By Chienyenwa Chukwuemeka
Professors, professionals and practitioners of communication in Nigeria are deciding scrapping Mass Communication studies in Nigeria Universities, as they present new communication curricula to National Universities Commission (NUC).
The document containing the new communication curricula for communication studies in Nigerian universities, which seeks to unbundle mass communication and create seven degree awarding departments to be domiciled under a School/College of Communication, was formally presented to the Executive Secretary of the NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, in Abuja, Nigeria.
Proponents of the new curricula who have been working on it for the past two years and who were present to advocate for its acceptance and adoption included professors and senior lecturers from the departments of mass communication/communication studies of numerous universities spread across the six geo-political zones of the country;.
Also, regulatory agencies such as the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and Nigerian Press Council (NPC); professional bodies such as the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) and Radio, Television and Theartre Arts Workers Union (RATTAWU) were also involved
In addition were also practitioners, such as the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), print media journalists and the Director of Public Relations of the Nigerian Navy; and international development agencies such as UNESCO, UNICEF and the MacArthur Foundation.
Also, Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Fund (TETFUND), Prof. Suleiman Elias Bogoro was personally present to support the NUC Executive Secretary and to present a goodwill message at the ceremony.
However, the seven independent degrees- awarding departments which the curricula seek to establish in place of mass communication are, Journalism & Media Studies, Public Relations, Advertising, Broadcasting, Film & Multimedia Studies, Development Communication Studies, and Information & Media Studies.
The convener, Professors Umaru Pate, Idowu Sobowale, Ralph Akinfeleye and Tonnie Iredia, formerly presented the curricula on behalf of the communication professors, professionals and practitioners.
Receiving the document, the Executive Secretary of the NUC, Prof. Rasheed said a review of the mass communication curriculum was long overdue and promised to expedite action in the process of finalizing and adopting the curricula.
Prof. Eserinune McCarty Mojaye of the Department of Mass Communication, Kwara State University was among the notable dignitaries at the ceremony, including also, Professors Palph Akinfeleye, Idowu Sobowale, Umaru Pate, Tonnie Iredia, Stella Okunna, Nnanyelugo Okoro, Sunny Udeze, Muyiwa Popoola, Godwin Oboh, Mr. Kingsley Osadolor and a host of others.