Foundation wants national dev issues incorporated into curriculum

EDUCATION-text Urges resumption of mass literacy
With education remaining the most important tool for achieving national development, despite having to contend with challenges posed by political, economic, social and cultural factors, it has become imperative to incorporate national development issues into the country’s curriculum.

Additionally, it has become compelling to resume the moribund mass literacy programme if the country hopes to do away with the ugly tag of playing host to 10.6m out-of-school children, the highest anywhere in the world.

These and many more issues formed the crux of the 25-point communiqué endorsed by the Board of Trustees and Director of the Bassey Andah Foundation, at the end of the 17th Professor Bassey Andah Memorial Lecture, which had as its theme: “Education and Nation Building.”

At the lecture, which keynote speaker was Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Ibadan and Babcock University; Professor Michael Omolewa, the importance of resuming of aborted mass literacy programmes was underscored, just as there was a strident call for an investigation into Nigeria’s inability to provide education for all, despite the 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights, which has proclaimed education a human right.

The forum, which also wants the problem of educational imbalance in the country addressed, maintained that, “There should be a review of the existing contents and materials of the educational curriculum to include issues related to national development, such as security, flooding, electricity, female education, widowhood practices, female genital cutting, early marriage, and unemployment.

At the forum, which guest lecturers included: the Director of Centre for Women’s Development and Gender Studies, University of Port Harcourt, Professor Elizabeth Okeke, Director of the Bassey Andah Institute for African and Asian Studies, University of Calabar, Professor Chris Nwamuo, the need to check the instability in the education management process was pointed out, while it was unanimously agreed that the study of history as a distinct subject should be brought back to schools and the quota system of admission into schools should be revisited; while there should be a re-introduction of merit as a criterion for admission in educational institutions.

In the communiqué, which also calls for the promotion of lifelong learning, it was also recommended that, “The best aspects of the indigenous system of education should be adopted in our schools to improve the quality of education. But to do this, there should be creativity in the design of the package in order to build competence, conduct and character into the foundations of the education sector.

“Training and retraining programmes for effective teaching and community participation should be organised for both teaching and non-teaching staff in our educational system,” the communiqué stated, adding that, “government should check the proliferation of mediocre private schools in the country and the rural population should not be neglected in the drive towards meaningful education in the country.



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