TECHNICAL University (Tech-U), Ibadan, established by the Oyo State government, will begin academic activities by October 2017.
This is also as the management team of the institution said it is out to bridge the observable yawning gap between theoretical knowledge and technical skill Nigeria needs to enable it make progress as a nation.
Professor Ayo Salami, the pioneer vice chancellor of the university, disclosed this on Tuesday when he paid a courtesy visit to the African Newspapers of Nigeria (ANN), Tribune House, Oke-Ado, Ibadan, together with the pioneer management team of the institution.
He said he and his team had to visit the Tribune House to formally intimate it about the mission and vision of the university and to enlist its support, knowing the passion the organisation has for education in Nigeria and Africa in general.
Salami expressed concerns that Nigeria’s current tertiary education curriculum largely equips youths with theoretical knowledge, but does not impart the skill necessary to translate the knowledge to real development.
“There can only be progress in any country when skill is matched with knowledge. When you look at countries that are progressing in the world; it’s not only the countries where they have the knowledge, but where they couple knowledge with skills.
“When there is disconnect between skill and knowledge, you cannot really make progress. And in this country today, we have a (skill) gap. We have people who have the knowledge, but the knowledge does not translate to skill,” he said.
The vice chancellor attributed the current crisis in the country’s education sector to a ‘dysfunctional system’.
“We have a system that is producing products that are not fit for the market; what the market needs is not what the tertiary sector here is turning out. Look at Nigerian engineers. We are just theoretical engineers. When people graduate and get to industry, industry needs to retrain them – those who are lucky to get the jobs.
“Technical University is (here) to bridge that gap; to ensure that our youths are not only endowed with knowledge, but are equipped with the skill that can make them useful not only to the country, but also to themselves,” he added
To achieve this, Professor Salami said that at Technical University, when it takes off in October, students will be taught the theoretical aspects of their courses by top-grade professors and Ph.D holders, but the practical aspects would be handled by professionals who are practising in the industry.
“These professionals will not only be the ones to train students, they will also be the ones to conduct examinations,” he said.
Technical University, which according to the vice chancellor will be a fully residential, fee-paying institution, will take off with two faculties – Faculty of Engineering and Technology and the Faculty of Natural Sciences.
It will also have a Centre for Language and General Studies as well as Centre for Entrepreneurial and Vocational Studies.
The Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, Mr Edward Dickson, while welcoming the vice chancellor and his team on behalf of the Tribune management, expressed faith in the managerial ability and expertise of Professor Salami to head the institution.
He pledged that Tribune, a national institution, would support the niversity in every way it could. He then prayed for the vice chancellor and his team for God’s grace to succeed.
Other members of the TechU team that accompanied the vice chancellor included the registrar of the university, Mr Alex Oladeji; Director at the VC’s Office, Mrs Olayinka Balogun; Mr Oladipo Fagbamila, and the Public Relations Officer, Mr Ademola Adesola.
Members of the ANN Plc that received the Tech-U team, apart from the managing director, are the Editor, Sunday Tribune, Mr Sina Oladeinde; Editor, Saturday Tribune, Dr Lasisi Olagunju, and the Senior Manager, Human Resource, Mrs Bukola Ezeamaka.