The establishment of a Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (CED) will be a pre-requisite for accreditation of programmes in polytechnics and similar tertiary institutions in Nigeria with effectfrom 2012 accreditation.
The Executive Secretary, National Board for Technical Education, (NBTE) Dr. M.A Kazaure announced at the just concluded two-day workshop held at Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH).
The Executive Secretary represented by NBTE Director of Programmes, Mr. Joseph Aboi in a paper titled “Vibrant Entrepreneurship Development Centre: A Mandatory Requirement for Accreditation of National Diploma and Higher National Diploma Programmes in Polytechnics and Similar Institutions” said the requirement was a sine que non for accreditation.
Kazaure noted the criticism against the quality of the nation’s graduates of technical and technological institutions at the Education Summit held in 2012 and other fora centered on the relevance and quality of expertise gained during tutelage.
According to him, the skills acquired by some graduates were inadequate for the jobs they were trained for. The Board found that tools and equipment used in practicals were either not functioning or obsolete and where practicals are in place, workdone are not in line with current industry needs.
In addition, students’ attitudes to practicals are not favourable to industry demands because of the wrong value system which places academic qualification above skill acquisition, which unwittingly result in unemployment.
The Board also discovered that institutions present falsified or doctored reports during accreditation of their programmes.
The Executive Secretary noted that polytechnic graduates will be relevant in the scheme of science, technology and management if they embraced skill acquisition.
The objectives of CED according to the Executive Secretary are to provide institutions with more and relevant facilities for exploratory and life practical to staff and students. Also to afford them the opportunity to observe and learn skills that could guarantee final employment after graduation, and for CED to become an internal industrial setting for teaching and learning how the world of work functions outside the school system.
YABATECH Rector, Dr. Margaret Ladipo in her welcome address said entrepreneurial skill acquisition should not be limited to students, as lecturers could also earn revenue if the course is properly handled. According to her, “The fear of retirement will no longer be there if you are awake to your responsibility.”
At the end of the workshop, NBTE advocated a better tomorrow by introducing appropriate and corrective measures as follow;
. the production of new entrepreneurship curricula that would harmonize its content.
. furthering entrepreneurship education into practical activities.
. making entrepreneurship education a compulsory programme in the polytechnic and monotechnic system.
. introducing the establishment of Entrepreneurship Development Centres in polytechnics and similar tertiary institutions.
. making evidence of entrepreneurship activities as a pre-requisite for accreditation of programmes with effect from the 2012 accreditation exercise.
. ensure that assessment forms reflect the mandatory introduction of vibrant centre for entrepreneurial development.
. introduce more practical contacts with the students to reflect the present realities in Nigeria’s economic development plan.
. encourage positive attitudinal behavior of trained technologies as espoused by SERVICOM.
. the IQA mechanism in the polytechnics should be upgraded and made functional.
. open up the process of curriculum review to involve the industries and other relevant professional concerns to participate in curriculum development and review. Such a symbiotic relationship will afford industries the opportunity to understand and appreciate the problems facing these institutions with a view to rendering possible assistance when and wherever appropriate and/or possible.
. strict compliance with NBTE’s directives that all polytechnics in Nigeria should adhere strictly to the 70/30 percent ratio in favour of Science, Engineering and Environmental based courses, else such an institution would be classified as a Business Centre.
. institutions are also mandated to have a minimum of 10% of GNS courses in their various programmes.
. management and staff should exhibit teamwork and team spirit in the realization of set goals.
. the domestication of entrepreneurial skills should be the concern of all departments in these institutions.
. the Academic Planning units should be populated by professional planners to ensure strict strategic planning and implementation.
. Federal Government should provide funding for establishing and running of Entrepreneurship education programmes and Centres in institutions, and encourage the regulatory bodies such as NAFDAC to support student entrepreneurs in obtaining certification which would enable them patent and commercialize their products and sell to their immediate community.
. institutions should also come up with proposals/projects that will attract grants and funding from funding agencies.
. Chief Executives of institutions should be sensitized on the need to support Entrepreneurship Centres in their various institutions, and ensure that funds are accessible. In addition, they shouldencourage students patent and commercialise their products as a motivational strategy.
Publicize students’ innovation through media reporting, student project competition, seminars, workshops and community outreach.
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