The protracted strike by the academic staff unions of public polytechnics and colleges of education in Nigeria has adversely affected the interest of candidates in pursuing further studies in the institutions.
This is indicated by the low number of candidates who chose Polytechnics and Colleges of Education as first choice in the 2014 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME)
Registrar and Chief Executive of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, Professor ‘Dibu Ojerinde, while presenting the breakdown of application by institution of the just concluded Paper Pencil Test and Dual Based Test last modes of UTME in Abuja, said only 13,761 out of 1,015,5054 applicants for the two modes chose polytechnics as first choice.
According to the figures he presented, only 20,558 candidates made colleges of education their first choice, while 32 applicants made innovative enterprise institute as first choice.
Ojerinde said the universities had the highest number of applications as first choice with a total number of candidates put at 995,901.
He, however, explained that some of the applicants that chose universities as their first choice also chose either college of education or polytechnic as second choice.
He said the board deliberately made it compulsory for each applicant to spread his or her choices to all the institutions.
Unfortunately, substantial number of candidates that made the polytechnics their first choice or applied for the institution last year, had to reapply for UTME this year and chose universities as their first choice.
Most of the polytechnics and colleges of education that are on strike could not conduct their last year admissions.
Supervising Minister of Education, Barr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike has also urged Nigerian students to seek admission into Polytechnics and Colleges of Education to build the technological base of the country and the pool of highly qualified teachers in the country to drive the educational programmes of the country.
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