Students of Rising Sun Children School wear face masks as a preventive measure to curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in their classroom in Yaba, Lagos, on October 12, 2020. (Photo by Benson Ibeabuchi / AFP) (Photo by BENSON IBEABUCHI/AFP via Getty Images)

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 UNESCO director of the International Bureau of Education (IBE), Ydo Yao, made the call at a capacity development training workshop for officials of the Federal Ministry of Education in Abuja on Tuesday.

Mr Yao said to address the education crisis, there was a need for action in making curriculum relevant to ensure quality in education and that values, knowledge and skills thrived. He said the curriculum was a central and irreplaceable component of any educational policy, which is also pivotal in transforming education.

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“You know, we used to say that curriculum is for education, while a constitution is for a democracy. It means the curriculum is the heart of education. So, when you talk about education, you are talking about content, programmes and learning,” Mr Yao explained. “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.”

Mr Yao described the curriculum as overloaded, outdated and short of present-day development, hence the need for review.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, Goodluck Opiah, says steps have been taken to rejig the curriculum.

Mr Opiah said, ”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.”

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The minister added, “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.”

Ismail Junaidu, the Nigerian Educational Research Development Council executive secretary, said the ministry had continued to strengthen school curricula with knowledge and skills on entrepreneurship, job creation and capital market studies.

Mr Junaidu also mentioned that teachers and education managers had been provided 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,” said the NERDC chief.

He added, “A model that gives voice to all legitimate citizens in the curriculum development process.”


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