A don, Dr Uche Ebeze, says the Federal Government and National Universities Commission, NUC, should design a blueprint that will ensure proper implementation of the unbundling of Mass Communication programme in tertiary institutions.
Mr Ebeze, who is the Head of Mass Communication Department, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, made the call on Thursday while reacting to the development in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria.
NAN reports that the NUC recently approved the curriculum for the unbundling of the Mass Communication programme in Nigerian universities, which will result in the emergence of seven-degree-awarding programmes.
According to the commission, it will phase out of the single BSc/BA degree programme in Mass Communication currently offered in different faculties in different universities.
The new programmes or departments which will be domiciled in a faculty, school or college of communication and media studies are Journalism, Media Studies and Public Relations.
Other programmes are Advertising, Broadcasting, Film and Multi-Media Studies, Development Communication Studies and Information and Media Studies.
Ebeze, who welcomed the development, said it would create room for expertise and areas of specialisation as well as help to note who was responsible for what.
“It is going to show that Mass Communication is not an all comers affair,” he said.
However, the lecturer expressed concern over the implementation process for the approved programme, noting that it could pose a challenge if authorities fail to design a blue print for its execution.
Ebeze said: “I have mixed feelings. Is it possible now? And if possible, how plausible is it? It takes a lot of financial muscle to really unbundle Mass Communication.
“You don’t just wake up one morning to say you have unbundled Mass Communication. It should have been a gradual process.
“Maybe we start with two or three departments so that as time goes on we add more departments.
“Are you telling me now that in this building (referring to his department) is where we are going to have the unbundled Mass Communication? It is not possible.
“Government has to make financial and staff provisions because the moment we create areas in Mass Communication, we need to have staff, students and infrastructure,” he said.
According to him, the approval remains a decision until government and the NUC comes up with a blueprint.
Ebeze said the NUC and the Federal Government needed to officially inform the universities, notifying them of its plan and roadmap to achieving the unbundling.
“This should come in form of blueprint to different universities on how they intend to kick-off the programme indicating what was required of the universities.
“Such blueprint should also state how funding would be realised as tertiary institutions that offer the programme cannot finance the implementation alone,” he said.
The don, who noted that the unbundling was a long term project, said all hands must be on deck to realise the dream.