The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has described as demoralising, the erstwhile dichotomy between HND and B.Sc in the country.
Its National President, Comrade Usman Dutse, a lecturer in the Department of General Studies, Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday.
“At the last meeting of the council on establishment a memo was presented by the minister of education demanding the removal of the dichotomy placed on HND and B.Sc graduates.
“The minister said the reason dichotomy was placed ab initio, has now been overtaken by events.
“And now if you look at the environment and the situation that we have in the country at the moment, you would see that the abolition of the dichotomy is long overdue.
“One of the major reasons the meeting and other stakeholders gave for the abolition of the dichotomy is the hitherto different entry requirements into both the university and polytechnic.
“Now the requirements have been harmonised. There was also the issue of curriculum, which was not wide.
“The issue of dichotomy was demoralizing to polytechnic graduates.
“We have a lot of HND graduates in the civil service and they have contributed a lot, but that dichotomy is killing their morale because they feel that their qualification is not being appreciated.
“Now it has been discovered that performance at work is not based on the certificate that people have or where you come from, but on the skills and the ability you have.
“Experience has shown that there are a lot of HND holders that perform better than some degree holders.’’
Dutse noted that the dichotomy had created a flawed mindset among parents and employers that university degrees were more prestigious than higher national diplomas.
“The dichotomy even made people to give preference to university education at the expense of polytechnic education because if you look at the patters of application for admission to tertiary institutions every year, you will see that applicants keep applying more to the universities.
“In the last admission, 1.6 million applicants applied to the universities, but only 38,000 applied to the polytechnics, while only 29,000 applied to collages of education.
“And the major reason for all that was this dichotomy thing.
“Out of the 1.6 million people that applied to the universities, only 300,000 were admitted.
“It means that 1.3 million applicants would not be offered admission.
“So, dichotomy has denied people polytechnic education, but with the abolition of that dichotomy now, the tide will change a little especially with the Federal Government now talking about diversifying the economy.
“I believe that the diversification process will lay a lot of emphasis on technical and vocational education and that is where polytechnic education is strongest.’’ (NAN)