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Polytechnic Rectors Advocate for Replacing HND with Bachelor’s Degrees: “Renew the Call”

The stage is set for a pivotal debate among Rectors and Provosts of polytechnics and other Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) awarding institutions. This crucial discussion, slated for Tuesday, May 21, was announced in a letter from Lawal Hafiz, the Director of Human Resources at the National Board of Technical Education (NBTE), marking a significant moment in the future of technical education.

 

Lawal Hafiz explained that the meeting would focus on the persistent issues of discrimination against HND holders and explore ways to address this long-standing problem. The aim is to ensure that holders of HND certificates receive the same recognition and opportunities as their counterparts with Bachelor’s degrees. This move is necessary to eliminate the bias historically plaguing polytechnic graduates regarding employment and career advancement.

The discussion is expected to provide a platform for members to renew their call to the federal government to assent to the bill to remove the disparity between Bachelor’s degrees and HNDs. This bill, sponsored by Senator Ayo Akinyelure, seeks to abolish the discrimination that polytechnic graduates face compared to university graduates, especially in employment and promotions. The bill focus on creating a level of playing field for all graduates, regardless of whether they attended a university or a polytechnic.

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The national dialogue is anticipated to focus on two key proposals. The first is replacing the HND programme with the Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) degree. This change aims to align polytechnic qualifications more closely with university degrees, potentially simplifying the employment landscape and reducing the discrimination HND holders face. The second proposal urges the President to assent to the National Assembly-passed bill titled “An Act to Abolish and Prohibit Dichotomy and Discrimination between First Degree and Higher National Diploma in the Same Profession/Field for Employment and Related Matters.” This legislation aims to formalize the equal status of HND and Bachelor’s degrees in professional fields, ensuring fair treatment in the job market.

 

The meeting will also delve into broader issues concerning the integration and recognition of TVET qualifications in the higher education landscape. By engaging in these proposals, the rectors and provosts aim to present a united front and a compelling case to the government, underlining the necessity for policy changes that mirror the evolving educational and professional landscape.

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Lawal Hafiz highlighted that this initiative is not just about changing titles but about fostering equity and enhancing the prestige of technical education. The proposed changes are expected to bolster the morale of polytechnic students and graduates, who often feel undervalued compared to their university-educated peers.

 

The outcome of this meeting holds immense potential for the educational system in Nigeria. If successful, it could pave the way for substantial reforms that elevate the status of polytechnic education and open up greater career avenues for graduates. The aspiration is that these changes will not only tackle the existing issues of discrimination but also foster a more inclusive and equitable education system that values technical and vocational skills on par with traditional academic qualifications.

 

In conclusion, the debate set for May 21 represents a pivotal moment for polytechnic education in Nigeria. By advocating for replacing the HND with the B.Tech and calling for the President to assent to the anti-dichotomy bill, the rectors and provosts aim to pave the way for a more balanced and fair recognition of all higher education qualifications in the country.

What do you think?

Written by Realinfoteam

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