Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom, says the state government has earmarked N100 million as grant for the state-owned polytechnic to begin the process of securing full accreditation for its courses.
According to a statement by Mr Essien Uduese, the Special Adviser on Media to the Governor, Emmanuel said this at the sixth convocation of the polytechnic held at its Ikot Osurua campus in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area of the state.
The governor was quoted to have also expressed delight that the National Board for Technical Education had granted approval to the polytechnic for a few outstanding courses.
He charged the polytechnic authorities to incorporate entrepreneurial development in the institution’s curriculum to facilitate economic advancement in the country.
Emmanuel underscored the need for the institution to ensure quality content and capacity building in all its programmes.
He said: “The rejigging of the curriculum will enable students of the institution to become job creators after graduation rather than job seekers.
“Every single aspect of our development in education should look at entrepreneurship because that is where the next line of action for economic development of any developing country lies.”
The governor said that there was need for a paradigm shift away from the design of African method of education, where people were trained to come out and search for white-collar jobs.
He gave an assurance that his administration would continue to invest in education in order to prepare the Akwa Ibom child for the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century.
He said that the state government was planning an education summit that would help to reshape the sector.
He said that government would soon constitute the Governing Councils for the polytechnic and state-owned university “to put things in the right perspective.”
Emmanuel commended the academic staff of the polytechnic for their commitment in ensuring that graduates of the institution were properly equipped to compete with their counterparts across the globe.
He congratulated the graduands on their achievement and directed the polytechnic to commence annual convocation of graduates.
In an address, the Acting Rector of the polytechnic, Dr. Moses Umobong, said that the institution was vigorously pursuing its mandate in training and research in the Applied Sciences, Technology and other fields to meet the manpower needs of the nation.
Umobong said that the polytechnic authorities had resolved to sustain the prevailing peace in the institution, eliminate divisiveness and rancour and also preserve the enviable status earned over the years.
He thanked the governor for giving the institution the leverage to stand out in academic activities and affiliations with several professional bodies.
Umobong said that no fewer than 400 graduates of the polytechnic had been inducted and granted professional licence to practice by the Nigerian Institute of Science Laboratory Technology (NIISLT).
He attributed the feat to the high standard and quality of training, following a decade of accreditation of its Science Laboratory Technology programmes.
He said that in spite of the recruitment of additional 100 personnel to bring the polytechnic’s staff strength to 640, the institution still needed more manpower for a more efficient service delivery.
He attributed the shortage of staff to the accreditation of more courses, rise in student population, among other factors.
The statement further stated that 9,096 students graduated from various disciplines during the convocation.