The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) says it welcomes the decision of the Minister of Education to order the suspension of some programmes at the University of Abuja to sanitise the education sector.
The Minister, Ruquayyatu Rufai, had ordered the suspension of programmes in Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Engineering and Agriculture at the university and directed that all affected students be re-distributed to related programmes.
Mrs. Rufai explained that the ministry was inundated with reports by students and parents on the status of the four professional programmes at the university, saying that the programmes were suspended to protect the future of the students.
National President of ASUU, Ukachukwu Awuzie, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Thursday that the action would also enable the university to put in place all the required facilities and infrastructure that would accelerate its accreditation.
“If we must turn around the fortunes of education in our country, we must begin by doing proper planning,” Mr. Awuzie said. “What government has done is in line with the process of strengthening the governance structure of the universities, to ensure compliance and effective programme development, as initiated by the Ministry of Education.
“The action too is to protect the future of the students because some of them have stayed for as long as eight years, without knowing their exact graduation date.”
He added that the Vice-Chancellor of the university had during one of the visits by an accreditation committee, showed efforts being made by the university authorities to get the programmes accredited.
“I was part of the team that had visited the university, and the vice-chancellor showed us a few things they had put in place. But we feel this was not good enough, because the future of the student must be protected.
“A university of such magnitude should have the basic physical infrastructure, with aesthetic appeal and not having small buildings littering everywhere, as faculties and other offices, all as a result of inadequate funding.”
He added that a similar treatment would apply to other universities, which were yet to put their acts together, in respect to the accreditation of their programmes.