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The Problem With HND Certificate – By Femi Olabisi - Education - Nairaland

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The Problem With HND Certificate – By Femi Olabisi by Phemmyolas(m): 6:14pm On Feb 11, 2013
You cannot give what you don’t have…

Conventional higher education in Nigeria is of three basic categories: University, Polytechnic and College of Education. The University awards Degree Certificate, Master’s and PhD; the Polytechnic awards Higher National Diploma and Ordinary National Diploma (otherwise known as HND and OND, respectively); College of Education awards Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE).

While there exist a somewhat mutual understanding between the Polytechnic and College of Education that HND certificate is higher than NCE and that NCE is higher than OND, there is always a contention between University degree certificate and Polytechnic HND Certificate. This rivalry gets played out on the street and in work places.

A common phenomenon among employers of labour is to superimpose university graduates high and above polytechnic graduates, even when the latter could be better and has spent a considerable time/year than the former in the same organisation. Consequently, a holder of a university certificate is revered; he becomes the boss with higher remuneration and other attendant benefits. It is also a common tendency for a university graduate to miniaturize holders of polytechnic certificate.

The dwindling popularity of HND certificate is also obvious in the number applicants jostling to secure admission to our tertiary institutions through the compulsory Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) conducted by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB). Very few applicants desire to go to the polytechnic (or even college of education), all because of inferiority complex.

I have been attending JAMB Policy and Technical Committee meeting since 2007; the number of applicants to university increases yearly whereas there is a significant reduction in applicants for polytechnic and college of education. The problem becomes more glaring with the introduction of UTME. Some universities record as high as 80,000 to 100,000 applicants (though they may not take more than 5,000), whereas some polytechnics and colleges of education do record zero applicant. This happens yearly.

But why the disparity?

Answer to the above could be found in the calibre of lecturers in our polytechnics.

Universities are mostly peopled with PhD holders and professors, but one can hardly find lecturers with PhD in our polytechnics. Of course, there are those without PhD in the university too, but these are few and they know that upgrading their knowledge is a requisite to remain relevant in the system. Thanks to the conditions stipulated by the National Universities Commission (NUC).

In essence, some of the lecturers in our polytechnics lack the academic and technical wherewithal to baptize their students with the required skill and knowledge. But the problem goes beyond that!

It is common knowledge that lecturers in our polytechnics rely heavily on selling of hand-outs to students. This is not good enough. It is basically impossible to compare somebody that is compelled to study average of ten textbooks for a course (as is common in the university) with somebody that relies of an 80-page hand-out. Definitely, a student thus tutored and literatured with many textbooks will be better equipped since these textbooks must have been written by different scholars with variegated views, opinions and assumptions on the same discipline.

Of importance also is the disparity in recognition and remuneration of lecturers in the university and polytechnic. Few lecturers in the polytechnics that aspire to acquire higher knowledge will eventually leave for better remuneration and recognition in the university system.

The problem with HND certificate is not in the certificate itself. The perceived inferiority is borne out of the environment in which it is issued. It is just not possible to relate the calibre of lecturers in our polytechnics to what we have in the universities. And it is not enough to just conclude that we have brilliant brains in our polytechnics; what matters (as far as Nigeria is concerned) is the certificates/qualifications these lecturers have. Until this is done, there will always be the superimposition of university degree above polytechnic HND.

Rather than the hyped tussle between university degree and HND certificate, efforts should be on reforming our polytechnics. National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), the manager our polytechnics, should enforce the acquisition of PhD as a minimum requirement for lecturing. I am not advocating the termination of appointments of those without PhD. This could be done be giving them between five to seven years and with the provision of study grant.

While we cannot say that all PhD holders worth their salt, it is evident that a PhD holder must have passed through serious academic rigour and should be far better than somebody that lectures with only HND, First Degree, Master’s, or professional qualifications like MBA which is more common in our polytechnics.

We can make the HND certificate better and more competitive. But it requires some fine-tuning of the system to achieve this.

There will always be a disparity until our polytechnics employ PhD holders and professors, since the current crop of lecturers cannot give what they don’t have!


The writer is an administrator in a Nigerian higher institution

Follow him on twitter @Femiolas
www.femiolas.

21 Likes

Re: The Problem With HND Certificate – By Femi Olabisi by potusjev: 8:27am On Feb 12, 2013
Phemmyolas: You cannot give what you don’t have…

Conventional higher education in Nigeria is of three basic categories: University, Polytechnic and College of Education. The University awards Degree Certificate, Master’s and PhD; the Polytechnic awards Higher National Diploma and Ordinary National Diploma (otherwise known as HND and OND, respectively); College of Education awards Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE).

While there exist a somewhat mutual understanding between the Polytechnic and College of Education that HND certificate is higher than NCE and that NCE is higher than OND, there is always a contention between University degree certificate and Polytechnic HND Certificate. This rivalry gets played out on the street and in work places.

A common phenomenon among employers of labour is to superimpose university graduates high and above polytechnic graduates, even when the latter could be better and has spent a considerable time/year than the former in the same organisation. Consequently, a holder of a university certificate is revered; he becomes the boss with higher remuneration and other attendant benefits. It is also a common tendency for a university graduate to miniaturize holders of polytechnic certificate.

The dwindling popularity of HND certificate is also obvious in the number applicants jostling to secure admission to our tertiary institutions through the compulsory Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) conducted by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB). Very few applicants desire to go to the polytechnic (or even college of education), all because of inferiority complex.

I have been attending JAMB Policy and Technical Committee meeting since 2007; the number of applicants to university increases yearly whereas there is a significant reduction in applicants for polytechnic and college of education. The problem becomes more glaring with the introduction of UTME. Some universities record as high as 80,000 to 100,000 applicants (though they may not take more than 5,000), whereas some polytechnics and colleges of education do record zero applicant. This happens yearly.

But why the disparity?

Answer to the above could be found in the calibre of lecturers in our polytechnics.

Universities are mostly peopled with PhD holders and professors, but one can hardly find lecturers with PhD in our polytechnics. Of course, there are those without PhD in the university too, but these are few and they know that upgrading their knowledge is a requisite to remain relevant in the system. Thanks to the conditions stipulated by the National Universities Commission (NUC).

In essence, some of the lecturers in our polytechnics lack the academic and technical wherewithal to baptize their students with the required skill and knowledge. But the problem goes beyond that!

It is common knowledge that lecturers in our polytechnics rely heavily on selling of hand-outs to students. This is not good enough. It is basically impossible to compare somebody that is compelled to study average of ten textbooks for a course (as is common in the university) with somebody that relies of an 80-page hand-out. Definitely, a student thus tutored and literatured with many textbooks will be better equipped since these textbooks must have been written by different scholars with variegated views, opinions and assumptions on the same discipline.

Of importance also is the disparity in recognition and remuneration of lecturers in the university and polytechnic. Few lecturers in the polytechnics that aspire to acquire higher knowledge will eventually leave for better remuneration and recognition in the university system.

The problem with HND certificate is not in the certificate itself. The perceived inferiority is borne out of the environment in which it is issued. It is just not possible to relate the calibre of lecturers in our polytechnics to what we have in the universities. And it is not enough to just conclude that we have brilliant brains in our polytechnics; what matters (as far as Nigeria is concerned) is the certificates/qualifications these lecturers have. Until this is done, there will always be the superimposition of university degree above polytechnic HND.

Rather than the hyped tussle between university degree and HND certificate, efforts should be on reforming our polytechnics. National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), the manager our polytechnics, should enforce the acquisition of PhD as a minimum requirement for lecturing. I am not advocating the termination of appointments of those without PhD. This could be done be giving them between five to seven years and with the provision of study grant.

While we cannot say that all PhD holders worth their salt, it is evident that a PhD holder must have passed through serious academic rigour and should be far better than somebody that lectures with only HND, First Degree, Master’s, or professional qualifications like MBA which is more common in our polytechnics.

We can make the HND certificate better and more competitive. But it requires some fine-tuning of the system to achieve this.

There will always be a disparity until our polytechnics employ PhD holders and professors, since the current crop of lecturers cannot give what they don’t have!


The writer is an administrator in a Nigerian higher institution

Follow him on twitter @Femiolas
www.femiolas.



Nice one Femi. I think av been in a debate about this before. Now I have a clearer view of the difference btwn both citadel of learning. Its really obvious cos even at my place of work, the pay is low. I noticed that only a few complain about this and resign, while the greater population remain powerless and voiceless. This is because most of them are either second class lower or HND holders. Thank God I'm experiencing this early enough since am yet to enter into any of them. I think I have to work hard to get in a university. Except like you said, the polytechnics are fine-tuned. Besides my dad has always countered my going to a polytechnic.

2 Likes

Re: The Problem With HND Certificate – By Femi Olabisi by ishmael(m): 6:51pm On Feb 12, 2013
Have u ever wondered why some poly graduates know more than d uni grads? Some poly students and grads even teach uni students some courses that they may be offering. Eg accounting courses. Ever wondered why? Can u teach what u don't know?

28 Likes

Re: The Problem With HND Certificate – By Femi Olabisi by Phemmyolas(m): 10:24am On Feb 14, 2013
Thanks of for your view and comment. Suffice to say here that the article was not insinuating that all polytechnic graduates are not good, and like you said, some may even be better than some university graduates. However, the fact remains that the margin will be minimal, and it is basically impossible to place a professor or a PhD holder on the same pedestal with somebody with HND, First degree and Masters as is common in the polytechnics. Surely, you cannot give what you don't have.
ishmael: Have u ever wondered why some poly graduates know more than d uni grads? Some poly students and grads even teach uni students some courses that they may be offering. Eg accounting courses. Ever wondered why? Can u teach what u don't know?

2 Likes

Re: The Problem With HND Certificate – By Femi Olabisi by honeric01(m): 11:56am On Feb 14, 2013
As if any of these institutions add "visible" value to the Nigerian life in general!.

7 Likes

Re: The Problem With HND Certificate – By Femi Olabisi by ishmael(m): 9:53pm On Feb 14, 2013
Phemmyolas: Thanks of for your view and comment. Suffice to say here that the article was not insinuating that all polytechnic graduates are not good, and like you said, some may even be better than some university graduates. However, the fact remains that the margin will be minimal, and it is basically impossible to place a professor or a PhD holder on the same pedestal with somebody with HND, First degree and Masters as is common in the polytechnics. Surely, you cannot give what you don't have.
what's so special about the nigerian prof and phd holders? Don't u on ur own believe they've been churnning out semi literate graduates from the universities in nigeria? What percentage of the uni graduates taught by profs and phd holders are sound academically and technically? How comes they still can't transform the country?

11 Likes

Re: The Problem With HND Certificate – By Femi Olabisi by JideTheBlogger(m): 6:40pm On Feb 21, 2013
when you are hunting for job, you will know that HND sucks**

8 Likes

Re: The Problem With HND Certificate – By Femi Olabisi by noblejazz(m): 6:59pm On Feb 21, 2013
It really sucks to witness first hand the disparity being discssed here!
Re: The Problem With HND Certificate – By Femi Olabisi by TeeSeven(m): 7:00pm On Feb 21, 2013
Quite interesting writeup. But, I must say that the write is leaving behind(or is unaware) of the aim of these different institutions. I believe the confusion is infact general. In actual sense, we need them all. They all are meant to play different ROLES in our education.
We all can't/needn't be graduates.

4 Likes

Re: The Problem With HND Certificate – By Femi Olabisi by ronnyfam(f): 7:01pm On Feb 21, 2013
It's really sad ,if you have an OND or HND I will indulge you to get a university degree if you don't want to regret later in life or be enslave Nigeria educations sucks

1 Like

Re: The Problem With HND Certificate – By Femi Olabisi by Omuha(m): 7:04pm On Feb 21, 2013
Nigerians as always miss the point,the polytechnics were built to provide skilled labour,the universities highly skilled labour.You will find very good polytechnic graduates no doubt,but the average polytechnic graduate does not measure up to the average university graduate because they were not primed for the same thing. I attended the university of Jos & throughout my stay there I sat under the annointing of about 20 professors & a myriad of doctors.When I moved to my department proper(200level) if u do not have your PhD u were not allowed to lecture me. How then can u place such product(not particularly me,as I must never seem immodest)with a polytechnic graduate who was most likely lectured by master degree holders? Some of my lecturers taught me things they discovered themselves,scientific knowledge known to only a few on earth.

11 Likes

Re: The Problem With HND Certificate – By Femi Olabisi by mexxy1(m): 7:05pm On Feb 21, 2013
I quite agree with most parts of the write-up but, I wish to point out that from my own observation, the Polythechnic graduate is better equiped than his/her University graduate. Reason, whereas the University graduate is equiped theoretically, the Polythecnic graduate is better equiped practically.
This is very obvious in the Engineering field and you'll agree with me that on the field, the individual with practical knowledge has the upper hand. I didn't study Engineering but a health related course while in the university. However, I've had the chance to relate with graduates from both sides and the Polythecnic graduates impressed more. This is not to say that the Universities do not produce good graduates though.

9 Likes

Re: The Problem With HND Certificate – By Femi Olabisi by FXKing2012(m): 7:08pm On Feb 21, 2013
Universities are theory-based while polytechnucs and colleges are practical inclined. But it's much more difficult gaining admission into a University, and universities have more dons and better facilities thus the reason for the discrimination.

2 Likes

Re: The Problem With HND Certificate – By Femi Olabisi by Nobody: 7:11pm On Feb 21, 2013
I think the issue here should be based strictly on the worth of an individual in terms of performance and quality in his or her chosen field and not whether he or she attended a polytechnic or university. Once u r educated and can deliver in your chosen field u are ok. I v seen polytechnic graduates that are bosses to university graduates especially in the oil and gas sector and they are rily doing great.

4 Likes

Re: The Problem With HND Certificate – By Femi Olabisi by rhames: 7:13pm On Feb 21, 2013
Answer to the above could be found in the calibre of lecturers in our polytechnics.

Most polytechnics are headed by Ph.D holders these days and some of the lecturers and heads of department hold Masters Degree.

The real problem is that the Federal Civil Service, The banking industry and the organized private sector have always placed premium on university graduates. The discrimination suffered by polytechnic graduates is in the constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria Which places all university degree holders above any HND holder in the public service sector.

The onus rest on the graduates themselves,whether university,polytechnic or college of education graduate to to do something with their lives.This is the information age which does not require you to have any of these qualifications but to establish businesses that will grow the country to the next level.

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4 Likes

Re: The Problem With HND Certificate – By Femi Olabisi by tallfish145(m): 7:19pm On Feb 21, 2013
It is very vertain that the writer of this article is myopic in some aspect like the issue of being taught by a professor. Some degree holding lectueres perform far more better than those prof who got their professorship through what u and I know. To be very frank,this is not suppose to be a problem in job selection because what really matters is what such applicant can offer and not the institution attended,even employers of labour know this. Meanwhile I believes that very soon this nonsense will stop in Nigeria. I am proud of fed. Poly. Ede,osun state!

9 Likes

Re: The Problem With HND Certificate – By Femi Olabisi by Europe(f): 7:19pm On Feb 21, 2013
If d hnd graduate is not usêful 2 u then maybe d banks need them. Even twice d nnpc recruited d nd holders more 4 field operations while few bsc holders 4 as officers. Where are d jobs?d available ones are lookn 4 cheap labor in d ond grad,who gets d cheap jobs b4 d bsc holder ever secure one no matter hw small.

2 Likes

Re: The Problem With HND Certificate – By Femi Olabisi by tallfish145(m): 7:20pm On Feb 21, 2013
It is very certain that the writer of this article is myopic in some aspect like the issue of being taught by a professor. Some degree holding lectueres perform far more better than those prof who got their professorship through what u and I know. To be very frank,this is not suppose to be a problem in job selection because what really matters is what such applicant can offer and not the institution attended,even employers of labour know this. Meanwhile I believes that very soon this nonsense will stop in Nigeria. I am proud of fed. Poly. Ede,osun state!

3 Likes

Re: The Problem With HND Certificate – By Femi Olabisi by Curiouscity(m): 7:20pm On Feb 21, 2013
Phemmyolas: You cannot give what you don’t have…

It is common knowledge that lecturers in our polytechnics rely heavily on selling of hand-outs to students. This is not good enough. It is basically impossible to compare somebody that is compelled to study average of ten textbooks for a course (as is common in the university) with somebody that relies of an 80-page hand-out. Definitely, a student thus tutored and literatured with many textbooks will be better equipped since these textbooks must have been written by different scholars with variegated views, opinions and assumptions on the same discipline.


I have experienced both environments. The part I quote above is not wholly true. Most of our university lecturers including some PhD's and profs also force students to buy their hand-outs or recently this textbooks(which are hand-outs with colored back-cover). What is the difference between a hand-out and a textbook that is a photocopy of another textbook without the acknowledgement of original author(s)?
The writer of this article base his/her argument on one or very few institutions. The truth is lecturers in both polytechnics and Uni(in Nigeria) are getting more and more lazy. And we rely too much on paper
qualification rather than what the person(student or lecturer) can offer.

5 Likes 1 Share

Re: The Problem With HND Certificate – By Femi Olabisi by noblejazz(m): 7:23pm On Feb 21, 2013
Omuha: Nigerians as always miss the point,the polytechnics were built to provide skilled labour,the universities highly skilled labour.You will find very good polytechnic graduates no doubt,but the average polytechnic graduate does not measure up to the average university graduate because they were not primed for the same thing. I attended the university of Jos & throughout my stay there I sat under the annointing of about 20 professors & a myriad of doctors.When I moved to my department proper(200level) if u do not have your PhD u were not allowed to lecture me. How then can u place such product(not particularly me,as I must never seem immodest)with a polytechnic graduate who was most likely lectured by master degree holders? Some of my lecturers taught me things they discovered themselves,scientific knowledge known to only a few on earth.
And how has the findings of those your so called professors impacted on our over all well being if i may ask? To me all graduates are equal untill one proves himself otherwise.

3 Likes

Re: The Problem With HND Certificate – By Femi Olabisi by Nobody: 7:23pm On Feb 21, 2013
Mtcheeew

*clicks romance section*

1 Like

Re: The Problem With HND Certificate – By Femi Olabisi by dynasty4u: 7:24pm On Feb 21, 2013
It is good to pass information about things we have little or no knowledge of, let me use the scenario you just mention to enlighten you further, in Engineering discipline there is what we called 'Cadre' and what a polytechnic or HND holder fits into is referred to as technologist after having the practical know-how and requisite years of experience while a degree holder requires the theoretical knowledeg,sence of judgement and requisite years of experience to be referred to as an engineer. so university and polytechnics are designed to serve different purpose in a working environment. hope this helps cheers.
mexxy1: I quite agree with most parts of the write-up but, I wish to point out that from my own observation, the Polythechnic graduate is better equiped than his/her University graduate. Reason, whereas the University graduate is equiped theoretically, the Polythecnic graduate is better equiped practically.
This is very obvious in the Engineering field and you'll agree with me that on the field, the individual with practical knowledge has the upper hand. I didn't study Engineering but a health related course while in the university. However, I've had the chance to relate with graduates from both sides and the Polythecnic graduates impressed more. This is not to say that the Universities do not produce good graduates though.

2 Likes

Re: The Problem With HND Certificate – By Femi Olabisi by engineerboat(m): 7:26pm On Feb 21, 2013
I think our country is what make this disparity looking whta it is today, however i can rightly say that, a polytechnic student that knows Its what cannot be pussed aside, infact from very reliable investigation of which i'm involved, i can boldly say that Polytechnic graduate(WHO KNOW its ONION ) are alwys the best whereever you find them, what name you might labelled them.
Re: The Problem With HND Certificate – By Femi Olabisi by Willzkid(m): 7:28pm On Feb 21, 2013
Phemmyolas: [i] It is basically impossible to compare somebody that is compelled to study average of ten textbooks for a course (as is common in the university) with somebody that relies of an 80-page hand-out. Definitely, a student thus tutored and literatured with many textbooks will be better equipped since these textbooks must have been written by different scholars with variegated views, opinions and assumptions on the same discipline.

Bros, let's be honest....how is it possible 4 a student 2 study an average of 10 textbooks for just one course, even if that's the only course he studies per semester..Medical students can't boast of such average even when they do just anatomy, physiology, community health and biochemistry for 2 years..
By the way, it was an excellent piece save for this exaggeration.

2 Likes

Re: The Problem With HND Certificate – By Femi Olabisi by hakunamatata1: 7:30pm On Feb 21, 2013
ishmael: Have u ever wondered why some poly graduates know more than d uni grads? Some poly students and grads even teach uni students some courses that they may be offering. Eg accounting courses. Ever wondered why? Can u teach what u don't know?
YES! YES! YES! But only if the Uni grads are from OSU Or LASU & especially studying BIZ ADMIN
frankly, these 2 schools shld be christened Poly-OSU or poly-LASU!!! cool

2 Likes

Re: The Problem With HND Certificate – By Femi Olabisi by meetkyesama: 7:30pm On Feb 21, 2013
To me, all of this is a trash. Believe you me corruption is the brain child of all these unending debates.
Lets be sincere to ourselves. If merit is gonna be adhere to when recruiting in this country you will find out that a lot of graduates from both the polytechnics and Universities are not employable. This is to say that in both institutions you are sure to find half baked graduates. Let me tell you this, these graduates are not to be blame, their teachers are not to be blame and the institutions that produce them are not to be blame either. All blames go to the system. If all is well in this country no one will cough. This disparity is relatively a recent phenomenon when corruption began to permeate the entire system and people started craving and struggling for space within the system thereby churning out factors as well a fences to obscure other rivals and take advantage of the artificial situation. My last words would be that we should always insist on merit as a criteria for recruitment and appointment in this country and not mere certificate that can not be defended at the end of the day. No wonder, there is a high case of certificate forgery in this country as every body want to be what he/she is not simply because of the emphasis placed on certificate.

4 Likes

Re: The Problem With HND Certificate – By Femi Olabisi by Ashmark(m): 7:37pm On Feb 21, 2013
Am happy I graduatd frm a University.Throughout my days in the University,it was Drs nd Prof that lecture me...

1 Like

Re: The Problem With HND Certificate – By Femi Olabisi by engineerboat(m): 7:38pm On Feb 21, 2013
POLYTECHNIC, UNIVERSITY, COLLEGE OF EDUCATION is like human part, every part has his own responsibility towards the growth of the body, like the Bible has said,
I Corithians 12: 16 18
16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?

18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

Each has there own ways of contribution to the Growth and development of this country, if we continue with all this discrepancy, this country is going nowhere, CHINA that is growing today, recognizes the imput of all University, Polytechnic, College of Education, to the development of their Country, even BRITAIN that we are copying have long time ago move forward, why will our own always be different in this country, nigeria, NIGERIAN! NIGERIAN !!, NIGERIAN !!!!!!! When are we going to change all this our attitude towards each other, I AM University graduate, Polytechnic dont come near me, I am Polytechnic Graduate College of Education dont come near me.

We all have our Duty to perform.
Come to think of it, Does a man carry pregnancy, CAPITAL NO, yet that does not mean that she is superior to her husband, neither will the man be making jest of His wife because of this. each of them have their responsibility in the child rearing from conceiving to birth.

ENOUGH-IS-ENOUGH, NIGERIAN WILL BE GREAT AGAIN.!!!!!!!!!!!!

2 Likes 1 Share

Re: The Problem With HND Certificate – By Femi Olabisi by kelvin1191(m): 7:41pm On Feb 21, 2013
It pains me when i heard that 50 phd holders (lecturers) from kadpoly were lost to d university last year alone and are still more on study grant from the institution in malaysia, Kenya etc which i believe will still leave the system when they return. Inferiority complex is of the mind and exist for those that are still looking for govt work that dont exist.
Re: The Problem With HND Certificate – By Femi Olabisi by Boyoorisha: 7:43pm On Feb 21, 2013
My friend has HND lower credit in accounting from Ibadan Poly, but he earns 14 million naira per annum! We have bunch of 1st class uni grads walking aimlessly daily on the street of Lagos searching for job.

4 Likes

Re: The Problem With HND Certificate – By Femi Olabisi by adconline(m): 7:48pm On Feb 21, 2013
Now that I have graduated with a BSc, can I get a job?

2 Likes

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