The sheer number of higher institutions that had been established in Delta State since the inception of democracy in 1999, is a positive commentary on the importance successive administrations attach to acquisition of knowledge especially at the tertiary level. From the administration of former governor, James Onanefe Ibori, (1999 to 2007) to incumbent governor, Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, nine tertiary institutions have been established. As at 2007 when Uduaghan took over from Ibori, there were three polytechnics, two colleges of education, one College of Physical Education and of course the Delta State University with three campuses at Abraka, Oleh and Anwai. Ibori established the three polytechnics at Ozoro, Ogwashi-Uku and Otefe, near Oghara as well as a College of Education and the College of Physical Education at Mosogar. He also established the three campuses of DELSU, and made them functional.
But according to Hope Eghagha, Commissioner for Higher Education, these institutions were inadequate to meet the human capital development needs of the state. Following a 2009 higher education summit held in the state, it was evident there was need for more polytechnics. Eghagha said “one of the issues that came up was that every year, 25,000 young people apply for positions in the polytechnics and out of these, we were able to accommodate about 9,000”. The question therefore was what happens to the rest? The answer, for the Uduaghan administration, lay in establishing more polytechnics, not just to solve the problem of accessibility, but more importantly, according to Eghagha, “because we need these polytechnic graduates to drive development…as technical education is crucial to national development”. Work on the four new polytechnics at Aboh, Abigborodo, Burutu and Sapele are nearing completion. The commissioner boasted that “the ambience itself will be attractive”. And from what is on ground, it is clear that both in structure and facilities, it is going to be world-class with the interest of the physically-challenged taken care of.
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