From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
The National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS), has called on the Federal Government to scrap Higher National Diploma Programmes from Nigerian polytechnics “due to the lingering discrimination against HND graduates”.
The students stated this in a letter signed by their National President, Sunday Asuku, and addressed to the Head of Service of the Federation, Dr Folashade Yemi-Esan.
The letter was routed through the Executive Secretary, National Board for Technical Education, Dr Mas’ud Kazaure.
Presenting the letter to Kazaure in Kaduna on Friday, Asuku said that the call became necessary following the continued discrimination against HND certificate holders in the civil service.
He regretted that the discrimination had persisted in spite of the resolufion by the National Council of Establishment (NCE), declaring that HND holders with post-graduate diploma in related field in civil service could movey beyond level 14.
According to him, the former head of Service, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, made the resolution public after the NCE meeting in Niger State in 2016 and reiterated the resolution after another meeting in Imo State in 2018.
“But we are highly dismayed that the Office of the Head of Service is yet to release the implementation circular to all Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
“This has denied some HND holders the opportunity to participate in the last promotion exercises conducted by ministries, departments and agencies, “especially those in the Federal Ministry of Education”.
“At the state level, only Kano and Kwara states have implemented the resolution,” the union said.
Asuku demanded the immediate release of the implementation circular and special mandate letter to state governments to do same.
He urged the head of service to do justice to the request or face a national action and occupation of the office premises until the student’s request was granted accordingly.
“If the resolution cannot be implemented, government should scrap the HND programmes from Nigerian Polytechnics,” Asuku said.
Responding, Kazaure assured the students that their message would be delivered to the Head of Service as well as the Minister of Education for immediate action.
He said that the board had been pushing for the implementation of the resolution, adding that the entry point issue had been addressed.
“What remains is the progression beyond level 14 and the Federal Ministry of Education is working on that,” he said.
He advised the students and other HND holders to focus more attention on acquiring relevant skills and competencies that would enable them to earn more than civil servants.
Kazaure said that the board was working with the National Assembly to enable polytechnics to award Bachelor of Technology degrees in place of HND as part of efforts to address the HND/Bsc dichotomy.