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Standards: ASUU tackles NUC, says new curriculum design against quality University education

*Nigeria’s Academic Staff Union of Universities kicks against the National Universities Commission’s curriculum design, contending it is ‘a threat to quality university education and an erosion of powers of the University senate in the West African country

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has kicked against the Core Curriculum Minimum Academic Standards (CCMAS) designed by the National Universities Commission (NUC).

The academic Union said the curriculum is a threat to quality university education and an erosion of powers of the university senate in Nigerian universities.

Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, ASUU President, in a statement issued Friday, June 30, 2023, submitted that it was inexplicable that the NUC pre-packaged 70 percent CCMAS content was being imposed on the Nigerian University system.

He added that the university senates which are statutorily responsible for academic programme development, were left to work on only 30 percent, while noting that there were growing concerns about the numerous shortcomings and gross inadequacies of the CCMAS documents.

“ASUU is not unaware that setting academic standards and assuring quality in the NUS is within the remit of the NUC.

“Section 10(1) of the Education (National Minimum Standards and Establishment of Institutions) Act, Cap E3, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, enjoins the NUC to lay down the minimum standards for all universities and other degree awarding institutions in the federation and conduct the accreditation of their degrees and other academic awards.

“However, the process of generating the standard is as important (if not more important) than what is produced as “minimum standards,” it explained.

The Union also stated: “In this instance, the NUC had recently, through some hazy procedures, churned out CCMAS documents containing 70% curricular contents in 17 academic fields with little or no input from the universities.

“The academic disciplines covered are (i) Administration and Management, (ii) Agriculture, (iii) Allied Health Sciences, (iv) Architecture, (v) Arts, (vi) Basic Medical Sciences, (vii) Computing, (viii) Communication and Media Studies, (ix) Education, (x) Engineering and Technology, (xi) Environmental Sciences, (xii) Law, (xiii) Medicine and Dentistry, (xiv) Pharmaceutical Science, (xv) Sciences, (xvi) Social Sciences, and (xvii) Veterinary Medicine,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the NUC has said ASUU did not say the truth when it claimed its action was an usurpation of the university senate, explaining that it involved universities, both public and private and even subject area experts across Nigerian universities in coming up with the new curriculum.

The commission, in a statement signed by Dr Noel Biodum Saliu, the Deputy Executive Secretary (Academics), said there was no basis for the attack on the commission’s process of coordinating the review of the curriculum of Nigerian universities.

NUC said the CCMAS was done strictly in compliance with the mandate conferred on it by the Education (National Minimum Standard and Establishment of Institutions) Act No. E3 L.F.N. 2004.

“Furthermore, the efforts of the Commission in the development of the CCMAS have been acclaimed by Nigerian Universities, the private sector and, indeed, all stakeholders of university education as well as the international community. “We believe that hundreds of professors and other credible academics who have been participating in the ongoing “Curriculum Re-engineering” exercise are members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU),” the Commission said in the statement.

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