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FG stops polytechnics, monotechnics from awarding degree certificates

THE Federal Government has said that beginning from 2026, Nigerian Polytechnics, Monotechnics and other allied institutions would no longer be able to admit students into degree programmes.

 The not long ago adopted practice by some schools in that category of tertiary institutions was asked to be stopped in a circular marked TEB/PRO/E/12/Vol.11/132 issued by federal government dated December 1, 2022, and conveyed by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) to heads of the affected institutions.

Signed by the board’s Director, Polytechnic Programmes Department, Ogoh Ngbede, the circular expressed the Federal Ministry of Education’s dismay at the increasing number of tertiary institutions in the country offering programmes for which they were not originally designed.

 The government warned the concerned institutions to restrict themselves to programmes for which they were originally created, and gave them four years to graduate the last set of students already admitted for such programmes.

The circular reads: “Polytechnics and other technical institutions in the country should immediately stop admitting students into degree programmes.

     “Similarly, polytechnics and allied institutions awarding Nigerian Certificate in Education should restrict themselves to technical courses.

    “However, already admitted undergraduates for these programmes should be allowed to round up the programmes into which they are already admitted.

    “Institutions have been given a period of four years (up to 2026) to graduate their last set of students for such programmes.”

    Recall that the issue of the dichotomy between polytechnics and universities has been a matter of concern for students of the former, especially in the circular system.

    The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has severally charged the government to allow polytechnics to award degrees. 

     According to the union’s National President, Anderson Ezeibe, awarding of degrees by polytechnics would end the current dichotomy.

   He said, “HND is no longer as attractive as it used to be to Nigerian youths because of the age-long dichotomy.

    “Policy makers have made it a rule that once an individual has an HND, he cannot attain the peak of his/her career. Then why are they continuing to force it on people, why don’t they phase it out and replace it with Bachelor of Technology?”

    Ezeibe noted that the Nigerian polytechnic system has all it takes in terms of infrastructure and human capital to award Bachelor, Master and Doctorate degrees in technology.

    Expressing delight over the government’s decision, the Director of Programmes, Reform Education Nigeria, Ayodamola Oluwatoyin, stated that the institutions – Universities, Polytechnics and Monotechnics – were created for different reasons from the onset. 

   She said, “it is better that each should award certificates based on their fields. It is a very good initiative; universities and polytechnics exist for different reasons.”

    “While it is largely believed that universities focus on theories, polytechnics focus on practicals. So why should one want to take over the duty of another?

    “However, it is worthy of note to remind the government about to promise to eliminate the dichotomy between degrees and Higher National Diplomas. We need to understand that the two awards serve different purposes, hence, one should not be seen as lower than the other.”

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