Some background assignments should have preceded the passage of the bill ending the dichotomy between HND and degree by the Senate.
First and foremost, the intent and purpose of the laws that established degree awarding institutions and HND awarding institutions should have been amended to make them at par. The last time I checked, the respective institutions were products of various needs of the country.
- Ndume to military: With N895bn supplementary budget, no more excuses
- Insecurity entices investors to airline business
Benchmark Minimum Academic Standard (BMAS) which of course covers strength and qualifications of staff, teaching materials, among others, of polytechnics should have been made the same with the BMAS of universities (at least for first degrees) as set by NUC. This is to ensure producing graduates of comparable minimum academic standards.
Again, the minimum entry requirements for polytechnics and universities as set by JAMB should have been made the same. This is even necessary to ensure prospective graduates have comparable pre-requisite qualifications in order to earn unbiased end qualification. Is it fair for a person admitted on comparatively low grades to be accorded same prestige with person admitted on high grade?
Another point worth considering is the fact that prospective HND graduates should have been mandated by JAMB to be applying through DE forms (after obtaining ND) as the case is when applying for degree. Moreover, the minimum requirement should be made same (minimum of upper credit), and anything short of that; means no HND admission.
It is my humble view that HND and degree were and are never the same. Therefore, there is need for total overhaul in the purpose for which the HND was premised, the admission requirements and process, the curriculum to match the BMAS for degree.
Usman Halliru (B.Eng) MNSE, DPPMS, Al-Qalam University Katsina