An Open Letter to Polytechnic Students -By Tijani Abdulkabeer

Filed under: Letters,National Issues |

We keep clamouring for the removal of the dichotomy placed on HND and B.SC graduates. will this debate ever end? NO!.

Will Nigerian HND ever be made equal to bachelor’s degree? That is not going to happen either.
Lets flashback to the establishment of polytechnic education.

According to an article titled “The Conversion of Federal Polytechnics into Universities: the funding aspects” in African Research Review Journal: The polytechnic education was not originally intended to belong to the tertiary tier of education.

It was initially conceived by the French and perfected by the English and Russians to be education and training aimed at discouraging elitisms and geared towards the practical preparation of its recipients to fulfill prescribed norms of the economy, which are lacking in the traditional academic institutions.

The aim was to evolve an educational system based on work and training. This was later reformed in China, which led to its being regarded as university level institution, specializing in Engineering and Technology and providing in-service training and continuous education.

However,Nigerians Polytechnics are established with the mandate to produce middle level manpower.
The term by implication means graduates of Polytechnics no matter how robust their programme is will never be considered equal to their University counterparts, who are regarded as the ‘higher level manpower’.

It has been argued that the National Diploma (ND) holders from the polytechnics constitute the ‘middle level manpower’ referred to in the polytechnic Act. If that’s the case, then the laws establishing polytechnics ought to have been amended or polytechnics converted to Universities before they are allowed to run a programme higher than the ND.

The HND programme was introduced without doing any of that. What were they thinking? The HND programme of the British government, from which our own HND was copied, does not require a prerequisite two-year diploma like ours.

It’s an independent two-year programme and is considered equivalent to the first two years of a 3year bachelor’s degree programme, that is with the British HND, you’ll only need to spend one more year in the University to get a bachelor’s degree.

Clearly, those who designed the Nigerian HND programme didn’t know what they were doing. The ND programme was sufficient to supply the much needed middle level manpower.

Furthermore, Nigerian HND holders are agitating reason being that if it takes 5years to get Nigerian HND unlike the 2-year British HND that many compare it to.

Courses worth more than 120 Credit-Hours, the minimum required internationally to bag a bachelor’s degree, must have been passed before earning HND. affirmative in this regard by revealing that Nigerian HND is equivalent to bachelor’s degree in their evaluations.

In conclusion,to eradicate this dichotomy, HND programmes should be discontinued in Polytechnics. A one year Top-up degree programme should be designed by NUC to allow existing HND holders obtain bachelor’s degree.

Also, Polytechnics should be refocused because our fate is in our hands as people we need to work together not as a divided people that we are now. we need to think, plan and act not speaking in staccato voice.

©Abdulkabeer Ibn Tijani