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FG reacts as ASUU threatens nationwide strike

The federal government has pleaded with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over its recent strike threat.

Politics Nigeria reports that ASUU had issued a two-week ultimatum to the government to reconstitute the governing councils of public universities.

Addressing journalists in Abuja, acting Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Chris Maiyaki, said that the federal government was working to reconstitute the governing councils of universities.

Mayaki noted that the minister of education, Prof Tahir Mamman, had put in place a panel to work on the list.

He maintained that the councils would be inaugurated once the list was consummated.

Mayaki said: “To reconstitute the councils of 61 universities is not a small feat. The government is working to ensure that people who are qualified and with the right pedigree are put in those councils so that they can deliver on Mr. President’s Renewed Hope Agenda. We know ASUU is a body of academics and are concerned about the welfare of their members and the activities in universities but we want them to be patient with the government during this period.”

Speaking on the number of universities in the country, the NUC boss said the commission was committed to expanding access to higher education.

“And for this, the current 272 universities in the NUS are not sufficient to accommodate the ever-growing demand for university education by Nigerian youths.

“Each year, Nigerian universities receive close to two million applications, only a small fraction of them are admitted. That is why there is a need for Nigeria to continue to increase access by establishing more universities to meet the demand for quality education in the country,” Maiyaki said

On the initiatives put in place by NUC to boost the nation’s university system, he said the NUC had identified strategic priorities that encompass curriculum development, quality assurance, research and innovation, infrastructure development, and internationalisation, among others.

“To encourage partnerships with industry and promote blended learning, the NUC carried out an extensive review of university curricula from the Benchmark Minimum Academic Standard to the Core Curriculum Minimum Academic Standards, which reflect the aspirations of Nigeria to attain a knowledge economy, driven by the 4 Industrial Revolution, known as 4IR, and the 21-century skills.

“The CCMAS features an expansion of academic disciplines from 14 to 17.  The implementation of the new curricula came into effect in September 2023 for the 2023/2024 academic session.

“The implementation framework of the CCMAS makes provision for the training of staff in student-centred tuition-delivery capabilities and development of textual materials to enhance teaching and learning.

“Open and Distance Learning Guidelines In a bid to assure quality in the regulation of the NUS, the Commission developed guidelines to provide a framework for the orderly adoption, integration and mainstreaming of e-learning into the conventional face-to-face modes of teaching and learning in Nigerian Universities, among other objectives.

“This initiative was needed to assure quality in the delivery of university education, via the Open and Distance Education mode, and keep pace with contemporary global best practices. The Commission produced the following guidelines, as part of the efforts to broaden open and distance learning in the Nigerian University System,“ he said.

The article was originally published on Politics Nigeria.

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