The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP) has given its voice on the issue of the dichotomy between the Higher National Diploma (HND) and Bachelor of Science degree (BSc) qualifications holders in the country.
SSANIP's National President, Phillips Ogunsipe gave the urge during the association’s congress hosted by the Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH) branch on Tuesday in Lagos.
Ogunsipe expressed that polytechnics across the nation have been struggling with the dichotomy which he described as a discriminatory practice and a great disservice to Nigeria.
He stated that the bill, which was passed at the last 9th National Assembly, nullifying the dichotomy between HND and BSC qualification holders, was yet to be signed into law by the new administration.
The SSANIP maintained that the primary requirements for entry into both higher institutions, universities and polytechnics, which include the West African Examination Council (WAEC) of five credits and the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).
“The quality of lectures we have in the polytechnic is not less nor inferior to what is obtained in the universities, hence the need for the bill to be signed into law.
“And we know that the average Nigerian parents, irrespective of the programme or course, will prefer to have their children in the university due to the recognition the society accords to B.Sc in Nigeria.
“Coming from this background and considering these procedures, we have not seen any need why the HND entry point will get lower and their terminal point will still be lower.
“We are concerned about the bill because Nigeria, like other developing nations, will only move, only if polytechnic education is given the recognition it deserves,” he said.
Ogunsipe further appealed for the renewal of the agreement signed in 2010 between the 10 staff unions including NASU, university lecturers, senior staff in universities, Colleges of Education, polytechnics and the government.
He added that the agreement which will be renewed every three years is a step towards putting an end to industrial actions.
“We started the process since 2017 and till today, it is still not concluded, this is not good and healthy for us.
“The only way to bring a permanent solution and end to this persistent industrial action by polytechnics, universities and Colleges of Education is for government to honour the agreement and do what is expected of it at the right time,” he added.
The SSANU boss also requested the Head of Service of the Federal, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan to issue a circular convening the release of the new scheme of service to polytechnics.
He noted that according to reports, there is no uniform, current and up-to-date scheme of service in all the polytechnics in Nigeria.
“The process has been concluded and it is currently with the Office of the Head of Service.
“Two weeks ago, we met with the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, just to ensure that the new scheme of service is released,” he said.
In his remark on the SSANIP's President's visit, the branch Chairman of YABATECH SSANIP, Kayode Jason, said: “This is a laudable visit and we are sincerely honoured to have our national chairman in our midst and made out time to enlighten us on important areas which have remained a challenge.”