Doctors fault ASUU’s stance on PhD possession for appointment of VCs



Say Medical Fellowships graduates are more eligible

Doctors under the umbrella of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) have faulted a media statement credited to the President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Dr. Nasir Faggae, calling for discrimination against those without PhD degree from being appointed as Vice Chancellors (VCs).

NMA in a statement, yesterday, signed its President, Dr. Kayode Obembe, said Medical Fellowships holders are more eligible to be appointed than those with PhD degree.

The statements credited to Faggae read in parts: “The national president of ASUU threw his weight behind the ongoing struggle… urging the local congress of the union to insist that only those with PhD degree becoming the Vice Chancellor.”

Obembe said the NMA considers this unwholesome affront by the President of ASUU as unfortunate, as the context borders on holders of post-graduate Medical Fellowships. “While not joining issue with anyone as every citizen is entitled to an opinion, NMA wishes to condemn in strong terms, the open inciting nature and unveiled hatred leveled against the eminently qualified Nigerians whose eligibility to equally aspire to lead the Universities, has been proved beyond all reasonable doubt,” he said.

The NMA President said while advising ASUU to abide by the regulations and conventions in the education industry, the Association refers the entire public to the recommendation of the National Universities Commission (NUC) – the statutory regulatory body of University education in the country- that the fellowship of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria (NPMCN) and its equivalent is a suitable alternative to PhDs in relation to appointment of Vice Chancellors.

Obembe said for the purpose of education and enlightenment to those who do not know, it is worth stating the following: the medical postgraduate fellowships far outweigh any PhD, both in content and context; entrance requirement into the university for the same people being maligned against demands comparatively higher Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) cut off scores/points; the Calendar year of study for Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) is 11 months, others eight months; unlike the PhD, entrance into the fellowship programme is via a very competitive international common entrance selection process; whereas the contents of the medical postgraduate fellowship studies and training programmes require at least six years to complete, those of PhD need only three years on whole- a 100 per cent difference; and the credit units for fellowship have been calculated by authorities in education metrics and curriculum studies and have been adjudged to be at least thrice that of PhD.

The NMA President said the Association is most appalled that at such a time as now when every hand should be on the deck to drive the nation’s university systems from the present doldrums to international standards, Faggae chose to play over the nation’s intelligence by inciting and attempting to use the platform of divide and rule tactics to achieve anticipated cheap popularity.

Obembe said while describing these feeble antics mischievous but laughable, NMA wonders why this clamour to discriminate against medical professors is resurfacing at a time as now, despite the efforts the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) made at educating the leaders of ASUU following the crises the same issue generated at the University of Jos few years ago.

Faggae further incited the congress of the ASUU to insist that only those with PhD degree become the Vice Chancellor, as according to him ‘’you cannot preside over the award of a PhD degree that you do not possess yourself.’’

Obembe further explained: “This nude demonstration of ignorance is most unfortunate. Perhaps at this juncture, Faggae needs to be told and perhaps appreciate that the Vice Chancellors with Medical background (holders of medical postgraduate fellowships) have comparatively demonstrated impeccable and track record efficiency, capability and meritorious achievements in University governance in the country. University of Ibadan (which awards the highest number of PhDs in the country), ObafemiAwolowo University, Ile-Ife, etc, are a few handy references.

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