Clement learning atmosphere responsible for rising student traffic at Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, says provost
For several years now, the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, Owerri, Imo State has remained about the most sought after polytechnic in the country, according to the Joint Admission and Matriculation (JAMB).
And for authorities of the institution, this is no happenstance. In fact, it is as a result of painstaking efforts as well as immense hard work on the part of all concerned.
According to rector of the institution, Dr. Mrs. Celestina Ugochi Njoku, “I have tried to sanitise the institution by bringing about discipline among staff and students so that the academic environment will be highly conducive for both parties. A lot of effort has been put into staff training and development. We have also established new academic programmes such as mechatronics engineering, mineral and petroleum resources technology, agricultural technology, taxation, chemical technology and opticniary technology.
“We have equally put in place the right infrastructure to foster academic excellence. Today, FPNO is blessed with well-equipped laboratories, e-library, ICT facilities, gymnasium and a micro finance bank established to provide financial assistance to staff and the host community.”
She continued, “Priority has been placed on academic leadership for staff and students through inaugural lecture series, departmental seminars on career opportunities, and by ensuring that students graduate as at when due, and certificates signed before convocation. In addition to that, high-level security has been provided to ensure the safety of lives and property. There is also a joint effort by students and security agencies to ensure that cultism is flushed out of the institution. We also ensure there is constant provision of water and electricity within the polytechnic.”
On the statuses of academic programmes on offer at the school, she said, “We have gotten full accreditation for all existing courses and we have tried as much as possible to avoid disruption in the academic calendar. I believe these are the reasons why FPNO is the most sought-after polytechnic in Nigeria. Every student wants to study in an institution where they will be able to explore their potentials and equally excel, FPNO provides the enabling environment and in the past four years we have become the most preferred polytechnic of choice.”
Commenting on the rot in the standard of education in the country, Njoku explained that the demand for higher education has increased and the available resources are not sufficient. This development has continued to have a negative effect on the education sector.
She said, “This is a controversial issue, however, there is an explosion in the demand for higher education in Nigeria. The number of qualified students far exceeds the available vacancies, so there is need for increased access by having more tertiary institutions established, not necessarily by the government, but private individuals and organisations should be involved. Besides, this explosion outstretches existing facilities in available tertiary institutions in terms of both staff and facilities, therefore, we have to improve on existing facilities to avoid garbage in, garbage out.
“Similarly, there is need to critically examine the curriculum of each programme so that we will be able to produce global workers both in character and learning. Some advanced countries have injected the most deadly social vices in the curriculum of almost all the programmes offered in schools so that they would have a crisis free society,” said the alumnus of both Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka where she obtained a bachelor and postgraduate degrees respectively in Vocational and Technical Education
She advised learning institutions to ensure that academic excellence is restored at the various higher institutions of learning saying, “I benefitted from the government owned institutions especially UNN and I believe the lost glory of the sector can be restored to the level at which I experienced during my time. I will continue to contribute my quota towards the revival, even after my tenure as the rector at FPNO, I will still be in the system because am passionate about my career”, she stressed.