The academic and other stakeholders in the study of the communications have concluded all arrangements to unbundle the mass communications study into seven new study degrees to reflect the global realities.
Prof. Umaru Pate, Dean, School of Postgraduate Studies, Bayero University, Kano disclosed this to The Renaissance, on the sideline of the just concluded 15th All Nigeria Editors Conference in Sokoto.
Pate, who is also the Deputy President of the Association of Communications Scholars and Professionals of Nigeria (ACSPN), said he headed the committee of the team that unbundled the mass communications into seven unique study degrees.
According to him, the new degrees are Journalism, Broadcasting, Information and Communications Studies, Development Communication, Multimedia Study, Advertising and Public Relations.
“The Bayero University, Kano and all universities offering mass communications in the country, with the support from the National Universities Commission, UNESCO headquarters in Paris and all stakeholders like the Nigeria Institute of Public Relations, Advertising Practitioners Council, the Nigerian Press Council, NUJ, BON, all the professional bodies.
“We came together, we cover a period of time to look at the existing communications studies curriculum in the country.
“We then came up with recommendations on how to unbundle what is call Mass communication so that we can compare, in language, what is obtaining in the rest of the world.
“The committee also reflect on the evolving contemporary realities, particularly with respect to ICT development in our country, the realities of funding the media and all of that.
“And we came up with new curricula in communication studies.
“That led us into unbundling the Mass Communications into studies degrees in Journalism, Broadcasting, Information and Communications Studies, Development Communication, Multimedia Study, Advertising and Public Relations.
“Each of these studies will become separate disciplines on their own just as it is obtained in other parts of the world,’’ Pate said.
According to him, the report is ready and it has been submitted to the National Universities Commission (NUC).
“So far, we have gotten a positive response from the commission and very soon we are hoping that the commission will come out with statement directing the universities on what we need to do with the new curricula.
“But it is not going to be very simple as such.
“Some universities may be able to start the programme immediately, depending on their resource, some may not.
“Some may still need some time to prepare because of the additional cost they may need to incur in terms of facilities and in terms of reorienting their lecturers and several others things that may be required.’’
Pate said the unbundling of the mass communication became necessary “so that we can produce journalists who can fit into the current journalism world’’.
He said that with the new study degrees, Nigerian universities would be able to produce other professionals like public relations experts, advertising experts, multimedia experts that differently can move with contemporary situations and be able to imbibe the new communication technologies and also be part of real professionals not for Nigeria only but for the whole world.
From our correspondent in Sokoto