– The federal government has made some comprehensive reforms in polytechnics all over the country – One of the changes recently made was the scrapping of the award of Higher National Diploma (HND) certificates to the institutions – To give a legal backing to the new academic policy, the ministry of justice will take charge of the preparation and submission of two executive bills to the National Assembly The federal government has reportedly withdrew its recognition of the award of Higher National Diploma (HND) certificates by Nigerian polytechnics. The decision was reached at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday, June 6, that saw to the approval of a massive reform of Nigeria’s tertiary education system. Consequently, the award of HND will henceforth be limited to only the students presently admitted for the academic programmes, – Sources allege Moreover, non-technology related programmes that have been carried out up to 70 percent will be affected by the new law, which also makes polytechnics to become campuses of the proximate universities. Further still, the vice chancellors of universities will be empowered to appoint provosts for the polytechnics, based on the ratification of the universities’ councils. In effect, the polytechnics will now be limited to award of the National Diploma (ND) while its graduate seeking of further education will be awarded the Bachelor of Technology (B. Tech) by the proximate university. As a way of setting in motion the new policy, Nigeria’s two most famous polytechnics, Yaba College of Technology and Kaduna Polytechnic, will from now be called City University of Technology, Yaba and City University of Technology, Kaduna. FEC, to give legal backing to the move, approved the submission of two executive bills to the National Assembly for enactment. The first bill will make certain the setting up of the two city universities and the second will approve the preparation and consolidation of federal polytechnics and colleges of education as campuses of proximate universities. The ministry of justice will take charge of the preparation and submission of the two bills to the National Assembly. Adamu Adamu, minister of education, revealed to newsmen that under the reform measures, the ministry will however, continue to license private polytechnics and colleges of education for the award of qualification at National Diploma (ND) and National Certificate in Education (NCE) levels. He said: “There will be no more award of HND. After we have exhausted the current students under the programme, there will be no more award of HND. This means that there will be no fresh admission for HND programmes. And in addition, any programme that is not technical will be out of the polytechnics. About 70 per cent of polytechnic graduates are in the non-technical courses. It is going to be a rigorous implementation programme.” In order to ensure a hitch-free implementation of all that is required for the kickstarting of the reforms, a ministerial committee is to begin its duty immediately. Adamu stated: “The HND certificate will remain a legal tender in Nigeria and holders of such certificate will continue to be recognised as the equivalent of first degree holders without discriminatory remunerations and limit to progression in the workplace.
The NCE certificate will be retained as the minimum teaching qualification at the basic level of education. Any higher qualifications by these private or state-owned polytechnics will be only affiliation with a university. So, HND is no longer in existence, but existing HND will be respected and considered legal tender.