The Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics (SSANIP) has called on the new administration to address the issue of dichotomy and segregation between holders of Higher National Diploma (HND) and Bachelor of Science degree (BSc) qualifications.
Mr Phillips Ogunsipe, SSANIP National President, made the call during the association’s congress hosted by the Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH) branch on Tuesday in Lagos.
According to him, the polytechnic sector at the national level has been battling with the issue of dichotomy , describing it as a discriminatory practice and a great disservice to the country.
He noted that the bill, which was passed at the last 9th National Assembly, abrogating dichotomy between HND and BSC holders, was not signed into law by the last administration.
According to him, the basic entrance requirements of both the West African Examination Council (WAEC) of five credits and the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) are the same.
“The quality of lectures we have in the polytechnic is not less nor inferior to what is obtained in the universities, hence the need for the bill to be signed into law.
“And we know that the average Nigerian parents, irrespective of the programme or course, will prefer to have their children in the university due to the recognition the society accords to B.Sc in Nigeria.
“Coming from these background and considering these procedures, we have not seen any need why the HND entry point will get lower and their terminal point will still be lower.
“We are concerned about the bill because Nigeria, like other developing nations, will only move, only if polytechnic education is given the recognition it deserves,” he added.
The SSANIP president also solicited for the renewal of the agreement signed in 2010 between the 10 staff unions comprising of the NASU, university lecturers, senior staff in universities, Colleges of Education, polytechnics and the government.
He also identified the agreement, renewable every three years as a way forward to end of industrial actions.
“We started the process since 2017 and till today, it is still not concluded, this is not good and healthy for us.
“The only way to bring a permanent solution and end to this persistent industrial action by polytechnics, universities and Colleges of Education is for government to honour the agreement and do what is expected of it at the right time,” he added.
He then appealed to the Head of Service of the Federal, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan to assist the polytechnic system, by issuing a circular convening the release of the new scheme of service.
According to him, findings have shown that there is no uniform, current and up-to-date scheme of service in all the polytechnics in the country.
“The process has been concluded and it is currently with the Office of Head of Service.
“Two weeks ago, we met with the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, just to ensure that the new scheme of service is released,” he said.
On his part, the branch Chairman of YABATECH SSANIP, Mr Kayode Jason, commended the National Chairman, Ogunsipe, for making out time to visit and update members on crucial issues in the union.
“This is a laudable visit and we are sincerely honoured to have our national chairman in our midst and made out time to enlighten us on important areas which has remained a challenge,” Jason said.
Meanwhile, Dr Tunde Nubi, Director of Medicals, YABATECH, who gave a talk on hypertension, urged members of the branch to always have their blood pressure checked and visit the hospital when necessary.
NAN reports that the high point of the occasion was a check on the blood pressure and blood sugar of participants.