HOPE FOR THE POLY GRADUATES
Let us put an end to the discrmination between polytechnic graduates and their university counterparts.
BY OLAWALE OPEYEMI
Over the years, the Higher National Diploma (HND) holders have been facing serious discrimination in the labour market despite much appeal to reverse this trend.
It is disheartening, being in a certificate conscious environment like ours, the dreams of every polytechnic student like me, on the verge of graduating are in jeopardy because of this discrepancy. And in a job market where the existing vacancies are not enough, you can imagine the very thin job opportunities for the polytechnic graduates.
Consequently, it is not surprising that an estimated 95% of candidates passing out from secondary schools would not readily seek admission into polytechnics. Little wonder why most of my colleagues that we finished our Ordinary National Diploma (OND) together never come back for their HND programme; some have gained admission through University Matriculation Examination (UME) into year one in the Universities and few lucky ones via Direct Entry (DE) into year two.
It is however, a known fact that polytechnic graduates are rigorously trained, versatile in their discipline with high practical experiences that surpass that of any university graduates. Yet they are still discriminated against. I think a better parameter for the evaluation of labour should not be by a piece of paper which may have been obtained by whatever means but by a kind of "Internal Aptitude Test".
Recently, in a bid to curtail, if not eradicate this discrimination, the former Minister for Education, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, prescribed that all polytechnics be converted into universities and their products be awarded Bachelor of Technology (B-Tech.) but this never seen the light of the day.
It is only fair that the government do something to eradicate this discrepancy of better still, enact a law to eradicate this discrimination so that polytechnic graduates will be given due respect like their university counterparts.
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