The Federal Government has identified obsolete curriculum as the cardinal reason for the poor performance of students at the post primary level and a culminating factor to the low standard of education in Nigeria.
National Programme Coordinator, Curriculum Development, Federal Ministry of Education, Abuja, Prof Michael Adikwu, gave this indication at the opening ceremony of the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and Intel Corporation-sponsored Sixth Nigerian Secondary Schools Science Fair and Quiz Competition at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST), Nkporlu, Port Harcourt, recently.
Adikwu disclosed that “a recent study has shown that the problem of education in Nigeria is that of obsolete curriculum”, adding that a situation where the schools use outdated curricula in a technology-driven age has further pushed the students far behind in their development aspirations.
The programme coordinator noted the non-adaptability of the existing curriculum to the 21st century developments in the education system, particularly in the context of teaching and learning, stressing that the pace of advancement in science and engineering elsewhere has left most teachers and students behind in Nigeria.
He gave the commitment of the ministry towards a strategic reform of the school curriculum to bring it up to date with the prevailing standard globally, and appealed to other stakeholders to emulate the good job SPDC and Intel were doing to improve interest in the sciences and raise the standard of education in the country.
To push this commitment further, Adikwu said that the government was intensifying the funding of science education in the over 104 unity schools, all federal universities, polytechnics and colleges of education through infrastructure upgrade, provision and standardization of laboratories, libraries and workshops, while at the same time building and encouraging the teaching and learning of modern information and communication technology applications to drive the nation’s development.
Also speaking, Rivers State Commissioner for Education, Dame Alice Lawrence Nemi, said the Governor Chibuike Amaechi-led administration has given unusual attention to science education from primary to university level in the state.
She stated that this has been manifested in the incorporation of science and technology in the building of the new model primary and secondary schools across the state, the new RSUST complex in the Greater Port Harcourt City, the upgrading of facilities at the new Rivers State University of Education and Rivers State Polytechnic.
Represented by the Director, Higher Education, Mrs M.O. Solomon, the commissioner lauded the SPDC JV and Intel partnership to boost science education, and urged other corporate organizations to complement existing efforts by initiating game-changing programmes to bring the dream of the government for a new Rivers State to reality.
In her remarks, Bayelsa State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Josephine Ezonbodor, restated the readiness of the state government to collaborate with SPDC and other corporate bodies to redefine the education landscape in Bayelsa State.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mrs Victoria Tekena, the Bayelsa education commissioner stressed that apart from the Nigerian Secondary Schools Science Fair and Quiz Competition, other SPDC-driven initiatives aimed at enhancing educational development of the region have had tremendous impact on the people, and commended the SPDC JV and Intel Corporation for the wonderful initiative while tasking the students to take advantage of the opportunity to excel in their career.
Vice Chancellor, RSUST, Prof Barineme Fakae, explained the purposeful steps taken so far to entrench science and technology education in the institution’s academic and administrative structures, adding that the policy has paid off.
Fakae said, as the premier science and technology university in Nigeria, RSUST would continue to open its doors to host any programmes targeted at promoting science education in Nigeria, and thanked SPDC JV and Intel for partnering with the institution to make the Sixth Nigerian Secondary Schools Science Fair and Quiz Competition a huge success.
The events, which held March 8 and 9 at the auditorium of RSUST amphi-theatre, brought together more than 13 secondary schools from both public and private sectors, across the country for two days of interactions, networking, and intellectual display of innovation, creativity, courage, brilliance, hard work and perseverance.