Muted jubilation over the announcement that the dichotomy between HND and BSc in the civil service has been removed indicates that there are still hurdles to cross in the age-old discrimination against HND holders. OLAJIDE FABAMISE and TAIWO OMILANI, take a look at experts views on the implementation of the policy.
Despite the fact that the federal government of Nigeria announced last year that it has abolished dichotomy between university degree holders and those of Higher National Diplomas (HND) in parliamentary services, yet graduates from Polytechnic still experience problems with their certificate, as most companies prefer University graduates. Some of these companies in their advert placement state that BSc will be of high advantage. This development prompted graduates from Polytechnic to proceed to University for attain BSc knowing that employers of labour prefer university graduates.
President of United Labour Congress, Comrade Joe Ajaero, who spoke with LEADERSHIP in Lagos, said that the dichotomy should not have existed from beginning but because in Nigeria there is penchant for the abnormal, that is why it emerged.
He stated that in other climes the certificates are treated equally but not here. However, when the prerequisite for entrance into the university and Polytechnic is different, then, their qualities are bound to be viewed differently.
“Dichotomy begets Dichotomy. The Federal government must therefore go to the root of the problem and remove the inferior requirements for entry into polytechnics”.
According to him, “the emphasis on paper qualifications in Nigeria is a big problem. If we place more value on capacity and capabilities, this will no longer be an issue. Whether employers of labour are implementing it well is another thing as they cannot be forced to decide the value they place on the various certificates”.
Ajaero said that the public spaces must lead the way and comply fully with this policy being a laudable one.
ULC President explained that dichotomy should not have existed from beginning, urging the Federal government to go to the root of the problem and remove the inferior requirements for entry into polytechnics.
Also speaking, chairman Nigerian railway workers Union, Comrade Olusegun Esan, said that it is highly commendable that the federal government has finally erased the superiority of a degree to higher diploma.
He disclosed that this certainly will help employment and will drive carrier progress in place of work. Beyond this, higher diploma holders are no longer seen and treated as inferior to degree holder. “This will build self”.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of interior, Abubakar Magaji at the meeting held on the 11th July 2017, under the chairmanship of the Minister of interior, Lt Gen. (Rtd) Abdulrahman Dambazau approved the regularization of the dichotomy between holders of university degrees and HND in all services. Presently, stakeholders in the education sector are worry about its full implementation.
Speaking with the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu in a telephone interview with LEADERSHIP said there is no dichotomy because government has already harmonized. “I think HND and BSc are now at the same entry point. For the HND holders, before they can progress, they need further qualification. For instance, if you have HND, you cannot progress beyond level 14 unless you attain post graduate diploma, this will enable you to progress further”.
The minister explained that once the entry points are the same, HND holders can earn the same salary with their counterparts. He affirmed that the implementation is effective.
While responding to the minister’s assertion, the rector of Lagos State Polytechnic, Mr. Samuel Sogunro said there still dichotomy between HND and BSc since HND graduates have to attain PGD before they can be at the level with their counterparts.
His words: “if minister said before they can be equated, they have to attain PGD; it shows the gap is still there. The implementation must start from the ministries before others and I can vouch for our products because they can compete anywhere in the world even companies prefer them to their counterparts.”
The former Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Professor Oye Ibidapo-Obe said it expedient for federal government to make the implementation effective, expressed its surprise over its half implementation.
Prof. Ibidapo who is also pioneers pro-chancellor and chairman of the Governing Council of the Technical University, Ibadan added, “I think in terms of functionality it is about time that we have an idea of what the differences are, and I am surprised that it is not effect. At least in the work place there shouldn’t be difference. The employers just want performance. The university graduates are good in the area of research while HND graduates are be useful in the area of industry”.
LEADERSHIP recalled that the Federal Government in July, 2016 had expressed its intention to end the issue of dichotomy between HND and BSc holders – when the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, spoke at the 32nd combined convocation and diamond jubilee celebration of The Kaduna, Polytechnic.
That same year in August, the minister affirmed the readiness of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to address the issue once and for all.
But by December 2016, the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics (SSANIP) issued a three-week ultimatum to the Federal Government to implement the White Paper on the abolition of HND/BSC dichotomy.
Esteem, confidence and fulfillment to aspire to the peak of one’s chosen carrier. Also, this will check the rush and preference for university admission.
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