HND graduates send SOS to Buhari, beg him to abolish Degree, HND dichotomy

Posted by News Express | 11 July 2022 | 1,067 times

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•President Buhari

 

. . . Details of their ordeal

By TINA TIMOTHY

Higher National Diploma (HND) graduates in Nigeria have cried out to President Muhammadu Buhari, passionately appealing to him to assent to the bill transmitted to him by the 9th National Assembly for the abolition and prohibition of discrimination between first degree and HND for the purpose of employment, promotion in the Civil Service and other related matters.

The HND   graduates made the appeal in an SOS exclusively made available to News Express last week, in which they lamented the injustice and discrimination they constantly have to endure, claiming that their counterparts who graduated from the Nigerian universities were better placed in the civil and public service than those who graduated from the country’s polytechnics, even if the latter passed out with better grades.

They also said in their appeal that while the university graduates are regularly promoted and attain Grade Level 17, they (HND holders) are stalled at Grade Level 14.

“This is quite worrisome because both groups of graduates undergo the same promotional examination and have to meet same educational qualifications,” the petitioners said.

Those who signed the SOS pleaded for anonymity as they are currently in Federal Government service and would be published if their identities are exposed.

They wrote in a statement: “Higher National Diploma (HND) graduates of Nigeria wish to use this medium to appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to please assent to the bill transmitted to him by the 9th National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to abolish and prohibit discrimination between First Degree and Higher National Diplomas for the purpose of employment and promotion in Nigeria and for related matters.

“This discrimination between First degree and Higher National Diplomas can cause Stagnation of HND holders on Grade Level 14. The same promotional examination is set for HND and Degree holders in Civil and Public Service. The same Ordinary Level Subjects Grades (Credits) examinations are among the requirements of Senior School Certificate Examination conducted by West Africa Examination Council and National Examination Council for admission into Polytechnics and Universities. Same Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination cut-off mark for entry into Polytechnics and some Universities conducted by Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board. For example, Engineering professional courses in Polytechnic start in first year but most from second year in University. Also, some Polytechnic Programmes, examples Engineering and Accountancy is more tasking than some University Programmes.

“Moreover, even if HND holder obtained Postgraduate Diploma in relevant field to HND certificate, he/she is not given lateral conversion on Grade level 14. Minimum of five years is required to obtain HND Certificate which includes two years for National Diploma (ND), one year for Industrial Training (IT) and two years for Higher National Diploma (HND). Also, to obtain Postgraduate Diploma in relevant field to HND certificate requires minimum of one year. While some University Degree Programme are four years. Some Nigerian Students studied abroad and spend three years to obtain their University Degree, even some Private University offer summer Programme which allows some student to use three years to obtain their University Degree instead of four years because while other student travels for holidays after the semester or session, these students continue to receive lectures for the semester in on order to write the semester examination.

“Additionally, even though the HND holder had the highest score in the promotional examination from Grade Level 08 to Grade Level 14 among his/her colleagues and have the best competency among his/her colleagues, his/her promotion stops on Grade level 14. Also, if the HND holder obtained second class upper in his/her Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) in Postgraduate Diploma in relevant field to his/her HND certificate, his/her promotion ends on Grade Level 14.

“Further, if HND holder on Grade level 14 is converted after submitting his/her Postgraduate Diploma Certificate and Master Degree Certificate in relevant field to his/her HND Certificate, he/she will be converted from Grade Level 14 into Officer Cadre Grade Level 13. You must also note when the HND holder completes all his/ her academic requirements in Postgraduate Diploma and Master Degree programmes, he/she will wait for all his/her academic results to be released by the University for either Postgraduate Diploma or Master Degree programme, wait for the Senate of the University to release final year graduands and collect evidence of completion of his/her academic programme for either Postgraduate Diploma or Master Degree, which he/she will submit to Management of the Organisation he/she works. After submission of evidence of completion of academic programme, he/she will have to wait again when the Management of his/her Organisation will hold a meeting to consider his/her submission, finally approve his/her Postgraduate Diploma and Master Degree programmes and eventually give him/her an approved letter of his/her conversion. It is obvious that additional time or months is required for the HND holder to receive approval letter of conversion from his/her Management of Organisation after submitting evidence of completion of academic programme, which you need to add to the minimum two years to complete Postgraduate Diploma and Master Degree programmes for you to determine the minimum period required for HND holder on Grade level 14 to be converted into the Officer Cadre Grade level 13.

“Again, the salary of the HND holder on Grade Level 14, who was converted into the Officer Cadre Grade Level 13 salary will remain the same in his/her current Officer Cadre Grade Level 13 which was his/her former HND Grade Level 14 salary until he/she is promoted from Officer Cadre Grade Level 13 to Officer Cadre Grade Level 14 to Officer Cadre Grade Level 15. His/her salary will change only on Officer Cadre Grade Level 15. That implies his/her salary will remain the same for six years.

“After spending minimum of one year to obtain Postgraduate Diploma Certificate and spending another minimum of one to obtain Master’s Degree Certificate, he/She is required to spend another three years on Officer Cadre Grade level 13 to be qualified for promotion into Officer Cadre Grade Level 14. Also, he/she is required to spend another three years on Officer Cadre Grade Level 14 to be qualified for promotion into Officer Cadre Grade Level 15, which implies for this conversion, the HND holder on Grade Level 14 will spend minimum of eight years to be promoted from Grade Level 14 to Officer Cadre Grade Level 15, whereas Officer Cadre requires minimum of three years to be promoted from Officer Cadre Grade level 14 to Officer Cadre Grade Level 15. These numbers of years can be frustrating together with the National Minimum Wage in the Federal Public Service with the Consolidated Public Service Salary Structure (CONPSS), which the HND holder used for studies to obtain Postgraduate Diploma and Master Degree Certificates. In some cases, this HND holder who was formerly in Grade Level 14 before the conversion and converted to Officer Cadre Grade Level 13, at the time he/she passed his/her promotional examination with very high mark above the minimum required for promotion on this Officer Cadre Grade Level 13, the HND holder is told there are no longer vacancy for the high position either into Officer Cadre Grade Level 14 or into Officer Cadre Grade Level 15.

“Then, why is Master’s degree required from HND holder but Master’s degree is not required from Degree holders to be promoted from Officer Cadre Grade Level 14 to Officer Cadre Grade Level 15. Even though HND holders had Postgraduate diploma from University they are not given lateral conversion at Grade Level 14. In education level, Postgraduate Diploma level is higher than some Degree Programme in the University.

“Again, thousands of brilliant HND holders had retired on Grade Level 14, some HND holders are currently experiencing stagnation for years and some HND holders will suffer stagnation in the future. This stagnation will allow the juniors Degree holders below these HND holders on Grade Level 14 to be promoted beyond Grade Level 14 and can you imagine the frustration these HND holders stagnated on Grade Level 14 will be feeling and experiencing.

“Also, if the HND holders on Grade Level 14 want to go to the University to obtain his/her Postgraduate Diploma and Masters, the remaining numbers of years he/she will have to retire from service will make him/her not to proceed to obtain his/her Postgraduate Diploma and Master degree because by the time he/she obtained his/her Postgraduate Diploma and Master degree, the numbers of years to be converted into Officer Cadre Grade Level 13 and subsequently promoted from Officer Cadre Grade Level 13 into Officer Cadre Grade Level 14 and into Officer Cadre Grade Level 15, the remaining years of retirement may not enable him/her to get promoted up to Officer Cadre Grade Level 15. Consequently, these conditions might make him/her not to consider going to the University to obtain his/her Postgraduate Diploma and Master degree.

“If this dichotomy between HND and University degree holders is removed, thousands of Nigeria HND holders will be able to be promoted beyond Grade Level 14 and getting promoted up to Grade Level 17 in Civil and Public Service in Nigeria.

“Further, some Federal or State Universities do not meet the minimum numbers of weeks University students must receive lectures before the students are allowed to write the semester examination, since some of them use to experience Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike which reduce the expected numbers of weeks required for University student to receive lectures. Also, if HND holder resides in a state in Nigeria where he/she works, if the HND holder decide to go to the University to obtain Postgraduate Diploma and Master Degree relevant to the field of his/her HND certificate, National Universities Commission (NUC) may inform him/her, based on his/her enquiry, that the University in the state he/she resides and works, that the Postgraduate Diploma and Master Degree Programmes offered by the University are not accredited by the Commission; which implies he/she will have to search for another University accredited by the Commission which may be in another State or many kilometres to where he/she reside and works.

“In addition, Nigeria constitution allows Nigerian HND holders to become President of Nigeria if he/she wins Nigeria’s Presidential Election. Then why will National Council on Establishment stop HND holders’ promotion at Grade Level 14 so that they cannot be promoted to Grade Level 15 or up to Grade Level 17.  Again, University Degree holder that graduate with First Class or Second Class (Upper Division) or Second Class (Lower Division) or Third Class or Pass in his/her Degree Certificate can be promoted to Grade Level 17. But all HND holders’ that graduate with Distinction or Upper Credit or Lower Credit or Pass will have their promotion stopped at Grade Level 14.”

The HND graduates concluded by emphasizing that Buhari’s assent to the bill will be a motivating factor as it would inspire them (HND graduates) to contribute their professional skills to Nigeria’s development; and would enhance their being promoted to Grade Level 17.

“In conclusion, Higher National Diploma (HND) Graduates of Nigeria wish to use this medium to appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to please assent to the bill transmitted to him by the 9th National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to abolish and prohibit discrimination between First Degree and Higher National Diplomas for the purpose of employment and promotion in Nigeria and for related matters, as this assent by the President to this bill will motivate HND holders together with their training, experiences for years on the job and competency to be able to contribute their professional skills more to Nigeria’s development if they are promoted to Grade Level 17 in service of their father land. Also, HND graduates will be grateful to President Muhammadu Buhari when he assents to this bill,” they said.

 


Source: News Express

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