Ogunseye Timothy, National Vice-President, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), on Wednesday appealed to the Federal Government to end the dichotomy between polytechnic and university graduates in the country.
Timothy made the appeal on the side line of ASUP first International Conference hosted by the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH) Chapter of the union in Ikorodu, Lagos.
The conference had the theme: “Africa’s Solution to Africa’s Challenges: Nigeria’s Perspectives’’.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a bill for an act seeking to end the dichotomy between polytechnic and university graduates passed its second reading at the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
The bill, which was co-sponsored by Balanga Billiri, Ali Isa and Edward Pwajok, seek to create equal opportunities for graduates from universities and polytechnics, in terms of employment and promotions.
Timothy said that polytechnic graduates were not inferior to their university counterparts.
Ogunseye said the unwarranted discriminatory practice of ranking polytechnic graduates lower than university graduates was prevalent among some government agencies and private organizations.
He commended Kano State Government for its decision not to discriminate but ranked polytechnic and university graduates equally.
“I do not see any reason why the dichotomy should continue as the same admission requirement applies to candidates choosing polytechnics and universities.
“Reviewing the curricula of tertiary institutions in terms of practical and other educational contents, polytechnic graduates are far better than universities.
“Nigerian graduates are equal, notwithstanding the schools they attend. However, this discrepancy between polytechnic and university is worrisome.
“Without doubt, if the discrimination continues, the country’s technological advancement being the backbone of any economic growth will be negatively affected.
“As a matter of fact, there is need for employers to change their perception towards HND graduates because BSC holders are not in any way better than them.
“If care is not taken, competent hands will be short-changed which would handicap the country’s progress,’’ he said.
Also speaking on the discrimination, former rector of Lagos State Polytechnic, Mr Babatunde Iginla, said removing the dichotomy would encourage economic independence, employment and stability in the labor market.