Service scheme allows HND holders to teach in polytechnics – NBTE

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As part of efforts to reposition the polytechnic sector for greater efficiency, the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) has announced new Schemes of Service, approved by the Federal Government, for Nigerian polytechnics. These new schemes took effect from June 7, 2024.

It allows Higher National Diploma (HND) holders with good grades to be employed as academic staff in Nigerian polytechnics.

The NBTE is tasked with regulating and overseeing educational programs offered by technical institutions at the secondary, polytechnic, and monotechnic levels through an accreditation process in Nigeria.

The announcement follows the Federal Government’s commitment, through the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, who indicated that the new Schemes of Service would soon be released. “Work had been concluded but for one area of contention,” Yemi-Esan had stated in Abuja in May 2024.

Key Features of the New Schemes

During the formal presentation of the new Schemes of Service in Kaduna, NBTE Executive Secretary, Prof. Idris Bugaje, outlined the unified approach to the recruitment and promotion of staff across federal, state, and private polytechnics in Nigeria.

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One significant change is the provision that allows Higher National Diploma (HND) holders with good grades to be employed as academic staff, similar to their degree-holding counterparts.

Bugaje emphasized that from June 7, 2024, previous versions of the Schemes of Service will no longer be valid.

“We are all united from now onwards to operate the new Schemes of Service in the Nigerian Polytechnic System,” he declared.

A major highlight is the abolition of the Instructor Cadre, which previously segregated HND holders.

The Technician Cadre has also been subsumed into the Technologist Cadre, allowing ND holders to be appointed as Assistant Technologists.

Additionally, the Pharmacy Technology cadre remains intact, ensuring that HND holders in this field retain their roles within the public service despite restrictions from the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria.

Bugaje also noted the requirement for National Skill Qualifications Level 3 for senior lecturers and above, aimed at institutionalizing skills training in polytechnics. Current lecturers seeking promotion to senior levels have a three-year moratorium to acquire the NSQ or its equivalent.

Official Statements and Reactions

In his remarks, Bugaje praised the collaborative efforts that led to the new Schemes of Service, including contributions from staff unions, rectors of polytechnics, the Federal Ministry of Education, and the NBTE.

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He extended special thanks to Dr. Yemi-Esan for her tireless efforts and support.

Representatives of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) acknowledged the new Schemes of Service and indicated their intention to study the document before offering any critical analysis.

Bugaje assured them that lingering concerns, such as the terminal level for the Registry Cadre, would be resolved, noting that the Deputy Registrar position is now terminal since the Registrar’s role is tenured on a consolidated salary like other principal officers.

He concluded by expressing gratitude to all stakeholders involved and highlighting the transformative potential of the new Schemes of Service for the Nigerian Polytechnic System.

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