B.SC VS HND : Scrap HND degrees, Chairman orders

The Chairman, Federal Civil Service Commission, Prof. Tunji Olaopa, on Tuesday, asked that the Higher National Diploma be scrapped, to end what he called the lingering professional war with university degrees.

He also asked the Technical and Vocational Education and Training sector to revisit the recommendations of the Conference of Heads of Polytechnics and Colleges of Education in 2017.

Also, the President, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, Shammah Kpanja, said if the polytechnics must be attractive, the transition of HND to BTech must be welcomed.

He, therefore, said that the Nigerian polytechnics must offer BTech strictly for HND students while also noting that the certificate must be specialised.

Their calls came as the Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education, Prof. Idris Bugaje, bemoaned what he described as unwarranted discrimination against holders of the Higher National Diploma in Nigeria.

The trio of Olaopa, Kpanja and Bugaje, among others, spoke at a one-day dialogue on the future of the HND in the Nigerian educational landscape.

According to Olaopa, scrapping the HND would help resolve the lingering professional war between B.Sc and HND, without totally rendering and distorting their originating mandates.

He said following the recommendations of the COHEADS, polytechnics would be converted to degree-awarding institutions, while the National Diploma would be retained as a qualifying certificate for entrance for the degree.

“COHEADS recommended the conversion and upgrading of polytechnics to campuses of their consummate universities, while the largest polytechnics in each of the geopolitical zones be converted into full-fledged universities of technology.

“In doing so, it will be a game changer and I believe to achieve the purpose, HND ought to be scrapped while the National Diploma should be retained as a qualifying certificate for entrance into new and old universities of technology,” Olaopa said.

While lamenting the discrimination experienced by HND holders in the economy, Bugaje said the dialogue was apt, as it would foster an opportunity to address pressing issues that had persisted for decades.

“We all recognise the unique role of the TVET sector in complementing other educational domains and fostering industrialisation and socioeconomic 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.

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