THE Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, on Saturday said the federal government was committed to strengthening the capacity of polytechnics to train competent graduates for technological development in the country.
The minister stated this at the 24th convocation of the 2015/2016 graduating students of the Federal Polytechnics, Auchi, Edo State.
The minister was represented at the occasion by Professor Ekpenyong Ekpenyong, director, Physical Planning and Development, National Board for Technical Education (NBTE).
He said that technical and vocational education being run by polytehnics was the only way to solve the unemployment problem in the country.
“Government believes that solving the problem of unemployment will ultimately be addressed through technical and vocational education.
“It is for this reason that government is committed to strengthening the capacity of polytechnics to train competent personnel in human resource management, capable enough to contribute effectively and efficiently to social, economic, industrial and technological development of the country,” he said.
The minister called on heads of educational institution to revisit the existing curriculum with a view to bringing it in line with the 21st century work environment.
He commended the rector of the polytechnic for his efforts in infrastructural development and for restoring peace and stability in the institution.
“Government is satisfied with the pace of infrastructural growth and expansion of the institution, its robust staff development policy and high level of information and communication technology penetration in the institution.
“I commend the rector and his management team for this and urge them to redouble their efforts at ensuring that the order now prevailing on campus is sustained,” he said.
He challenged the heads of the institutions to ensure that teaching, learning and research are carried out in new area that will turn around the fortunes of the country.
“I call on managers of our institutions to focus on biotechnology, nanotechnology, renewable energy, railway engineering as well as aerospace technology.
“Government believes that we can break the cycle of poverty and become truly prosperous if we accord the polytechnic its rightful place by funding it properly and ensuring that such funds are properly utilised,” he said.
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo also commended the rector and the management for developing pool of manpower to fill the growing technical development of the modern economy.
“I commend the management of the institution for maintaining the standard of learning and level of discipline.
“There is no doubt that the polytechnic is meeting the desired objective of founding fathers, which is to be a centre of excellence in technological education in Nigeria.
“It is also responsive in addressing the technical and managerial manpower requirement of both the public and private sectors of the nation’s economy,” he said.
Earlier, the rector, Dr Sanusi Jimah, said 18,010 students graduated from the polytechnics, and that 431 came out with distinction; 9,197 lower credit while 5,135 graduated with pass.
“We present a total of 18,010 graduates for the award of Higher National Diploma (HND) and National Diploma (ND).”
He urged them that to remember at all times that they are the most potent advertisement for the polytechnic.
The high-point of the event was the conferment of Honourary Fellowships on the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and the Minister of State for Petroleum and Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu.