A bill that would essentially make graduates with university first degrees and the Higher National Diploma offered by polytechnics the same in terms of recognition in Nigeria, passed at the House of Representatives earlier in the week.
Why it matters: “The bill for an act to abolish and prohibit dichotomy and discrimination between first degrees and HND in the same profession”, would help to address the inferior treatment of polytechnic graduates in the public service and the Nigerian society at large. For instance…..
- In Nigeria’s civil service, HND holders cannot advance beyond Grade Level 14 (maximum attainable is level 17). Likewise, while university first degree holders start their careers on Grade Level 08, their HND counterparts are placed on GL 06 or 07.
- In 2018, the Nigerian Government scrapped the HND degree and has recommended for the rebranding of some of the top polytechnics including Yaba, Lagos and Kaduna as ‘City Universities’. According to the new education policy, Polytechnics which will now be technology and technical education focused and paired with Universities, will award only ordinarily National Diplomas (two years), while the four year graduates will earn a BTech degree instead of the HND.
First movers:Before the bill was passed, the Ministry of Interior two weeks ago abolished the discriminatory system among its ranks and cadres.
One related news thing: A prominent Nigerian polytechnic, Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH) has just been converted to a university. The Nigerian Senate passed the bill renaming the institution as the “City University of Technology”.