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Redefining the Mandate of Polytechnic Education for Economic Diversification and Sustainability in Nigeria

Samuel B. Kalagbor

Captain Elechi Amadi Polytechnic

Education is fundamental to economic diversification, development, and sustainability. This paper principally examined the place and importance of the mandate of polytechnic education in the economic diversification and sustainable development of Nigeria. For the purpose of objective and scholarly analysis, the Functionalist Theory or Functionalism as the theoretical framework was adopted. Using three factors, namely relevant provisions of the Federal Polytechnic (Amendment) Act, 2019; experiences and lessons from Germany, China, and the Asian Tigers; and the National Board for Technical Education's (NBTE) Skills Advocacy Slogan "Skills, not Degrees," the paper argued that repositioning and strengthening polytechnic education, specifically through the empowerment and skills development of polytechnic graduates and youths, constitute critical success factors in sustainable national development. The paper made appropriate recommendations to rejig polytechnic education in Nigeria, which should include, but are not limited to, increased funding of the polytechnics, a review of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) sharing formula in favour of the polytechnics, laying much emphasis on the vocational component of polytechnic education, continuous staff capacity development and upward review of the salaries and improvement of the conditions of service of polytechnic workers; fostering a culture of innovation and applied research and development and inauguration of technology incubation centres in all polytechnics in the country.



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