From Agaju Madugba, Katsina
The Nigerian Association of Technologists in Engineering (NATE) says the federal government’s development efforts will remain unrealizable until it takes steps to encourage technological education.
According to NATE President, Ahmad Yabagi, the nation’s youth have lost interest in technological education due to what he described as discrimination of polytechnic graduates in favour of their counterparts from the universities.
Yabagi spoke in Katsina at the group’s 2017 annual general meeting during which he also praised Governor Aminu Masari for abolishing the contentious dichotomy in the promotion of university and polytechnic graduates in the state civil service.
According to Yabagi, “it is clear that there is undue pressure in university admission whereas the intake in polytechnics continues to reduce every year, due to this disparity.
“The result is that our youths have lost interest in technological education which is the forte of polytechnics and this has grave implications for national development.
“We express our sincere appreciation to Governor Masari for his trailblazing action of removing the career progression barrier between HND and first degree holders.
“Our campaign for the elimination of dichotomy has been sustained at the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) and many adjustments have been made and forwarded to the National Assembly as COREN Act Amendment Bill.”
In a message he sent at the programme, Masari reaffirmed the commitment of his administration at promoting education in general and technology education in particular in his state.
Represented by his Special Adviser on Science and Technology, Dr. Rabe Nasir, Masari listed the establishment of the Usman Hassan Polytechnic, the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua University, Institute of Management Technology and the Youths Crafts Village, among others, as part of measures aimed at restoring what Masari described as the lost glory of education in the state.
Moreover, according to Masari, his administration allocated 20 per cent of the 2018 budget to education because, “we are laying the foundation for the advancement of education and the results will begin to manifest between eight and 10 years from now. On the abolition of the dichotomy between first degree and HND holders, we did what we did because we felt it was the right thing to do.”
During the election that preceded the conference, Yabagi was re-elected the NATE president while Isaac Omopariola emerged Deputy President and Mahmud Hussain defeated Ekpeyong E. Ekpeyong for the position of General Secretary.
Some other officers also elected include Muhammadu Bello as Assistant General Secretary with Emmanuel Adesina, Yakubu Wakawa, Ahmed Bashir, Yunusa Garba Dominic Udoatan and Obiora Ijeoma as Vice Presidents for the South-West, North-East, North-Central, North-West, South-South and South-East respectively.