It’s long been reported that a bill seeking to remove biases between the Bachelor of Science (BSc.) and Higher National Diploma (HND) Degrees is being considered in the nation’s House of Representatives for passage, there was jubilation when the bill passed for second reading in 2017, and now, the bill has finally been passed today during plenary by the Lawmakers.
It is not clear why the bill toke so long to pass after passing for second reading since April 2017; the bill was sponsored by Hon. Ali Isa, PDP, Gombe State and Hon. Edward Pwajok, PDP, Plateau State.
The passage of the bill is widely expected to end perceived biases against the nation’s polytechnic graduates and remove some of the challenges facing HND holders mainly those in the public service. For example, In 2018, the Architect Registration Council of Nigeria was sued by aggrieved HND holder for failing to register them as members of the body because of their HND degrees, they claimed that the ARCON failed to allow them site for the Architects Compentence Programme Examination or Professional Practice Examination.
During the debate leading to the passage of the bill at the plenary, Rep. Pwajok argued that a research he carried out on both certificates showed the discrimination had no moral justification, he explained that the situation risks making the international community ridicule the status of educational institutions in the country.
He lamented the discrimination at critical sectors required for national development caused by segregation at employment level where Employees with first degrees are placed on Grade Level 8, while those with HND are placed on Grade Level 6 or 7.
Some organizations, he said, were reported to be paying N100,000 to degree holders at entry level while paying their counterparts with HND were paid N70, 000.
The lawmaker said that if the private sector must develop, proper recognition must be given to polytechnics and similar institutions in the country
SchoolWorld recalls that some states in the country have since removed the difference between the two degrees with Kano State’s Gov. Ganduje abolishing the dichotomy between BSC and HND on May 1 of this year to mark the MayDay celebration.