Senate Moves To Abolish Disparity Between Poly, Varsity Graduates

President of the senate

The senate has passed a bill which seeks to abolish and prohibit dichotomy and discrimination between university degrees and the higher national diploma (HND).

The senate directed the bill to its committee following its passage through the second reading.

During debate on its general principles, the bill sponsored by Senator Ayo Akinyelure (PDP Ondo Central) went through difficulties as senators argued that the problem of dichotomy between holders of the two certificates cannot be solved through legislation alone but through harmonization of their curricula.

Some senators had argued for the upgrading and merging Polytechnics with Universities as a solution to the age long disparity.

Akinyelure had in his lead debate argued that continuing injustices, disparity and discrimination against Polytechnics graduates in Nigeria is threatening to derail the nation’s desire for technological advancement which the polytechnic system aimed to achieve.

He said this is bound to create a vacuum the labour market with dire consequences for the society, if the disparity is allowed to continue.

Sen. Ayo Akinyelure sponsored the billThe lawmaker also cited instances where degree holders are given executive /superintendent cadre assignments, the HND holders are treated as minors and sometimes posted to perform guard duties in the residence of some senior officers and even certain retired officers.

He argued that the aim of the bill is to promote the technological advancement of Nigeria by encouraging many qualified candidates to pursue Polytechnic and Technological Education and specialize in practical aspect of technological advancement.

Senator Ahmad Lawan ( APC Yobe North), in his contribution posited that this is one area that requires genuine reforms, insisting that the discrimination is counterproductive and that Nigeria stands to gain from abolishing the dichotomy.

Senator Ita Enang (PDP Akwa Ibom), who spoke in support of the bill, believed every Nigerian should be given equal opportunity, arguing that doing so would bring the best in them.

However, senators Chris Ngige, (APC Anambra Central), Olusola Adeyeye (APC Osun Central), (Sunny Ogboji (PDP Ebonyi South) and the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu disagreed, arguing that holders of the two certificates cannot be treated equally.

Ekweremadu specifically stated that its going to be very difficult to abolish the HND/Bsc dichotomy for now, arguing for the need to expand the knowledge base of polytechnics and also set up technical schools in all the states

In his remarks Senate President David Mark, who preside over the session, noted the different points made on both sides of the divide but all agreed that the entry points for universities and polytechnics are different.

According to him, it’s not about the products but the individual that matters as all institutions produce quacks and good graduates” the curriculum is where the problem is and not the nomenclature ,” Mark added.