The Supervising Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, on April 24 at a special retreat for chairmen of Governing Councils of Federal Polytechnics and Federal Colleges of Education in Kaduna, announced the establishment of the committee.
Wike added that the committee was being headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim.
Reacting to the development in Abuja, some parents and polytechnic students told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the steps taken by the government to resolve the disparity were commendable.
Mr Akin Shongule, a parent, said that the harmonisation was long overdue.
Shongule said from the beginning, the training of HND graduates was meant to complement the degree holders in the area of technical studies.
“That is the more reason why the Federal Government should remove the dichotomy and recognise both the B.Sc and the HND holders as same.
“They should be accorded the same recognition and it will go a long way in bringing peace and confidence to the system.
“More so, you will find out that people no longer want to go to polytechnics because of these differences,’’ he said.
He lauded the government’s commitment to resolve the differences between the two certificates permanently.
Another parent, Mr John Bassey, said the establishment of the committee was a right step in the right direction.
Bassey recalled that the former Head of Service of the Federation, Alhaji Yayale Ahmed, was and among other officers who had set up similar committees to address the disparity.
“But the reports on the outcome of the committees were never made known to Nigerians.
“We hope that since this committee will be headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, and with the Supervising Minister of Education involved, there will be hope for students and other Nigerians with polytechnic certificates,’’ he said.
He urged the committee members to be knowledgeable on the issues involved, saying Nigerians hoped that they would do a thorough work on the assignment.
A student, Miss Philomena Udeze, from Federal Polytechnic Oko, Anambra, said that government’s action was encouraging.
Udeze said students in polytechnics in the country had lost hope of anything good in the education system.
“It is as if government does not care about us; we have being on strike for the past seven months and to add to this suffering, even with our coming out with the HND certificates, we are still going to be rated low.
“This is very frustrating and I hope and pray that government will expedite action in implementing Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) agreement and the report of the committee,’’ she said.
Mr Abdulwahab Oyekanmi, a student of Federal Polytechnic Bida, Niger, commended the government for the action.
Oyekanmi also called on the government to resolve other major issues affecting the polytechnic system in the country. (NAN)