The Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, mni, MFR, FNAL, has expressed satisfaction with the partnership between the Commission and the National Postgraduate College of Nigeria (NPMCN) on the improvement of medical education in Nigeria.
Receiving the President of NPMCN, Professor O. B Olalilly Taria and his team in his office last week, the executive secretary described the existing relationship between the NUC and NPMCN as critical, stating that the postgraduate medical college had been a very relevant partner in the commission’s guest to review the curriculum of medical.
Professor Rasheed stated that NUC was concluding the review of universities curriculum including that of medicine for which the Commission reached out and borrowed ideas from countries like Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, whose universities have very strong medical education.
The NUC scribe gave the example of Iran which run a five-year programme in medicine and upon graduation the students seamlessly move into their house job whereas that in Nigeria students were left to search for where to do their house job after graduating from the medical college.
He said that Nigeria needed to study these countries to put things right and expressed dismay on the rivalry between the different medical bodies which led to unnecessary frictions.
Prof. Rasheed also said that government was not investing enough in Medical Education but expressed delight that things were now getting better with government’s renewed interest in building more universities of medical sciences which, he described, as a welcome development.
He agreed that it was a good idea to have more medical universities in the country provided they would be properly funded and assured that NUC would on its part encourage more investments in medical universities.
He urged NPMCN to visit the existing ones to see the facilities on ground and to discuss with the owners of the universities and the students on ways to improve and report back to the commission.
Professor Rasheed further assured the team that NUC would visit the Post Graduate Medical College with a high-powered team to see how they are conducting their affairs.
He reiterated that NUC does not intend to criminalise or abolish Masters Programme as its acquisition was eligibility for obtaining PhD which must be in clinic sciences, insisting that the Senate of a university was the only body to approve the award of PhD’s.
He added that admission into the Doctor of Medicine (MD) programme should be restricted to Fellows or those undergoing Residency Training.
He argued that the reason many Nigerian doctors travel out of the country was because of the roadblock they encounter after graduating from the universities.
He stated that the country was under investing in Medical Education and that there was the need for NUC and NPMCN to broaden collaboration which would incorporate Directors in the Ministry of Health.
Responding, Professor I. A. Yakasai, Provost College of Health Sciences, Bayero University, Kano, thanked the executive secretary for motivating them and sending them on tour of Egypt and Sudan.
He said the trips to Egypt and Sudan were very revealing because of the experience they gathered on how things were done the right way in their medical schools, adding that Basic Medical training was not as robust as it should be in Nigeria when compared to the countries visited.
He noted that the number of doctors Nigeria produced was still not enough, but said the medical schools could be more efficient with the right things done in the country.
The Provost agreed with Prof. Rasheed that NUC and NPMCN should meet often to deepen collaboration.
In the delegation of the College were its Registrar, Professor Owoidho Udofia; Vice-President, Professor Borodo Musa; Treasurer, Professor Anyanwu.