The Federal Government has insisted that the effective date for the commencement of the implementation of the newly developed Core Curriculum Minimum Academic Standards (CCMAS) for the Nigerian University System (NUS) remained September, 2023. 

This was revealed by the Honourable Minister of Education (HME), Professor Tahir Mamman, SAN, OON, in his address at the Stakeholders Colloquium on the CCMAS organised by the National Universities Commission (NUC), held at the Idris Abdulkadir Auditorium,, Abuja with  the theme: “The State of the CCMAS, Sensitization and Implementation”.

The overarching goal of the Colloquium was to finalise all necessary arrangements with stakeholders’ and to further sensitize them on the unique relevance of the CCMAS in the 21st Century towards national and global development as well as convey the NUC’s unwavering resolve to commence the implementation of the new curriculum in the NUS, this September, 2023.

Declaring the event open, the HME represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education (FME), Mr. David Adejo Andrew, expressed enthusiasm for starting his official assignment with a very critical parastatal in his Ministry, the NUC. 

He commended the efforts of the Commission for coming thus far in the system-wide curriculum review spanning over four years.

He emphasised that 70% of the total content of the CCMAS provided by the experts under the watch of NUC and the 30% of the other contents ceded to the individual University Senates to depict the uniqueness of their various universities was a welcomed novel idea which would impact positively on Nigerian Universities.

The Minister stated  that the curriculum was aimed at producing highly skilled and fit- for- purpose graduates in tandem with contemporary realities and applauded  the Commission for vigorously coordinating the system-wide curriculum exercise spanning  four years in collaboration with a myriad of stakeholders within and outside of the academia. 

He applauded the universities that have so far concluded their work on the 30% component, while calling on those that were yet to submit theirs to endeavour to do so in the shortest possible time before the onset of the next academic session.

The Honourable Minister further said that the Curricula represented the dynamic foundations upon which an educational system was built, thus shaping the intellectual and personal growth of generations of graduates and implored all stakeholders’ to ensure  that they attained the minimum required of them during the implementation of the CCMAS.

Professor Mamman particularly noted that the colloquium was yet another testament to the continued collaborative approach to university education development which the NUC had adopted over the years and called for open dialogue and constructive criticism where necessary during plenary, bearing in mind the rigour with which the CCMAS had been subjected to.

He thereafter, restated the unwavering commitment of the Government to ensuring that the NUC commenced the implementation of the new curriculum in the NUS from 2023/2024 academic session.

He, therefore, urged the academic community to adopt and adapt contemporary pedagogical methods and creativity in the delivery of the curriculum in order to attain to the evolving needs of today’s fast, but impatient learners.

Welcoming all participants to the colloquium on behlaf of the management and staff of NUC, the Acting Executive Secretary, Mr. Chris J. Maiyaki, expressed immense pleasure and honour for their active participation at the epoch-making event to discuss the “State of the Core Curriculum and Minimum Academic Standards (CCMAS), Sensitisation and implementation”

He paid particular glowing tribute to the immediate past Executive Secretary, Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, mni, MFR, FNAL, who, while in the NUC championed the development of the CCMAS and opined that the sacrificial attendance of stakeholders at the colloquium underscores their sustained commitment to the advancement of education for the future of the country.

The Acting Executive Secretary disclosed that the gathering provided unique platform to deliberate on critical matters concerning the Nigerian University System (NUS) as he considered it a privilege to share the multifaceted role of the Commission in fostering the essence and relevance of Nigerian universities.

He declared the unrepentant commitment of the NUC as the apex regulatory body for university education in Nigeria to quality assurance for optimal efficiency with a view to continuously produced graduates relevant to national amid global competitiveness.

The NUC Scribe revealed that the CCMAS was endowed with unique features tailored to meet the evolving demands of the rapidly changing world, and emphasised interdisciplinary learning, soft and critical skills development, entrepreneurship and value creation, thus reflecting a global perspective.

This approach to the curriculum, he said, was expected to equip Nigerian University graduates with the 21st Century wherewithal which transcended traditional boundaries.

He implored the participants to wholeheartedly engage in the discussions that would pave way for the successful implementation of the CCMAS with effect from September, 2023, and expressed optimism that the new skills and opportunities that would arise following the full deployment of the CCMAS shall reposition Nigerian Universities to thrive in the dynamic and interconnected globalised world of the 21st Century.

The Acting Executive Secretary informed his audience that the NUC remained a beacon of guidance and hope for a refined NUS, stating that by allowing a 30% input by universities into the curriculum for each programme, the NUC intended to foster among others, a deeper synergy with Nigerian Universities which it sees as a critical and indispensable partner of progress.

He called on all stakeholders’ to key into the global context of education which was striving towards producing graduates of unparalleled quality that could shine on the international stage.

He called on participants to contribute constructively at the colloquium towards a brighter and more globally competitive future.

Goodwill messages were delivered by the Chairman, Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Federal Universities and VC, University of Benin (UNIBEN), Professor Lilian Imuetinyan Salami, whose message was delivered by the Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Professor Adebowale Egbowole; Chairman, Committee of Directors of Academic Planning of Nigerian Universities (CODAPNU) Professor Bolanle Akinwade; the Executive Secretary, National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), Professor Paulinus Okwelle; and the CEO of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Dr. Laoye Jaiyeola on behalf of the private sector.

The major highlights of the Colloquium includes: paper presentation featuring: the Keynote Paper entitled “The State of the CCMAS, Sensitisation and Implementation” presented by Professor Michael Faborode (Former Secretary-General, Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities); “The Methodology of the CCMAS” by Dr. Noel Boidun Saliu, Deputy Executive Secretary (DES), Academics, NUC; and “The Way Forward on the CCMAS” by Professor  Muhammed Yahuza Bello (Former Vice-Chancellor, Bayero University Kano).

The event featured an interactive session which was moderated by Professor Joseph A. Ajienka (Former Vice-Chancellor, University of Port-Harcourt) which brought to the fore concerns of a few stakeholders on the CCMAS, and commendably, after exhaustive deliberations their fears were allayed.

Also in attendance were: representatives of the Chairman, Senate Committee on Tertiary Education and TETFund, Distinguished Senator Dandutse Muntari Muhammed and Chairman, House Committee on University Education, Honourable Abubakar Hassan Fulata, respectively; Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), and his counterparts at the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), and the National Education Research and Development Council (NERDC).

Other participants at the colloquium were Vice-Chancellors, representatives of the various universities Senates and Directors of Academic Planning in Nigerian Universities, the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) representing the private sector, relevant professional/regulatory bodies, relevant development partners and the media.

The Colloquium was organised in order to ensure effective implementation of the CCMAS and in recognition of the need to continuously engage stakeholders’ on all aspects of university education.