Recently, the National Universities Commission (NUC) announced the scrapping of Pre-degree and Diploma programmes in Nigerian universities. In view of this development, the Director, Institute for Human Resources Development (INHURD), Professor Francis Showemimo, has made some clarifications on the effect of the ban on the activities of INHURD, saying the directive had not in a way affected the institute negatively. Professor Showemimo disclosed that INHURD is an institute that is semi-autonomous in nature and that the major thing that links the institute with FUNAAB, as a University, is the issue of ownership.
Professor Showemimo said the ban by NUC did not come to the institute unprepared and hence, the reason why INHURD is located far from the main campus and operating on the semi-autonomous status. He, however, posited that the ban would help the University Management to expedite action by incorporating INHURD with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), so that it would be able to stand on its own and only be overseen by FUNAAB.
The Director justified the Federal Government’s stance for placing such a ban because other universities running the programmes were now breaking the rules of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), by promising their students automatic admission into their various universities without even sitting for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME). One of the major and notable differences between INHURD and other universities running Pre-degree and Diploma programmes, is that INHURD students usually undergo academic training for a period of time before they sit for the INHURD internal examination and at the same time sitting for UTME, which they must pass excellently. These, according to him, would enable the students to get admitted into the universities of their choice. He said this year, the Pre-degree programmes had commenced over a month ago so that admitted students would be able to sit for the examination and pass the screening, before being admitted as substantive candidates into any university of their choice.
On the alleged high cost of running Pre-degree programmes in the country and the possible ways to close the gap between the rich and the common parents, in order to have their children enrolled for the programme, Professor Showemimo disclosed further that INHURD remained the most affordable establishment that runs pre-degree programmes in the whole of South-West. He, however, disagreed with the notion that education, once acquired, can be termed expensive, saying that if education is seen to be expensive, ignorance should be tried.
Speaking further, he said he believed everybody is richly endowed and that we are all in a knowledge-based and economy driven society, where one is either knowledgeable in academics or other vocatios, which can be converted into money. He added that INHURD was very considerate in the charging of fees and that for the institute to keep on running administratively such as pay staff salaries and tutors, maintain equipment, keep the lawns and the environment clean and many more, money was needed to do so, while the institute would not exploit its students.
The programmes being run in the institute include Pre-degree in Science and Management Science, Cambridge A’ level that is being administered from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, as well as the Joint Universities Preliminary Examination Board (JUPEB), which a consortium of universities established and which is still expanding. Another programme is the Interim Joint Matriculation Board Examination (IJMBE), which is being supervised by the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria while both JUPEB and IJMBE are also ‘A’ level programmes.