The Vice Chancellor of Bayero University, Kano (BUK), Professor Sagir Adamu-Abbas, has said that the University has redesigned its 30 per cent of the new Core Academic Minimum Academic Standards (CCMAS) for Nigerian universities to boost skill acquisition of students and employability of graduates.
He also disclosed that the university authority has introduced various measures to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal on the part of the staff and ameliorate the impact of recent registration fees hike on the part of students.
Adamu-Abbas, spoke during the weekend in Kano, when he received in audience, a delegation of Education Correspondents Association of Nigeria (ECAN) at the Main Campus of the University.
ECAN’s delegation from Abuja was led by the chairman of the Association, Mr Chuks Ukwuatu, who commended the efforts of the Vice Chancellor in ensuring the visibility of the University, especially as BUK was ranked as fourth University in Nigeria in recent global ranking coming after University of Ibadan, University of Lagos and Covenant University.
The vice chancellor expressed concerns about the high level of graduate unemployment in Nigeria among whom some industries and employers of labour described as “unemployable”.
He noted that in order to effectively address the challenge, universities in Nigeria should redesign their curricula, saying the new core curriculum developed by the National Universities Commission (NUC) for Nigerian universities gives 30 per cent to institutions to design based on their peculiarities.
Adamu-Abbas added that apart from establishing Skill Acquisition Centre within the Students Welfare department, where students go to learn trade of their choices, experts were also hired from outside Centre to train students on specific entrepreneurial skills not provided at the Centre
The VC said: “Nigerian universities not just BUK, have to redesign their curriculum. But I believe, you know that NUC has already commenced that and we have already keyed-in and we have already submitted our 30% curriculum review to NUC.
“We factored industry and professional body in designing the 30% curriculum. That was what we did and submitted to NUC. When students graduate, they can easily fit into the industries or they can create something on their own,” he said.
Recall that NUC, while launching the new curriculum recently announced that the Commission only developed 70 per cent of the CCMAS leaving 30 per cent for each university to develop in line with the peculiarities.
Speaking on increase of registration fees, the Vice Chancellor, lamented that the cost of running the institution was enormous, especially the high cost of provision of electricity, which he estimated about 75 million monthly.
He revealed that the bill for electricity is about N35 million monthly while the bill for purchase of diesel for generators is about 40 million.
He said the management was forced to increase the registration because it was practically impossible to provide social services to a student population around 45,000, including postgraduate and staff population of over 5,000, teaching and non-teaching.
He, however, said the increment was done in full consultation with staff unions including members of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) among others and students.
He revealed that the University also introduced welfare packages for their staff such as non-interest loans from Microfinance banks payable within six months.
“Other incentives introduced to cushion the effect of the increase in fuel price that has caused the high price of commodities, were provision foodstuffs, shuttle buses, bicycle loans for junior staff payable within nine months at a cheaper rate,” he said.
He also disclosed that the university equally introduced a kind of job scheme for students, whereby they were engaged to render some services to the university and they were paying N15,000 monthly
“This does not affect their normal learning because it does not take much of their time as some were to clean some surroundings or render certain minus service within the university and got paid at the end of the month.”
According to him, at the initial stage when this was introduced over 2,000 students applied, while 120 of them got the offer, disclosing that the number would be increased to 150 during the new recruitment that would be done immediately after the students resume on the campus.