Worried by the discrimination against graduates of polytechnics in public service in Nigeria, the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) has unveiled a one-year online top-up programme for Higher National Diploma holders to convert their certification to Bachelor’s Degree.
According to the Board, the online top-up programme would be done with foreign accredited universities.
Head of Media Unit, NBTE, Mrs Fatima Abubakar, in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Monday, said this would facilitate the progression of HND holders to higher degrees instead of the postgraduate diploma programme.
The Board said this would also end the unwarranted prejudice, where HND holders after undertaking PGD to enable them to enrol for a Master’s degree would still be queried after proceeding to do PhD. and wish to migrate to a Nigerian University, adding that such affected persons were usually asked by the University authorities to produce their first degree, even when they have acquired doctorate degree.
“Attempts in the past to get the National Universities Commission (NUC) to approve a two-year Master of Technology for HND holders in some Polytechnics did not see the light of the day.
“Many times HND Holders are forced to go for a one-year Postgraduate Diploma (PGD) before they could be admitted into the Master’s Program in Universities.
“The disadvantage of the PGD is that holders who continue to do PhD and wish to migrate to a Nigerian University will always be queried to produce their first degree, even when they have Doctorates.
“To end this unwarranted prejudice, NBTE has now created this progression pathway for HND holders. This can be accessed at https://topup.nbte.gov.ng”, Abubakar stated.
She also noted that NBTE has now created an HND admission portal for use by all Polytechnics for ease of mobilisation for the mandatory one-year National Youth Service Scheme.
The Board has accordingly appealed to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to assent into law the Bill removing the HND-BSc Dichotomy in the public service as passed by the last National Assembly.
Part of the statement reads: “Another challenge facing many Polytechnic HND graduates is mobilisation for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). Many are admitted into non-accredited programmes, and after the HND, they are not mobilised for the NYSC.