Nigerian journalists call for upgrade of mass communication departments to faculties in polytechnics

Segun Showunmi in Ibadan

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo State Chapter has urged the National Board of Technical Education (NBTE) to toe the line of Nigerian University Commission (NUC) by upgrading Mass Communication departments in Nigerian Polytechnics to Faculty for definitive specialization

Penpushing reports that the chairman of the council, Comrade Ademola Babalola  made the call while speaking at the maiden edition of ‘Inter Level Oratorical Contest and Symposium’, organised by Association of Students Communicators, (ASCOM), The Polytechnic, Ibadan.

The number one journalist in the state noted that turning Mass Communication Departments to Faculty in Polytechnics would assist students to be trained in areas that are relevant to contemporary and practical issues.

Penpushing further reports that,Babalola noted that Mass Communication is an industry on its own which should stands as a Faculty not just as a Department in Polytechnics.

“If mass communication is unbundling, there will be many definitive specialisations under it other than the four popular ones that we know, such as print journalism, broadcast journalism, public relations and advertising”, he said.

“NBTE as a regulatory authority over Polytechnics in Nigeria should follow the path of NUC and unbundle mass communication. This will give room to students to be trained in areas their relevance”, Babalola emphasied.

Penpushing also reports that the South-West Bureau Chief of the Nation Newspapers, Mr Bisi Oladele speaking on the theme, ‘The New Median:  A missed Opportunity for National Integration in Nigeria’ said only a united and peaceful country is governable, stressing the need for journalists to promote integration and peaceful coexistence among Nigerians.

The Bureau Chief, who was the guest speaker at the event said that Nigerian Journalists aside reporting happenings are also affected by incidents and challenges in the country, at personal, family and community levels, calling for social responsibility in discharge of their duties.

Penpushing  reports that Oladele explained that, in countries such as Nigeria where there are over 300 spoken languages, multi-ethnic and multi-lingual, mutual suspicion, feeling of oppression and dominance by certain groups pervade the polity.

“Though Hausa, Fulani, Itsekiri, Ibibios, Yoruba, Igbo, Urhobo and Ijaw work and live together in communities peacefully, ethnic and religious cards are strongly played when taking decisions on positions of leadership, particularly political leadership, leadership in government agencies and in communal groups and associations’, he noted.

“Some people also build stereotype against certain ethnic groups based on behaviour of certain members of the ethnic or religious group which makes them take a negative stance against people of such group. Governments at all levels, therefore, need to acknowledge this challenge and identify its solution as a pathway to a better Nigeria”, he added

Penpushing further reports that Oladele noted that the Ministries of Information, Orientation and Culture should be empowered to undertake strategic communication campaigns on efforts to foster national integration such as highlighting the good aspects of each culture, the beauty of working and building Nigeria together, some outstanding efforts at all levels such as offering jobs to non-indigenes, inter-ethnic marriages and excellent achievements of non-natives in some communities.

‘There should also be deliberate campaigns to challenge stereotype views, and deliberate promotion of equity, fairness and Justice to all irrespective of circumstances.” Oladele empphasised

The Association of Students Communicators, (ASCOM), President, Kehinde Ayanboade said the purpose of the event was to boost the morale of students towards public speaking and oratory and compete with their contemporaries.

Penpushing also reports that he lamented that most students are more involved in social activities that does not add value to them, adding that the event will would go a long way in assisting them academically, and urged incoming executives of the association to leverage on the program so as to set a pace for the students.

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