Femi Re-visits the Dichotomybetween HND/B.Sc Holders


This is a guest article, written by Femi,a
Mass Communication Student, Federal
Polytechnic, Bida, Niger State. In this
article, the writer re-inquires to figure the
reason behind the continued dichotomy
between HND and B.Sc graduates in
It is no longer news that over the years many
Nigerians, especially those in the corridors of
power, have given priority to issues that are
not irrelevant and appears not to have any
value to the development of this country.
While many countries of the world have
continued to plan and reel out best strategies on
how to be at the fore front in terms of
technology our country Nigeria is still much
on ground in its quest to ruin technical
education. Definitely, this is occasioned by the
continued dichotomy between holders of
degree and Higher National Diploma
I was compelled to write about this after
reading the words of Martin Luther King
which says “Our life begins to end the day we
become silent about things that matters” and
Winston Churchill says that “If the eagles are
silent the parrot begins to jabber”.
The Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) and Higher
National Diploma (HND) are just titles
which we get after going through the
university and polytechnic education
respectively. But rather than concentrating on
the competence of the holders we focus our
attention on the title which is doing our nation
bad than good.
The issue of whether you have B.Sc or HND
should be totally erased from our mentality
and competence should be the crux of the
matter; how and what an individual
contributes to the society and not the paper.
Nigerians celebrate certificate and if we are
to go by what is obtainable in other developed
nations, then the issue of disparity should put
aside and if a graduate is seeking for
employment the interview should be judge on
the basis of the wealth of experience the
individual possess and not the title he/she
It is also interesting to note that in public
parastatals this issue is still prevalent and the
gap has not been bridged. One would think the
Federal and State Government would treat its
staff better than a private employers, but the
reverse is the case as HND holders would
never progress beyond grade level 14 not as a
result of incompetence but due to the type of
school they attended
The argument is that degree holders are
trained to be thinkers and managers while
HND holders are trained to work with their
hands. I think this is not correct because what
stops the HND holder from being adapt in
thinking and strategy? Polytechnic
graduands are infact trained to be both
managers and practical oriented personnel’s.
The ongoing discrimination against
polytechnic graduates bespeaks double
standards for nation that is desperate to
reposition itself technologically and
structurally to meet with the demands of the
21st century. China designed and launched our
satellite and engineers from other countries
build and operate our refineries and the best
of roads in this country is constructed by
foreign contractors, yet we discriminate
against HND holders. Somebody should
kindly tell me what leaps and bounds have we
been able to surpass by the expertise of
university BSc degree.
Despite employers complaints that graduates
are poorly prepared for work, and that the
academic standards has fallen considerably
over the past decade, polytechnic graduates are
more on the receiving end as they are hardly
given a chance or offered a level playing
ground with their counterpart from the
university to prove their worth.
Even in the polytechnic work system which is
supposed to protect the interest of its graduates
(HND) is not doing that. The case is the same
as university B.Sc degree holders become
lecturers, Head of Schools and even Rector,
while the HND holders are called instructors
instead of lecturers and cannot attain any of
these positions excepts they get additional
degree from the university.
Our educational system got its foundation
from the colonial masters (Britain) but even in
the UK educational systems under the further
and higher educational act, the 35
polytechnics in the UK were elevated to
university status and given powers to award
bachelors, masters and Ph.D degrees. Most
countries with British system of education
have done the same thing and eliminated the
distinction between polytechnics and
universities to varying degree. It is time to
bridge ours too in order to motivate and
encourage our graduates towards the
development of the nation.
If Albert Einstein the great mathematician
and one of the world’s greatest thinkers is a
polytechnic graduate, then HND holders are
not to be discriminated against. Probably if
Albert Einstein was a Nigerian, he would not
had worked in the civil service, if he does he
would not be promoted beyond grade level 14,
or be forced to acquire a post graduate diploma
to pursue advance degree due to discrimination.
But Albert Einstein a 1900 graduates of
mathematics and physics from the Zurich
polytechnics was never asked to do so by the
University of Zurich where he earned his
HND should therefore be abolished if it
cannot be equated with B.Sc and National
Diploma (ND) be retained to supply the
nation’s middle level manpower to serve as a
foundational qualification for entry into
bachelors degree programme

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