By Dalhatu Aminu Dalhatu
National Board for Technical Education NBTE has clarified that the new online top-up program for Higher National Diploma HND holders to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree for one year, with foreign accredited universities is meant for the HND holders who want to pursue an academic career.
A statement by the NBTE Head of Media Unite, Hajiya Fatima Abubakar says the program was not for all the HND holders but rather for those who have the ambition to further their career in an academic environment such as teaching and research in the Polytechnics or Universities.
According to the statement, the top-up is an alternative to the Postgraduate Diploma PGD offered by Nigerian Universities.
“In a democracy such as ours, HND holders should be allowed to make a choice between PGD and the Top-up to BSc” It says the clarification came on the heels of misunderstandings about the program in a section of the media.
“The top-up is not bringing an end to HND programs in Polytechnics but rather provides choice to HND holders wanting to go for an academic career.
“The choice of starting it with Foreign Universities is to show its universal acceptability perchance the Nigerian Universities may eventually buy into it in due course.
The cost is reasonable, just about 10 percent of what regular face-to-face students pay” The Statement explains that, NBTE had come up with the program to enable interested Polytechnic HND holders to be at par with their counterparts with Bachelor’s degree holders and make it easy for them to go for their Master’s and Doctorate degrees for those interested in pursuing their career in academics.
“During the unveiling of the program early this month, Professor Bugaje, said the initiative would ease the suffering of HND holders in the country and to keep the hope alive, the NBTE had to find an alternative route, which is for them to do a one-year top up, in conjunction with some foreign universities” “Presently there are many Ph.D. holders who academically progressed with HND through the PGD coming back to enroll for BSc (after their Ph.D.) in Nigerian Universities, a very retrogressive step indeed” The Executive Secretary reiterated that:
“The HND qualification in itself represents something unique” and this top-up shall be an encouragement for candidates to apply for Polytechnic education since there is a pathway for progression into academics.
This will never dilute the essence of technical education but rather enhance it.