The Tuesday the National Board for Technical Education has clarified that the new online top-up programme for Higher National Diploma holders, HND to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree for one year, with foreign accredited universities is not meant for all HND holders, but those who want to pursue an academic career.
Prof. Idris Bugaje, Executive Secretary of the NBTE, had, during the unveiling of the programme earlier this month said the initiative would ease the suffering of HND holders in the country.
He said the board had to find an alternative route, which was for HND holders to do a one-year top-up programme in conjunction with some foreign universities.
Hajia Fatima Abubakar, NBTE Head of Media Unit, made the clarification on Tuesday, in a statement, saying the programme is for those who want their career in an academic environment such as teaching and research in the Polytechnics or Universities.
”This 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,” he said.
According to the statement, the clarification follows the various misconceptions about the relevance and use of programmes in a section of the media.
It said the top-up is not bringing an end to HND programmes in Polytechnics but providing a choice for HND holders who want to go for an academic career, adding that the choice of starting it with foreign universities is to show its universal acceptability perchance the Nigerian universities eventually buys into the idea.
The statement informed that the cost of the programme is reasonable, about 10 percent of what regular face-to-face students pay.
He said NBTE came up with the programme 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,” he said.
”Presently there are many PhD holders who academically progressed with HND through the PGD coming back to enroll for BSc (after their PhD) in Nigerian universities, a very retrogressive step indeed.
“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,” he explained