The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, has appealed to the Federal Government to upgrade all polytechnics to universities of technology to end discrimination against technological education in the country.
Adeyemi Aromolaran, Yaba College of Technology branch chairman of ASUP, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Lagos.
The ASUP chairman said that government’s discriminatory policies against polytechnics were retarding the development of technical education in the country.
“We need to look at the British example of running educational programmes, because that is where Nigeria copied the polytechnic education system from.
“Britain had abolished polytechnics long time ago; all polytechnics have been turned to universities of technology in that country,’’ Mr. Aromolaran said.
He noted that admission figures into the nation’s polytechnics and colleges of education were dropping every year due to unfavourable government policies.
“As long as we continue with the system we are running, discrimination will persist and consequently admission into polytechnics will continue to dwindle.
“This is part of what the union has been agitating against,’’ he said.
The ASUP official said that with the dichotomy between the polytechnic diploma and the university degree, no enlightened person would want his or her child to go to the polytechnic.
According to him, most of the youths are drifting toward acquiring the university education.
“ASUP has not been keeping quiet but government response has not been favourable.
“Recently, another level of discrimination came again from JAMB, since we now have one JAMB examination for polytechnics and universities.
“JAMB now request that a candidate who made polytechnic second choice pay additional fee of N2500 or N3000 before being offered admission into the polytechnic.
“This is the latest form of discrimination against polytechnic education.
“Ordinarily, that is sufficient to discourage any young person from going into polytechnic, not to even talk of college of education.
“When we are agitating that government should remove the dichotomy and other discriminatory policies against polytechnics, now JAMB created another discriminatory policy against the polytechnic,’’ Mr. Aromolaran said.
The ASUP chairman said that until all the unfriendly policies were abolished, the country would not have an effective polytechnic system that would be acceptable by all.
Mr. Aromolaran said the union would continue to protest and resist all attempts to diminish the progress and development of the polytechnic education in the country.