By ODUNEWU SEGUN
TO tackle the problems facing the education system in the country, experts have called for curriculum reforms and a shift from certificate acquisition to equipping students with 21st century work-ready skills.
At the 34th Centre for Values in Leadership’s Leader Without Tittle with the theme: Mission, Education and nation Building at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Lagos, there was consensus among experts and stakeholders that Nigeria’s curriculum is overdue for review in other to move the educational sector to the next level.
According to Prof Pat Utomi, Chairman and Founder of CVL, a good part of the crisis of progress in the country is a crisis of education and leadership. To solve this problem, Prof Utomi said the country needs to build skills that are appropriate and effective for the 21st century and close the skills gap between tertiary institutions and modern realities.
“Our review of the various curricula being used at our institutions of higher learning has not kept pace with global development, research outcomes and current societal needs. It does appear as if we still use analogue thinking to solve current issues which have gone digital. The tertiary institutions are still producing graduates for the labour market without constant reviews of what the market requires.”
Professor Obanya, one of the two receivers of this year’s 34th CVL Leadership without Title award, the other being His Eminence, Anthony Cardinal Okogie, said the country should give priority to curriculum re-examination. “One of the current weaknesses of our educational system is the obsolete curricula being used in training students at the various levels of education especially the tertiary education level.”
Prof Obanya, an educationist of repute who has written over 200 books and former Chairman of West Africa Council of Education, said there is the need for education policy makers who have conceptual, technical, managerial and human relation skills needed to develop dynamic educational programmes for the country.
According to him, it is necessary to have synergy between curriculum developers and school administrators, and should constantly respond to required innovation as the need arises so as to bring about goal actualization. He also added that there is the need for an increased number of educational leaders who have the competence for planning, operating and evaluating programmes in the system at all levels.
Very Rev. Mosignor Gabriel Osu, who represented Cardinal Okogie harped on the importance of religious studies in schools, adding that any curriculum development that relegated religious studies will not achieve much.
Also the CEO of Global International College, Mrs. Abolaji Osimein her submission said the Nigerian society and tertiary institutions must change their focus regarding the purpose of education- which is to arm graduates with a repertoire of quality.
To effectively do these she stressed that the country must comprehensively review its policy on education and harmonise it with policies in other sectors