From Fred Ezeh, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has called for a review of Nigeria’s university curriculums to focus on self-employment and job creation.

Speaking at the 12th Convocation of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), President Buhari commended the institution for addressing the challenge of access to higher education but noted that the focus of education should shift to preparing students for the world after school instead of relying on the government or other institutions for employment opportunities.

The President’s call for curriculum reform aims to enable Nigerian graduates to create jobs for themselves and others, emphasizing entrepreneurship and societal relevance.

“There must be a paradigm shift in the focus and orientation of our graduates towards job creation and self-employment,” President Buhari said.

He also praised the National Universities Commission (NUC) for its work on comprehensive curriculum engineering for all programmes in Nigerian universities, which he believes will increase productivity and reduce unemployment among the country’s youths.

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The Vice Chancellor of NOUN, Prof. Olufemi Peters, disclosed that 28,740 students participated in the 12th convocation, with 45% of them being female. Of the undergraduate students, six achieved First-Class degrees, 2,306 Second Class Upper Division, 11,075 Second Class Lower Division, and 5,558 Third Class Degrees, with 279 students passing. Additionally, 2,057 students graduated from the Bachelor of Nursing Science Programme, with 85 achieving Distinction, 1,231 Credit, and 75 Pass degrees in the new classification system.

The Executive Secretary of the NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, represented the President at the event and expressed the government’s commitment to making education affordable to all through the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) mode.

He pledged continued support for NOUN by providing critical human and material infrastructure through increased annual budgetary allocations and constant interventions from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).

In conclusion, the Pro-chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council of the NOUN, Prof. Peter Okebukola, praised the university management for the number of graduates and urged them to contribute to the development of the country.

The President’s call for curriculum reform is aimed at empowering Nigerian graduates to become self-sufficient and help to reduce the country’s high rate of unemployment.