Analyzing the Contemporary Issues in Management of Polytechnic Education in Nigeria (a Case Study of Abia State Polytechnic)
1.1 Background of the study
Polytechnic education, which is part of the technical education programme at tertiary education level, leads to the acquisition of practical and applied skills as well as fundamental scientific knowledge. This type of education was aimed initially at evolving an educational system based on work and training. Polytechnics educate future leaders and develop the middle-level technical capacities that underpin economic growth and development. Hence, the main purpose and relevance of polytechnic education in Nigeria is the provision of much needed manpower to accelerate the socio-economic development of the nation, making it an instrument of social change and economic development.
Many countries, including Nigeria, take education as an instrument for the promotion of national development as well as for effecting desirable social change (NPE, 2004). This, perhaps, might be responsible for the continuous growing concern of all stakeholders in the education industry about changes that are likely to affect it as well as the implications such changes will have on the management and administration of education. Indisputably, technical education is key to the technological growth and development of any country. A polytechnic is a higher education institution that was established to focus on education concerning applied technology. Polytechnic education in the twenty-first century is a career-focused applied education that spans trades through advanced degrees, delivered in an environment where students receive hands-on training that enables them to apply their skills. Basically, polytechnics are regarded as technological institutions that produce technological manpower for the technological advancement of a country. Polytechnic education emphasizes personal development in the areas of teamwork, leadership, communication, practical problem-solving, critical thinking, and analytical skills. This type of education is vital to the technological growth and development of any country (Ebele, 2014).
Regrettably, the polytechnics that were established to provide technical education in Nigeria have been neglected and relegated to the background over the years. Thus, despite having 123 polytechnics, Nigeria is still described as a technologically backward country, suggesting that technical education has been greatly undermined. This raises the question as to whether polytechnics have outlived their usefulness in Nigeria. From all indications, as far as polytechnic education is concerned, Nigeria has reached a crossroads, where a critical decision as to whether or not polytechnics are still needed must be taken. It is against this backdrop that this paper examines the dilemma of polytechnic education in Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Polytechnic education in Nigeria is in travail, as it is filled with crises of various dimensions and magnitude. A number of multi-faceted problems have inhibited goal attainment and are raising questions, doubts, and fears, all of which combine to suggest that the system is at a crossroads. The polytechnic sector in Nigeria is faced with a lot of challenges, which have prevented the polytechnics from delivering on their mandate of producing high quality technical manpower required for technological advancement and self-reliance of the country. The challenges include under-funding, infrastructure deficit, under-staffing and the needless discrimination against polytechnics and their products by the Nigerian government and Nigerian society, among others. As critical as these challenges may seem, the fundamental issues regarding the conceptualization of the polytechnic education system in Nigeria should be given immediate attention. Therefore, until these issues are addressed, Nigeria will not get polytechnic education right. Hence, it is against this backdrop that this study seeks to examine the issues in the management of polytechnic education in Nigeria.
1.3 Objective of the study
The main focus of this study is to analyze the contemporary issues in the management of polytechnic education in Nigeria. Specifically the study seeks:
1 To examine if the primary notion of establishing polytechnic education system in Nigeria
2 To investigate the challenges of management of polytechnic education
3 To determine the extent of discrimination of polytechnic and their product
4 To suggest prospect of solving the challenges of polytechnic education in Nigeria.
1.4 Research question
- What are the primary notion of establishing polytechnic education system in Nigeria?
- What are the challenges of management of polytechnic education?
- What is the extent of discrimination of polytechnic and their product?
- What are the prospect of solving the challenges of polytechnic education in Nigeria?
1.5 Significance of the study
Findings from the study will be of immense importance to stakeholders and management of polytechnics as it will will help or enable them to know or identify the problems affecting the system hence know the appropriate channels to seek redress in other to ameliorate the situations. Also the researcher will recommend valuable solutions and the authority on the other hand will provide suitable solution to eradicate those problems stated. The study will also enlighten the government on the need to pay attention to polytechnic education in other to help them fufill the goal of technical education. The study will contribute to the general body of Knowledge and serve as a reference material for student and other researchers in conducting further studies on related field of study.
1.6 Scope of the study
The scope of this study borders on analyzing the issues of management of polytechnic education in Nigeria. However the study is delimted to Abia State Polytechnic, Aba.
1.7 Limitation of the study
The following factors poses to be a limitation during the course of this research
Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
Respondent attitude: The majority of respondents failed to collect the questionnaires, and those who do collect them pay close attention to filling out and returning them, while others do not return theirs at all. Others were less accommodating and may have provided untrustworthy information because they were afraid of being exposed, despite the researcher’s promise that all information would be treated with the utmost secrecy and only for education purposes.
1.8 Definition of terms
Polytechnic: A polytechnic is a tertiary institution that focuses onhands4on e’perience and technoloy4related courses
Management: Management is a process of planning, decision making, organizing, leading, motivation and controlling the human resources, financial, physical, and information resources of an organization to reach its goals efficiently and effectively.