- Bassey James has revealed that he established polytechnic founders association to bring about unity among founders
- According to him, polytechnic education has added so much value to vocational education and entrepreneurship programmes in Nigeria
- Going further, he called on the government to support and encourage them
The founder of Southern Atlantic Polytechnic, Pastor Bassey James has explained why he established the Association of Private Polytechnic Founders and Rectors(APFRN) in Nigeria.
James, who is the president of the Association said he mobilized some founders and rectors of private polytechnics to form the APFRN to foster and protect the academic interest of polytechnic education, particularly private polytechnics
''I mobilized some founders and rectors of private polytechnics to bring the unity, and establish a structure for founders and rectors of private polytechnics to foster the interest and smooth running of private polytechnics in the country.
''You will agree with me that polytechnic education has added so much value to vocational education and entrepreneurship programmes which of course I have to thank the presidency, the Minister of Education and board and management of the National Board for Technical Education.
''So the founders and rectors of private polytechnics who are the major engine of the sector had to come together to consider and work towards the welfare, and issues affecting private polytechnics and the polytechnic education as a whole.
''We had to reach out to the federal and state governments to support and encourage us. I am happy that after all the issues we went through the Corporate Affairs Commission has gladly and graciously incorporated our body and I can you that this is the best thing that happened to polytechnic education in Nigeria''.
He urged governments at all levels to support the association to enable it achieve its lofty goals and agenda for technical, vocational and entrepreneurship education in the country.
James added that private polytechnics have all that is required to positively change the fortunes of the standard of education in the country.
''We need government to support owners of private polytechnics. This is beyond money. We must be seen as wealth and employment creators. The government can send people to polytechnics for skills training, especially skills they can't acquire in regular and conventional universities.
He also urged the FG and state governments to provide financial and logistical supports to private polytechnics in the country.
The APFRN president also expressed worry over the proliferation of illegal and substandard polytechnics across the country.
James lamented that polytechnic education is being threatened by unregistered and illegal polytechnics in the country.
James therefore urged the federal government through the National Board for Business and Technical Education(NBTE) and other relevant bodies to launch aggressive campaigns against illegal polytechnics in the country.
According to him, polytechnic education was the bedrock and catalyst for Nigeria's technological advancement hence efforts should be intensified to protect that subsector of the nation's educational system.
'His words, ''One of the issues the association needs to address urgently is the issue of illegal polytechnics which cut across all the states in the country. There are even more illegal polytechnics and affiliations that have not added value to the system.
''It has watered down the standard and quality of the polytechnic education. The minister of education said the other day that some graduates can't define their goals and mission.
''It is sad to see that so many of these illegal polytechnics do not have what it takes to run a functional education. They lack the required intellectual and technical manpower, equipment and facilities and this is a big problem to Nigeria.
''We in the Association of Polytechnic Founders and Rectors in Nigeria having assessed and studied the situation in the last eight months have come up with the idea of appealing and calling on the government to address and redress the issue because it is very sad that someone could wake up and establish an illegal roadside polytechnic''.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported that Southern Youths Development Forum (SYDF) appealed to the federal government to convoke a national youth conference immediately.
The call was made in a statement made available to Legit.ng by the national president of the group, Pastor Bassey James.
James, who is also the founder of Southern Atlantic Polytechnic, Uyo, said this will help resolve the lingering crisis on the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) protests which is gaining ground among the Nigerian youths.
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