The Nigerian government on Tuesday announced the creation of three new polytechnics, even as Nigeria’s public universities have remained closed following a strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.
In a statement by the director of press of Nigeria’s ministry of education, Ben Goong, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the three polytechnics to be located in Kabo, Kano State; Umunnoechi, Abia State, and Orogun, Delta State.
The statement added that the new institutions are to commence academic activities in October 2022.
“This brings to thirty-six (36) the number of federal polytechnics in the country. All states of the federation now have one federal polytechnic each,” the statement read in part.
Currently, lecturers and other university’ workers’ unions under the umbrella of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Allied Institutions (NASU) are on strike across Nigeria. The non-academic workers’ strike entered its third week on Monday while the ASUU strike has been on for about two months.
Stakeholders in the Nigerian education sector have severally cautioned that with the poor levels of funding of the existing academic institutions, new institutions are not needed.
A significant part of the grievances of the workers’ unions of universities, polytechnics and colleges of education is the frequency with which the Nigerian government at both the federal and state levels establish new academic institutions.
They said the new institutions are established without adequate planning and evidence of sustainability strategies.
Findings, however, indicate a sharp decline in enrolment in polytechnics, as the larger percentage of UTME candidates opt for universities while few choose polytechnics, colleges of education and monotechnics.