The National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), has introduced an online program aimed at allowing holders of Higher National Diplomas (HND) to upgrade their qualifications to Bachelor’s Degrees through a one-year online top-up program in collaboration with accredited foreign universities. This initiative was revealed through an official statement provided by Mrs. Fatima Abubakar, the Head of the Media Unit at the board’s headquarters in Abuja on Monday.
Abubakar mentioned that this initiative serves the purpose of facilitating the academic progress of HND holders toward higher levels of education. She highlighted previous unsuccessful attempts to have the National Universities Commission approve a two-year Master of Technology program for HND holders from certain polytechnics. Often, HND holders were required to complete a one-year Postgraduate Diploma before being eligible for admission into Master’s programs at universities. However, this presented challenges, as individuals pursuing doctoral degrees who wished to transfer to Nigerian universities were still questioned about their initial degrees even after obtaining their doctorates.
To address this inequity, the NBTE has established a new pathway for HND holders to progress further in their education. This pathway is accessible through the website https://topup.nbte.gov.ng.
Abubakar further discussed the issue of HND graduates from polytechnics encountering difficulties in participating in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) due to enrollment in non-accredited programs. To combat this problem, the NBTE has introduced an HND admission portal, which will only display accredited programs. The NYSC will also have access to this portal to identify candidates eligible for mobilization. This measure aims to eradicate unlawful admissions into unaccredited programs while maintaining quality assurance by adhering to specified capacities.
Additionally, Abubakar called on the President to sign a bill passed by the previous National Assembly that aims to eliminate the dichotomy between HND and BSc qualifications in the public service. She argued that this action would rectify unjust and unwarranted discrimination against polytechnic graduates.
Abubakar concluded by mentioning that, due to the lack of legal support, the board has taken steps to enhance the status of HND holders, thereby addressing the challenges they face in their educational and professional journeys.
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