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HND, BSC Disparity Bill Passes Second Hearing

HND, BSC Disparity Bill Passes Second Hearing

The Senate took the first steps yesterday to stop the disparity between degree and Higher National Diploma (HND) holders.

A Bill for an Act to abolish and prohibit dichotomy and discrimination between degree and HND in the same profession/field and related matters scaled the second reading at the Senate.

Sponsored by Patrick Ayo Akinyelure (Ondo Central), the bill focuses on the controversy over wage disparity and discrimination against HND holders in the public and private sectors.

In his lead debate, Akinyelure noted that continuing injustice, disparity and discrimination meted out to polytechnics graduates was threatening to derail the nation’s core policy thrust of evolving a technological and scientific based self-sufficient and self-reliant society in the nearest future.

The senator urged the Senate to intervene in the interest of industrial harmony and development.

He noted that there was sufficient evident that thousands of potential polytechnic and technology students were contemplating while some had decided to opt for university education because of the perceived and real discrimination against HND graduates in preference for university degree holders.

According to him, if those involved are allowed to opt out of polytechnic education, there will be a vacuum in the labour market.

Akinyelure said several entreaties were made to the Federal Civil Service to stop the glaring wage disparity and discrimination against HND holders.

The entreaties, he regretted, were to no avail.

“And, as if to make matters worse, certain Federal corporations are known to openly discriminate against HND holders to the extent of limiting their progress within the hierarchy of such government bodies,” he added.

Akinyelure stressed that a government employment policy that places degree holders above HND holders without recourse to skill and ability of the HND holders does more harm than good.

Many senators contributed to the debate for and against the bill. But Senate President David Mark said the issue was difficult to legislate on.

Mark said: “I think it is more of attitude than what we can legislate on. For whatever it is worth, it is an interesting bill.

“I believe that if it goes to public hearing, we will get many people who will be interested to give their views on whether or not the bill should be passed. But judging from the debate here (Senate), our attempt to equate HND to a degree is not likely to work. What will come out of it is to find a way forward, which is where the problem is at the moment.

“But to spend four years, you have a lower entry point; you have to go and do two extra years to get a degree. Then, you suddenly say I don’t need the two extra years. Just equate me, then I move along.

“I think that is going to be a very difficult thing. Nobody, who has done a degree, went back to the polytechnic to do an HND. You can’t fault that logic.”

The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Education for further legislative work.

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