In response to ASUU’s recent rejection of the Core Curriculum Minimum Academic Standards (CCMAS) proposed by the National Universities Commission (NUC), the NUC has refuted the claims made by the union.
POLITICS NIGERIA reports that according to a statement by Dr. Noel Saliu, the NUC’s Deputy Executive Secretary for Academics, ASUU’s assertion that there was no official communication from the NUC to the universities regarding the review of the Benchmark Minimum Academic Standard (BMAS) is simply false.
Dr. Saliu emphasised that all universities were actively involved in the development of the Core Curriculum Minimum Academic Standards. He stated that the NUC has been in communication with Vice-Chancellors and other university representatives on this matter for the past five years. Numerous virtual and on-site meetings were conducted to keep them informed about the curriculum review process and provide timely updates.
Moreover, the NUC revealed that the curriculum review process had begun in 2018, with subject experts from various Nigerian universities producing the initial draft documents. These drafts were then sent to other experts in Nigerian universities for their input. The comments and feedback received from the universities were carefully considered and incorporated into the working documents for the various curriculum review panels.
The NUC also clarified that they had informed the universities from the outset that they would provide 70% of the minimum course requirements for graduation, with the remaining 30% to be covered by the universities. This ratio was reached after careful consideration and discussion with the Vice-Chancellors, as the NUC had previously proposed a 50/50 NUC/universities provision, which the universities rejected. Eventually, a 70/30 ratio was agreed upon during the comprehensive curriculum review process.
ASUU said it had previously expressed concerns that the CCMAS could undermine the quality of university education and diminish the authority of university Senates in academic program development. However, the NUC has asserted that the involvement of Nigerian universities in the curriculum review process has been a longstanding tradition since 1989 and has not been compromised.
The NUC’s response comes after ASUU’s rejection of the CCMAS, which the union described as nightmarish and a potential threat to the quality of university education in Nigeria. ASUU also criticised the NUC for imposing a pre-packaged 70% curriculum content on the Nigerian University System, leaving the university Senates with only 30% autonomy in program development.