By Milcah Tanimu
The National Universities Commission (NUC) has announced that the implementation of the Core Curriculum Minimum Academic Standards (CCMAS) will commence in September 2023. The CCMAS document is intended to guide universities in designing curricula for their programs, incorporating innovation into content and delivery, and achieving the broader educational goals of the country.
Speaking at a Stakeholders’ Colloquium on CCMAS in Abuja, Chris Maiyaki, the Acting Executive Secretary of NUC, expressed the belief that the CCMAS would elevate Nigerian universities to higher standing within Africa. He noted that 70% of the curriculum would be defined by the CCMAS, while universities would retain autonomy over the remaining 30%.
Maiyaki emphasized that the implementation of the CCMAS is a crucial step in shaping the future of the education sector. The development of the CCMAS involved collaboration with experts from universities, regulatory bodies, the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), and other stakeholders. Maiyaki stated that the CCMAS reflects a global initiative aimed at equipping graduates with knowledge and skills that will contribute to the nation’s development.
In his remarks, the Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, encouraged universities to make optimal use of the 30% portion of the curriculum that the university senate controls. He stressed that learning outcomes, skills, and soft skills should be prioritized, regardless of the core discipline. These skills should be applicable within the university environment, the country, and the global community.
The minister acknowledged the flexibility inherent in the CCMAS structure, which allows universities to adapt it to their unique strengths and local contexts. He commended universities that have already finalized their 30% curriculum component and submitted it for review. Mamman assured ongoing commitment from the Federal Government to maintain the national and global competitiveness of the education system.
Former Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Prof. Michael Faborode, delivered a keynote address at the event. He noted that the CCMAS aims to diversify and differentiate the education system, providing administrative guidelines and a unified legal framework. Faborode praised universities that have complied by uploading their curriculum inputs into the CCMAS. This step is crucial for ensuring global relevance, competitiveness, and employability of graduates.
The Core Curriculum Minimum Academic Standards (CCMAS) was developed in 2018 as a revision of the Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards (BMAS) which had been in use since 2007. The CCMAS encompasses 17 disciplines, reflecting the evolving demands of the 21st century and including fields such as administration, health sciences, arts, engineering, law, and more.