By Suleiman Adamu, Sokoto
The Umaru Ali Shinkafi Polytechnic Sokoto on Saturday awarded National Diploma, HND, Diploma and Certificates to 18,428 graduands in various courses for 2013/14 to 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 academic sessions.
No fewer than 1, 842 students graduated with distinctions across various fields of studies at the second combined convocation ceremony that also produced two over all best students , Naziru Idris HND Mechanical Engineering who scored 3.74 and Jayiola Hussaini ND Chemical Engineering with 3.77 both for 2019/2020 sessions.
Speaking, Rector of the Polytechnic, Professor Aminu Ibrahim who traced the institution’s establishment and academic journey to its merger in 2002 with 5 colleges; Colleges of Engineering , Science and Technology, Administration and Business Studies, Animal Health,General Studies and Agriculture said it was muted to train and carryout research sciences , technical and management studies for the technological and economic advancement of the state and avail students the basic requirements for entry into Universities for knowledge acquisition.
He disclosed that the institution was running 16 ND, 14 HND programmes in various courses accredited by the NBTE
According to Professor Ibrahim, arrangements were fast progressing for accrediting additional programmes in Accountancy, Banking and Finance, Architecture, Q/Survey, Chemical Engineering Technology, Town and Regional Planning , Animal Health and Production Technology, Pasture and Range Management Technology, Social and Community Development , Marketing and Office Technology and Management respectively.
He commended and appreciated NBTE and Tetfund for their various intervention policies and programmes towards staff training and provision of instructional and infrastructural facilities to tertiary institutions in the country.
This, he said inspired the internal spirit of commitment of the institution to also key in by providing more facilities in the areas of classrooms, lecture halls and theatres, laboratories and workshops , making it a training and research driven institution.
While noting that the institution was fast growing in terms of programmes ,students population and infrastructural edifice, the Rector solicited for more interventions in terms of facilities to meet the increasing demands of the institution.
However, Professor Ibrahim said the institution had committed resources to he purchase of motorcycles for its security staff, carried out renovation and construction works in the two campuses in addition to the construction of a mini market outlet with shops.
” We need more accommodation, personnel and basic facilities that would make learning more conducive in the institution”, he stressed.
Hitherto, the Rector explained that aside of the institution’s commitment to ensuring academic excellence both in character and learning , it was also doing well in extra curricular activities especially in sports where recently it emerged 3rd position at the NIPOGA championships.
However, visitor to the institution and Sokoto state Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal while acknowledging the strides recorded by the institution over time, noted that the Polytechnic was a model in the advancement of technical education.
According to Tambuwal who further explained that his administration was committed to ensuring sound and quality education to its citizens , noted that education was key for positive transformation and development .
The governor also expressed excitement at the performances of the graduating students.
The Commissioner for Higher Education, Professor Bashir Garba said the polytechnic was moving from strength to strength academically , vowing that it would leave no stone unturned in ensuring it competes favourably with sister institutions in the country.
Garba further said that the state government’s education policy was hinged on articulated legacies that gave birth to the establishment of the existing Ministry for Higher Education in order to respond to the basic requirements of tertiary institutions in the state .
He noted that UASP is one of he leading polytechnics in the country as it was attracting more genuine attention .
” Education is key to unlocking quality assurance discipline and standards which the polytechnic strives to sustain”, he pointed out.
Also , the Chairman Governing Council and former deputy governor ,Barrister Mukhtari Shehu Shagari noted that polytechnics were more vibrantly placed on the world map of technological excellence which he said UASP, Sokoto was driven by.
Though, disturbed by the fact that the institution had its first convocation in 12 years only in 2014 ,Shagari said his perception was different from those of others who believe that university graduates were better placed that polytechnics.
” I have to change this perception and believe. Today, we have a polytechnic graduate that has made and wrote his name in gold world wide in the area of technology, innovation and creativity. This is no one than Jelani Aliyu who is the Director General NADDC”, he pointed out.
He said the Sokoto government under the leadership of Aminu Waziri Tambuwal will jot relent it focus on all institutions for standards and excellence in academics.
Prominent at the event climaxed by goodwill messages from sister institutions,educational agencies and organisations were deputy governor Muhammad Manir Dan Iya, Speaker Aminu Many a Achida, Sultan Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, Emir of Argungu, Muhammadu Sama’ila Mera among other top government functionaries and political stalwarts.