By Abu Maleek
As a University in the nation’s capital, it is the expectation of many that it should be a model in terms of standard of infrastructure, academic capacity, and ultimately be the envy of others. But after about 30 years since its inception, the struggle to attain both administrative and academic efficiency has been very real, daunting and embarrassing.
The latest blow amid others in the past few years is the loss of National Universities Commission (NUC) accreditation for courses – notably Political Science and Sociology. There has been a back and forth movement about the legitimacy of courses offered at the University after falling short of NUC accreditation criteria like teacher to students ratio, staff strength, functional and adequate infrastructures like classrooms, libraries, etc.
The accreditation crisis is been a long time coming. Back in 2016, the institution, being the most notable casualty lost accreditation for about 14 of its then 45 courses after a previous 2014 academic audit by NUC. The document containing the status of all courses offered by the institution showed that only 14 were fully accredited while 21 were given interim approval by the NUC and only 10 have full accreditation. Of the 21 given 2 years interim approval, Political Science and Sociology were among them, and the procedure is that after two more NUC visits within that period, the courses would lose approval if terms are still not met.
Although some courses got full accreditation in April last year, the University’s governing council spokesperson, Ediga Agbo said that the future of the University was still bleak and hoped for a 95% courses accreditation when NUC visited again, but given the current circumstances, were courses are still losing accreditation, the woes seem endless.
At this point, one would be wondering what the problems are, and why getting a course accreditation seem like rocket science project. The answers are not even far-fetched. A keen look at familiar devils in Nigeria’s educational system would give you the answers. The educational institution is just a sub-system of a very corrupt and dysfunctional system. Government expenditure for education is below acceptable global standard; they also renege on agreements reached with the University union; the meagre allocation to schools and departments are equally mismanaged; there is no accountability culture; libraries are either totally absent or neglected, and same for general infrastructure.
In this recent development, the departments of Political Science and Sociology might also have to ask themselves some sincere and pertinent questions. Most of the departments with interim approval like the one given to them have made some progress which exempted them from NUC’s latest sledge, which means that those at the management of these affected departments have failed to met expectations.
A visit to the department of Political Science in particular would clearly reveal that the approach being adopted in running or managing the whole problem is rather lacklustre or ineffective. While the implication of losing accreditation includes inability to admit students and leaving those already inside stranded, the department would have to immediately review its strategies or enforce a result oriented management overhaul if things are not to turn out worse than they already are.
– Maleek wrote in from Abuja