By Funmilayo Adeyemi
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has called for a review of Nigeria’s educational curriculum to meet present day realities.
The Director, UNESCO International Bureau of Education (IBE), Mr Ydo Yao, made this appeal at a capacity development training workshop for officials of the Federal Ministry of Education in Abuja on Tuesday.
Yao said to address education crisis, there was need for actions in making curriculum relevant for assuring quality in education and ensuring that values, knowledge and skills thrived.
He said curriculum was a central and irreplaceable component of any educational policy which are also pivotal in the transformation of education.
”You know, we use to say that curriculum is for education, while a constitution is for a democracy. It means curriculum is the heart of education.
”So, when you talk about education, you are talking about content, programmes and learning.
”So, if you want to transform education, and you don’t transform what is at the core of it, which is the learning, content and the programmes, your transformation has no meaning,” he said.
Yao described the curriculum as being overloaded, outdated and short of present day development, hence the need for review.
He said the training was put in place to strengthen the capacities of specialists and officials in the ministry on eight thematic modules.
Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Education, Mr Goodluck Opiah, said steps had been taken in the curriculum transformation plan of the country.
Opiah said the ministry was already working on the democratisation of curriculum review process to give voice to all critical stakeholders, including parents and students.
”We recognise the fundamental role of curriculum in the drive for the attainment of globally agreed goals and country specific aspirations.
”It remains the singular instrument capable of transforming the human capital base of a nation for effective contribution to nation building and development.
”Thus, in setting our education targets as articulated in the Ministerial Strategic Plan (MSP) (2019 to 2022) for the education sector, curriculum and policy matters were identified and prioritised,” he said.
The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Educational Research Development Council (NERDC), Prof. Ismail Junaidu, said the ministry had continued to strengthen school curricula with knowledge and skills on entrepreneurship, job creation and capital market studies, among others.
Junaidu said that teachers and education managers had also been provided with resource materials to help them implement the curriculum seamlessly.
”It is heart-warming to us at NERDC that this workshop is taking place at this time when we are set to review the Senior Secondary Education Curriculum.
”As part of preparations for the review, we have evolved a curriculum review model that is anchored on a participatory and equity framework.
”A model that gives voice to all legitimate citizens in the curriculum development process,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 16 weeks training would cover modules on policy dialogue and formulation, curriculum change, curriculum design, system management and governance.
Others are development of textbooks and other teaching and learning materials, capacity development for curriculum implementation, processes of curriculum implementation; and student assessment and curriculum evaluation. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Muhammad Suleiman Tola