Polytechnic graduates are discriminated against in private and public employment.
The supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, has declared that the issue of dichotomy between HND and Degree holders will soon be resolved as President Goodluck Jonathan has set up a committee headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Pius Anyim, to address the challenge.
Addressing chairmen of Governing Councils of Federal Polytechnics and Federal Colleges of Education on Thursday in Kaduna during a Special retreat, Mr. Wike said that the SGF and members of the committee met with Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, last week to resolve the dichotomy.
HND holders are discriminated against not just by private employers but also by various level of the Nigerian government. When employed into government ministries, fresh HND holders are recruited to Level 7 while fresh BSc holders are recruited to Level 8.
The removal of the dichotomy between the two categories of graduates is among the demands of the striking polytechnic lecturers, ASUP.
Mr. Wike also claimed that other demands have also been resolved. He said the issue of the release of white-paper for visitation panels to Federal Polytechnics and Federal Colleges of Education is being concluded at the Office of the SGF.
The Minister called on the chairmen of the Governing Councils of Federal Polytechnics and Federal Colleges of Education to assist the federal government by deploying their relevant skills towards resolving the lingering strike action of the lecturers.
Mr. Wike urged the striking unions to reciprocate the gesture of President Jonathan by calling off their strike and resuming academic work in the interest of the nation.
“Permit me to call on our lecturers to call-off their protracted strike to enable academic activities commence in the Polytechnics and Colleges of Education. Let us show understanding with government and the challenges before it and call-off the strike. We acknowledge the importance of teacher education and polytechnic education and as responsible government we will not down-play their roles in national development and prosperity,” Mr. Wike said.
In his remark, Chairman of Committee of Chairmen of Governing Councils of Federal Polytechnics, Ebenezer Babatope, appealed to the striking lecturers to work towards resuming academic activities in line with the commitments made by President Jonathan to further develop Polytechnics and Colleges of Education.
Polytechnic lecturers, ASUP, have been on strike since October 2013 while colleges of education lecturers, COEASU, have been on strike since December 2013.
The chairman of the National Board for Technical Education, Laz Ekwueme, called for the reconciliation of all parties for academic activities to resume in Polytechnics and Colleges of Education.
Present at the meeting were chairmen of governing councils of Federal Polytechnics and Colleges of Education. Also in attendance were Rectors, Provosts and officials of National Board of Technical Education, National Commission for Colleges of Education and Federal Ministry of Education.
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