As part of efforts to end the ongoing strike by polytechnic lecturers across the country, the federal government yesterday commenced a needs assessment exercise of 66 state and federal polytechnics across the country.

The exercise is one of the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), which has been on strike since October last year.

Speaking at the commencement of the exercise at the Kaduna Polytechnic, Kaduna, Chairman of the Presidential Committee on NEEDS assessment of Public Polytechnics and a Director in the Federal Ministry of Education, Hajia Fatimah Ahmed, said the government was determined to address the needs of public Polytechnics in the country.

She said the committee was prepared to carry all stakeholders in the sector along in the discharge of their assignment, stressing that rather than ask the various institutions to submit the list of their problems and needs to Abuja, “we decided to visit the institutions because we know that you may have some complain which we must listen to.”

Ahmed noted that many polytechnics across the country have complained of lack of equipment, infrastructural decay, lack of adequate teaching staff, inadequate laboratories, lecture halls, student accommodation among others.

She disclosed that 15 different teams have been constituted from the Presidential committee to visit all the polytechnics, liaise with stakeholders and carry out on-the-spot assessment of information already supplied by the various polytechnics, including those in the troubled regions of the country.

“We are going to all the polytechnics in the country, no matter where they are. We will speak to all stakeholders with a view to coming out with adequate information on how to address the issues affecting the institutions,” she added.

Also speaking, the rector of Kaduna Polytechnic, Dr. Mohammed Bello Ibrahim, noted that the calibre of members of the committee was an indication that the federal government is determined to fix the problems bedevilling polytechnic education in the country and appealed to them to use the opportunity to salvage the current challenges facing the sector.

The Rector said the success of the transformation agenda of the federal government depends largely on technical and vocational education which, according to him, is the bed rock of the nation’s technological advancement.

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