New Varsity Curriculum Controversy: ASUU Misleading Nigerians, NUC Says

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The National Universities Commission ( NUC) on Friday urged the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to stop misleading Nigerians on the new varsity curriculum.

The NUC Deputy Executive Secretary, Academics, Dr Noel Saliu, in a statement, revealed that contrary to claims by ASUU, all universities were carried along in the development of the Core Curriculum Minimum Academic Standards (CCMAS).

Saliu also dismissed as inaccurate ASUU’s assertion that there was no official communication from NUC to the Universities on the review of the Benchmark Minimum Academic Standard, BMAS.

“Vice-Chancellors can attest to the fact that the commission has been communicating with them on the issue over the last five years,” he asserted.

Saliu also reiterated that several virtual and on-site meetings were held to intimate the universities of the curriculum review, while also providing them with updates from time to time.

“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 university is also far from the truth,” he added.

The Deputy Executive Secretary further enunciated that the curriculum review process started in 2018 with experts on various subjects in Nigerian universities producing the draft documents.

The draft, he explained, was further forwarded to other experts in Nigerian universities for their inputs.

Saliu said “Comments received from universities that responded formed part of the working documents forwarded to the various curriculum review panels,”

He also explained that when the initial drafts of the CCMAS were ready, they were also circulated amongst Nigerian academics, and their inputs were synthesised and incorporated into the respective programmes.

On the alleged claim of being sidelined by ASUU, Saliu clarified that the commission had informed universities from the beginning of the exercise that it would provide for 70 per cent of the minimum course requirements for graduation in Nigerian universities.

He revealed that the universities were expected to make up the remaining 30 per cent.

“The commission did not arbitrarily arrive at this ratio. As a matter of fact, the NUC had in previous minimum standards documents, made provision for 100 per cent curriculum requirements to Nigerian universities,” the statement reveals.

He noted also that in a retreat with Vice-Chancellors in 2017, the NUC proposed to the universities a 50/50 NUC/Universities Curriculum Provision.

He explained “This was rejected as the universities felt that the action was drastic and that the proposal should be gradually implemented; proposing instead an 80:20 NUC/ University contribution to the curriculum.

“However, the NUC during the comprehensive curriculum review, decided to adopt a 70:30 NUC/University ratio for the curriculum contents,” the statement explains.

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