FG Says HND Holders Facing Unwarranted Discrimination in Nigeria, Speaks on Solution

FG Says HND Holders Facing Unwarranted Discrimination in Nigeria, Speaks on Solution

  • The executive secretary of the NBTE, Prof. Idris Bugaje, has highlighted the unjust discrimination against HND holders in Nigeria
  • The president of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics, Philip Ogunsipe, also noted that societal acceptance drives the discrimination against HND holders
  • Meanwhile, the minister of state for education, Dr Yusuf Sununu advocated for embracing global skills acquisition trends and transitioning HND programmes to BTech

FCT, Abuja - The Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) Prof. Idris Bugaje, on Tuesday, May 22, lamented the unjust discrimination against holders of Higher National Diplomas in Nigeria.

Bugaje expressed his concerns in Abuja during a one-day dialogue focused on the future of Higher National Diplomas within the Nigerian educational system.

NBTE worry over HND descrimination
FG Worries Over HND Undervaluing, Calls Immediate End to HND Bias Photo credit: Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim
Source: UGC

He emphasised that the dialogue was timely, as it provided a platform to address long-standing issues affecting HND holders, The Punch reported.

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He said:

“We all recognise the unique role of the TVET sector in complementing other educational domains and fostering industrialisation and socio-economic progress.
“Despite the pivotal role it plays, the HND qualification, earned after five years of rigorous study and internship, continues to face unwarranted discrimination within the Nigerian public service.
“Even in the face of concerted efforts, including proposed legislation and appeals from students and staff unions, the discrimination against HND holders persists.”

Bugaje mentioned that earlier this year, the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria brought attention to a 22-year-old issue concerning HND Pharmacy Technology, which the Minister of State for Education successfully resolved.

Proposed legislation must resolve HND bias

Additionally, Philip Ogunsipe, President of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANP), stated that the discrimination against HND holders is largely due to societal acceptance.

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Ogunsipe emphasized that to address these issues, any discriminatory aspects of the bill must be resolved before it is enacted into law.

He said:

“Once the bill is assented to and the discrimination in the HND programmed is resolved and finally passed into law, we will not have any challenge with this age-long problem.
“The process of accreditation of programmed should be more strengthened to provide the necessary and required manpower for the growth and development of this country. The NBTE must strengthen its supervisory role to do this."

HND holders must embrace global skills acquisition trends

Similarly, the minister of state for education, Dr Yusuf Sununu, praised the NBTE for boldly raising national awareness about the importance of embracing the global trend of skills acquisition for HND holders.

Sununu expressed optimism that the dialogue would provide compelling reasons to dispel the long-standing belief in the supposed superiority of other qualifications over the HND. He emphasized that Nigeria needs HND holders for national development now more than ever.

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In the same vein, the President of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Shammah Kpanja, stated that the discrimination affects not only students and academics but the entire sector.

In addition, Shammah Kpanja, President of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, noted that discrimination affects not only students and academics but the entire sector.

Kpanja explained that the transition from HND to BTech must be supported to make polytechnics more appealing.

He advocated for Nigerian polytechnics to offer BTech degrees exclusively for HND students, emphasizing that the certification should be specialized.

Kpanja explained that if the polytechnics are attractive, the transition from HND to BTech must be welcomed.

Olaopa wants HND scrapped

In a related development, as reported by Punch the Chairman of the Federal Civil Service Commission, prof. Tunji Olaopa, on Tuesday, 21 May, called for the elimination of the Higher National Diploma to resolve what he described as the ongoing professional conflict with university degrees.

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He also urged the Technical and Vocational Education and Training sector to reconsider the recommendations made by the Conference of Heads of Polytechnics and Colleges of Education in 2017.

HND to BSC: Discrimination persists despite FG's moves

Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that despite the NBTE move to stop the discrimination of HND holders with the launch of the online top-up programme, the bias continued even still.

The agency had also made a move to introduce an online top-up programme to enable HND holders to convert their certification to a Bachelor’s Degree (BSc).

Source: Legit.ng

Ezra Ukanwa avatar

Ezra Ukanwa (Editor) Ezra Ukanwa is a first-class graduate of Anchor University, Lagos. He holds a master's degree in mass communication. Ezra currently serves as the Current Affairs and Politics Editor for Legit.ng, where he covers events and provides insightful analysis and reportage on national issues. He was named best Campus Journalist (Anchor University Communications Award, 2019). Kindly contact him at: ezra.ukanwa@corp.legit.ng or +2349036989944

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