Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Rasheed has disclosed plans by the commission to cede at least 70 percent of its regulatory powers to determine curriculum contents of universities in Nigeria.
According to Rasheed, with the re-engineering of university education in Nigeria, each University management will be free to establish their course content or curriculum exclusively, while NUC might just contribute 30 percent from the centre.
The NUC boss said the decision became necessary in order to devolve powers among the universities, noting that it’s not mandatory that a curriculum for education in Kano must be the same for Cross River, when individual universities might have their own peculiarities.
He gave this indication, on Tuesday, while welcoming the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, who was at NUC to seek provisional license for the establishment of Sa’adatu Rimi University of Education, Kano.
Rasheed also hinted that the need to create graduates suited to contemporary jobs necessitated the idea of allowing Senate of universities have some leverage in setting their own course content.
He said a directive has gone to all Universities to constitute committees towards actualising this objective.
He criticised those condemning the creation of more universities in Nigeria, saying the goal of the government was to expand access. Insisting that there can never be enough universities for a country like Nigeria with awareness of the inherent benefits of tertiary education.
“We have started a gradual devolution of powers regarding who determines what gets taught in the universities. We have found out that because of the emerging circumstances, we should not be the one determining everything about universities curriculum.
“We have directed all Universities to constitute committees towards this, we have directed that each department heads be in tune with the essence of this policy, because for us the curriculum for teaching education in a university in Maiduguri, doesn’t have to be the same with teaching education in Calabar, so we are looking at devolving about 70 percent of our powers to the universities while the centre may just contribute about 30 percent.
“Another strategic goal of the commission is to expand access. We need to expand the system by encouraging the public arm to establish more universities and encouraging the private arms also to establish more universities. Today in Kano alone we have over six private universities.”
Commenting on the unemployability of Nigerian graduates as against the rate they were being churned out from the tertiary system, Rasheed said a time will come when graduates will come together, engage themselves in discussions and employ themselves.
“It’s part of the reason we are undertaking a comprehensive curriculum review so that the universities can solve their own problems themselves and by extension the state or national issues.”