By CrossRiverWatch admin
CrossRiverWatch has reliably gathered that plans are underway to downgrade the Cross State Polytechnic otherwise known as the Institute of Technology and Management, ITM in Ugep to a technical college.
The Cross River State Government had entered into a partnership with Highbury College, Portsmouth, United Kingdom to design a demand-driven curriculum for a world class institution in the state. The curriculum was designed to ensure that graduates of the school are employable.
While speaking at the signing of the Agreement in Calabar, former governor of Cross River State, Liyel Imoke disclosed that the state was partnering the college because it is the best vocational institution in the United Kingdom. Imoke described as unacceptable, a situation where Nigerian universities churn out graduates, who are unemployable, noting that overtime, the quality of education in the country has nosedived; making it compelling for the kind of partnership the state was entering into with Highbury College if the trend is to be arrested.
But just a few months after commencing academic activities, CrossRiverWatch has reliable information indicating that the school, which was also expected to churn out competent middle cadre professionals for the General Electric factory under construction in Calabar may no longer be a diploma awarding institute after all.
Sources in the Palace of the Paramount Ruler of Yakurr LGA, Obol Lopon of Ugep informed CrossRiverWatch that the management of the school contacted the palace to intimate the monarch of plans by the state government to alter the vision and original plans for the institute.
Irked by the development, the Yakurr Monarch has been reaching out to prominent sons and daughters of the LGA to prevail on the governor, Senator Ben Ayade not to go ahead with the plan as it will not augur well both for the institute and the administration.
One of the prominent sons of the LGA who was privy to the ongoing consultations told CrossRiverWatch in confidence that: “The information is correct that the new governor want to rescind the decision of the former governor to build a world class institute in our LGA. I think the governor is being misadvised. Whoever is giving the governor that advise is not giving him in the interest of peace and development. The people of Ugep consider that school as one of the few things that the PDP government brought to the LGA under Imoke, secondly, there are enough technical schools in the state already and we are convinced that this latest move by Governor Ayade is in bad fate and it will sincerely create more bad blood than goodwill should the governor go ahead with it.”
When CrossRiverWatch contacted the Rector of the institute, Mr. William Pedley to get reactions on the development, he confirmed the information saying: “What you heard is exactly what I heard. The governor, according to what I heard wants to now downgrade the school and that is what I told the Paramount Ruler, (Obol Lopon). But I haven’t met him yet; that is why I am pressing for a meeting with His Excellency, Professor Ayade as soon as possible to ask him where we are over this. But I have been told that that is precisely what the plan is. You are current in all that you said but I am not clear yet.
“Our subvention has not been paid for many months and we will resort to strike if we don’t get subvention this month. Everything you said is quite right. You are right on the facts but I am not quite clear till I meet Professor Ayade face to face and I can now hear what exactly is it he wants.”
Officials at the state Ministry of Education have remained evasive over the matter as no of those contacted have shown any interest in commenting on the matter.
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