ONYEKA Uwakwe, head of Department, HOD, Mass Communication, Federal Polytechnic, Oko, says unbundling of Mass Communication programme into the proposed seven programmes may be counter-productive.
Stakeholders in Mass Communication proposed that when unbundled, it will have seven new programmes and departments — Journalism and Media Studies, Public Relations, Advertising and Broadcasting.
Others are Film and Multi-Media Studies, Information and Media and Development Communication.
While reacting to the proposal during interaction with Anambra State Information officers, Uwakwe said the country had yet to have enough industry to accommodate the unbundling.
The Nigeria University’s Commission, NUC, has yet to reach a final decision on the matter.
Uwakwe told his interviewers that the development was not timely, stressing that the socio-economic and technological condition of the country could be impediment to its implementation.
He noted that acquiring basic knowledge in Mass Communication before specialising would enhance professionalism in journalism.
He, however, urged that the country should attain socio-economic and technological advancement as some developed countries that successfully run unbundled such programmes before implementing the policy.
“If we want to copy unbundling as implemented by some Western countries, we should also copy their socio-economic and technological advancements to match it too.’’
In another interview, a Lecturer and Academic Adviser to the Department, Mr Ben Obioha, said that the policy would be good but should be put on hold for now.
“Unbundling is a good idea but I feel Nigeria has yet to be ripe for it. Things are difficult and many unemployed graduates of mass communication fit into many jobs as media consultants and advert consultants.
“When the discipline is unbundled, and a student studies for instance, Film or Advertising as a course, chances of securing jobs are limited because of the unstable economic situation of the country.’’
“The development will only enhance professionalism on the part of the lecturers as they will concentrate in their areas of specialisation.’’
Duke Ezenduka, president of the Association of Mass Communication Students, ASMACS, of Federal Polytechnic, Oko, said the policy would create more job opportunities.
“It will create more job opportunities for students as each student will concentrate only on a single aspect to develop himself well.
“The student masters his chosen aspect well so as to bring independence and self reliance. By this, the person ends up creating job for himself.’’
According to him unbundling is necessary as mass communication is a very broad course, saying the curriculum will help students to focus on the particular areas of their choice.
Ezenduka added that the development would unify schools that run mass communication courses in the country under one umbrella as Faculty or School of Communication and Media Studies.
He said formerly, some universities would run it under school of Arts or Social sciences.
He cautioned that necessary infrastructures such as departments, lecture theatres, laboratories, studios and so on to accommodate the development should be built before the implementation of the policy.
Tony Onyima, former Anambra commissioner for information, who welcomed the proposal, said that the reality of technology had changed a lot of things in the country.
Onyima noted that there would be the need to update the curriculum policy in teaching Mass Communication.
He said that the society would benefit enormously by creating more jobs because more hands would be needed to ensure that the proposal would be given positive effect.
Venatus Agbanu, head of Mass Communication, Department Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam, said the unbundling of Mass Communication would help the society to change the frontiers of knowledge and teach most updated things that happening in the society.
Agbanu said that the unbundling would require massive financing from government in order to carry out the exercise.
Frank Nnaemeka, senior Lecturer in Mass Communication, said that unbundling means putting the course in a global context which would help students to meet the requirements of the labour market.
Nnaemeka added that there were the new media/internet pages like ICT, Information and Media which would supersede old practices that help people to specialise and professionalise.
He said for this to enhance professionalism, lecturers need training to fit in.
He said unbundling is imperative for the undergraduates as a way forward, saying that as the environment was changing, the global context would require adaptation to new realities.
Chinenye Okoye, student of Mass Communication, said the move was a right one as students would now have the opportunity to specialise in the branches of Mass Communication they have chosen.
– June 7, 2019 @ 15:55 GMT |