There is no doubt that the industrial growth of any nation depends on the level of the educational advancement of its middle level manpower. There are many Polytechnic students with Higher National Diploma (HND). Their presence in any economy ensures its growth and development. The consequence of its absence in any nation is lack of development or slow national development. This is exactly the problem we face in Nigeria. Even though Nigeria has many polytechnics that produce these middle level manpower, its economy has refused to grow. This is attributed to the disparity and controversy between HND and Bachelor’s degree, resulting in many students opting for a University education, which is practical and pragmatic. These students believe that with a Bachelor’s degree, they will acquire better jobs and earn more salary. This tragedy has resulted in the mass exodus of students from the polytechnic to the university, thereby creating a vacuum hard to be filled in the nation’s labour market, all due to disparity and controversy surrounding the HND and Bachelor’s degree. The disparity has created more harm than good to the economic development and educational advancement of this nation. It has also generated a lot of controversy than progress in the educational system.
For a long time, this controversy has been a thorn in the flesh of Nigeria’s educational system. It is high time a lasting solution is given to the hydra-headed problem.
In the first place, it is important to note that the two systems are not the same and can never be the same. One is not an alternative to the other. Polytechnic education is purely a techno-scientific education. This is in contrast to that of the university that is predominantly academic. The meaning of this is that while polytechnic education concentrates on technical cum scientific education and at the same time providing the nation and economy with the much needed and sine qua non (indispensable) middle level manpower, the university concentrates on academic work and research. The result of their (university) academic and research work is exactly what the polytechnic cadre puts into a practical form.
Having examined their perculiarities, one will now ruminate on the reasons for the disparity or controversy between the HND and the Bachelor’s degree. This is a result of ignorance of those in government and public sector. The stakeholders in our educational system are also to be blamed. There is no basis for the disparity if the points are examined critically and objectively. Today the ploytechnic graduates are competing favourably with their university counterparts in the labour market. This is also a pointer to the fact that university education in Nigeria has no effective regulation unlike their polytechnic counterparts.
These and many more are the reasons why a stop should be put to the controversy. As a panacea, the federal government should make it an offence for anyone especially those in the labour market, to discriminate. It is an undiluted truism that no nation can do without the polytechnic graduates because of their contributions and indispensability in any economy, especially ours, which is a developing economy.
Adhering to the above stated suggestions will go a long way in curbing the disparity between the HND and Bachelor’s degree to the bearest minimum, hence taking our nation to a lofy height in terms of growth, development and progressive change in our society.
Essay written by: Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde, Mobile Number: +2348132148197, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, facebook: http://www.facebook.com/oluwaseun.oyediji, twitter: http://www.twitter.com/profseunoyediji, website/blog: http://www.profseunoyediji.wordpress.com