Senate passes bill ending discrimination against Polytechnic graduates - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

Senate passes bill ending discrimination against Polytechnic graduates

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By Our Correspondent

 

A bill that seeks to end discrimination between Bachelor degree and Higher National Diploma certificates was passed on Wednesday on the floor of the Senate.

The bill, sponsored by Ayo Akinyelure (PDP, Ondo Central), scaled the third reading after the lawmakers received and considered the report of the Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions, presented by its Chairman, Ahmad Kaita.

 
It seeks to end all forms of discrimination in terms of wage disparity and career progression against HND holders in the public and private sectors of the economy.

The bill also seeks to promote the nation’s technological advancement by encouraging qualified candidates to pursue polytechnic and technological education.
 
Akinyelure had, during the second reading, said discrimination against Higher National Diploma holders endangers the nation’s core policy thrust of evolving a technological and scientifically based society.

 
He argued that in many cases, polytechnic graduates are better on the field than their university counterparts.

However, there is hardly a consensus on the need to abolish the dichotomy between the university and polytechnic certificate holders, as some senators believe that efforts should be channeled rather towards transforming all polytechnics to degree-awarding institutions.

 
A public hearing on the bill was held in March where stakeholders submitted memoranda.

After the presentation of the report on Wednesday, the lawmakers did a clause-by-clause consideration of the bill in the Committee of the Whole, after which the bill was passed.

The Senate president, Ahmad Lawan, congratulated the Senate, noting that the issue had been on the front burner for a long time.

Lawan said: “I recall that in the House between 2003 and 2007, this was one bill that was so important and it is a way of encouraging our polytechnic graduates.

“This should be a motivation for our polytechnic graduates.”