Paucity of funds stalls take-off of three polytechnics in Delta

• State govt increases budgetary allocation for development of schools’ infrastructure

 THE Delta Commissioner for Higher Education, Mr. Charles Emetulu, says three polytechnics planned for the State are unable to take off due to lack of infrastructure.

  Emetulu stated this during budget defence before the State House of Assembly Committee on Finance and Appropriation in Asaba, the state capital recently.

  He listed other challenges delaying the take-off to include non-recruitment of staff and inadequate funding.

  The proposed polytechnics are to be located in Aboh, Bomadi and Sapele in Ndokwa East, Bomadi and Sapele council areas of the state respectively. 

  Emetulu told the committee that despite the challenges, plans were on ground for their take-off next academic session.

  He said the establishment of the polytechnics was another bold step by Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, to address the rising need of the people for tertiary education, adding that government was committed to ensuring quality education at all levels in the state.

  Emetulu who stressed that funding, inadequate infrastructure and poor staffing were the major challenges faced by all the tertiary institutions in the state, also informed the committee that N500 million was required for accreditation of courses alone in the three campuses of the Delta State University (DELSU), Abraka.

  Also, the Vice Chancellor of DELSU, Prof Victor Peretomode, who described the accreditation of courses as a major challenge to the institution, lamented the Faculty of Engineering at Oleh campus was one of the worst hit as it lacked the requisite staffing standard set by the National Universities Commission (NUC) for accreditation. 

  Peretomode said the institution was looking at the possibility of attracting lecturers from India and Pakistan, among others to shore up the needed workforce in the faculty so as to boost their chances of securing accreditation.

  The vice chancellor said the Faculty of Environmental Sciences at Anwai campus had not been able to take off due to lack of structures regretted that admission for part time studies was dwindling due to NUC’s guidelines.

 Chairman of the committee, Mr. Daniel Mayuku, said the committee would look into the issue of accreditation and poor internal road network among others in the various institutions, as all of them had similar challenges.

  Mayuku called on the commissioner to replace staff members who resigned or retired from service even as he warned against abuse of such arrangement.

  He promised that the committee would appropriate needed funds to enhance the growth of education in the state. 

  Meanwhile, the state government has earmarked the sum of N9.4 billion in the 2015 budget proposal for the development of infrastructure in all schools across the state.

 The state Commissioner for Directorate of Special Infrastructure, Mr. Patrick Ferife, who made the disclosure during a budget defence meeting with members of the House of Assembly Committee on Finance and Appropriation revealed that the sum of N2.1 billion was spent in 2014 for the renovation and rehabilitation of schools across the state.

  Ferife further informed that the N2.1 billion spent on the renovation and rehabilitation of schools last year, represented 35 per cent performance as the directorate had budgeted N6 billion for the project.

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