I read with animated interest, the back and forth, on this vexed issue of dichotomy between HND and B.sc degree.
Let me state from the outset that there is certain stereotype about this dichotomy, which is, essentially, being fed by the disparity in the policy establishing polytechnic education and the one offered by the university system.
This stereotype has led to some empty arrogance in the administrators of the university system, no doubt.
This bias is not restricted to polytechnic education alone, it even affects the university system itself. Many people have fixed opinions about the first generation universities and their latter day counterparts, just as many hardly reckon with state universities because of their inflated opinions about federal universities.
On many occasions, people have told me that they thought I finished from UI or Ife, only to be shocked when I say that I’m an alumnus of UNAD. And of course, I will say that with deadpan.
It is the same error of judgement plaguing our system which makes us place undue emphasis on paper qualifications rather than demonstrable competence, skills and knowledge.
Many of the civilized societies have been able to successfully deal with these attitudinal shackle in their developmental journey.
But the foregoing does not in anyway mean that HND is the same as B.sc.
They may be classified as equivalent but they are not the same.
Yet, because of the complexities inherent in nature, it does not really mean that a B.Sc degree holder is necessarily smarter than an HND holder.
These subtle differences can only be resolved by nature, which sometimes may defy stereotypical and myopic societal constructs.
Back to what I said earlier that Bsc and HND are not the same.
They are not the same basically because of the content of their curriculum.
If an HND graduate is to go for a degree programme, depending on the university, he may be admitted into 200 or 300 level.
However, what the HND graduate lacks in theoretical knowledge, he makes up for in technical skills, and that is why, under normal circumstances, HND graduates are supposed to thrive better in industrial or organisational environment.
To resolve the conundrum is not very difficult. The government will simply go to the policy establishing the two tiers of education and harmonize them.
And this can be achieved by simple harmonisation of the curriculum and entry requirements for both polytechnic and university systems.
When this is done, other subtle differences such as manpower needs, infrastructure etc will also be taken care of.
It is as simple as this.
But for our society to take giants leaps in terms of growth and development, the issue should not even be about HND or B.sc, it should basically be about WHAT YOU CAN DO – COMPETENCE, ABILITY, SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE.
Toyyib Olaniyi Musa-Omoloja writes in from Akure, Ondo state.
PS: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not necessarily that of the Publishers of The Precision NG.