By Gift Samuel, The Sight News
In a bid to ensure that Nigerian universities meet global standard, the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Abubakar Rasheed has disclosed that the Commission is re-engineering curriculum in universities to ensure that they become the best three(3) in Africa in terms of relevance.
This is as he said that the process will help to produce nationally and regionally relevant graduates with high level human resources to deliver on Africa and Nigeria’s vision.
The ES speaking on Tuesday at a joint partnership workshop of the NUC and the World Bank on Proposed Higher Education Reform and Africa Centres of Excellence (ACE) Impact, in Abuja, said that there is an urgent need to reform and empower Nigerian universities to better deliver on its regulatory function.
The NUC helmsman who noted that a reform committee was constituted sometime in early December 2017 to advice the NUC on the best way to embark on the necessary journey towards reforming the higher education systems, particularly the universities, stressed that higher education is central to any attempt to reform the country and make it more functional and as such the need for reform in the universities.
He stated that the NUC however began the reforms with itself, and so they are in the process of a rigorous capacity building programmes to ensure that they have the minimum knowledge required to manage knowledge.
He further said that the NUC in its restructuring programme, decided to begin to give leadership in the reform agenda of higher education, saying that “If the country will thrive then we must consider ourselves critical stakeholders in any agenda to ensure that the country makes appreciable progress in socio-economic development”.
The Executive Secretary however expressed dismay over happenings in most universities, saying that “So many graduates lose chances of higher degrees due to failure of the universities to release transcript early and many times, we are not producing the right graduates for our markets as many of our graduates cannot construct sensible sentences and some are just tolerated when they are employed”.
On the issue of structure, he emphasized that there are serious challenges with governance in Nigeria and so, every university must have a minimum governance structure, adding that NUC would work towards devising means to punish universities if the governance structure is faulty.
On his part, the World Bank Representative, Andreas Blom while speaking on immediate and long term expected support of the World Bank, remarked that for successful reforms and improvement, there is need for; country and sector ownership strategy, consultation, consultative approach and comprehensive sector approach.
Blom noted that to ensure reforms, there is need to improve secondary education, adding that, “One of the most reforms in tertiary education is secondary education. Reform secondary education particularly about science and technology, if they don’t have the maths basis, how can you make a good quality university graduate?” he questioned.
He further listed, quality of education process, learning objectives in the curriculum, an updated curriculum and avoidance of strikes as being more important to facilitate reform.
The Joint partnership event of world Bank and NUC, had the objective to discuss the higher education reform agenda and consideration of the Africa centre of excellence in Nigeria.