The National Universities Commission has assured medical students in Nigeria that they do not have to spend 11 years to obtain their first degree.
This assurance was given by the NUC’s Head, Information Department, Adebukola Olatunji, in a statement on Monday where she denied the claim that medical students have now been mandated to spend 11 years studying medicine.
She stated that there was a misrepresentation of the keynote address given by the NUC’s Executive Secretary, Professor Julius Okojie, at the matriculation and inauguration of the University of Medical Sciences, Ondo, on the 12th of March, 2016.
Olatunji insisted that the Executive Secretary was only trying to explain that the NUC’s basic minimum academic standard for Medicine and Surgery had been reviewed such that anyone wishing to study Medicine and Surgery and Dentistry will first have to study any of the four-year basic medical science courses, including Anatomy, Medical Biochemistry and Physiology, before proceeding to the clinical training that would run for three years.
“Although, the so-called ‘11-year Medical Programme’ stories have been credited to the Commission’s Executive Secretary, Prof. Julius Okojie’s keynote address, titled, ‘Development of Medical Education in Nigeria: Prospects and Challenges’, which was delivered at the Matriculation and Inauguration of the University of Medical Sciences, Ondo, on Saturday, March 12, 2016, nowhere in that lecture was 11 years mentioned or implied,” she said, adding that the new curriculum affords medical students the opportunity to graduate in Basic Medical Sciences, with options in Anatomy, Medical Biochemistry and Physiology in the first four years, before proceeding for their three-year clinical training.