The Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Prof. Idris Bugaje, has strongly condemned the ongoing discrimination against holders of Higher National Diplomas (HND) in Nigeria.

Speaking during a one-day dialogue on the future of the HND in the Nigerian educational landscape, Bugaje emphasized the urgent need to address the persistent bias that has plagued HND holders for decades.

Bugaje stated that despite the rigorous five-year study and internship required for the HND qualification, holders continue to face significant discrimination within the Nigerian public service.

He described this as “unwarranted” and noted the ongoing efforts to address it through proposed legislation and appeals from students and staff unions.

He stressed the vital role of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector in driving industrialization and socio-economic progress in Nigeria.

Bugaje called for the recognition and support of HND qualifications in fostering these goals.

He pointed out that earlier this year, the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria successfully resolved a 22-year-old issue regarding HND Pharmacy Technology with the intervention of the Minister of State for Education.

On his part, Philip Ogunsipe, President of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics, linked the discrimination against HND holders to societal attitudes. He emphasized that resolving the issue via a legislative bill is crucial to eliminating the bias.

Ogunsipe also urged the NBTE to strengthen its supervisory role, noting the poor state of infrastructure in some polytechnics.

He called for enhanced accreditation processes to ensure the provision of skilled manpower necessary for national development.

Also speaking, Dr Yusuf Sununu, the Minister of State for Education, commended the NBTE for its efforts in highlighting the importance of skills acquisition by HND holders.

He hoped the dialogue would help change the perception of HND qualifications and underscore their value for Nigeria’s development.

Shammah Kpanja, President of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, advocated for the transition of HND to Bachelor of Technology programs exclusively for HND students.



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