NUC Directs Universities To Resume Academic Activities On January 18

A file photo of the NUC logo at the commission’s office in Abuja.

 

The National Universities Commission (NUC) has directed Vice Chancellors of universities to resume academic activities on January 18, 2021.

It explained that the instruction was given in line with the directive of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 on the resumption of schools across the country.

NUC’s directive was contained in a statement signed by the Deputy Executive Secretary (Administration) of the commission, Mr Chris Maiyaki, on Friday.

In the statement issued on behalf of the NUC Executive Secretary, Professor Abubakar Rasheed, Maiyaki urged the universities to safeguard lives by strictly adhering to the extant safety protocols and the guidelines of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on COVID-19.

He noted that the guidelines have been communicated on several occasions to university authorities through circulars from the commission.

The deputy executive secretary stated that on the resumption of academic activities, universities must under no circumstance violate the full cycle of the semester system, consistent with the Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards (BMAS) approved by the NUC, as well as other extant quality assurance standards and guidelines.

He, however, said officers on Grade Level 12 and below have been advised to remain at home for a five-week period as earlier directed by the Federal Government.

Public universities in the country have been closed since March 2020 after the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) embarked on an indefinite strike that lasted about 10 months.

A lockdown imposed by the government to contain the spread of COVID-19 also forced the students to remain at home.

FG To Set New Policy Direction In Universities

Nigeria Needs More Private Universities - NUC Exec SecretaryThe Federal Government says that the incessant face-off between the governing councils of universities and the institutions’ authorities over the running of the day-to-day activities in the universities will no longer be tolerated.

The warning was handed down by the Minister of State for Education, Professor Anthony Anwuka, during the 31st convocation ceremony of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Rivers State.

The Minister who represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the occasion also stated some new policy direction in the university system across the country.

“We must stop housing those who are adventurers, who have no business being in the universities to be in the university. In that wise, it’s being proposed and it will fly that at the end of this academic year, any student that fails to get up to 0.5 GPA should seize being a student of the university.

“The universities will continue from now on to house people who are serious with what they have come here to do. If you score less than 0.5 in your GPA, you are out and out for good.

“Secondly, Mr Vice Chancellor, starting from this year, JAMB has been advised to stop sending students to our professional universities with unrelated disciplines.

“If you are a University of Agriculture, your business should be agriculture; not in medicine, not in law, not in accountancy. Science and technology must remain University of Science and Technology.

“If states wish to have conventional universities, then they must speak to the Federal Government and such schools will be given to such states,” Professor Anwuka said.

A Dangerous Trend

The Vice Chancellor of UNIPORT, Professor Ndowa Lale, on his part, lamented the rate at which student unionism degenerates into what he described as a dangerous trend for the university authorities.

Professor Lale called on the Federal Government to regulate the operational structure of Students’ Union Government, adding that they pose threat to the statutory administration of the universities.

“Union leaders ascribe to themselves funny sounding titles as executive president and commander-in-chief of Aluta forces, secretary general and head of service, chief judge, senate president, honourable speaker of parliament, special advisers, woman leader, chief whip, stakeholders and so on.

“All these high sounding offices operate under the auspices of a Students’ Union Government which now operates at parallel point with the appointed authority of the institution,” he claimed.

The convocation ceremony was witnessed by dignitaries such as the Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Ipalebo Banigo, who represented Governor Nyesom Wike; Vice Chancellors from other universities and top government officials among other guests.