Friday, June 28, 2013

Opinion: The Discrimination Of HND Holders In Nigeria

Right from the emergence of western education in Nigeria, there has been a lot of controversies generated regarding the disparity that is breeding between degree and Higher national diploma certificates. This dichotomy has escalated to a stage that
most of the graduates that were trained in polytechnics wished to pursue a degree certificate but for lack of privilege. Having a concrete and theoretical view into the backgrounds, it is pertinent to know the significance of polytechnic training in the area of technological development and nation building. Generally, the polytechnic is majorly established to equip man powers with the necessary technological skills use in nation building. To add verisimilitude, this particular disparity is still in existence at full edge especially in Nigeria labour markets. Most of corporate organisations have special preference for university graduates compare to their polytechnic counterparts with governmental set ups inclusive. Some companies will go as far as placing in their adverts in the national dailys that only university degrees are allowed, though many private enterprises accept HND but a degree certificate is an added advantage. This dichotomy is not only restricted to the private enterprises, the civil service of the nation owned at the state or federal government level also embrace this in their process of recruitment due to the fact that a new employee holding a HND certificates starts at the position of grade level 7 whereas a degree holder does so at grade level 8. Looking at the process of retirement in the civil service, it is learnt that a HND holder retires at the grade level 14 while a university graduate retires at grade level 16. Is this not a complete devaluation of HND certificate? Even though there are many polytechnics in Nigeria producing middle level man power, the level of its development is still at a slower rate. This particular disparity breeding regarding degree and HND has resulted in many students opting for university degree which is purely academic and research-based compare to polytechnic training that entails practical and pragmatism. This dichotomy is doing more harm than good in
the area of economic growth and educational development. For instance, there are some cases where a university graduate of mechanical engineering was unable to repair a faulty automobile; this particular episode has obviously reflected the theoretical nature of university training. Examining the issue critically, polytechnic education is scientifically and technologically oriented in the sense that proper scientific training is offered in the area of engineering technology, textile development, architectural technology, automobile system development and host of others. Even in Nigeria of nowadays, you will hardly see a situation where parents wish their wards to attend polytechnics owing to some of the aforementioned facts. Every child wants to become a medical doctor, lawyer, engineer, nurse and so on, nursing the believe that all these professions are trained in the university. Even the unified tertiary matriculation examination which serves as the qualifying examination into
the Nigerian universities, polytechnics and college of education experienced mass application into the universities whereas the slot for admission is limited. Some students even prefer staying at home for a long period of time waiting for university admission rather than proceeding towards polytechnic. At the corner of professionalism, higher percentage of professional institutions in Nigeria reserves an enjoyment galore for university graduate applicants in the course of their professional trainings such as ICAN whereas HND holders require some particular exams before being duly eligible. In the course of attaining postgraduate degrees such as masters degree and doctor of
philosophy, a HND holder is required to procure a postgraduate diploma of a recognised university before he is eligible to further with his second degree. In the area of education privileges, it is learnt that most of the scholarship available in Nigeria are meant for university undergraduates and graduates. Even the international one has preference for degree. For instance, petroleum trust development fund (PTDF) is a scheme that has executed a wide range of development projects such as building of laboratories and complexes in many universities across Nigeria. In conclusion, here are some
proffered solutions that may definitely bridge the gaps resulting from the disparity Employment into various cadres of positions in the civil service, government parastatals, corporate organisations and private establishment should not only be based on certification but also on the individual capability and practical experience through proper interviewing and scrutinization. Proper orientation and enlightenment programmes should be given to all graduates irrespective of their graduating schools on the need for self autonomy and reliance. The federal government should eradicate the dichotomy by passing a legislative act regarding that
and the equivalence of HND with of a university. if all these gaps are cleared , polytechnic education will be appealing to admission seekers and thus divert their
focus on compulsory university attendance, I hope with this , the country will be propelling towards an
enviable height.

Ali Toyin Abdul is a law undergraduate of university of Ilorin, a published writer, poetic expert and information technologist. He is an associate member of society of young Nigerian writers and a member of union of campus journalist. You can contact me at, 08135284036.

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