The executive vice chairman of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Prof. Mohammed Haruna has given the rationale behind the agency’s staunch support for the development of science, engineering and technical education in Nigeria.
Addressing journalists during the commissioning of the Prof. M.S. Haruna Lecture Theatre, Kaduna Polytechnic, yesterday (June 14, 2022) in Kaduna, Haruna maintained that science, engineering and technical education are compulsory for the industrial development of Nigeria. He stressed its importance as the means to move the nation forward and away from the poverty currently ravaging her to a sustainable, knowledge-based one.
Haruna, an alumnus of the polytechnic, posited that NASENI is particularly interested in the development of science, engineering and technical education because it is also part of the agency’s mandate to support such development at all levels of the society.
The NASENI boss lamented the dearth of hands-on practicals and teaching methods in the science and engineering field and underscored the need for an upgrade of the teaching methods.
“Things have changed. I must say that I am worried about the current status of Nigeria’s science and technological education development. I remember recommending to the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) that I am against running some courses in two streams (morning and evening classes). In our time single stream was not enough for us to assimilate the lectures and workshops. So, that aspect of running such streams definitely will affect the ability of the graduands to be hands-on during their training,” he said.
This development, according to him, inspired the upgrade of the lecture theatre with the latest learning facility, to enhance the transmission of knowledge between lecturers/resource persons and the students.
“So, these kinds of interventions and others – like brainstorming and inviting teachers to come to our facilities to see modern research facilities to learn how to use it – are free and they can bring their students.
“This is because one of the challenges is that of doing practicals, especially when you have challenges of power. So, this hall is completely powered by solar so the issue of power will not hinder hands-on [learning] and practicals. I believe this will encourage the school as well as the students.
“This move will also encourage the school to fund that area of solar-powered facilities and have all their campuses lit-up with solar because it is practicable,” he added.
The NASENI boss thanked the management of the Kaduna Polytechnic for finding him worthy of recognition by naming the theatre hall after him.
Earlier, the chairman of the occasion and chairman, Nigerian National Committee of World Energy Council, Prof. Abubakar Sambo outlined the importance of practicality in learning.
Sambo expressed the hope that the lecture theatre will aid education in the body of knowledge. He went ahead to laud Haruna’s gesture and tasked other alums to borrow a leaf from him.
In his welcome address, the acting rector of polytechnic, Dr. Suleiman Umar, appreciated Haruna for renovating the lecture theatre with state-of-the-art facilities and for many other different ways he has been supporting the growth and development of his alma mater over the years.
Umar described Haruna’s contributions as a clear demonstration of his commitment to the development and promotion of technical and vocational education in Nigeria.
He assured that the polytechnic’s management will continue to strive for measures to address the yearnings of staff and students of the institution as they work to provide the enabling environment for all interventions aimed at creating a conducive environment for teaching and learning in the institution.
Earlier, the national president of the polytechnic’s alumni association, Alhaji Abba Adamu, had said this was the first time the institution celebrated one of its alumni.
He attributed Haruna’s recognition to his contributions to science education.
He said Haruna also deserved recognition for his contributions to the development of the alumni and the institution.