Universities' Curriculum Gets Government's Attention
The Nigerian government says it will intensify efforts in ensuring a periodic review of universities' curriculum to meet national needs and be relevant to global demands.
This promise was part of President Muhammadu Buhari speech at the final day of the 2017 convocation of the University of Lagos where award of postgraduates and honorary degrees.
Buhari speech was delivered by the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Abubakar Rasheed.
The President said that it was worrisome that some Nigerian universities were still not demonstrating adequate capacities in their mandate of teaching, research and community service.
According to him, education is a key factor in the economic development of any nation in the 21st century
The advent of knowledge-based economy, educational competencies rather than natural resources would drives national development, he told the gathering.
“In Nigeria, the importance of education in national development has been enunciated in the national policy on education and adequately captured in the Ministerial Strategic Plan for Education.
“Human capital development is essential to the attainment of international goals, and universities have critical roles to play in the development of the critical mass of manpower that drives national economies,’’ he said.
According to the president, Nigeria currently has 164 universities comprising of 42 federal, 47 state and 75 private universities including a few others approved on Wednesday.
He said that, with the number, it had become increasingly imperative to reposition the country’s university system to meet the goals and aspirations behind their existence.
According to him, both developed and developing countries strive to mobilise education as the key engine of growth and development.
“But in Nigeria, it is worrisome that some Nigerian universities are not demonstrating adequate capacity for fund utilisation despite the need and justified clamours to increase funding of higher education.
“I am made to understand that some universities still find it difficult to access funds from the Tertiary Education Trustfund (TETfund) because they have not shown commitment to meeting the requirement for the release of such funds.
“In the same vein, there are hiccups to the actualisation of the NEED Assessment funds for the revitalisation of our universities because some universities have not been able to meet the requirement for further release of such funds.
“I therefore implore pro-chancellors and vice chancellors of universities in Nigeria, especially public universities to take advantage of the initiative to enable Nigeria universities to efficiently and effectively meet up with their teaching, research and community development mandates.
“Nevertheless, government will continue to make efforts to provide the needed funds to run our universities effectively,’’ he said.
Buhari noted that funding was not only about making funds available to universities, but also involved judicious management of available funds.