To increase access to higher education, the federal government has approved the establishment of new private Polytechnics, Vocational Enterprise Institutions (VEIs) and Innovation Enterprise Institutions (IEIs).
The new polytechnics are Nacabs Polytechnic, Akwanga, Nasarawa State; Uyo City Polytechnic, Akwa Ibom State; the Polytechnic Igbo-Owu, Kwara State and Balmor Polytechnic, Ibadan, Oyo State.
Speaking at the licence presentation in Abuja, the Minister of Education, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, said that the move was in tandem with the quest by the Federal Government to build skilled manpower for the country.
He said the polytechnics, the IEIs and the VEIs were expected to focus on applied learning that would be relevant to the development needs of the country.
He added that “the Federal Government, in realisation of the need for appropriate manpower to the developmental needs of the country, opened the way for the private sector to participate in technological drive.
“The main problem confronting the sector is that of articulation, placement and progression of graduates from these institutions.
“I assure that stakeholders will work hard to solve these problems.
“The Federal Ministry of Education and the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) had subjected the institutions to full scrutiny before granting them approval.’’
Earlier, Dr Masa’udu Kazaure, the Executive Secretary of NBTE, said VEIs and IEIs were institutions inaugurated by the Federal Government to provide alternative route to higher education.
He said IEIs and VEIs were private institutions that would offer vocational, technical, technology or professional education and training at post-basic and tertiary levels.
According to him, the enterprise institutions will equip secondary school leavers and working adults with vocational skills and knowledge to meet the increasing demand for the country’s technical manpower.
Kazaure said that the objectives of the VEIs and IEIs were to widen access to vocational education and offer credible alternative to higher education through the provision of relevant industry-specific employable skills and operational guidelines.
He added that the VEIs/IEIs initiative was conceived to address major problems confronting technical and vocational education in the country, among which, was the mismatch between the training provided and the needs of employers and industries.
Responding on behalf of the proprietors of the new institutions, Dr Olugbenga Jegede, President, St. Winifred Innovative Institute, Ibadan, thanked the Federal Government for giving them the opportunity to participate in the education sector.
He said the newly licenced institutions would not betray the confidence reposed in them. (NAN)