Kuni Tyessi in Abuja
The Executive Secretary of the National Universities’ Commission (NUC), Professor Abubakar Rasheed, has urged vice chancellors of Nigerian universities to help government in bringing to an end the ongoing strike by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Rasheed made this call yesterday in Abuja at the 2022 Retreat for Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities’ and Directors of Inter-university Centres.
He described university education as fundamental to the success of any economy since nations all over the world explore teaching, research and community service for their development aspirations and goals.
He emphasised the need to put in place measures that could identify challenges and come up with solutions to reposition the university system.
Rasheed said: “This year’s retreat is bordering on area of threat and uncertainty in our public universities, due to the unfortunate strike, especially as ASUU is in its sixth months now.
“And as vice-chancellors, we have a deep understanding of the negative consequences of the prolonged closure of universities. We know what it means in terms of our operation as an economy.
“As vice-chancellors, we know what this strike means in terms of our institutions’ reputation but more importantly, we know what it means in terms of the future of the youths.
“Our retreat must, therefore, identify and support ongoing efforts by government and the Federal Ministry of Education to end this strike, by putting credible measures of ensuring stability in our campuses.”
He also said that the commission had been involved in comprehensive curriculum review and had created many new academic programmes in the university system that included data science, analytics and mobile communication as programmes now added to the family of information technology in the universities.
Rasheed said that the NUC had also unbundled a number of programmes, especially in Mass Communication and Agriculture, to provide for independent degree programmes.
He charged the vice chancellors to fulfill their primary role and their mandate while sympathising with them on how difficult their role has become, especially during the current strike.
He tasked them to make use of the retreat to open up the problems and challenges in the system while coming up with recommendations that would strengthen the Nigerian universities system.
Also, the Minister of State for Education, Mr. Goodluck Opiah, urged the vice-chancellors to maintain their key role of ensuring adherence to their mandate and to manage the day-to-day administration of the universities, by working with university’s council and the government to promote the fortune of the university education.
He also commended the NUC for its various initiatives in repositioning the country’s university system.