THE Federal Government has banned Polytechnics in the country from illegal running of Post-Graduate Diploma (PGD) programmes.
Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i, has accordingly directed the authorities of the institutions to stop the running of Post Higher National Diploma HND programmes, saying it was outside their mandate.
She gave this directive on Monday, in Abuja, while inaugurating the Governing Councils of 15 Federal Polytechnics, 19 Colleges of Education and two parastatals under the Federal Ministry of Education.
This is just as the former Minister of Transport and Chairman Governing Council of Federal Polytechnic, Yaba, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, has vowed to enhance the position of Yaba College of Technology as the best higher institution in Nigeria.
Rufa’i further urged the governing councils to streamline the programmes of polytechnics and colleges of education so as to meet national and international needs and standards.
She said there was the urgent need to refocus institutional mandates of teaching, research, training, and community services in order to make tertiary education more relevant to the needs of the economy.
Professor Rufa’i said this required a critical review and implementation of the various programmes and curricula of polytechnics and Colleges of Education.
She tasked the governing councils of the institutions and boards of the agencies to devise alternative ways of generating fund and revenue outside government’s allocation, saying funding had remained a major constrain in the management of the institutions.
She said: “Another major challenge which has to be seriously addressed by the governing councils is the issue of Institutional Master Plans.
Approved Mast Plans that facilitate the development of well organised tertiary institutions with facilities in place should be strictly adhered to.”
The Minister also warned that the position of Rector/Provosts and other principal officers should not be localised but must be opened to all qualified Nigerians, irrespective of where they came from, adding that the provosts and registrars of colleges of education should sign NCE certificates as obtained in polytechnics and universities.
She challenged the councils to develop effective strategies for early detection and eradication of all forms vices such as examination malpractice, sexual harassment, extortion, inducement, loss of examination scripts and results among others.
She also decried the delay in release of original certificates to students and tasked the council members to ensure that “issuance of certificates to graduating students is a prerequisite for approvals for holding convocation,” adding, “no certificate no convocation”.
Council and management of the institutions were, however, urged to ensure immediate implementation of the external audit reports.
“You are expected to effectively implement the views of Government (White Paper) on the Visitation Panel Reports to your institutions as soon as they are available. I assure you that the federal Ministry of Education will render all needed assistance in relation to this issue whenever the need arises”, the minister tasked.
The two parastatals included National Teachers Institute (NTI) to be chaired by Barr Ali Sa’ad and Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) chaired by Dr Stephen Dike.