Lots have been said on the above subject matter, but still I’ll like to put my input as a victim of this long neglected issue. Let me briefly narrate an instance during my NYSC orientation in Edo state.
One evening, me and my platoon members were having fun. Suddenly a lady looked into my school identity card with keen interest. When she discovered that I graduated from a state polytechnic, she said, “Oga your school is undeveloped, right?”. Though I had no idea what I wanted, I suspect it was because my school ID card was black and white instead of colour and the school is state government owned.
Some of the platoon members began to laugh at me, because she mocked my alma mater and the HND certificate. Unknown to her, two among those are following our discussion, knew my school, one did his ND and proceeded to Bayero University Kano for his BSc and the other was a graduate of Usman Danfodio University Sokoto; they told the lady that, my school is not undeveloped.
When I realised I’ve been mocked by the lady and other platoon members, I said, “Young lady look, beauty of school or category of certificate wouldn’t be a barrier that will determine one’s capacity, what matters is (I pointed my head, meaning “brain”). She was left speechless because she understood that the difference is not by paper, despite the fact that she’s a product of a federal university.
It’s sad that our country is placing so much emphasis on certificates rather than what one can offer in a given task, because the majority of graduates, especially from universities, are no longer focusing on skills, leading to graduates without adequate skills.
I’m not denying the fact that there are differences between university and the polytechnic in terms of entry requirements, academic activities and course durations. But my main focal point is the “quality” assurance that someone has. It is on record that the quality education of our grandfathers was far better than today’s graduates despite the digital era.
Furthermore, the most annoying and unfortunate part is, instead of government to discard this discrimination and give room for any graduate that can fit the cap to come on board, they choose to deceive graduates that have low intelligence quotient.
Moreover, even employers in the private sectors believed that one can only deliver effectively by acquiring BSc and having a big grade, while those with HND are without any second option. I hope that one day this long neglected issue will become history otherwise soon HND will no longer be needed in Nigeria.
Abubakar Muhammad Sani,