The former Director-General, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Prof. Bola Akinterinwa, has said that polytechnic education is not inferior to university education but both are good for national development.
Specifically, the don said there should be no confusion in the two systems of education as he noted that the purpose of polytechnic education was different from that of university education.
Akinterinwa stated this at the fourth Foundation Day Anniversary Lecture of the Federal Polytechnic, Ile-Oluji, Ondo State.
The lecture is titled, ‘Polytechnic education in national development: global challenges and strategic leeway for the FEDPOLEL in Nigeria’.
He said, “We observe that polytechnic education is as equally important as university education, even though they differ in their curricular and pedagogy. In both cases, it is a matter of the graduate not being a job seeker in the employment market but being a graduate-seeker that employers are desperately looking for.
“The importance of polytechnic education has been variously explained in policy actions of many governments.
For instance, even though the existence of polytechnics dates to the 19th century in the United Kingdom, it is only from the 1960s that it began to gain prominence because of the contemporary need to provide skilled technical and engineering manpower required for industrialisation.”
“Polytechnic education and university education have similarities in the extent of the national and international recognition of their pedagogical approaches.”
In his remarks, the Rector of the polytechnic, Prof. Emmanuel Fasakin, said the institution was aiming at equalling the polytechnic education in the United States of America and China so much that “we become a pacesetter in the arena of technical and vocational education and training.”