Through the Federal Ministry of Education, the Federal Ministry of Education has inaugurated an eight-man committee on September 5, 2023, which has been tasked with the mandate to drive government-industry-academic nexus as well as global competitiveness of the nation’s educational system, among others. During the inauguration in Abuja, Tahir Mammam, the minister of education, stated that the Tinubu-led administration would ensure that the 10.5 million Nigerian out-of-school children are retrained in skills that will make them stand on their own.
As Nigeria looks towards having quality education, he stressed that it was important that the curriculum, from basic to tertiary level, meets the demands of our times and needs of society. He said that work has commenced at some level, especially the secondary and tertiary levels. “What we need to know is to what extent we have met contemporary demands of education globally and if not sufficient, how to address them”. So, the stakeholders need a clear roadmap and framework that will guide the ministry to achieve these goals.
Mammam evokes the committee members’ thoughts.
According to him, he expected that issues of financial autonomy in tertiary institutions, access and equity, research and innovation as well as the government-industry-academic nexus would concern the committee and all stakeholders. He also said that the global competitiveness of our educational system should not escape their scrutiny. Speaking further, the minister noted that the vision of the present administration was anchored on improving the lives of Nigerians in a manner that reflect humanity and encourage compassion towards one another as well as reward collective efforts to resolve the social ills bedeviling the nation.
To achieve this vision, the minister said that the country must necessarily harness its human resources. But before that, everyone needs to be sure of what needs to be done to fill in the gaps that have, over the years, inexplicably pulled the country back. According to him, ” one thing I must not fail to add is that we must have an education system that embraces technology and moves into a digital future where this education responds to the demands of society. We need to move away from education for its sake but to education for the development not only of the individual but most importantly for the society we live in”.
Educational administrator faults Nigeria’s current curriculum.
Members of the committee include Nuru Yakubu (who is the chairman), Ernest Ojukwu, Sa’ad Umar, Shulamite Paul, Garba Ibrahim, Hindatu Abdullahi, Ismail Junaidu, and Joseph Achede (who is the secretary). Mammam said that the event marked a pivotal moment in the nation’s pursuit of educational excellence and societal development. While highlighting the urgency of their mission, he emphasized the need for clear direction to transform Nigeria fortunes. Meanwhile, experts have commented on the issue of the country’s curriculum not meeting the educational needs of Nigerians, in the areas of graduates not fitting into the 21st century workplace skill demands.
They argue that the current curriculum is not the best quality that Nigeria deserves because it has not been empowering graduates to explore the peculiarities of contemporary daily realities. Boye Ogundele, an educational administrator at Chrisland Schools in Lagos, expressed her dissatisfaction at the fact that the country is still using the curriculum given to it by the British colonial masters. The scope of the curriculum still revolves around cognitive domain, affective, and psycho-motor. “It is still all about cramming and pouring, nothing practical,” he said.
Indigenous knowledge systems should form the background of the curriculum.
Ogundele explained that the worst undoing of the curriculum is that it does not give room for learners to explore and discover their talents, he said that the Western intervention in Africa denied the validity of Africa’s originality, which belittled our culture as well as educational structure and curriculum. He said that indigenous knowledge systems, which are a product of the environment, should ideally form the foundation upon which the formal education system of any society is constructed. According to him, research shows that countries with leading education performance spend time teaching children ages zero to five about their environment and mother tongue.
Federal Ministry of Education: Website