NUC calls for continuous curriculum reform in Nigerian universities

The National Universities Commission has urged for joint efforts to initiate continuous curriculum reform in Nigerian universities.

Chris Maiyaki, interim executive secretary of the NUC, stated this at the British Council Workshop on Enhancing Curriculum and Pedagogical Approaches in Nigerian Universities, held on Monday at the Continental Hotel.

He emphasised the importance of continual curriculum change in Nigerian universities so that they can adapt to a rapidly changing world.

He also stated that launching such reforms presents obstacles, as the actualization of curriculum renewal is not always fully realised due to implementation challenges.

“Continuous curriculum reform has been considered a necessary measure to assist schools respond to a fast-changing world.

“Initiating such reforms is not without challenges as, sometimes, the actualisation of the curriculum renewal is not fully realised due to the challenges of implementation.

“It is gratifying to note that this workshop is coming on the heels of the implementation of the recently-developed Core Curriculum and Minimum Academic Standards (CCMAS) in line with the Commission’s enabling laws.

“The new CCMAS is a product of sustained stakeholder interactions and engagement over the years. This involved a blend of academic experts, government (represented by NUC), professional bodies, and the private sector represented by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, NESG.

“In order to enrich the draft documents, copies of each discipline were forwarded to all critical stakeholders including the relevant academic units in Nigerian Universities, the private sector, professional bodies and the academies for their comments and input.

“These inputs, along with the curriculum of programmes obtained from some foreign and renowned universities, served as major working materials for the various panels constituted for that purpose. Innovative courses such as Venture Creation, Entrepreneurship (programme Specific) and innovation, among others were incorporated into the General studies Courses to enhance the employability skills of graduates”, he said.

According to Maiyaki, the new curriculum unbundled the Bachelor of Agriculture, Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication, and Bachelor of Architecture programmes while introducing some rising specialisations in these subjects in accordance with global trends.

He did, however, indicate that this will be a continuous process, with curriculum development and review to keep up with current world trends.

The NUC secretary emphasised the importance of training university workers, both academic and non-academic, in the implementation of the new curriculum.

“However, it is one thing to review or develop a new curriculum; it is another to deploy the curriculum effectively and efficiently in training students in their chosen Disciplines.

“Knowledge without implementation is an exercise in futility. And as a corollary, Training without practice is a waste of effort. We have a real problem with execution gaps at institutional levels which you should address at this workshop.

“Finally, It is the policy of the NUC to train and retrain university staff, both academic and non-academic, in the implementation of ideas and policies that are functional to the wellbeing of our Institutions,” he added.