Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: Yabatech Rector Appeals Govt for More Funds

After three years of being appointed the Rector, Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, the institution has witnessed series of academic and infrastructural development under the leadership of Dr. Margaret Ladipo. As part of efforts to mark these giant strides, Ladipo looks back at what her administration has achieved, even as she called on government for more grants to fund research, security and further developmental projects.

The humble beginning

Dr. Margaret Ladipo was appointed rector of the college on December 10, 2009. According to her, she has ever since then, not rested on her oars in ensuring that the institution moves beyond the status quo, thus, meeting up with the needs and challenges of today's educational world. "I intend to transform the system into a teaching, learning and research centre in applied science, engineering, technology and management sciences," she said.

Lapido said she had earmarked workable objectives to achieve her goals. In her words; "One of the things we did when we came in was to institute a committee, which consists of an experienced consultant and 22 other members to map out a five-year strategic plan. This was done in order to have a participative and all-inclusive management.

"The strategic plan, however, is in its last stages of development and will span a period of five years from 2012 to 2016."

Academic Development

On academic development recorded so far, Ladipo said her administration started out by focusing mainly on consolidation of existing programmes and putting structures in place for an enabling environment to expand the programmes offered in the college, in line with the needs of the national economy.

"As a result, the management embarked on a vigorous staff exposure and development drive to improve the instructional capability of lecturers and expose them to contemporary trends in teaching and learning. Since the assumption of the new administration, members of staff (both teaching and non-teaching staff), have been attending seminars, workshops and conferences both within and outside the country. For instance, a total number of 423 staff was sent on seminars, workshops and conferences in year 2010. This number was stepped up to 441 in year 2011 as against 230 for 2009 and preceding years."

Revitalization of the part-time programmes

Early in 2010, a 14-man committee was set up to bring up a proposal on how to revive the part-time programmes which had been moribund. The committee completed the assignment and the programme was re-established in July 2010 with the new name, Centre for Continuing Studies under the leadership of a Chief Lecturer as Director of the Centre. The centre is presently running smoothly. This has served to improve access to education in line with the direction of government and to also boost the revenue base of the college.

Learning and teaching enhancements

The Ladipo administration has also through the STEP-B project, ensured that the quality of teaching and learning is enhanced with the provision of necessary equipment and facilities for laboratories and workshops in some departments, namely, chemical science, food technology and physical science and established a well-equipped glass blowing workshop in the Department of Chemical Science.

Also through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund Special Intervention for 2009, the college was able to provide modern teaching equipment for lecture halls, laboratories and workshops across the different schools while the college library was furnished with books, journals and other study facilities. Over 50 interactive electronic white boards have been installed in lecture halls across the college to improve the quality of delivery.

Recall in 2011, management commenced the establishment of libraries in each school to bring the facility to the doorsteps of lecturers and students and to promote the reading and research culture. It is projected that with the creation of space through the construction of more infrastructure, libraries can be provided for all departments in the college.

The rector also said in her administration's effort to incorporate international standards into the college in the areas of research and technology, it has entered into a renewed agreement with Songhai Centre for joint research and development projects in renewable energy especially in biofuel and bio-enterprise, development of human resource, infrastructure and staff industrial attachment.

Under the Memorandum of Understanding with University of Central Lancashire, some members of academic staff are currently enrolled in the PhD programme of the institution's School of Built Environment.

Also, she said the college is collaborating with the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa in the areas of postgraduate training, staff sabbaticals, staff and student exchange, short-term academic programmes and one year top-up programme for HND graduates.

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