The Federal Government on Tuesday in Abuja inaugurated a Technical Review Committee on Contents and Curriculum of Higher National Diploma.
The Supervising Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, said the inauguration was part of government’s efforts to meet the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics.
Wike said the committee would review the curriculum and introduce a bridging course to pave way for the recognition of HND holders to reach the highest Grade Level in the public service.
The committee, he added, was to design a programme to enable the polytechnics to award B-Tech Degree which is equivalent to first degree.
He said former President Olusegun Obasanjo pronounced the removal of ceiling from the career progression of HND holders when dichotomy between HND and degree came up in 2005.
He said it was aimed at making their public service career to terminate at the same level with degree holders.
Wike added that since then, government had made a lot of efforts towards removing the disparity existing between HND and Degree.
According to him, a decision was taken at the 34th NCE Meeting in Uyo in 2009 stating that HND is not an equivalent of first degree and that HND holders must adhere to existing bridging process in the course of their career to enable them progress.
The Minister said the Federal Ministry of Education was, therefore, given the mandate to have clear-cut guidelines of the bridging process.
He said the ministry proposed that for HND holders to enhance their career progression, they should obtain professional qualification, post graduate diploma and go through a bridging programme.
Wike said members of the committee had three weeks to conclude the assignment.
The members were drawn from the ministry and some of its agencies, labour organisations, Office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation and ASUP.
President of ASUP, Dr Chibuzo Asomugha, commended the Federal Government for inaugurating the committee as part of its efforts to resolve the strike.
Asomugha, however, said the setting up of the committee was not a way of placating ASUP, but a way of addressing the core issues in the education sector.