Covenant Supports NUC’s Education Reform Initiative
The Management of Covenant University has offered its support to efforts by the National Universities Commission (NUC) to identify and address problems in the higher education landscape of the country.
This offer of solidarity was made recently when representatives of the NUC under the aegis of ‘NUC Strategic Mission Visit on Higher Education Reform in Nigeria’ paid a courtesy call on the Covenant Management.
Speaking during the visit, the leader of the NUC team, comprised of members of the newly instituted ‘Strategy Advisory Committee’, Dr. Joshua Attah, stated that one of the goals of the current NUC Executive Secretary, Professor Abubakar Rasheed, was to interact with key officers of Nigerian universities, in order to elicit relevant information needed to identify problem areas in the nation’s education sector and to create solutions towards addressing them.
According to Dr. Attah, who is also the Coordinator, Africa Centres of Excellence, the desire to solve these problems had necessitated the setting up of the Strategy Advisory Committee by the executive secretary of the NUC. He said that his team, which will be visiting a number of universities to engage with stakeholders, had chosen to start with Covenant University (a privately-owned institution) to demonstrate that the NUC identifies with all the nation’s universities, public or private.
Dr. Attah stated that one of the issues bordering the NUC is that of access. He explained that about 2 million students are being churned out from the secondary schools annually, trying to gain admission into the universities, but the entire carrying capacity is just about 500,000, with about 1.5 million having nowhere to go even if they meet the requirements of entering into the university.
The NUC, he said, is also concerned about the relevance of existing curricular, availability of facilities, and the quality of manpower in the universities.
In his response, the Vice Chancellor, Covenant University, Professor AAA. Atayero, thanked the NUC team for making the University its first point of call. He agreed with the team that it had become imperative to reform the Nigerian university system, in order to drop obsolete curricular and adopt more viable, relevant, and innovative practices.
The Vice-Chancellor stated that Covenant University is still a work in progress, but has thus far been a propagator of the departure philosophy, which seeks to make great strides through innovative and unconventional means. This, he said, is because the mission of the University is to raise a new generation of leaders, not a new generation of job seekers.
He encouraged the NUC team to move on with the idea of reforming the educational sector, as that was the only way to do things differently. He stressed that the decision of the NUC leadership would aid change and progress in the nation’s education landscape.
The NUC officials interacted with other members of the Covenant Management, who contributed their thoughts and ideas concerning the areas they believe should attract changes in the Nigerian university system. The team also met with some Professors of the University as well as a number of students, with whom they interacted asking questions and receiving relevant answers towards the achievement of the reform goals.
Others at the meeting were the Registrar, Dr. Olumuyiwa Oludayo; Director, Financial Services, Pastor Sunday Abayomi; Dean, School of Post Graduate Studies, Professor Samuel Wara; Dean, College of Leadership Development Studies, Professor Amos Alao; representative of the Dean, College of Engineering, Professor David Orodu; Dean, College of Science and Technology, Professor Kolawole Ajanaku; Dean, College of Business and Social Sciences, Professor Philip Alege; Director, Vice-Chancellor’s Office, Professor David Omole and other senior officers of the University.