The Nigerian Association of Technologists in Engineering (NATE) has advocated a total overhaul of academic curricula being used in technical colleges across Nigeria. This is so that necessary changes can be made in the content in the process in line with 21st-century developments. In addition, the association suggested that primary schools’ curricula should be reviewed to reflect more creative content so that it would catch the younger ones earlier in terms of skills and technology acquisition.
It said that it has observed that the present curriculum of technical schools is obsolete because it is based on theory but practically weak. Hence, it is inadequate to address the current trends of technological development in the country. NATE President, Dominic Udoatan, told news correspondents at a press conference in Abuja that there was an urgent need for the government to encourage the technical schools by adequately equipping and funding the schools in all the states of the federation.
Udoatan calls for establishing a polytechnic commission.
According to him, for any meaningful development such as industrialization to take place, there should be a compelling motivation for direct enhancing development through the adoption and stimulation of appropriate technology. He said that the capacity of engineering technologists as well as technical skills of men and women should be strengthened. This can be done by establishing and adequately equipping skills acquisition centers for training and retraining of youths, which is also a prerequisite for the development of local technology.
While emphasizing that NATE readiness and willingness to partner with the Federal Government to pilot the implementation of necessary programs and policies designed to expand technological development and skills in Nigeria, the president amplified the call for the establishment of the National Polytechnic Commission in order to properly monitor all technology-based programs. He said that the regulation of polytechnics should be properly done and guided by a statutory body as it is in the case of universities, colleges of education, and other advance educational bodies. Then, the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) should supervise technical colleges, while the polytechnics commission should be established to cater for the polytechnics.
NUC announces starting date for new curriculum.
In his words, “It is very imperative to establish the National Polytechnic Commission in order to monitor all technology-based programs.” He stated that the polytechnic education curriculum is not a secondary education curriculum, so the need for the commission for an excellent, competitive technological driven country. He consequently called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to carefully look into their submissions with a view to considering and implementing it for the benefit of the country’s quest for meaningful technological development and industrialization.
Meanwhile, the National Universities Commission (NUC) had disclosed in August 2023 that the new university academic curriculum, known as Core Curriculum and Minimum Academic Standards (CCMAS), will begin in September 2023. The acting executive secretary of the commission, Chris Maiyaki, explained that the CCMAS reflects a global perspective that would equip the nation’s graduates with 21st-century knowledge and wherewithal that transcend traditional boundaries. Speaking at the Colloquium of Stakeholders on the CCMAS held in Abuja where the announcement was made, he revealed that the event was held to kickstart implementation, update all stakeholders, and debrief the nation and the world at large on the state of the CCMAS.
Guiding universities in Nigeria is NUC mandate.
Maiyaki said that the reviewed curriculum is endowed with unique features tailored to meet the evolving demands of the rapidly changing world. It emphasizes interdisciplinary learning, soft and critical skills development, entrepreneurship and value creation. He said that the mandate of the NUC is to guide the nation’s universities. By doing so, it stands as a beacon of hope for the entire university system. He also mentioned the 30-percent input which universities were expected to put into the curriculum deployment process, saying it is not a mere formality.
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