I will not be coming back to do my Higher National Diploma because of the numerous challenges the holders of such certificates are exposed to! A friend gazed at me and somewhat felt the determination in my assertion, advised that it was a good course to pursue but can you withstand the rigorous processes involved in Direct Entry? Delay in transcript transfer, will statement of result be ready before hand, and some other logistics that could arise. Without giving it a thought, I affirmed by nodding my head because it has always been a topsy-turvy issue in the corporate world and even in government circles. The disparity between University graduates and their Polytechnic counterpart have been a long debated issue.
The universities and polytechnics have their various focal points when they were conceived and eventually created for students depending on their skill set. The universities are more theoretical and therefore geared towards policy formulation and implementation and the polytechnics are more practical and therefore geared towards the technical skills of students from the secondary schools. This had been the trend in the days of old where interests between these two entities were not clashing. But as time went by, things started to change as employment opportunities were skewed towards the university graduates to the detriment of the polytechnic graduates. The reason(s) for the creation of these institutions were bashed as university graduates that do not have the adequate skill set to handle pure practical jobs were preferred. The polytechnic graduates were left to scamper for the menial jobs.
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Let me say here that there is no superiority when it comes to the functionality of these two entities but only their specialty differs. The Nigerian polytechnic graduates over the years have been battered with self esteem as a result of neglect from the government even in the funding of the institutions for developmental purposes. The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) have embarked on strike actions severally for months in the past without much hullabaloo from the people concerned (government) but when their counterpart goes on strike actions, such as the one currently brewing between the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) and the government, the whole world run helter-skelter to make things work.
Little wonder the polytechnics do not pull much crowd when candidates apply. The Nigerian universities (most) have always been oversubscribed year-in and year-out when candidates apply for Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), some of who spill out to eventually settle for the polytechnics. Some of the polytechnic graduates are actually dyslexic by default and the reason why their practical skills are topnotch. However, this does not in any way say they do not possess other skills aside from practical. Everybody wants to go through the university even when they are not made for that system-I don’t blame such persons, every school leaver wants to achieve that aim out of reasons that have been highlighted above.
The mentality of some parents is that, those who went to the polytechnic for formal education are not made of quality. The resultant effect is examination malpractices, some which are sponsored by parents because their children must have university education at all cost. I have thought about it severally that the reason why we don’t invent things in Nigeria is because we are too aligned to theories most of which are been taught in the universities and neglect the practical aspect which brings about inventions.
The government and indeed all Nigerians have to go back to the reasons why these institutions were created so as to correct the lopsidedness in the recruitment process. We need more technical hands that can make inventions to create more jobs to reduce the poverty rate ratio in the country.
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