Unemployment: Buhari orders review of varsity’s curriculum

• Seeks stable, uninterrupted academic activities

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the review of the curriculum of Nigerian universities to focus on the development of entrepreneurial skills of students which will ultimately impact greatly on efforts to generate employment and reduce the high rate of poverty in the country.

He has also urged Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and other staff unions of universities to allow stability and uninterrupted academic activities in the institutions for the overall objectives of attaining national development goals with the institutions as pivots.

Buhari who is the visitor to the University of Abuja spoke on Saturday at the 24th convocation ceremony of the University, where a total of 10,338 students were graduated from different faculties.

At the ceremony, Chinenye Ngene received an award for emerging the overall best graduating student with First-Class from the Department of Statistics scoring Cumulative Grade Points Average (CGPA) of 4.83.

President Buhari said the government would continue in its determination to improve the deteriorating infrastructural facilities in the universities, teacher development, and curriculum review in tandem with the needs of the larger society.

He said the National Universities Commission (NUC) has been directed to initiate the process of reviewing the curriculum of universities which would, among other relevant activities, include provision for the minimum level of qualification for university teachers.

The President who was represented by the Executive Secretary of NUC, Professor Rasheed Abubakar, said the renewed drive to reinvigorate the education sector was to generate in the citizens the spirit of creativity and entrepreneurship which would ultimately galvanize the drive towards self-employment.

He said: “Education will continue to be a high priority item in my government’s drive to transform the economy.

“The task of overcoming the problems of the education sector is not a function and responsibility of government alone. It should emerge through a concerted effort of government, parents, stakeholders and the entire society.

“Government will continue to provide Nigerians equal and massive access to education at all levels such that they can fulfil their dream of participating in the nation’s socio-economic development and empowerment of our youths.

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“I believe, fervently, that advancement in education at all levels will guarantee our collective drive to grow the economy for the betterment of all Nigerians.

“Let me reassure you all that the Federal Government would continue to explore all avenues of addressing youth unemployment.

“Government had, in the last four years, adopted short-term and long term approaches to tackling the problem.

“These included the N-Power Volunteer Programme, a stop-gap measure aimed at tackling unemployment, under which a total of 500,000 unemployed graduates were engaged over a three-year period as a short-term approach while government will endeavour to provide more lasting economic measures in its fiscal policies that seek to reflate the economy and open up employment opportunities over the years.

“You would recall that agencies supervising those youth employment and loan schemes were reorganised recently to reposition them for more effective service delivery,” he said.

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Abuja in his address announced that a total of 10,338 students who have met the prescribed requirement of being worthy in both learning and character to be awarded various degrees and diplomas by the institution.

Na’Allah also disclosed that the Prime Minister of Ethiopia and award winner of 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, who was to be conferred with the University of Abuja Honorary Doctorate Degree of Law (honoris causa), was absent and that the award is deferred to the next convocation ceremony.

Former Chief of Army Staff and ex-Governor of Kwara State, Major General Alwali Jauji Kazir (rtd.), was conferred with Honorary Doctorate Degree of Political Science (honoris causa).

The university also conferred posthumous Honorary Doctorate Degree of Literature on the late Mallam Ibrahim Buhari Tubali, the first-class oral singer and famous royal court musician of the late 19th Century in Hausa land, Northern Nigeria.

The Vice-Chancellor who is barely 7 months in office, vowed to rid the institution of the twin evils of poor work ethics and general indiscipline bordering on academic and other social malfeasance.

He disclosed that 26 students bagged First Class, 866 Second Class Upper, Second Class Lower 2,317, Third Class 339, and Pass 52.

He said hitherto, the university was afflicted with some unsavoury challenges that have made smooth and seamlessness operations difficult in the system.

He listed some of these challenges to include late reporting and early closure from work by staff, admission racketeering, poor attendance at lectures by lecturers and students, loose administration and management of examinations, falsification of academic records, examination misconduct, cultism and sexual harassment among staff and students.

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