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Clash between NUC and ASUU Over New Curriculum Implementation in Universities

The National Universities Commission on Friday accused the Academic Staff Union of Universities of misinforming Nigerians on the true state of the Core Curriculum Academic Standards.

The commission which is the regulatory body for universities in Nigeria noted that contrary to assertions made by ASUU, it consulted with relevant stakeholders within the NUS before coming up with the new curriculum.

Earlier on Friday, ASUU in a statement accused the NUC of imposing the new curriculum on universities.

The union noted that it had officially rejected the curriculum, even as it accused the NUC of failing to abide by its mandate.

A statement by the NUC’s deputy executive secretary, Noel Saliu, reads, “The attention of the NUC has been drawn to the publication of ASUU with respect to its concerns over the Core Curriculum Minimum Academic Standards.

“The said publication contains some misinformation that must be corrected in the interest of all. For the avoidance of doubt, two acts of the enabling law under which the NUC operates provide the legal framework for the quality assurance and regulatory mandates of the commission.

“The acts empower the NUC to lay down minimum standards for all universities and other institutions of higher learning in the federation and the accreditation of their degrees and other academic awards in formal consultation with the universities for that purpose after obtaining prior approval through the Minister from the President.

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“It is instructive to note that in carrying out this very important quality assurance activity of developing minimum standards in the NUS, from 1989 to date, the NUC has always engaged subject area experts across Nigerian universities. In other words, Nigerian universities have always been primarily involved in the development and review of the curriculum in the NUS, with the NUC coordinating the process.”

Speaking further in the statement, the NUC noted that it communicated with universities through respective vice-chancellors before it unveiled the new curriculum, adding that the review of curriculum started in 2018.

“The claim that there is no evidence to show that the universities were involved in the true sense of revision of the BMAS development and the subsequent implementation of the CCMAS in the NUS is also far from the truth.

“The curriculum review process started in 2018 with the subject area experts in Nigerian universities producing draft documents, which were forwarded to experts in other Nigerian universities for their comments.”

Meanwhile, ASUU has described the CCMAS prepared by the NUC as nightmarish and a threat to quality university education.

The union stated that the action of the commission was an erosion of the powers of the Senate in Nigerian universities.

A statement by ASUU National President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, added that it was inexplicable that the NUC pre-packaged 70% CCMAS contents were being imposed on the NUS, adding that university Senates responsible for academic programme development were left to work on only 30 per cent of the curriculum contents.

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It stressed 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”. In this instance, the NUC has recently, through some hazy procedures, churned out CCMAS documents containing 70% curricular contents in 17 academic fields with little or no inputs from the universities,” the statement partly read.

It stressed that many university administrators, though dissatisfied, were shying away from making public comments on CCMAS.

The statement revealed that some university Senates did not hide their displeasure with the ongoing efforts to impose CCMAS on Nigerian universities by the NUC.

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