Diploma Run by Universities: Misplaced Priority in Education

By, Auwal Ahmed Ibrahim

Many things can go wrong while we see them as right, and the most dangerous of all is when things go wrong in the activities of education.

In truth, when you find any degree program in the Nigerian polytechnics, it is an affiliated program for the benefit of the university system as it is accredited and managed by NUC, this is where things went wrong because universities seized everything even the Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) and Professional Diploma in Education (PDE). What is the essence of colleges of Education and polytechnics in Nigeria? 

When I was a student at the university, I wondered why universities offer diploma programs. Though I know, it is another means of internally generated Revenue for the schools the truth about the programs is they are not as viable as that in the polytechnics because many working places don't accept the certificates but polytechnics do. 

For a reason, NUC denounced the HND top-up program proposed by NBTE when there are some schools managed by NUC that do more harm than good to get money. For money, many universities in Nigeria reduced their programs from four years to three years and NUC is alive in Nigeria. Testament Business Academy with the following address: 2, Olorunwa Close, Off Karimu Laka Street, Egbeda, Lagos Nigeria is one of them. With many centers of learning in Nigeria, universities in Nigeria offer certificates in education, diploma programs, professional diplomas in education, National Certificate of Education (NCE), and Professional Diploma in Education (PDE).

Professional programs in Nigerian universities are money ventures. As a victim, I underwent a Diploma in Education to become a member of the Teachers' Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) but I couldn't get it from the TRCN for reasons of invalidity, I didn't relent, I went for a Professional Diploma in Education from Al-Nahar Academy, Unguwar Rimi, Kaduna affiliated to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria but the certificate was rejected by the TRCN again for unprofessional reasons. I felt like I was duped while many such programs were ongoing.

But as Nigerians the government allows it. Until just recently something happened between the National Board for Technical Education, NBTE, and Nigeria Universities Commission (NUC) on top-up degree programs. It amazed me much for NUC to even condemn the top-up program which has been a modern educational system in the developed world. NUC has forgotten to talk about the problems and the malady that characterized the formation of degree programs in some Nigerian universities.

Despite the tasks and the longer duration of the academic system in the polytechnics, NUC had challenged the HND top-up to a degree that is acceptable in developed nations. A diploma in the polytechnic plus the Industrial Training after the program is three years and HND amounts to five years in the universities and such programs in universities are four years. This is why when HND holders seek admission outside the country they are given direct masters to study. 

The Nigerian university system is downplaying the fortune of polytechnic students and does not recognize the Higher National Diploma, universities and some working institutions have no regard for the HND. This is why only Direct Entry to level two is allowed even with an HND certificate, but the story is different outside the country.

It seems there is a misplacement of priority in Nigerian tertiary institutions. Skill is domicile in the polytechnics while theories are at the universities, but these two go in collusion because universities in Nigeria want to take everything even in working places. In the developed world, skill is more viable than management. Apprentices earn much more than managers. University graduates are made managers and executive officers breed the concept of leadership while polytechnic graduates are the laborers with the concept of doing perfect skill work. This is why at the beginning polytechnics didn't allow HND holders to be heads of departments and rectors of polytechnics, also only university graduates are employed as lecturers, but this was before the universities became a jack of all trades; a reason that churned out things upside-down.

The Federal Ministry of Education has stopped universities from running diploma programs and yet didn't heed that. If things go right, Nigeria will pave the way for greatness by toeing the path of developed nations. This means it is not a fault for universities to run diploma programs but the programs should be solemnly managed by NBTE as degree programs are managed by NUC while HND top-up to degree is lawful and accepted internationally, on NUC should embrace modernity and stop drawing Nigeria backward when the world is changing in anything. This is how professionalism would be cordoned in Nigeria's education. Meanwhile, the dichotomy between HND and degree should be removed to be on the side of developed nations for Nigeria's greatness. 

Auwal Ahmed Ibrahim, Goronyo is a lecturer at the Department of Mass Communication, Kaduna Polytechnic, and can be reached via auwalahmed@kadunapolytechnic.edu.ng 

Post a Comment