Holding a public hearing on “A Bill for an Act to abolish and prohibit discrimination between First Degree and Higher National Diploma (HND) for the purpose of employment and other matters connected therewith”, organised by the Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND, stakeholders took turns to vent their anger on the issue of discrimination in the public domain.
The chairman of the Committee, Ahmad Babba Kaita said the current efforts is the third time a bill like this has come to the Senate, but none had reached public hearing.
Kaita a said the bill is not controversial as the Committee received “no single memorandum is opposing it”.
The bill which is sponsored by Senator Ayo Akinyelure (Ondo Central) is seeking to address the dichotomy that exists between B.Sc and HND that has affected a significant number of people in a way considered undesirable.
Comrade Ibiyemi Nwokama, President, National Association of Academic Technologists stated that they have been in the struggle to abolish this discrimination for years.
According to him individuals who should be at the forefront of our technology development are sidelined.
The Coalition of HND Stakeholders, who spoke in support of the bill, said that they conducted research and came up with a 45 pages document that reveals that this discrimination is a mere colonial legacy that is upheld in the public domain.
“HND can’t go beyond Grade Level (GL) 14 and can’t handle certain schedules even though we have the same entry qualification and do the same duties.
“This bill is in tandem with government policies. Discrimination is against International Convention and the Nigerian Constitution”, Nwokama stated.
A representative from the Head of Service, said that in 2014, discrimination at the entry point was removed, but added that in the conditions of service, there must be conversion before HND can get to a certain cadre.
He advised that the Ministry of Education, National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) and National University Commission (NUC) should come together to develop a curriculum that will remove all forms of discrimination between B.Sc and HND
He called for greater inputs from stakeholders in the education sector to proffer the most needed solutions.