Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, has unveiled a new university curriculum designed by the National Universities Commission, NUC, to allow 30 per cent input from individual universities to fit the purpose of their academic programmes.
The new curriculum, christened Core Curriculum and Minimum Academic Standards, CCMAS, replaces the old Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards, BMAS, to reflect new realities in the 21st century Nigerian society.
While unveiling the new curriculum on Monday in Abuja, Osinbajo said the move was part of efforts to make university education more responsive to the needs of the society, address local issues, meet international standards and uplift scholarship in Nigerian universities.
Represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, the vice president said “this document has truly taken cognisance of the need to provide greater academic autonomy to universities with regards to development of some percentage of course content.
“I commend the commission of this decision to share the minimum credit unit required for graduation in the Nigerian university in the ratio of 70 to 30 per cent. This will further create institutional peculiarity.”
He added that only NUC is legally empowered as the sole regulator of university education in the country while professional bodies are only empowered to carry out regulation of professional practice.
Also speaking, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, commended the role the commission played in the establishment of over 220 universities comprising 50 federal universities representing 22.72 per cent, 59 state universities representing 26.8 per cent and 111 representing 50.45 as private universities
Adamu, who was represented by the Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, said the commission was empowered to ensure the development of university education for the production of quality programmes relevant to national development.
On his part, the Executive Secretary of NUC Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, said NUC commenced the journey to restructure the Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards, BMAS in 2018, introducing in its place, the Core Curriculum and Minimum Academic Standards, CCMAS, to reexamine existing and introduce new disciplines and programmes in the Nigerian University System.
Rasheed noted that the effort was in keeping with its mandate of making university education in Nigeria more responsive to the needs of the society.
According to him, the new “CCMAS is a product of sustained stakeholder interactions over two years, adding that the composition of each panel took into consideration, the triple helix model, as a unique feature. This involved a blend of academic experts, academies, government, represented by NUC, professional bodies and of course, the private sector represented by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, NESG.
“In order to enrich the draft documents, copies of each discipline were forwarded to all critical stakeholders including the relevant academic units in Nigerian Universities, the private sector, professional bodies and the academies for their comments and input.”