The National President of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Anderson Ezeibe, said that Nigeria would only move forward if productivity was prioritised over paper qualifications.
Ezeibe stated this in an interview with Nigerian Tribune, speaking on the higher importance given to bachelor degree holders over Higher National Diploma (HND) graduates.
He alluded to the government’s policy of restricting promotion in the civil service for HND holders while bachelor degree holders can advance in grade levels.
He said, “the situation whereby the government would come out to say if you are an HND holder, you will not be promoted beyond a certain level,’ which is Level 14 in the civil service while their counterparts from the university system can get to the highest level is, to say the least, that the polytechnic education is inferior to that of the university.”
ASUP’s national president added that the “colour of certificates” should not be a substitute of a person’s productivity.
He said, “People ought to be recognised based on their productivity as regards what they can offer and not about the colour of certificates they carry. Until this is done by giving priority to productivity over paper qualifications, we go nowhere as a country.”
Ezeibe added that the government’s focus should shift to vocational and technical education in the face of the high unemployment rate in the country, as that would provide Nigerians with a litany of employment opportunities.
“Another way to achieve this is to allow polytechnics that meet up with accreditation requirements to award bachelor and master degrees in technology just as being done by the federal universities of technology to do so using university of the technology curriculum.
“Once all these were done and proper funding and staffing were carried out, polytechnic education in the country would also become attractive to many Nigerians,” he said.