The National Universities Commission (NUC) has upgraded the programme and curriculum of Bachelor of Physiotherapy/Bachelor of Medical Rehabilitation, which was a five year programme to Doctor of physiotherapy, now a six years programme.
The introduction of the new curriculum is contained in a recent circular jointly signed by the Registrar, Medical Rehabilitation Therapists (Registration) Board of Nigeria (MRTB) Dr (Mrs) Olufunke Taibat Akanle and Board Chairman, Dr (Mrs) Umo Edet Udom, addressed to all vice-chancellors, provosts, dean of faculties, and heads of departments of all tertiary institutions in the country.
The Registrar explained the essence of the adjustment was to raise practice standards in the profession as well as to meet knowledge and skills gap in the management of current prevailing non-communicable diseases.
“I write on behalf of the Medical Rehabilitation Therapists (Registration) Board of Nigeria (MRTB), established by degree 38 of 1988/Acts M9 LFN 2004, for the regulation and control of training and practice of Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Audiology, Prosthetics and Orthotics, Chiropractic and Osteopathic Medicine in the health sector in Nigeria to formally draw your attention to the approval of the commencement of Doctor of Physiotherapy training (DPT) in Nigeria and hence to introduce to all the existing academic institutions running Physiotherapy training programme and institutions interested in running Physiotherapy programme to the upgrading of Bachelor of Physiotherapy (BPT) programme to DPT.
“This is in line with our statutory function of determining the standards to meet with the knowledge and skills demand in the management of current prevailing non-communicable diseases, and scale up all the necessary areas of specialisation that are needed to equip our students for the task ahead. Also to raise the standards of training of Physiotherapy in Nigeria to meet best practices”, she stated.
Although the NUC had earlier notified the MRTB Registrar on the conclusion of the upgrading exercise about three years ago, but it appears the circular was not delivered until recently. In a circular dated 21_01-2021, signed by Director, Academic Planning Dr G.B Kumo, on behalf of the Executive Secretary, NUC, the conclusion of processes for the review of the curriculum of Bachelor of Physiotherapy to Doctor of Physiotherapy was confirmed, and 10 copies of the approved Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards (BMAS) were stated to have been sent to the MRTB.
The Executive Secretary wrote: “I am directed to appreciate the Registrar/CEO and the MRTB for partnering with the Commission in sponsoring the review and upgrading of BMAS for the B.Sc Physiotherapy/B.Sc Medical Rehabilation Programme (5 years) to Doctor of Physiotherapy (6 Years).
“I am to confirm that the review/upgrading exercise has been concluded successfully and ten copies of the finalized BMAS for Doctor of Physiotherapy are hereby forwarded to the MRTB for its information”, he stated.