the required industry-tailored knowledge to students.
Also speaking, the Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education, NBTE, Prof Idris Bugaje, described the workshop as a wakeup call to every polytechnic to reposition itself for skills development.
Prof Bugaje said the workshop was to address skills training under the National Skills Qualification Framework, NSQF and improve the skills content of technical education in polytechnics.
He decried the low skills content in polytechnics, stating that at National Diploma, ND, and Higher National Diploma, HND, the level of skills content is depreciating.
“This workshop is supposed to address the skills content of technical education and, enhancement of entrepreneurship as delivered in the polytechnics.
“In order words, we know that in the polytechnics our entrepreneurship programme is better than that of the universities, but something is also missing, the training is somewhat conducted haphazardly. Skills content is very low. There is need to look into the NSQF and see how entrepreneurship training in the various entrepreneurship development centres of polytechnics can be conducted under the NSQF.