By Jacinta Nwachukwu
The Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) has stressed the need for stakeholders to dialogue and come up with meaningful contributions toward having a reviewed Senior Secondary Education Curriculum (SSEC) with global standard.
Prof. Ismail Junaidu, the Executive Secretary, NERDC, expressed the view at the North-Central zone National Stakeholders’ Dialogue for the review of the SSEC on Thursday in Abuja.
Junaidu explained that “the stakeholders’ consultative forum was created to bring together the thoughts of all Nigerians, including students on issues and expectations pertaining to the curriculum.
“This is in terms of contents, delivery approach and core learning experiences”.
He said that the need to restructure, realign and revise the then curricula arose mainly because the old Primary, Junior and Senior Secondary Schools’ curricula were no longer meeting the goals of education.
He said that the gaps were in terms of human capital development, job creation and poverty eradication.
“There was also the compelling need to meet the targets of the International Agreed Goals as well as ensure the acquisition of competences and skills for laying the foundation of vocational and entrepreneurship development in Nigeria.
“You will observe that times have changed; the world has moved on, new ideas have been created, knowledge has advanced, new world goals have been set, new skills have emerged and new technologies have been developed.
“The only way we can adequately respond to these changes and create opportunities for our children to acquire new skills and competencies for living in the new world, is to provide them with the requisite learning experiences through the revision of the curriculum,’’ Junaidu said.
He said there was urgent need, particularly at the senior secondary education, to create opportunity for students and learners to acquire relevant trade/entrepreneurship skills required for poverty eradication,’’ he said.
He added the need for job creation and wealth generation as well as consolidating the foundation for ethical, moral and civic values acquired at the basic education level.
He further said that the core objective in the current initiative was not only to develop a curriculum that would meet the need of the time “but one that will as well enable us to create the future that we desire as a people.
“We recognise that the curriculum is an outcome of the decisions of the people as to what knowledge, skills, values and competencies learners should be taught in schools.
“This is in order for them to live and contribute meaningfully to the development and growth of the society.
“It is on this basis that the NERDC initiated series of activities to elaborately engage stakeholders with the intent of ensuring that curriculum, in its real sense reflects the needs and aspirations of all Nigerians,” he said.
He, therefore, urged the participants to discuss and come up with resolutions on issues relating to critical emerging issues that the senior secondary education curriculum should address.
Mr Michael Banda of United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) while commending NERDC, said that the initiative was on course.
Banda said that the country needed to graduate a cadre of young people, girls and boys from the education system that would be able to fit into the modern world.
“This is in terms of their requisite skills to innovate, adapt quickly to the changing global market and to also be able to be self-determined, independent and entrepreneurs among others.
“Sometimes, children are not only determined by mathematics, physics, chemistry and others, they need certain requisite skills which we call life skills.
“These are soft skills, transferable skills; these skills are determined by whom they are as human beings to be able to be cohesive with the demands of the society,’’ he explained.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the review is coming up 10 years after the current SSEC was introduced into the schools in 2011 as against the five-year periodic review.
NAN also reports that participants were delegates from Benue, Plateau, Kogi, Niger, Nasarawa, Kwara and Federal Capital Territory.(NAN)