Maintain full semester programme, NUC tells varsities

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The National Universities Commission (NUC) has directed universities across the country to strictly comply with the full circle of the semester system as approved by the Benchmark Minimum Academic Standard (BMAS) of the commission.

The Executive Secretary, Professor Abubakar Rasheed, who gave the directive as contained in NUC’s monthly bulletin, said academic standard must not be sacrificed for schedule.

The commission gave the directive in spite of the loss of weeks of academic activities, following the Coronavirus-induced lockdown imposed on large gatherings.

The lockdown had led to the closure of tertiary institutions, a situation that was further worsened by the more than eight months strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), between March and December last year.

The period of the forced lockdown and the prolonged strike resulted in the loss of almost an academic session.

As a few universities resumed this month, there have been fears that they may have to skip academic activities listed in the curriculum of the missed semesters in order to complete the session on schedule.

However, the commission has insisted that no semester should be skipped and advised them to adhere to other extant quality assurance standards and guidelines for smooth and qualitative academic activities.

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“On the resumption of academic activities, universities must under no circumstance violate the full circle 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 said.

The directive, the bulletin said, was sequel to repeated requests for clarification from universities on the implications of a circular earlier issued last month on same subject matter by the commission.

The commission also urged universities to strictly adhere to the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 protocols and other safety measures against the pandemic.

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