CCMAS Unveiled @ NUC Diamond Jubilee Celebrations Dec 20, 2022 | news The National Universities Commission (NUC) Tuesday 5th and Wednesday 6th December,2022, rolled out its drums to celebrate its 60 years of existence as the sole regulatory agency ofthe Universities and other degree-awarding institutions in Nigeria, with the unveiling of a newcurriculum- Core Curriculum Minimum Academic Standards (CCMAS) for universities inNigeria.The celebration witnessed a mammoth crowd from all walks of life, top governmentfunctionaries, members of the diploma corps, including former Executive Secretaries of theCommission, former Chairmen of NUC Board, Vice-Chancellors, among others.The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON, who unveiled the new curriculum onMonday in Abuja, said the introduction of the Core Curriculum Minimum Academic Standards(CCMAS) to university education addresses local issues, meet international standards anduplifted scholarship in the nations universities.Represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Prof.Osinbajo commended the NUC in the unbundling of such disciplines as Agriculture andemergence of three new disciplines namely Allied Health Sciences, Architecture as well asCommunication and media studies in Nigerian Universities.“This document has truly taken cognisance of the need to provide greater academic autonomy touniversities with regards to development of some percentage of course content.“I commend the Commission for this decision to share the minimum credit unit required forgraduation in the Nigerian university in the ratio of 70 to 30 per cent. This will further createinstitutional peculiarity,” he said.The Vice President further applauded the foresight of the four new disciplines mentioned.He said that NUC had been an outstanding regulatory agency that had been up to its dauntingtask of the orderly development of the Nigerian University System (NUS) through manyfunctional and efficient instruments throughout the journey spanning six decades.Prof. Osinbajo lauded the NUC for attaining the enviable fit, coming from a very humblebeginning as an advisory unit in the cabinet secretariat to a full-fledged regulatory agency fororderly development of all universities in Nigeria.He stated that the Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari placed emphasis onexpansion of access to the University which it had examplified by establishing more universitiesto ensure that the teeming youth aspiring to get admission into the university have theopportunity to do so.The Vice President observed that one of the major issues bedevilling university education inNigeria was the incessant strikes by various university-based unions in the public universities.He noted that all the issues over the years had remained the same, primarily on funding,university autonomy, infrastructure, among others, stressing that there must be honestconversation and negotiation on how to end the menace in the nation’s university system.He also called for a change of method and a better approach through which the University-basedunions should press for their demand from the government in the best interest of the NUS andthe country at large.Prof. Osinbajo reiterated that government alone could not adequately fund education in Nigeria,saying that it was therefore imperative to develop sustainable model of funding mechanismtaking into consideration the socioeconomic challenges in the country.He suggested that such a model should take cognisance of the socio-economic diversity andcompeting expectations of the Nigerian populace and workforce.The Vice President lamented that the Nigerian University System (NUS) had cumulatively lostover 50 months from 1999 till date as a result of strike actions by the Academic Staff Union ofUniversities (ASUU), bemoaning that the country had lost such amount of time to strike in itsuniversity system.He further stressed that access and quality had been the key concerns in the delivery of universityeducation in Nigeria, saying that the federal government had been supporting and wouldcontinue to support the NUS.He directed the Honourable Minister of Education, Mal. Adamu Adamu to trim the powers ofNUC with those of professional bodies trying to compete with the Commission in the area ofaccreditation.Mr. Vice President also said that the federal government was aware of the challenges the NUC isfacing in respect of overlapping of some professional bodies, the reason, according to him, hemade the clarification and gave directive to the Minister of Education to make the professionalbodies to limit their powers when it comes to approval and accreditation of programmes.In his address, the Honourable Minister of Education, represented by the Registrar, JointAdmissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, congratulated the ExecutiveSecretary, Prof. Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, mni, MFR, FNAL, for attaining 60 and forcelebration of the Anniversary of its existence as a regulatory body in Nigeria.He further commended the Executive Secretary for championing the cause of revitalisation of theNigerian University System (NUS).The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed,mni, MFR, FNAL, while making his presentation at the occasion expressed delight andwelcomed all the esteemed guests especially Prof. Sir Steve Smith, who had to spend more than36 hours on air to fly to Nigeria from his other engagement elsewhere in keeping faith withNigeria’s mandate of making university education in the Country more responsive to the needsof the society.According to him, the National Universities Commission commenced the journey to restructurethe Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards BMAS in 2018, introducing it in its place, theCore Curriculum and Minimum Academic Standards (CCMAS), with the aim to re-examineexisting and introduce new disciplines and programmes in the Nigerian University System.He said the new CCMAS, was a product of sustained stakeholder interactions over two yearswhile the composition of each panel took into consideration, the triple helix model, as a uniquefeature. This, he said, involved a blend of academic experts, academics, government (representedby NUC), and professional bodies and of course, the private sector represented by the NigerianEconomic Summit Group (NESG).In order to enrich the draft documents, copies of each discipline were forwarded to all criticalstakeholders including the relevant academic units in Nigerian Universities, the private sector,professional bodies and the academia for their comments and input.These inputs along with the curriculum of programmes obtained from some foreign andrenowned universities served as major working materials for the various panels constituted forthat purpose,’’ he stated.While making inference to the curriculum, he said, ‘‘the new curriculum unbundled the Bachelorof Agriculture, Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication and the Bachelor of ArchitectureProgrammes. It also established some emerging specializations in these fields as obtainedglobally.He continued; “This is in furtherance of the goal of producing fit for purpose graduates. TheAllied Health Sciences was also carved out as a new Discipline from the existing Basic MedicalSciences discipline’’.Prof. Rasheed further explained that the CCMAS documents are uniquely structured to providefor 70% of core courses for each programme, while allowing universities to utilise the remaining30% for other innovative courses in their peculiar areas of focus.In addition to the overall Learning Outcomes for each discipline, there are also LearningOutcomes for each programme and course. In general, programmes are typically structured suchthat a student does not carry less than 30 credit units or more than 48 credit units per session, hesaid.Giving some specifics on the new curriculum, the Executive Secretary stated that MassCommunication was unbundled to Advertising, Broadcasting, Development CommunicationStudies, Film and Multimedia, Information and Media Studies, Journalism and Media Studies.Prof. Rasheed added that Agriculture was unbundled into programmes in its components of BSc.Agricultural Economics, BSc. Animal Science, BSc. Crop Science as well as BSc. Soil Science,noting that the curriculum also covered the unbundling of Architecture and Introduction ofArchitecture as a new discipline with programmes like Architecture, Landscape Architecture,Architectural Technology, Interior Architecture Design, and Naval Architecture, among others.The Celebration of the NUC @ 60 besides witnessing the unveiling of a new Core CurriculumMinimum Academic Standards (CCMAS) with 17 disciplines and 238 academic programmes toreplace the Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards (BMAS) currently being used in theNUS, also featured the inauguration of the National Steering Committee on TransnationalEducation (TNE).Speaking on the journey of the CCMAS, the former Executive Secretary, NUC, Prof. EmeritusPeter Okebukola, OFR, reiterated that the new curriculum addressed the knowledge and skillsgap in the existing curriculum, adding that the CMAS provided 70 per cent of core curriculum asminimum for all Nigerian universities and allowed Universities to customise the curriculum byadding 30 per cent of courses to reflect their uniqueness, missions and peculiarities.Prof. Okebukola said that the new curriculum was to stimulate greater learning in its delivery andstrategically configured to produce future fit and best graduates. It also provided essentialfoundation for lifelong learning, nature’s deep thinkers and problem solvers and graduates highlyskilled in their professions and disciplines and also encouraged interdependencies ofdisciplines.Goodwill messages were delivered by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutionsand TETFund; Chairman, House Committee on Education and Services; Chairman, Committeeof Pro-Chancellors of Federal Universities; as well as the Chairman, Association of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities.Goodwill messages were also delivered by: former Chairmen of the NUC Board; formerExecutive Secretaries of NUC; the Executive Secretaries of TETFund, National Board forTechnical Education (NBTE) and the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE);the Acting Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC); and the Registrar ofthe Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB).In a vote of thanks, the Chairman, Local Organising Committee (LOC) and the DeputyExecutive Secretary (DES), Administration, Mr. Chris Maiyaki stated that the event was a newdawn and a milestone in the history of the NUC and the NUS as a whole.He commended the unalloyed efforts and sacrifices of the past Executive Secretaries of theCommission, which, according to him, had culminated in the celebration of the golden jubilee ofthe NUC.While appreciating all and sundry for their unwavering supports to the Commission, heapplauded the government and all NUC stakeholders for keeping faith with the sole Universityregulatory agency in Nigeria.The celebrations also featured symposia, recognitions and a dinner, where the dignitaries hadopportunity to un-wine after the rigorous days of celebration.At the Dinner, stakeholders and NUC family members posthumously and the living werehonoured.