Graduates of polytechnics are often treated as inferior to their university counterparts. This is because polytechnics are believed to be training grounds for middle level manpower while universities are believed to train high level manpower. This dichotomy is brought to the front burner with the stance of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) that government should stop appointing non-degree holders to university councils. I want to give some suggestions on how to end this discrimination.
One way of ending this discrepancy is to merge polytechnics with universities. In this way, the Higher National Diploma (HND) will be run by universities. Such universities will therefore award Bachelor of Technology (B. Tech) instead of HND. If properly organized, each polytechnic will be affiliated to a nearby university. The challenge of this move is how to determine which polytechnics will merge with which polytechnic. It is instructive to note that this solution was first raised during the administration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo but was scuttled by Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP).
Another solution to the dichotomy is that the award of Higher National Diploma (HND) should be phased out. Polytechnics should award Bachelor of Technology (B. Tech) instead. For this to be effective, the condition for lecturing post National Diploma students should be the same as the condition for lecturing in a university.
A third approach is to convert the polytechnics to vocational institutions that will award National Diploma (ND) only. The National Diploma should be accepted for admission into year three of the university. For this solution to work, the polytechnics should be well equipped to train field workers.