By Lucky Barth, Abuja, Nigeria.
A research based organization, African Heritage Institution, has called for a change of education curricula to facilitate e-learning and ensure national and regional development.
The Executive Director, African Heritage Institution, based in Enugu, South east Nigeria, Professor Ufo Okeke-Uzodike, made the call in his opening address at a programme tagged, Big Ideas Podium, organized annually which focused on the challenges and impact of Covid 19 on Education and sustainable development in Nigeria.
“Globally, Corona Virus pandemic has affected the way people interact, work and socialize with each other. COVID 19 provides a useful window of opportunity to reset the Nigerian Educational system to complement and feed the economy in a lockstep towards transformative social and economic development” Prof. Okeke-Uzodike explained.
The Executive Director, African Heritage Institution, used the occasion to highlight the issue of placing Nigeria’s educational system on national agenda and how best to revise or amend its educational curricula for all levels development to achieving the problem brought about by COVID 19.
“Nigeria needs ideas and rapid solution to its development problems to avoid a disastrous implosion as a result of COVID 19 pandemic”
According to him, COVID 19 provides a great opportunity to revisit and overhaul key aspects of the educational system such as the Curricula to align with real world expectations and resource needs of industries and governments.
Professor Okeke-Uzodike advised Nigerian education gatekeepers to be mindful of the need to keep up with global trends in technology and communication systems.
The key note speaker, Professor Gregory Ibe, who is the Chancellor, Gregory University, Uturu, Abia State, pointed out that the use of technology as well as intensified use of Online platforms will ensure continued education in Nigeria.
He identified capacity building of staff by the Federal Ministry of Education, improved monitoring and evaluation, integration of education system (synergy of public and private schools), as the way forward in advancing education in Nigeria.
Professor Ibe cited an example of the United States education system, while identifying outdated curriculum and poor remuneration of staff as challenges to successful implementation in Nigeria.
The second keynote speaker, Professor Sunday Agwu, noted that the education system in Nigeria is mainly theoretical with no practicability/application to daily living. He stated that the budget for education in Nigeria, put at 7.24 percent of national budget, was insufficient to boost E-Learning prospects.
He listed, “training of teachers, monitoring of online lectures, data concessions, reviewed curriculum and improved budgetary allocation to education” as solutions to e-learning.
Both Speakers emphasized the need for the government to declare National emergency on education to address current realities and readjusting TETFUND mandate to widen the scope of impact.