GOVERNMENT TECHNICAL COLLEGE PATIGI: A SHADOW OF ITS OLD SELF
Elites Network for Sustainable Development (ENetSuD), a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) based in Kwara state has described the Government Technical College Patigi (GTC) as a caricature of its old setting. The CSO, through its press statement dated 27th June, 2018, had also previously reported the Islamiyyah College in the same Patigi local government of Kwara state as a school where students receive learning in uncompleted buildings with no considerable learning facilities.
In a statement made available to Journalists and signed by its Coordinator (Dr. ALAGBONSI Abdullateef), ENetSuD disclosed that, as part of its obligation to bring the state government’s attention to areas of public interest that need immediate government intervention, the group’s Directorate of Investigation and Public Petition visited the GTC, which is the only Technical College in Kwara North Senatorial District and one of the five Technical Colleges owned by Kwara State Government.
The GTC, which was first established in September 1950 as Craft School and later upgraded to Technical College in 1976 by Kwara State Ministry of Education in accordance with the Education Law of the State, was raised to the status of a fully fledged Technical College in 1988 running six departments.
ENetSuD noted that the stock of machines in the various workshops of GTC can hardly be found in many of our present day tertiary institutions, a fact that explains why the Kwara State Government proposed the movement of some of the equipment in the school to the newly established International Vocational Technical and Entreprenuership College (IVTEC) Ajasa Ipo when it was officially Commissioned in November, 2017.
This was a plan that was strongly objected to by Patigi indigenes in unequivocal tone. We further confirmed that the deplorable conditions of the school classrooms with dilapidated structures make it unhealthy for effective teaching and learning, which could have been one of the reasons for its low students patronage in recent time compared to the past when the school attracted guardians and students from all parts of the state and even other parts of the country; the deplorable condition of the school is a disincentive to any serious student who intends to acquire the up-to-date technical skills and vocations.
However, it is shameful and regrettable that the laboratories and workshops that had produced prominent technicians and engineers in the past are today in shambles due to continuous negligence by Kwara State government. One of the causes of this retrogressive status, the ENetSuD learnt, was that the number of teaching staff in GTC is grossly inadequate for any school of its standard. The school has not only been neglected in terms of infrastructural development but also poorly staffed.
Presently, it has a total number of 18 teachers and 2 non-teaching staff in the Senior Secondary School section, and 13 teachers in the Junior Secondary School section.
The ENetSuD commends the state government for the creation of IVTEC Ajase-Ipo, which will definitely promote vocational and technical education in Kwara state. However, we totally condemn the consistent lack of maintenance culture by the state government on the already existing Technical Schools like GTC, which was a promising institution that could have positioned Kwara state as a hub of vocational and technical education. Based on the pitiable level of negligence of the school, we do not have confidence that the government will also maintain the recently commissioned IVTEC built by tax-payers money.
ENetSuD is aware of the state government’s reliance on grants from Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), which cover infrastructural needs of Primary and Junior Secondary Schools but not Senior Secondary School. Because quality basic education is one of the things that must be provided by any responsible government, which will have direct impact on the lives of all Kwarans, we strongly recommend that the state government provide adequate budgetary provisions for the counterpart funds that will enable it secure the UBEC grants, so as to address the infrastructural needs of our schools. We also call on the state government to urgently declare a state of emergency in the educational system of Kwara state.