Technical University (Tech-U), Ibadan, will begin academic activities by October 2017, Professor Ayo Salami, the pioneer Vice Chancellor, has said.
Professor Salami disclosed this on Tuesday when he and his management team paid a courtesy visit to the African Newspapers of Nigeria (ANN), Tribune House, Oke-Ado, Ibadan.
He said that the university, which will be fee-paying and fully residential,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 VC said he and his team were at the Tribune House to formally intimate the newspaper publisher about the mission and vision of the university and to enlist its support.
Salami expressed worry that Nigeria’s current tertiary education curriculum equips youths with theoretical knowledge without the practical skills needed to translate the knowledge to real development.
His words: “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”.
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.
According to the professor, Tech-U 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.
While welcoming the VC and his team, the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, Mr Edward Dickson, expressed faith in the managerial ability and expertise of Professor Salami to head the institution.
He pledged Tribune’s support for the university and prayed for the vice chancellor and his team for God’s grace to succeed.
Other members of the Tech-U 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.