Sequel to the report of the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC)visitation panel on the universities and the recommendations of their various accreditation boards on tertiary institutions across the nation, many courses have been withdrawn from accreditation. Unfortunately, those mostly hit are the prospectivecandidates of those courses and their parents. Sadly too, many parents have emptied their bank accounts to make sure their children gain admission various universities in the 2016/2017 academic session before the withdrawal by NUC. Although the accreditation bodies are expected to do a good job by dictating lapses and areas of need in different faculties of the universities, but the expectations is that the board proffer solutions characterized with milk of human kindness considering the economic recession the same government they are serving is facing now. A total withdrawal of accreditation and the anguishing effect of this on prospective candidates due to redeemable insufficiencies in some faculties, is to say the least inhumane and unacceptable since these universities could be allowed to admit students and later resolve these queries on accreditation reports. One expects the accreditation board of the NUC to perform their task with human face since hundreds of thousands of our students bear the brunt of the negative effects. These children have paid for JAMB, studied for the JAMB examination, sat for it and incurred incidental expenses only to be told that their courses of choice didn’t scale through the accreditation huddle for no fault of theirs. Evidently, these courses that failed the accreditation huddle are professional courses in high demand that can sustain an individual for self-employment in this glaring situation of lack of white collar jobs. It is painful when an individual who is an excellent material for courses like medicine, pharmacy, law, medical laboratory and nursing, is forced to read alternative courses that compels such person to scout for skill acquisition even after graduation from our universities.
It is advisable that the NUC re-strategizes its stringent policy. The accreditation team should limit itself to an advisory role by cataloguing what a university lacks after routine inspection, what the university must do to attain excellence and encourage the governments that own such institutions to scout for funds to acquire such. The best option is not really a total ban or withdrawal of accreditation as this may give a wrong signal of witch hunt or vendetta dished out by those at the helm of affairs.
In today’s world with rapidly growing technological knowhow, persons with high intelligence quotient who are capable of studying such demanding courses must be encouraged and not discouraged by the accreditation palaver. Also, the federal and state governments should equally adhere to the policies that promote academic excellence of our students by providing the essential equipment and infrastructure such as qualified personnel, laboratory, and library among other requirements, to prevent recurrence of the sad news of withdrawal of accreditation.
Certainly, since accreditation exercise is carried out periodically, the federal and state governments cannot feign ignorance of previous accreditation reports and recommendations which may not have been complied with before the current punitive hammer fell on their institutions.
No nation ought to toil with the sound academic future of her children. Education is an inevitable tool that guarantee our children the future leaders, a comfortable place among the committee of nations. Our future leaders must represent us with pride, confidence and dignity. It is now that such expectations are cultivated. Let the government act quickly now and forestall all lapses in our ivory towers including those leading to the withdrawal of accreditation of courses