By Austin Oyibode
Rector of the Delta State Polytechnic, Oghara in Ethiope West Local Government Area of the state, Mrs. Clara Sogbaike, has decried the dearth of staff in the institution, hence the institution has resorted to the use of part time lecturers to carry out its academic activities.
Sogbaike, made the revelation during the familiarization visit of the new State Higher Education Commissioner, Engr. Jude Sinebe, to the institution.
The Rector who said the polytechnic was short of staff, said the staff strength began declining since 2008 and since then the institution had pleaded for more staff but all to no avail.
According to her, many members of staff had left the polytechnic through death, termination of appointment, retirement and transfer of service without commensurate replacement from the state government.
“Academic staff are grossly inadequate in the polytechnic as the institution is short of the required academic staff to lecture and sustain the available academic programmes. This is a great threat to existing academic programmes in the polytechnic”, she said, adding that the polytechnic needed academic staff ranging from Lecturer III to Chief Lecturers.
Sogbaike disclosed that many of the accredited programmes in the institution were due for reaccreditation exercise, just as she stated that the polytechnic was expecting National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) officials’ visit for resource inspection for its new programmes.
“Some of the programmes which the NBTE approved four streams for the polytechnic had been reduced to two streams because of shortage of critical staff to lecture in the programmes and lack of relevant facilities in the departments”, the polytechnic boss added, even as she appealed to the Commissioner to help the institution in getting government’s approval to recruit critical staff for the polytechnic and in solving other challenges confronting the development of the institution.
Responding, Engr. Sinebe said the present administration in the state was committed to promoting sustainable growth and development in the education sector, pointing out that Deltans should be a little more patient with the state government in its efforts at improving tertiary education in the state.
While saying that the state government was not happy that some of its projects in the polytechnic were not completed, the Commissioner disclosed that efforts would be made by the government to see how it could call the various contractors back to site, just as he said that “where government fall short, authorities of the various institutions should fill the gap and when the finances of the state improves, the state government would reimburse them”.