The Patriot Institute of Journalism and Arts (PIJA), Lance Magazine is a public-centric independent media organisation dedicated to fighting injustice, fostering social justice and community development through the telling and retelling of the marginalised-oriented stories.
Five years Graceland Polytechnic Runs NBTE Unaccredited Programmes, Graduates Have No Certificates
There is a near probability that Graceland Polytechnic Offa has allegedly “defrauded many unsuspecting students while running unaccredited programmes for five years,” affected victims said.
Since 2019 of its establishment, hundreds of students have allegedly graduated from its Ordinary National Diploma (OND) programmes with no certificates to proceed for their Higher National Diploma (HND), PIJAlance learnt. Many of them, after waiting have to start from either 100 levels in another university or National Diploma (ND 1) in another Polytechnic.
For more than a week, our correspondents worked with concerned members of staff of other polytechnics and aggrieved victims most of whom their plights with Graceland Polytechnic, were never conveyed to their parents.
Graceland Polytechnic, Offa, Kwara State, was established in 2013 by the late Princess Ayodele Oyeleke to run Diploma programmes in five courses which are: Business Administration, Computer Science, Statistics, Computer Engineering Technology and Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technology. The Institution commenced operation in 2019.
However, when PIJAlance checked the 2017 directory of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) and for Technical and Vocational Institutions in Nigeria, Graceland was never even listed among the accredited polytechnics.
In 2021 (latest) directory of accredited courses for polytechnics, NBTE noted that all the five courses accreditation have expired since October, 2020. This poses an implication of unrecognised courses; however, Graceland continues the running of its ND programme with the five courses. In fact, it plans to admit new students, this year (2023).
In the year (2019/2020 academic session) that followed after its maiden matriculation, Graceland Polytechnic introduced four new courses were introduced. These courses were also not on the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) CAPS of the school and neither approved by NBTE.
With a promise here and there for a soonest accreditation, the management reportedly admits more students to Science Laboratory Technology; Mass Communication, Technology; Accountancy and Public Health Technology which are plainly unapproved courses in the institution. Even in 2021, NBTE didn’t update the expired list of the approved Graceland courses with the new ones added.
Admitted But No Certificates
PIJAlance learnt that a lot of unsuspecting students have applied for Graceland courses and were given admission most of whom on a promise to get NBTE approval soon. However, the promise has not seen the light.
In the 2020/2021 academic session, Graceland Polytechnic introduced two new courses which are Building Technology and Library and Information Science. But, NBTE has never approved more than the maiden five of Graceland, already expired since 2020, according to its 2021 directory.
“In 2021, I was admitted to Graceland Polytechnic to study SLT,” one of the student-victims, Fatima told PIJAlance. “But after learning from those who have left the school that our programme has not been accredited to Graceland. I, alongside others, decided to leave in 2022.”
Graceland Polytechnic charges students 60k as tuition fees as of 2021.
If No Certificates, Why Studying?
Under Education (National Minimum Standards And Establishment Of Institutions) ACT, LFN 2004, The purpose of higher education shall be- (a) the acquisition, development and inculcation of the proper value-orientation for the survival of individuals and society; (b) the development of the intellectual capacities of individuals to understand and appreciate their environment; (c) the acquisition of both physical and intellectual skills to enable individuals to develop into useful members of the community;
(d) the acquisition of an objective view of the local and external environment; (e) the making of optimum contributions to national development through the training of higher level manpower; (f) the promotion of national unity by ensuring that admission of students and recruitment of staff into universities and other institutions of higher learning shall, as far as possible, be on a broad national basis; (g) the promotion and encouragement of scholarship and research.
This purpose, especially the article (f) may have been allegedly breached by Graceland Polytechnic, offering admissions to study in unaccredited programmes by NBTE.
If filed to a lawsuit, Bushra Ghazal, an Oyo-based Lawyer said the institution may be sued for a breach of contract as students paid tuition fees for a promise to be offered certificate at the end of their programme. Anything else outside this, is a breach of contract.
Graceland Polytechnic charges students 60k as tuition fees as of 2021. If the lawsuit is filed, Graceland Polytechnic may stand to refund all tuition fees and other miscellaneous fees paid to the Institution by the students, as long as the certificates were not issued.
“We’re up to five that left,” Fatima continued. “Taiwo, Ayo, Kike, Aunty Abibat, among others closing to 100. The school said they will get the approval for the courses but they haven’t until we leave.” Graceland has not accredited or re-accredited any of their courses, according to NBTE 2021 directory, hitherto.
Elizabeth (not real name) lamented that she was a Business Administrative student in the school in 2021 until she learnt that the department has yet to be accredited. “I left, immediately,” she told PIJAlance “because it will just be like a waste of time, after all the stress and money.”
Graceland Polytechnic has yet to have its several programmes accredited, hitherto.
In 2020, the first and second set of the students of Graceland Polytechnic graduated without approval and accreditation of their courses. The students were neither given notifications of result nor certificates. Hence, these students have been at home with nothing to show as diploma graduates. None of them can also proceed for their HND programmes nor Direct Entry for Bsc; only through taking UTME or enrolling into another Institution can suffice.
PIJAlance saw a video showing some of the students protesting against the issues at the Graceland Polytechnic campus. But nothing came out since then, even, some of the affected students said they were later dispersed with police operatives.
To date, Graceland Polytechnic, Offa is still illegally admitting students to unaccredited courses.
“Anybody that says we’ve not issue certificate is telling a lie”
Efforts of PIJAlance to get any of the school representatives comment on this were proven abortive.
But after repeated calls and messages, the Registrar of Graceland Polytechnic, Mr Ibitoye who insisted on not giving further details, said “whoever says we’re not issuing out certificates, tell a lie.”