Skills and entrepreneurship will be the centerpiece of a new education curriculum. – FG
The federal government has suggested that a new school curriculum is in the making that would emphasize skills and entrepreneurship in order to improve graduates’ employability.
This is despite the fact that stakeholders have complained that schools are failing to provide students with the necessary skills to address developing issues, notably in the areas of technology, science, and engineering.
Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, who addressed the National Universities Commission’s (NUC) one-day ‘Transforming Education Summit’ in Abuja, said that the world is now concentrating on education because of its essential role.
Adamu, who was represented by Sonny Echono, Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), said the summit, which was held ahead of the United Nations Secretary-global General’s summit in September in New York, provided an opportunity to brainstorm on the many challenges confronting Nigeria’s education sector, such as poor funding and out-of-school children, in order to find long-term solutions and transform the sector.
According to him, five topic areas for debate have been identified.
“The sort of curriculum that currently focuses more on skills, entrepreneurship. We’d like to improve our employability. We don’t want to develop graduates who are searching for government jobs, as we have been preaching,” he remarked.
According to the Minister, the President has approved the establishment of an institute in Abuja modeled after the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which would act as a center for all of the country’s top growth ideas to be nurtured and disseminated for all sectors of the economy.
This institute, he claims, will begin operations this year.
Isa Pantami, Minister of Communication and Digital Economy praised the NUC for establishing a new curriculum for Nigerian universities, saying it was timely given the country’s high rate of graduate unemployment.
“We frequently complain about unemployment; I agree that unemployment exists, but the proportion is not as high as we believe. The primary obstacle we have in Nigeria is the problem of unemployment; this is a serious issue, particularly in the sciences, engineering, and technology.
“We need to teach the essential skills so that they can face any obstacle and apply for any job anywhere in the world,” he added.
Pantami went on to say that soft skills like critical thinking, analytical thinking, collaboration abilities, project management, issue solving, and presentation skills are in high demand, especially in major tech organizations.
“Today, if you apply for a job at a global IT company, they barely question you about the university you went to or the class of degree you earned; instead, they are interested in understanding your hard and soft talents,” he stated.
In her remarks, UNICEF’s Chief of Education, Saadhna Panday-Soobrayan, claimed Nigeria was off track in attaining SDG 4, claiming that the epidemic compounded the fragility of the country’s educational institutions, which were already battling with insufficient access to quality learning and low shock resilience.
“Additionally, repeated school attacks – including kidnappings of children who should always be safe in school – have resulted in protracted school closures, resulting to high percentages of out-of-school children and poor learning results,” she added.
The Transforming Education Summit (TES), according to the Chief Education, aims to reaffirm political commitment to education as a global public good and galvanize all stakeholders around this shared educational contract.
“Summits come and go; their worth will be determined by how well we leverage the momentum they generate to advance major education issues via collective action and accountability.
“UNICEF and other UN agencies are happy to be collaborating with the Nigerian government to ensure that every child has access to education.” In the near term, we’re here to help with TES preparations, and in the long run, we’re here to help with reinventing education for a brighter future for all students,” she added.