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NUC tackles NBTE over top-up degree programme for polytechnic graduates



The National Universities Commission (NUC) has disowned a National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) scheme claiming to bridge the gap between polytechnic and university degrees.

For years, there have been calls from stakeholders to end the disparity between higher national diplomas (HND) offered by polytechnics and bachelor degrees offered by universities.

A bill was passed at the ninth national assembly in 2021 to end the dichotomy but it was not signed into law by the last administration.

The NBTE, which regulates technical and vocational education, has unveiled what it describes as a one-year top-up programme which offers a platform for HND holders to level up towards obtaining a bachelor’s degree.

But in a statement on Saturday, the NUC disowned the NBTE scheme.

“Even though agitation continues to grow for the abolition of the dichotomy in Nigeria, there is, at the moment, no law that has removed the dichotomy between a university degree and the HND,” the regulator said.

“The place of technical education, the world over, is unique.

“The university degree awarded by the Nigerian university system or any cognate institution is not the same as the HND awarded by polytechnics in Nigeria.

“In the Nigerian higher education space, the processes, contents and methods required for the acquisition of a university degree are substantially different from those needed for HND programmes.”

At the post-graduate level, the requirements for admission into any master’s degree programme for HND holders are, among others, the acquisition of a relevant postgraduate diploma (PGD) from a recognised university.

NUC said beneficiaries of the NBTE’s top-up programme will be subjected to these admission requirements, should they desire to further their studies in the Nigerian university system.

“The unsuspecting general public and all relevant ministries, departments, and agencies should note that the NUC is not a party to and, indeed, disavows the so-called top-up scheme, being concocted by the NBTE,” the commission said.

“In light of the above, the advice of the NUC is that the NBTE should focus on its core mandate and desist from introducing programmes outside its jurisdiction, and not supported by any law in Nigeria.”


Lagos state government to create more technical colleges to reduce out-of-school children




Jamiu Alli-Balogun, the Lagos commissioner for basic and secondary education, says plans are underway to create additional technical colleges and vocational centres across the state.

Alli-Balogun spoke on Tuesday in Ikeja about how the state government is approaching the issue of out-of-school children.

He said creating additional technical colleges will help reduce the number of out-of-school children in the state.

The commissioner said the administration of Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of the state, has ramped up efforts and strategies to meaningfully engage out-of-school children with a view to removing them from the streets.

The commissioner said the mission of the Lagos state Ministry of Basic Secondary Education (MBSE) is to ensure that no child is allowed to loiter again in the state.

“I have a mindset to boost the scope of technical and vocational education in the state in line with Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s THEMES agenda,” Alli-Balogun said.

“We want to take as much out-of-school children from the streets, so that they can be in the school learning one skill or the other, be useful to themselves, society and even be employers of labour.”

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UNICAL suspends fee hike after students’ protest




The University of Calabar (UNICAL) has directed that the new fees it introduced be put on hold until further notice.

The directive was conveyed in a statement by Gabriel Egbe, the university registrar, following a protest by students.

The management of UNICAL on Monday approved an adjustment in school fees after its emergency meeting on December 1.

The students, however, embarked on a protest that brought activities in the institution to a halt.

In the statement, Florence Obi, the university’s vice-chancellor, said the directive to put the new charges on hold was in reaction to the protest.

“The management of this institution is a listening administration,” the VC said.

“We want to assure the students as critical stakeholders that appropriate arrangements have been put in place through constructive engagements with the students to resolve the matter.

“The management, however, commends the students for the mature, reasonable and civilised manner exhibited towards resolving the matter.”

Following UNICAL’s reviewed charges, fresher students, returning students, and final-year students for non-science courses were expected to pay N111,000, N91,500 and N114,000, respectively.

They were also to pay N36,500, N21,500 and N21,500, respectively, as third-party dues.

Similarly, charges for the science courses were increased to N155,000, N125,000 and N148,000, respectively, for freshers, returning students, and final-year students.

This category of students was also to pay N38,500, N21,500 and N21,500, respectively, as third-party dues.

Before the adjustment, an average student paid N64,050 as a fresher, N52,050 in their final year, and N49,500 as a returnee.

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ATBU shuts campus amid protest over student’s death




The Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) in Bauchi has been shut down following a protest by students.

Zailani Bappa, the head of the institution’s directorate of information, announced the development on Monday.

Bappa, who spoke at a news conference in Bauchi, said the school would be closed for one week.

He said the protest followed the alleged murder of one Joseph Baidu, a 500-level student of Geology, outside the campus on Saturday night.

“We are closing down the school because students decided to hold a demonstration while the police were still investigating the matter,” the director said.

“The murder took place outside the campus and the record we have revealed that the student lived outside the university campus, even though he is a final year student.

“The university security must report the issue to the police for proper investigation and this is exactly what happened; so, the police are currently investigating the issue.”

Bappa said the management regrets that the student agitation caused a disorder within the university community.

The director said the university is ready to address the acts of crime among students to guarantee a conducive learning environment.

“With the closure of the school, the students have been directed to vacate all campuses immediately. Any student found on any of the campuses will face the wrath of the law,” he added.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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