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    • Posted November 13th, 2019, 01:19 PM



    Aare Afe Babalola  , OFR, CON, SAN ,LL.D, FNAILS , FC. Arb delivers convocation Lecture on the 6th November , 2019 at the Yetunde Oyewole hall, Igbajo Polytechnic on the topic: THE PLACE OF TECHNICAL EDUCATION : THE DICHOTOMY BETWEEN POLYTECHNIC AND UNIVERSITY EDUCATION IN NIGERIA.

    He (Aare Afe Babalola) ably represented by Professor. Tunde Yebusi delivered the convocation Lecture  at the IGBAJO POLYTECHNIC.

    In his opening remarks , “  I consider it a great honour  to be invited to deliver this year’s Convocation Lecture which I have titled “ The Place of  Technical Education : the Dichotomy between between Polytechnic and University Education in Nigeria, when I was approached to deliver the lecture , it was not difficult  for me to accept  because of my love for the Founder of this Institution , Chief Olajide Oyewole , a man I respect and love so dearly”.

    In continuity  ,  he gave instances of cases that brought himself ( Aare Afe Babalola ) and Chief Olajide Oyewole more closes . They were simple land matters , simple assault and all sorts of criminal cases . It was a surprise that Chief Oyewole became a successful Solicitor and to his credit , the few cases which arouse from his Retainership Firms were given to him ( Aare Afe Babalola )  by Chief Oyewole . He added that this stance gave him the opportunity of appearing in Lagos High Courts. It was not a surprise that the Nigerian Law School recognized his brilliance in Solicitor ship and he was invited by the Law School to teach that aspect of Law that relates to Solicitor’s work.

    Chief Oyewole is a loving , generous and kind person . He is also a lover of quality and functional education. I am therefore not surprised he has emptied himself to establish this institution in his home town , Igbajo. That he has brought this institution here is an attestation to how much he loves his people and his town town.

    Professor Tunde Yebisi, ( Representative, Aare Afe Babalola--SAN), during the Convocation Lecture dated 6th November,2019 at the Yetunde Oyewole Auditorium at 10am. 


    Convocation , is a large formal Assemblage of people . In respect of a tertiary institution, it is a large Assemblage of Academics, their invitees, usually the parents and well- wishers of the graduating students . It is also known as an occasion which manty students , their parents and guardians earnestly look forward to for the translation of their labour, prayers and huge investments into honours and degrees. Institutions which have lived up to their responsibilities are also usually enthusiastic and excited on an occasion like this which provides them with the rare opportunity to showcase their products to the entire world.


    A Convocation Lecture Is a formal Address delivered to an Assemblage of Academics and well- wishers of the graduating students. Before graduating are released into the world , there is always the Convocation Lecture which is often delivered by a successful and accomplished personality and a Master of Subject matter .


    Education has been variously defined as “ a process of teaching and training , especially in schools, colleges (Universities)  to improve knowledge and develop skills”. Another school of Thought sees education “ as the art or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge , developing the powers of reasoning and judgement and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life”.

    Of the above and many other definitions of education ,  “ Education is regarded as an eye – opener”.  For it is only when one’s eyes ,both physical and inner are considerably opened that one will be able to see goings-on around him and appreciate the need to plug into useful and profitable developments to enable him blend and impact his environment / society positively .


    In this paper , tertiary institutions include but are not limited to Universities , Polytechnics and Colleges of Education . If you ask the ordinary man in the market place or Motor park what a tertiary institution is, the ready answer will be an “ educational Institution”  in which students study for Degrees and Diplomas and where academic research is carried out . However , history reveals the fact that originally the word “University” meant  a number , a plurality and aggregate of persons i.e universitas vestra which means the whole of you.  Technically, it denotes a legal corporation.

    Thus , Pope Boniface VIII wrote “ universita tibuspopulodicti Regni”. In those days , a body of “all faithful Christian people” was often addressed as “ universitatibusvestra”. As recorded at the end of 20th century , the word applied to a corporation of either of masters or students to the newly formed guilds .  In the early period , the word University was not used absolutely. The phrase was always “ University of Scholars” , University of Masters and Scholars” or University of Study”.

    However today, a tertiary institution is regarded as a place specially set up for higher learning lik IGBAJO POLYTECHNIC.


    Polytechnic education gives students hands -on experience  within a dynamic and progressive learning environment . One of the features of Polytechnic education is strong emphasis of the features of polytechnic is the strong emphasis on practice- based learning . Work attachments with industry partners are part of the curriculum and can vary in duration from six weeks to six months or longer for selected courses. These work attachments often enable students to gain valuable on-the-job experience and provide them with opportunities to work with industry experts.

    In addition to academic knowledge , the Polytechnics also emphasize the acquisition of certain important life skills. These are the key skills of communication and presentation  as well as problem -solving skills. These are intended to develop the students ‘s confidence and critical faculties which are necessary  if they are to be effective participants in society. Students will also learn to develop original and creative thinking and behave as responsible young adults.


    We all know the significance and importance of universities in higher studies . These are Universities in all major cities of different countries , but It is too much to expect universities to cater to every section of a population because of resources required . Though every attempt is made by Universities to provide education to students in Arts, Sciences , Law , Commerce, Business , Engineering and Medical streams , it is seen that specialized institutions that are set up for imparting education in a particular stream are somewhat more successful because of centralized processes.

    This is precisely the reason why we see emergence of Polytechnics in various parts of the world , where there is greater emphasis on imparting Technical Education , and the courses are designed to be more practical than the theory oriented courses in Universities.  There are many more differences between Universities and Polytechnics.

    In many countries , Polytechnics are considered as Engineering Schools which is only partially correct . These are educational settings that are made use of in imparting practical knowledge and apart from Engineering Degrees; these cent res are used to provide knowledge in Applied Sciences and Industrial Arts . This is of great help to students who want a Degree or Diploma that gets them immediate jobs after completion . There is also a difference in the duration  of courses . In Universities, courses typically are of longer duration , taking 2-5 years to complete , whereas  Polytechnics are famous for Diplomas and Certificates in Industrial Arts that get completed in 6-12  months  and a student gets absorbed in the industry immediately thus , solving the problem of unemployment greatly.

    Therefore, Universities are broader in approach , and teach subjects with an emphasis on imparting basic knowledge with a lot of theoretical aspect with a little bit of project work and lab assignments.  On the Other hand ,  Polytechnics are more practical in their approach , and take up smaller courses that are industry specific and not taught in Universities , so in addition to engineering degrees  , there is a plethora of other courses , diplomas, and certificates that are offered in these Polytechnics that are of shorter duration and help students in getting jobs in industries.

    On the dichotomy between Polytechnics and Universities , I will recommend that the Body of Polytechnics and colleges of Technology should send a Bill of the National Assembly , marshalling their position that Polytechnics should be upgraded to become universities of Technology to propel functional education and engender the much desired change in the country’s educational landscape.

    Finally, I reiterate my profound sense of gratitude to IGBAJO POLYTECHNIC , particularly the Founder , Chief Olajide Oyewole , for the invitation extended to me to speak on this auspicious occasion . It is highly appreciated . Thank You all for Listening and reading.

    AARE AFE BABALOLA , OFR, CON, SAN, LL.D (London), D.Lit, (Ayingba), LL.D (UNILAG ), LL.D(Ado-Ekiti), LL.D (Jos), FNAILS , President , Chartered Institute of Arbitration, FNSE.