Ibiono Chiefs Seek Reopening Of Tech College, Ikot Adaidem | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Ibiono Chiefs Seek Reopening Of Tech College, Ikot Adaidem

Posted: Jul 10, 2016 at 5:37 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Council of Chiefs of Southern Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State has called on the state government to reopen urgently the Technical College, Ikot Adaidem, closed over two decades ago.

The royal council vehemently opposed the proposal by the state Ministry of Education to convert the renowned technical college, established by law, to skills acquisition centre.

In a letter to the Akwa Ibom State Governor and made available to Independent in Uyo over the weekend, the chiefs expressed extreme frustrations, saying that the college must have been closed due to bias against the people, hence throwing their children into risk and accidents while travelling to acquire post primary education in neighboring local government areas.

Built to its present standard in 1970 ?by the World Bank, the college boasts of a world class and sophisticated technical equipment and facilities that make it a special skills acquisition centre or vocational school with provision for upgrading to a tertiary institution for award of Diplomas and Degrees in Engineering Technology.

Regrettably, however, such boast in equipment may have led to conflicting proposals by the state government and confusing erection of various signposts, which may have signaled a well-intended plan for upgrade and might have led to the closure of the institution.

The chiefs said, “The school has eight lathe machines which many universities cannot even afford today. Indeed, there was a time engineering students of the University of Uyo were taken there to use some of the machines, which were not available in the university.

“The state government yielding to pressure for upgrading to a tertiary institution approved the institution and signposts was mounted within the premises with an inscription, ‘Akwa Ibom State Institute of Technology.’

“Prior to the provocative and the totally rejected pronouncement to turn the school into a comprehensive skills acquisition centre by the Hon. Commissioner for Education, we had seen signposts at different times of polytechnics (state and federal) as well as the signpost for the Faculty of Engineering of Akwa Ibom State University to no avail. Does it mean that government or our people do not know that skills acquisition centre is a synonym for technical college?

“There is a functional water works and electricity supply there in the school. The two transformers and the 2000 KVA electric plants are there. The warehouses with stores and equipment are safely secured at the expense of the host communities tirelessly.”

The people however noted that four out of the 23 buildings in the school needed minor repairs. Erosion, according to them was also threatening to swallow the longest building/workshop in the school.

“The beautiful refectory now has ?two large Gmelina trees at the middle, broken floor, collapsed roof and wall. Already, severe gully erosion has ravaged the road to the stream, the site of the transformer and the back of the refectory,” the letter read.

The royal fathers, who regretted that efforts by stakeholders in the communities to reopen the school had failed in the past, used the medium to appeal to the state government to either reopen the school or ensure that institutions earlier showcased on signposts are given necessary legal instruments to start academic activities in the school.

The chiefs further provided an option of urgently ensuring relocation of the Faculty of Engineering of the Akwa Ibom State University to the site of the Technical College, Ikot Adaidem, for immediate commencement of academic activities.

Our correspondent reports that technical colleges in the state are fast fading into extinction as negligence has led to unprecedented decay in infrastructure. Most of the technical tool these foundations for polytechnic were ?equipped with in the 1980s have gone moribund. Notable among these is the Technical College, Ikot Akata, which has not received a touch of refreshment within the past two decades.