Experts advocate upgrade in University Commission curriculum to boost ICT
For the country to have globally competitive youths with the teeming graduates in the digitised sector there is a need for an upgrade in the Information Communication and Technology (ICT) curricula of the Nigeria University Commission (NUC). It is believed that the ICT related curriculum in the country is obsolete in comparison to the demands of this communication age and educational institutions globally.
The President, Python Users Nigeria Group, Chukwudi Nwachukwu, gave the advice at the Code Conference Nigeria held in Lagos. Nwachukwu, said: “when the curriculum was revised about four years back, I had a conversation with some persons involved where I highlighted this fact. However, they insisted that the foundations were essentials which I agree. So, what we have now are graduates in 2017, being taught the technology of 1998.”
For Nwachukwu, the NUC curricula do not match standards, “I have undergraduates who come to my firm for their industrial training (IT); there, they realise their education is unfit for the labour market.” This notwithstanding, he implored that the intending programmer should educate himself, adding, “There have been cases of carpenters becoming programmers. It is not compulsory to have a formal education to become a programmer. However, if you desire a formal education, you need to go beyond the schooling you acquired.”
Speaking on the challenges of programmers in the country, he said: “The users of our software do not believe in us. I usually marvel at that because it is the same material, processes and management tools foreigners use what we also use. Overtime, we have noticed the trend that people prefer imported technology. This is also affecting the software industry. We have experienced many cases where local content is not accepted nonetheless, when we repackage the same solution and leverage on an Israeli to present it to the same recipients, we see a huge acceptance.
“We implore the government and the citizens to appreciate Nigerian-made solutions and realise that every purchase of a foreign solution enriches that nation. However, if it is invested in the country, the ripple effect benefits the nation’s economy. When you invest in a foreign product, you feed their citizens and, when you invest in Nigeria, you invest in the Nigerian family. It is now left for the government and the Nigerian people to choose the family to feed.”
Alternatively, the Head of Department, Computer Science, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Florence Oladeji, argued: “I doubt any university is static, nobody is teaching archaic language and theory.” Speaking on a phone interview with The Guardian, she said: “There is no university that is not reviewing the curriculum. Computer Science used to be the bench-mark for most of the curriculum in Nigeria especially, the one in UNILAG. For instance, the institution wants to come up with two Bachelor of Science degrees (BSc) having two options because we have various aspects of communication and we believe people should be skilled along various lines.”