By Mahdi Waziri Isa

The National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) has unveiled a scheme of service that consolidate staff recruitment and promotion for all Nigerian polytechnics.

Speaking in Kaduna on Wednesday, Professor Idris Bugaje, the executive secretary of NBTE, said the scheme took effect on 7th June. Bugaje said the scheme would be used as an accreditation instrument in old and new institutions regarding compliance.

He highlighted that the scheme would also check the inflow of academic staff from universities into the polytechnics, especially those who may not have the qualifications.

The NBTE boss said with the reforms in the scheme, holders of higher national diploma (HND) with good grades will now be appointed graduate assistants like their degree counterparts.

“The instructor cadre, which represented segregation against HND holders in the past, has been abolished,” He affirmed.

“The technician cadre has been subsumed by the technologist cadre, allowing ND holders to be appointed assistant technologists.

“The pharmacy technology cadre has been maintained for those with an HND in pharmacy technology but who may not be allowed to work in hospitals by the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria. Their space in the public service has been retained.”

Bugaje said stakeholders in the polytechnics are all united to operate the new scheme.

“This milestone has taken over a decade of struggle and efforts by our staff unions, rectors of polytechnics through their COHEADS/COFER bodies, the federal ministry of education, and the NBTE,” he stressed.

Bugaje noted that the scheme could still be subjected to future reviews as the need arises.

“An area of contention raised by ASUP is the terminal level for the registry cadre, which is now the deputy registrar (CONTEDISS 15), since the position of the registrar is tenured on consolidated salary like other principal officers,” he added.

“Equally, an area of concern for other unions (SSANIP and NASU) is that skipping has been abolished. This is open for discussion with the head of service (HoSF) to get this position streamlined along with the provisions in other cadres.

“The requirement of NSQ Level 3 minimum for senior lecturers and above is a positive step aimed at institutionalising skills training in the polytechnics.

“Let me advise that current lecturers seeking promotion to senior level shall be given a three-year moratorium to acquire the NSQ (or its equivalent) and, where necessary, shall be offered recognition of prior learning (RPL) to qualify.

“This provision shall check the inflow of academic staff from universities into our polytechnics, especially those who may not have skills qualifications.”

The NBTE is an organ of the education ministry charged with regulating technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions in Nigeria.

TVET includes polytechnics, technical colleges, vocational training centres, and other public or private specialised learning institutions.

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