NBTE Closes More Study Centres
In line with the Federal Government policy against operation of outreach centres by tertiary education institutions in the country, the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) inaugurated two separate facts-finding committees to ensure the closure of study centres which were being operated by the Ogun State ICT Institute of Technology (OGITECH), Igbesa and D.S Adegbenro ICT Polytechnic, Itori-Ewekoro also in Ogun State.
According to the Executive Secretary, Dr. Masudu A Kazaure, the closure of the study centres was to ensure strict compliance with the Basic Minimum Academic Standards as contained in the NBTE law.
The Committee to Ogun State ICT Institute of Technology, Igbesa which had two weeks, starting from February 10, 2016 to submit its report, was headed by the Board's former Chairman, Engr. Musa Abdullahi. Other members included; Mal Sheriff Sanda, Director Human Resources; Mr. O.T Ibrahim, Acting Director Special Duties; Engr. ADK Muhammad, Acting Director Vocational Technical and Skills Development; Arc. Ogoh Ngbede, Chief Programmes Officer; and Mrs. Fatimah Abubakar, SHRO (Media); while Engr. Yusuf Yakubu, Principal Programmes Officer, served as secretary of the committee.
In the course of its assignment, the committee travelled to Igbesa in Ogun State and other neighbouring states including Lagos and Oyo, where the Ogun State ICT Institute of Technology operated some of its study centres.
According to the report, the committee interacted with the Polytechnic Management, Heads of Departments, Commissioner of Education, Ogun state, coordinators and students of the closed study centres.
The Ogun state commissioner of Education, Mrs. Odukpe Mojota who described the committee as a formidable team, said her ministry had directed primary schools not to allow their premises to be used as study centres and pledged to reinforce the order.
The Commissioner also welcomed the idea of the Innovation Enterprise Institution (IEIs) and Vocational Enterprise Institution (VEIs) which she said is going to open job channels in the state.
She disclosed that the present administration under Governor Ibikunle Amusun has spent over N40 billion on education, adding that “education still gets the lion share of the state budget”.
In the same vein, the committee to D S Adegbenro ICT Polytechnic, Itori-Ewekoro was headed by the Board's former Director of Programmes, Dr. M.S. Abubakar, while other members included; Mr. O.T. Ibrahim. Acting Director Special Duties; Arc. Ngbede Ogoh, Desk Officer Satellite Campuses; Mrs. Nafisa A. Abba SHRO (Media) and Engr. Yusuf Yakubu, Assistant Desk Officer, Satellite Campuses, who also served as secretary of the committee.
The committee which had ten days to submit its report starting from February 15, 2016 travelled to Abeokuta the Ogun State capital and other neighboring states of Oyo and Lagos where the polytechnic had their study centres to verify the compliance level of the institution with the NBTE directing to close down its study centres.
The committee also interacted with the management of the institution, the Olu of Itori and some heads of schools used as study centres.
The Rector of the institution Dr. Olalekan Oyekunle assured that the institution will remain determined to always abide by the NBTE's guideline and regulation in the running of the polytechnic. He further said that the visit was of utmost importance to the management, staff and students of the polytechnic, noting that “It is one in a series of requirements that will qualify the polytechnic for accreditation and also to expand the ND programmes as well as enable the commencement of HND programmes.
Dr. Oyekunle said that the students who enrolled in the study centres had been relocated to the main campus in Itori-Ewekoro and are to graduate by 2015/2016 academic session.
At the palace of the Olu of Itori, Oba Abdulfatihu Akannmu urged the Board to give approval for the polytechnic to run HND programmes which he said would increase the strength of the students and economic activities of the community. He pledged to give maximum support and cooperation to the Board and do his best to ensure security and wellbeing of the students and staff of the institution.
The two committees had the same terms of reference which included; to undertake an appropriate inspection tour of the Ogun State ICT institute of Technology Igbesa Study Centres/ D.S Adegbenro ICT Polytechnic, Itori-Ewekoro; ascertain that all academic activities at the centres had stopped and the centres subsequently closed down; confirm the publication of a disclaimer notice on the operation of the study centres as well as to report the existence of any illegal polytechnic or similar institutions sighted while discharging their duties among others.
The National Board for Technical Education had earlier withdrew the accreditation of all programmes run by Ogun State ICT Institute of Technology, Igbesa and D.S Adegbenro ICT Polytechnic, Itori-Ewekoro for operating illegal/satellite campuses with the condition that the Institutions provided reliable evidence of closure of all the study centres before withdrawal of accreditation of their programmes could be lifted.
NBTE to Partner NIPR on Youth Unemployment
The Executive Secretary of National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) Dr. Mas'udu Adamu Kazaure, mni has expressed the readiness of the Board in partnering with the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) towards curbing the chronic unemployment bedeviling the nation.
He made this known when he received members of the Executive Committee of the Kaduna State Chapter of the Institute while on a courtesy visit to the Board in Kaduna.
Dr. Kazaure who reiterated the importance of maintaining good public relations in any organization, expressed the Board's willingness to partner the Institute to find solution to the challenges unemployment among youths, explaining that “This can only be possible by propagating the vision and mission of the Board through effective Public Relations practice”.
The Executive Secretary further noted that many Nigerian youths are not employable because they do not have the basic requisite employable skills, the reason he said has made foreigners take over jobs from Nigerian youths.
“Most of the jobs are taken over by foreigners leaving Nigerians unemployed because our youths lack basic knowledge and employable skills”, he stressed.
He said the Board was trying its best through the National Vocational Qualifications Framework (NVQF) initiative to sensitize and train youths in accordance with international best practices to meet the needs of industries.
In his address, the leader of the delegation and Chairman of the State Chapter of the Institute, Mohammed Dan'iya El-nafaty expressed delight in the warm reception accorded him and his team and the enthusiasm shown by the management of the Board to the planned partnership between the two bodies.
The Chapter Chairman disclosed that the Institute has an existing culture of partnering with identified organizations like the Board in sensitizing the populace towards achieving meaningful technological development in Nigeria.
According to the Chairman, “The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations has a great role to play towards sensitizing the populace in realizing the corporate goals and objectives of the NBTE”.
He added that “stakeholders who constitute the internal and external publics of the NBTE need to be carried along for the socio-economic development of Nigerians because Technical and Vocational Education is key in the quest for job creation, self-reliance and wealth creation for the nation”.
While soliciting the support of the Board towards the development and sustenance of Public Relations in Kaduna State and Nigeria as a whole, the Chapter Chairman advised Management to register the Board as a corporate member so as to maximize the benefits that can be derived from such partnership.
Committee of Federal Rectors Elects New Chairman
The Committee of Federal Rectors (COFER) has elected the Rector of Yaba College of Technology, Dr. Margaret Kudirat Ladipo as its new chairperson
The election of Dr. Ladipo followed the completion of the tenure of the former chairman, Dr. Mufutau Olatunde Olatinwo as the Rector of Federal Polytechnic, Offa, Kwara State.
The new chairperson at the handing-over ceremony at the NBTE liaison office Abuja, pledged to reposition COFER through a robust partnership with stakeholders to move the polytechnic subsector forward.
She appealed to all members to rise to the challenges posed by dwindling resources and ensure probity and accountability in the management of fund.
Dr. Ladipo further enjoined members to key into the current administration's change agenda and adopt global best practices in the running of their respective institutions.
While commending the Minister of Education's posture to polytechnic education, she reiterated COFER's readiness to support the minister towards a successful tenure.
The COFER chairperson also used the opportunity to appeal to the staff unions in the subsector to embrace dialogue while assuring them of COFERS commitment to improve welfare for their members.
ES Commends Board's Strategic Plan Committee
Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education, Dr. M. A. Kazaure has commended the Committee for the drafting of a 5 Year Strategic Plan Document for the Board.
The Executive Secretary who gave the commendation when he received the report of the Committee in his office in Kaduna said though he had seen the assignment as very challenging, he was however happy that the Committee took up the challenge and delivered on the assignment.
He said it was the first time the Board was developing a 5 Year Plan, recalling that other plans developed in the past covered a period of two or three years.
He gave the assurance that the committee's effort will not go in vain, noting that the document will be useful for the preparation of the Board's budget within the period of the plan. “The strategic plan would serve as a road map for the Board's future activities and programmes”, he added.
While urging members of the committee to maintain the same spirit of hard work and patriotism when given future assignments, the Executive Secretary said the document will be forwarded to the Management Committee for further scrutiny as well as the Governing Board, when reconstituted, to give it administrative and legal backing.
In his presentation, the Committee's Chairman, Mr. Chima Ejiofor, who is the Deputy Director of Academic Planning Division, said the Committee was given a one item term of reference to develop a draft 5 Year Strategic Plan document for the Board covering the years 2016 to 2020.
Mr. Ejiofor stated that the draft plan is categorized into seven (7) critical areas, covering Vocational Skills and Literacy; Strengthening Institutions; Curriculum Development/Quality Assurance; and Coordination, Monitoring and Evaluation. Other critical areas include Manpower Planning & Development; Financial Management and Strategies; and Collaboration, Partnership, Innovation, Networking and Institutional Support.
He noted that the document is a broad plan from which the respective departments will draw their operational plan.
Mr. Ejiofor who emphasized funding as critical in the implementation of the plan, urged the Board to strengthen its partnerships and collaborations with local and foreign funding agencies to aid the implementation of the plan.
Other members of the Committee included Mal. Mustapha Mohammad, who represented the Polytechnic Programmes Department; Mr. Jacob Abang, ES Office; Mr. Chidibere Onyegbu and Mal. Bashir Danmulki, Finance and Accounts; Engr. S.M Yusuf, VT&SD Department; and Mal. Iliyasu D. Abdullahi, Physical Planning Department.
Others included Mal. Abdullahi Dogonyaro, Academic Planning, Res., Stats and ICT; Mal. Tajjudeen Abbas, NBTE Centre of Excellence; while Mr. Bello Abdulhakeem who served as Secretary of the Committee represented the Human Resources Department.