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ASUU Rejects Core Curriculum Proposed by National Universities Commission

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ABUJA, Nigeria – The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has rejected the Core Curriculum Minimum Academic Standards, CCMAS, put forward by the National Universities Commission, NUC, deeming it a threat to the quality of education and an encroachment on the autonomy of university Senates.

In a statement released on Friday, June 30, 2023, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, the national president of ASUU, criticized the NUC’s decision to impose 70% of the content in the CCMAS on the Nigerian University System.

He stressed that university Senates, which are statutorily in charge of academic program development, are being restricted to work on just 30% of the content.

The ASUU statement highlighted concerns regarding the numerous shortcomings and inadequacies of the CCMAS documents.

The statement acknowledged that, “ASUU is not unaware that setting academic standards and assuring quality in the NUS is within the remit of the NUC.”

However, the union emphasized that the process of establishing these standards is as crucial as the standards themselves.

The NUC recently rolled out the CCMAS documents which encompass 70% curricular contents across 17 academic fields with scanty input from the universities.

The disciplines included administration and management, agriculture, allied health sciences, architecture, arts, basic medical sciences, computing, communication and media studies, education, engineering and technology, environmental sciences, law, medicine and dentistry, pharmaceutical science, sciences, social sciences, and veterinary medicine.

ASUU’s statement conveyed that several university administrators, although discontented, have been reticent in openly expressing their reservations about the CCMAS.

In contrast, some university Senates have been openly critical of the NUC’s attempts to force the CCMAS upon Nigerian universities.

ASUU branded the CCMAS as “a nightmarish model of curriculum reengineering” that is incompatible with the Nigerian University System.

The union argued that the CCMAS documents are deficient in both procedure and substance.

The union also refuted the necessity for the 70% “untouchable CCMAS”, asserting that it could not withstand rigorous scrutiny from university Senates.

ASUU recommended that the NUC should promote a bottom-up approach by motivating universities to suggest innovations for program reviews.

Proposals from various universities should then be rigorously assessed and integrated by proficient expert teams to either revise existing BMAS documents or develop new ones as needed.

This approach would contrast with the prescriptive, top-down model represented by the CCMAS.

The rejection of the CCMAS by ASUU signifies a strong pushback against what is viewed as an infringement on the independence and quality standards of university education in Nigeria.

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