Stakeholders in tertiary education sector have applauded the efforts of the National Universities Commission (NUC) at curriculum re-engineering with the development and launch of the new Core Curriculum and Minimum Academic Standards (CCMAS).
Executive Secretary of the Global University Network for Innovation (GUNi) Africa, Prof. Juma Shabani; the Secretary General of the Association of African Universities (AAU), Prof. Olusola Oyewole; and scholars at a global quality assurance conference held in Washington, DC, said that CCMAS would enhance quality teaching and learning in Nigerian Universities.
Prof. Shabani, a former head of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Bamako Cluster Office, referred to the process as “revolutionary” and worth emulating by other African countries in the quest to attain the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
Meanwhile, Prof. Oyewole, who delivered the keynote address at the post-launch sensitisation workshop held for Vice-Chancellors, was excited about the curriculum and described NUC’s efforts as “building the future today”.
He said the Executive Secretary of NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, has become the instrument for restoring the originality in the Nigerian university system, thus returning confidence and trust in the system.
Chairman of the NUC Strategy Advisory Committee, Prof. Peter Okebukola, in his remarks, attributed the trajectory to the far-sightedness of NUC boss who fired a revolution in the Nigerian university system guided by the blueprint on rapid revitalisation of university education in Nigeria (2019-2023)
Prof. Okebukola said: “the curriculum re-engineering process was not just a quick fix which began few months ago as wrongly portrayed by some. “It is a six-step process which began with a sensitisation lecture about five years ago, and was followed by survey of the gaps in the existing curricula of Nigerian universities.
“Inputs from stakeholders formed the basis of a revised edition of the curricula by teams of national and international experts in the disciplines, and private sector players led by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG). There was input from Departments and Faculties in the Nigerian university system and the rigorous step of review which took the better part of 16 months.
Few highlights of the 2022 CCMAS which replaces the 15-year old Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards (BMAS) are; comparable in content to similar curricula in the best university systems in the world and relevant to Nigeria’s socio-cultural context; addresses the knowledge and skills gaps in the curriculum it is replacing; while providing 70 per cent of core curriculum as minimum for all Nigerian universities, it allow universities to customise and bespoke the curriculum by adding 30 per cent of courses to reflect their uniqueness of mission and contextual peculiarities.