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Unlocking New Horizons: HND to Degree Conversion Program Offers Path to Success

Elevating Careers: HND to Degree Conversion Program Unveiled

Much ado about conversion, N650,000 top up programme β€” Features β€” The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News

Unlocking New Horizons: Program Offers Path to Success

HND to Degree Conversion Program offers hope for bridging the gap between HND and degree holders in Nigeria's workforce.

Bridging the Gap: The HND to Degree Conversion Program in Nigeria

In a bid to combat the prevailing discrimination against (HND) holders in Nigeria, the National Board for (NBTE) has taken a significant stride by introducing a groundbreaking program – the HND to Degree Conversion Program. This initiative aims to empower HND holders by facilitating the conversion of their qualifications into bachelor's degrees through a one-year in partnership with . However, as this transformational endeavor unfolds, it raises questions about the cost, disparity, and the broader implications for the Nigerian education system.

The Dichotomy Dilemma:

One cannot overlook the long-standing dichotomy between university graduates and HND holders in Nigeria. This divide has permeated the employment landscape for decades, casting a shadow of discrimination over HND holders. With most job opportunities favoring their university-educated counterparts, HND holders have often found themselves at a disadvantage, leading to a crisis of self-worth and job productivity.

The government's attempt to level the playing field by mandating grade level 8 for both degree and HND holders in certain services was a step in the right direction. However, the reality remains that HND holders are capped at grade levels 14 or 15, while their counterparts with degrees can ascend to grade level 17, equivalent to the Permanent Secretary cadre. This glaring disparity is at the heart of the ongoing controversy surrounding the status of HND holders in Nigeria.

Legislative Efforts:

Recognizing the urgency of addressing this issue, the National Assembly passed a bill in 2021 aimed at abolishing the dichotomy and discrimination between degree and HND holders in the same profession. However, the bill's progress was halted as it awaited presidential assent, which never materialized before the president's exit.

The NBTE's Game-Changer:

Amid this bureaucratic deadlock, the NBTE took matters into its own hands, launching the HND to Degree Conversion Program on August 14. The program offers HND holders the opportunity to upgrade their qualifications to degree level. What sets this program apart is its collaboration with foreign accredited universities, including India-based Mewar International University.

Under this initiative, HND holders can bypass the traditional one-year Postgraduate Diploma (PGD) requirement for entry into Master's programs. This not only saves time but also eliminates the long-standing prejudice against HND holders who are often compelled to present first degrees even after achieving advanced doctorates.

Credit Mapping for Success:

The Executive Secretary of NBTE, Prof. Idris Bugaje, revealed the program's innovative approach. It involves credit mapping, where accredited HND program contents are matched with corresponding B.Sc. programs from foreign universities. This mapping identifies specific courses that HND holders need to complete to meet university degree standards. It's a strategic move that aims to ensure HND holders are not left behind in terms of career progression.

Financial Considerations:

While the program presents an opportunity for , the financial aspect has sparked debates. The application fee stands at N50,000, with school fees starting at N650,000, depending on the chosen course of study. To ease the financial burden, students have the option to pay in installments, though all payments must be completed before the program's end.

Local vs. Foreign Partnerships:

One intriguing aspect of the program is its partnership with foreign universities. Some argue that involving local institutions could have been more inclusive and supportive of Nigeria's educational landscape. Several Nigerian universities already run top-up programs, and including them in this initiative could have created a holistic solution.

The ASUP Perspective:

The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) views the program as a response to the discriminatory treatment of HND holders. They propose a different approach – granting polytechnics degree-awarding status while preserving their role in technical and technological manpower development. This, they argue, would enhance technical education, retain qualified manpower, boost student enrollment, and reduce the burden on universities.

ASUP President, Anderson Ezeibe, emphasizes that the critical factor is not whether the top-up program is offered by foreign or local universities but rather the qualifications and infrastructure available at the destination universities. have demonstrated their ability to compete with universities in terms of faculty expertise and infrastructure.

The Academic Dimension:

Dr. Abdulrasheed Saadudeen, Head of the Department of Mass Communication at State Polytechnic, underscores the practical orientation of polytechnic curricula compared to universities. This paradox underscores the in terms of remuneration and career progression. As Nigeria strives for technological advancement, discouraging potential innovators from pursuing polytechnic education due to this discrimination is counterproductive.

International Exposure:

Nurudeen Mohammad of Lens Polytechnic, Offa, sees the program as commendable. Partnering with reputable foreign institutions offers international recognition and standardization. Exposure to different teaching methodologies, perspectives, and academic environments can elevate the program's credibility.

Counterproductive Critique:

However, not everyone is convinced of the program's merit. Chukwudinma Okoji, a lecturer at Federal Polytechnic, Offa, questions the wisdom of engaging foreign schools. He argues that relying on foreign institutions perpetuates the belief that nothing good can come from Nigeria. Instead, he advocates for addressing the root issue – the discriminatory employment landscape.

Embracing Change:

The world is shifting from valuing certificates to appreciating practical skills. As Nigeria strives for global competitiveness, it's time to break the chains of discrimination against HND holders. While the HND to Degree Conversion Program is a significant step forward, it should not overshadow the pressing need for systemic change in Nigeria's education and employment policies.

Join the Conversation:

The introduction of the HND to Degree Conversion Program has sparked a debate that goes beyond qualification upgrades. It's a reflection of the broader issues plaguing Nigeria's education system and the job market. What are your thoughts on this program? Do you believe it will effectively bridge the gap? Should Nigerian universities be more involved? Join the conversation and share your perspective. Together, we can shape the future of education and employment in Nigeria.

Unlocking New Horizons: HND to Degree Conversion Program Offers Path to Success

Are you an HND holder looking to advance your career and bridge the gap between your qualification and a bachelor's degree? In the midst of discussions surrounding the challenges faced by HND holders, there's a glimmer of hope. The National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) has introduced an innovative one-year online top-up program, in collaboration with foreign accredited universities, to help you convert your HND certificate into a bachelor's degree. This program not only provides an opportunity to enhance your qualifications but also empowers you to bypass the traditional route of earning a Postgraduate Diploma (PGD) before pursuing Master's degrees.

As you explore this groundbreaking initiative aimed at ending the discrimination against HND holders, you may be wondering about the next steps in your educational journey. To assist you on this path, we've curated a selection of online degree courses that align with your aspirations. These courses offer flexibility, convenience, and the chance to earn a recognized degree from the comfort of your home. Whether you're considering a career shift or seeking to augment your credentials, these courses can provide the academic foundation you need. Explore the options below and take a significant step toward realizing your educational and professional goals.

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