The Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC) Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, has urged Nigerian universities’ Vice-Chancellors to help government end the current strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). Rasheed made the call in Abuja on Monday at the 2022 Retreat for Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities and Directors of Inter-university Centers. He described university education as fundamental to the success of any economy.
According to him, nations all over the world explore teaching, research and community service to the development of technical resources for the development of aspirations and goals.
He, therefore, said that there was a need to put in place measures, identify challenges and come up with solutions to reposition the university system.
“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 month 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 ministry of education to end this strike, by putting credible measures of ensuring stability in our campuses.”
Rasheed also said that the commission had been involved in a comprehensive curriculum review and had created many new academic programmes in the university system. He identified data science, analytics and mobile communication as programmes now added to the family of information technology in the universities.
He said that the commission had also unbundled a number of programmes, especially in Mass Communication and Agriculture to provide for independent degree programmes. He charged them to fulfil their primary role and their mandate while sympathising with them on how difficult their role is especially during the current strike.
He charged 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 university system. Also, the Minister of State for Education, Mr Goodluck Opiah, urged the vice-chancellors to maintain their key role in ensuring adherence to their mandate.
Opiah urged the vice-chancellors to manage the day-to-day administration of the universities, by working with the 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 university system.