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Polytechnic games: Direction for entrepreneurship education

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By AbdulRahman Agboola

Polytechnic education in Nigeria was basically intended to provide middle level manpower to support economic growth. The target has been met over the years as polytechnics provide leeway for exhibition of practical knowledge in industries and other sectors of the economy.

Polytechnic certificates have become stepping stones for employment with employers going by limited spaces in professions, which are attributive to the high unemployment rate in Nigeria. There are divergent views on the provision of high level manpower by polytechnics, compared with holders of  the Higher National Diploma with University degree in related disciplines.

The inclusion of entrepreneurship training as a core teaching in polytechnics has not yielded deserving results as the entrepreneurship education is being mismanaged with poor course modules and absence of seriousness in the training.

The 19th edition of Nigeria Polytechnic Games from April 27 to May 6, 2017 in Federal Polytechnic Nasarawa is an eye opener for the urgent demand of sports as entrepreneur in polytechnics. Over forty polytechnics participated in sporting events like tennis, football, volleyball, basketball, handball, judo, taekwondo, chess, scrabble and athletics with more than two thousand participants.

The events saw a mix of professionalism and amateurish displays among contingents, though allegations of mercenaries were not prominent, performance of the different institutions paraded quality and well trained players in some instances.

The opening ceremony of the NIPOGA was graced by a retired footballer and coach of international repute – Samson Siasia among other notable sports enthusiasts as facilitated by a NIPOGA promoter Hajia Aishat Audu – Emeje of A3 Foundation. The President of NIPOGA– Professor Shettima AbdulKadir Saidu who is the Rector of Federal Polytechnic Nasarawa provided standard equipment for the events and the Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee – Dr Yahaya Baba Usman ensured the smooth coordination of the events with the National Organizing Committee in a manner that showed qualitative events capable of encouraging participants to improve the games.

Scouters searching for talents in different games were sighted at different events in the 19th Edition of NIPOGA at Federal Polytechnic Nasarawa, especially John Fashanu and host of others that monitored the football events with rapt attention. Other events witnessed representatives of national bodies or federations governing sporting activities in Nigeria. It becomes incumbent on Rectors and sports  coaches in polytechnics to design and encourage polytechnic students to develop interest and  participate.

Considering the lukewarm attitudes of government and sports developers in Nigeria to sports developments, the transformation of sports from extracurricular to entrepreneur in polytechnics must be considered  but with conscientious planning and implementations, hope of achievement is rekindled.

In Nasarawa 2017, youthful  participants had the tendencies of producing worthy talents capable of adding to the glory of Nigeria in sporting activities locally, nationally and internationally. In previous eras, secondary school sports produced raw talents that eventually became successful in sports globally and a critical study of this reference is capable of creating opportunities for polytechnic students in this order.

  • Agboola is Vice Chairman,Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics, SSANIP, Federal Polytechnic, Nasarawa Chapter.

 

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