In order to revive and upgrade the tertiary education system in Nigeria, "a draft review" of the nation's curriculum which is in its final stage has been revealed by the National University Commission (NUC).
Prof Abubakar Rasheed, Executive Secretary of the Commission, said there is a need to critically improve the tertiary education system in the country, as there is a very low percentage of people admitted in the universities as against the Nigerian population and that the NUC is working seriously to close that gap.
He said, "We are about to conclude the draft review of the entire country’s curriculum. We are very happy because we are currently being helped by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group.
“Currently, there are 172 universities in Nigeria. 79 are privately owned, largely by churches, some by Muslim organisations and by individuals. The others are public universities owned by the Federal Government and various state governments.
“We have a total population enrollment of slightly over two million in the entire university system, which spells a very serious problem; it is almost a crisis. A population of 200 million people with a total university enrolment of just two million translates into one percent of the population currently in the university.”
He also stated that one challenging factor is the gender ratio in the universities and their interest in core courses such as engineering and information technology.
"This is one area we have been working on and at least for the first time in many years we have now succeeded in getting reliable data, which we publish and share with all our stakeholders. Well, I am very happy to say that in most universities, actually, there are more female than male students, especially in private universities.
In general, it is just about 42 percent of the total population that are female, and about 58 percent are males,” he said.
He further emphasized that the government is doing its best to integrate more formal graduates into teaching, especially in core courses such as engineering, environmental science, medical sciences and agriculture.