The Reason University Degree Is King Over HND In Nigeria

It should be noted that HND and B.Sc/B.A/B.Agric/B.Tech/LL.B/B.Fisheries/MBBS/DVM are different and the dichotomy must be emphasized.
HND is a technical diploma. It is technically not even a Degree but a National Diploma. B.Sc and its other appellations are the recognized standard for academic, theoretical and career based jobs and appointments. That is not to say HND cannot be used. It is just that HND is better off for handy middle-level and technical jobs/careers. The whole essence of HND is to make sure that there are middle-leveled skilled people in the society that can be called upon and relied on for their technical expertise. University graduates are seen as having done a theoretical study with much intellectual rigor and are, thus, deemed to have a high intellectual acuity for certain professions and careers. This must be known and not relegated. No matter how much sentiments come in and no matter how much we try to equate these certifications, the sacrosanct fact is that they are not the same. 

As long as one is a “Diploma” and another is a “Degree”, they can NEVER be treated equal and same.

On the issue of Shell equating HND with Third Class, It should be noted that HND is not seen as an intellectually inclined degree but rather as a technically inclined diploma. Having a Distinction in HND only proves that you have an excellent technical expertise, perhaps even beyond that of University Degree holders. However, this does not translate into the fact that you are intellectually buoyant enough to stand a University First Class product. 

It doesn’t add up. For one, our Nigerian Polytechnics operate a 4 points GPA system as opposed to the 5 Points used in our Nigerian varsities.

Secondly, the units of courses taken in HND programmes are far lower, both individually and cumulatively, when compared with a University. Thirdly, the course contents in Polytechnics are peripheral and elementary as opposed to that of a University
Fourthly, the caliber of academic staff and their standing is much lower than that of a University. For one, a Polytechnic cannot have a Professorial Cadre! Polytechnics usually have substandard facilities and make-shift labs and instruments. All these come together to haunt the graduates of Nigerian Polytechnics.

The solution to all these bifurcations is easy. Polytechnics should be made to award a B.Tech rather than an “Ordinary” or “Higher” diploma.

Polytechnic facilities should be overhauled and made to standards. The Professorial Cadre, alongside its competitive and cumbersome “floating” process, should be introduced to the Polytechnics. Polytechnics should employ the 5 or more Points GPA system and courses should be well developed, standard and carry higher units! In fact, the term “Polytechnic” should be hijacked from parlance and replaced with University of Technology or any other soothing appellation. We should always strive to follow the UK pattern in our technological pedagogical system.

Finally, on the issue of ostracization and stigmatization, I believe it is only Nigerian Legislative Bodies that can end this once and for all. As long as they are comfortable with it, nothing will change! Let’s just stop flogging this issue and look forward to better things! This issue has been discussed, ignited and quenched severally since Nigerian employers’ decisions to employ preferential treatments! It is time we either take drastic measures or simply let it go as we have always done.

The Background To Sunset In Biafra By Elechi Amadi

The Background To Sunset In Biafra By Elechi Amadi

About the Author

Elechi Amadi, who hails from Rivers State of Nigeria has written about 3 novels, an imaginative account of his involvement in the civil war and a short play. These include The Concubine, The Great Ponds, Sunset in Biafra, The Slave and Isiburu (a short play). His novels are normally set in the Riverine areas of the Eastern Nigeria. Sunset in Biafra, his third work is a personal diary which depicts his experiences and role during the Nigerian Civil War. Amadi a graduate of Mathematics and Physics from the University of Ibadan was in the Nigerian Army.

He progressed to the position of captain and because he did not wish to make the Military his life career, he disengaged as an army officer. Soon after his exit from the army, the political crisis and the almost intolerable moral state of the nation resulted first in an imposition of a state of emergency in the West, then a Military Coup d’etat. This coup, first in the series, either by design or accident, spared great politicians and statesmen from one part of the country – The East. 

Reacting to this the Northern populace attacked the Igbo Easterners in their midst. Somehow, the new Military regime headed by Major General Aguyi Ironsi sought to straghten things and it appeared as if an understanding would be reached, but there was a counter coup d’etat.

Majority of the Easterners, especially the predominant Igbo tribe agitated for justice or secession. In July 1967, the Military Governor of the then Eastern Region Lt. Col Ojukwu declared the Region the Independent State of Biafra. The Federal Government of Nigeria was bent on crushing the new Republic. But this would take 30 month
s of hostilities.

In Sunset in Biafra Elech Amadi gives his readers his personal views of the major and remote causes of the wLabelsar. These, to him, were generally rooted in tribal/ethnic consciouness and the need to protect and preserve one’s own people. The immediate major causes, include the one sided assassination of politichans and statesmen from the North in a coup that was led by Easterners, the reaction of Northern citizens in a brutal massacre of the Easterners in thousands, the consideration of the acts of murder as genocide by Col Ojukwu and his subsequent secession. This led to the war aimed at bringing back the East into the Federation and her resistance. Amadi writes on the war itself and its effects on him first as a suspect in the Eastern enclave, and then as an individual citizen from a minority tribe in Nigeria.

Ahmadu Bello University Zaria Institute Of Education

Ahmadu Bello University Zaria Institue Of Education
Ahmadu Bello University

The National Certificate in Education (NCE) by correspondence course was established in 1976 as a unit within the division of Teacher Education. In 1981, it became a full division of the Institute of Education.

Its central aim is to upgrade II teachers in the primary schools to the NCE (primary education) level. Its mode of operation is correspondence in addition to an annual 10-week residential study. At present, it has over 4,000 students from mainly the Northern states of Nigeria. It uses two campuses – Zaria and Kano, for its contact sessions. The correspondence courses incorporate students assessment exercises and Teacher marked assignment (TMA) which are sent back to the headquarters for marking by course tutors.
Other programmes at A.B.U which employ distance teaching strategies include the Teacher-in Service Education Programme (TISEP) of the Teacher Education Department which was designed to upgrade under-qualified or unqualified primary school teachers to T.C II (now defunct) level particularly in Mathematics and Science. There is also the distance teaching department in the Centre for Adult Education and the distance Education Unit of Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services.