The National President of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Mr. Anderson Ezeibe, has advised the Federal Government to empower polytechnics to award their technology to end the BSc and Higher National Diploma (HND) dichotomy.
Ezeibe made the call in Kaduna at an award presentation and farewell ceremony organized by ASUP, Makarfi Chapter to mark the transition of Shehu Idris College of Health Sciences and Technology, Makarfi (SICHSTM) into Kaduna State University (KASU).
According to reports by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the SICHSTM was merged with KASU to be awarded degrees by Gov. Nasir El-Rufa’i.
Ezeibe said the measure if adopted, would also ensure full utilization of a huge number of technical equipment in workshops, laboratories, and other facilities in public polytechnics that remained underutilized due to lean population.
He further said that with the transition, SICHST, was no longer a member of ASUP, but of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Following the development, a lot of people especially Nigerian students have expressed delight and optimism that the plea if granted would be in favour of the students who would not afford for the university entry after their programs.
Meanwhile, others have tried to question the plea based on the validity of degrees to be awarded by polytechnics and the knowledge acquired within the period. Nonetheless, a lot of people have described the development as inconsequential amidst ASUU/FG industrial action crisis in Nigeria.
”ASUP is currently an advocate for the award of technology by the Nigerian polytechnic system.
”HND is no longer as attractive as it used to be to Nigerian youths because of the age-long dichotomy.
“Policymakers have made it a rule that once an individual has an HND, he cannot attain the peak of his/her career, then why are they continuing to force it on people, why don’t they phase it out and replace it, bachelors of technology, “he said.
In his words, the Nigerian polytechnic system has all it takes in terms of infrastructure and human capital to award, and Doctorate Degrees in the areas of technology.
“In Europe, Germany, the UK, America, and all parts of the world, polytechnics are not limited to middle-level manpower.
“In the new polytechnic act, they are empowered to produce higher level manpower without limit, as we speak, many polytechnics are producing degree holders but in affiliation
“They are doing it with their infrastructure and staff, why can’t they do it in name of another institution?
“We are on serious advocacy regarding this and we have recently submitted a position paper to the federal government on the need to transit from the award of HND to, master, and Doctorate degrees in technology with the Nigeria polytechnic system,” he said.
According to him, it will be the surest way of barricading the dichotomy between an HND and a Bachelors’s.
“The bill to stop the dichotomy has passed through all the stages of legislation but not accented by the President and the period has passed, which means there is no political will.
“So, if they are not ready to improve HND, they should phase it out and replace it with degrees in technology so as for us to continue to dwell in our area of competence which is technical education.
”ASUP is faced with many challenges and success stories among which was their ability to change the model of engagement with proprietors of public polytechnics and collages of technology in the country.
“We also engage in a lot of advocacy which resulted in us attracting positivity to the Nigerian system.
“Recently, six new centers of excellence have been established in the Nigerian system, one in each geo-political zone, they are the first of their kind.
Ezeibe also said that in October, N15Billion was also released for the system as a result of their struggles, for the revitalization of infrastructure in Nigeria’s system.
“Currently, we are renegotiating our agreement with the government on new wage structure for our members, and many other developments we are trying to bring to Nigeria polytechnics system,” he said.
He said they were productively engaging their challenges without disrupting academic activities on their campuses.
Earlier, Mr. Dauda Rilwan, Chairman of the event’s organizing committee, said the occasion was very important to the institution as it was deemed fit by the Kaduna State Government to merge it with KASU for awarding degrees and postgraduate qualifications.
He said that the award presentation was timely, especially honoring those who had worked tirelessly in making the institution a higher level.
One of the awardees, the Executive Secretary of Kaduna State Pilgrims Welfare Agency, Dr. Yusuf Arrigasiyu, thanked ASUP SICHSTM Chapter for the
Arrigasiyu, also a former Provost of the SICHSTM, said if one could be called and awarded after leaving a place he/she served, showed that that person has done something remarkable worthy of recognition.
“This is a place I headed over three years ago, their calling to honor me will serve as a morale booster and make me do better in my current organization as the Executive Secretary of the Kaduna State Pilgrims Welfare Agency so that future and posterity will tell better about me,” he said.
He called on people to maximumly utilize any opportunity they came across in ensuring leaving positive footprints.
“When I came three years ago as the Provost, there was a lot of chaos but I persevered and ensure putting in my expertise to ensure that college was brought back to its required vision and mission.
“Once you have an opportunity, utilize it for the good, because time will tell if you have used the opportunity effectively or succeeded in wasting the time,” Arrigasiyu said.
NAN reports that some of the awardees included Sen. Ahmad Makarfi, Dr. Shehu Muhammad, former Commissioner Kaduna State Ministry of Education, and Ezeibe, among others. (NAN)