Some university scholars have said the National Universities Commission’s uniform curriculum for universities contradicts global standards.

Recently, the Academic Staff Union of Universities in a statement accused the NUC of imposing a new curriculum on universities.

The union noted that it had officially rejected the curriculum, even as it accused the NUC of failing to abide by its mandate.

A former Academic Staff Union of Universities’ chairman, University of Lagos, Dr Dele Ashiru, told our correspondent that NUC was overreaching itself by trying to set a uniform curriculum standard for universities in Nigeria.

He narrated that universities would have focus if they were allowed to prepare their peculiar curricula.

“The advantages are that universities will have focus because universities have peculiarities. They should be allowed to look at their area, and their local environment, look at the challenges there, and try to tailor university education to solve social and community problems. You cannot expect a university in Lagos and another one in Jigawa to be teaching Political Science in the same form. In Lagos for example, it is a state of aquatic splendor as they said. They may not have such in some other land areas, and then you are imposing the way UNILAG will teach Aquatic Culture, and asking people who have not seen water before to teach aquatic culture in the same way. Such destroys the dynamism and versatility, which is what university education should provide. There is nowhere in the world that is done.”

He stressed that the Universities’ Senates should be allowed to determine the focus of the university, the discipline, the direction, and determine the trend of requisite manpower that could drive that focus and dynamism.

“A situation where you put a straight curriculum on universities without the ability to solve social problems should be avoided.”

Dr Gbenga Owolabi of the Department of Mass Communication, Lagos State University, Ojo, explained that the universities were located in different states and geopolitical zones, saying each had its peculiarity.

He added, “If the curriculum is generated by the universities, they will be able to customise it in a way that will serve the society where they are domiciled. The universities will normally put into consideration the cultural social and economic needs of each society into consideration before they design curricula. “What NUC did was lump all the universities together without considering their environments and needs. This is simply going to be counterproductive.”

Also speaking, Dr Kemi Oriola of the Department of Creative Arts, Tai Solarin University of Education, Ogun State, added that “It gives room for curriculum implementers to plan and develop their curricula. Every university has a vision and mission statement different from others. Curricula should be tailored to address the vision and mission of each university. Manpower needs and ability to remunerate vary from one university to another.”

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