Daily Trust (Abuja)

24 April 2014

Nigeria: President Jonathan Sets Up Committee to Resolve HND/Degree Dichotomy

Minister of state for Education, Nyesom Wike, has declared that the issue of dichotomy between HND and Degree holders will be resolved in no distant time as President Goodluck Jonathan has set up a committee headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Senator Pius Anyim to address the challenge.

Addressing chairmen of Governing Councils of Federal Polytechnics and Federal Colleges of Education Thursday in Kaduna during a Special retreat, Wike said that the SGF and members of the committee met with Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, last week to resolve the dichotomy.

According to a statement signed by the Special Assistant to the minister on Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, Wike "noted that other demands have also been resolved, pointing out that the issue of the release of white-paper for visitation panels to Federal Polytechnics and Federal Colleges of Education is being concluded at the Office of the SGF.

"The Minister called on the chairmen of the Governing Councils of Federal Polytechnics and Federal Colleges of Education to assist the federal government by deploying their relevant skills towards resolving the lingering strike action.

"Wike urged the striking unions to reciprocate the gesture of President Jonathan by calling off their strike and resuming academic work in the interest of of the nation."

The statement quoted the minister as saying: "Permit me to call on our lecturers to call-off their protracted strike to enable academic activities commence in the Polytechnics and Colleges of Education. Let us show understanding with government and the challenges before it and call-off the strike.

"We acknowledge the importance of teacher education and polytechnic education and as responsible government we will not down-play their roles in national development and prosperity."

The statement read further: "In his remark, Chairman of Committee of Chairmen of Governing Councils of Federal Polytechnics, Chief Ebenezer Babatope appealed to the striking lecturers to work towards resuming academic activities in line with the commitments made by President Jonathan to further develop Polytechnics and Colleges of Education.

"The chairman of the National Board for Technical Education, Igwe Professor Laz Ekwueme, called for the reconciliation of all parties for academic activities to resume in Polytechnics and Colleges of Education.

"The retreat is being attended by chairmen of governing councils of Federal Polytechnics and Colleges of Education. Also in attendance are Rectors, Provosts and officials of National Board of Technical Education, National Commission for Colleges of Education and Federal Ministry of Education.

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