The Federal Government inaugurated the recently reconstituted Governing Councils of 25 Federal Polytechnics and 21 Federal Colleges of Education with a charge to ensure that the Institutions are repositioned for quality teaching and learning to take place.
Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, who inaugurated the Councils on Tuesday in Abuja, particularly charged them to address the worrisome decline in academic standards and examination malpractice.
He equally urged them to frontally address the issue of the unstable academic calendar, especially the challenge of frequent industrial actions by the staff unions of the institutions.
The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) is currently on strike and incidentally, one of the demands of the Union is the reconstitution of the Governing Councils to Federal Polytechnics as the Institutions have been operating without councils for over a year, until this inauguration on Tuesday.
Adamu who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Arc Sonny Echono, said the reconstitution of the Governing Councils comes at a time when various tragic events, including COVID-19, are ravaging the world, the aftermath of which calls for rethinking and repositioning the higher education system, to ensure that students acquire the right skills and competencies to drive diverse sectors of the economy.
He noted that it was also a time to adopt new technics for transforming the teeming youthful population into a highly skilled and competent workforce, using contemporary tools of applied Science and modern technology.
He said, “Over the years, Governing Councils have been critical in positioning Polytechnics and Colleges of Education to play their expected roles in fulfilling their respective mandates.
“The strategic position of Governing Councils in the governance structure of tertiary Institutions in the country
cannot be underestimated as members of these councils, your wide and varied experiences can make a huge difference in our collective efforts to solve the myriad challenges facing the sub-sector, in particular, and education, in general
“Some of the many inadequacies that afflict the system, which you are well equipped to address, include, declining academic standards and examination malpractice, insufficient deployment of ICT and other innovative technologies for teaching and learning, dwindling resources and overstretched infrastructure, and unstable academic calendar among others.
“In general, the responsibility for the control and superintendence of the policies, finances and property of the nation’s Polytechnics and Colleges of Education, rests squarely on your shoulders,” he said.