Many world accredited experts have had cause to emphasis on the country’s curriculum, not meeting the expected educational needs of Nigeria’s labour market and international standards with its graduates not fitting into the 21st century workplace skills demand.
It has been strongly argued that the current curriculum is not the best quality that the country deserves because it has not been empowering graduates to explore the peculiarities of contemporary realities.
It is unfortunate we are still using the curriculum given to us since the colonial period. The scope of the curriculum still revolves around cognitive domain, affective, and psycho-motor. It is still all about cramming and pouring, nothing practical.
The essence of education itself is to solve personal and societal problems. Any educational system that cannot guarantee these is dysfunctional. As such children in schools should be taught about their realities and what they can do to advance their society when they are older as it is done in many countries of the world such as Japan, China etc, but, unfortunately, Nigeria education curriculum propagate more theories than practical.
In this digital age, everything is changing drastically and creatively and the curriculum must not be static to achieve the desired growth and development.
Therefore, Nigeria needs to shift its education curriculum from its current Eurocentric positioning to a different system where the knowledge system is rooted on proper ways of meeting the contemporary world’s demand.
It is without doubt that Nigeria inherited an education system that is not designed for its people and that it is one of the legacies of the colonial masters.
Unfortunately, no matter how Nigerians try to master the imposed culture of the Europeans, they can never be better at it than those that own, and this is simply the reason for the inferiority complex. The worst undoing of the curriculum is that it does not give room for learners to explore and discover their talents.
The 21st-century education is competence-based, where students learn to master their chosen careers through learning by practice system. The country needs productive and competency based system of education.
It is true that education around the world in the last century has been modernised to fit the present dispensation, but what is common about countries with leading academic excellence around the world is the individuality of their curriculum.”
The amount of knowledge outside the four walls of the classroom that exists in Nigeria cannot be exhausted, whether it is our languages, agriculture, science or mathematics.
It is not good enough to make us and the West equal and it definitely is not good for us because it is fake, it is not original for us and will not address the issues we have in our society.
From purposeful research, we need to carefully curate a curriculum that suits us and will advance our society till we become the envy of other nations through innovations that are made for us by us.
This is why we are largely consuming innovation and advancement that fit the context of the West and we lack innovation that is created by us for us.
This is our society in its purest form and so it is therefore very important that we start putting these contents in our curriculum for learning and for objective criticism.
The crisis with Nigeria curriculum is deceit of believing that it leads to mastery in their society, when in reality, it is a corrugated and irresponsive acquisition.
The major challenges in the curriculum implementation in Nigeria include shortage of specialized teachers, unconducive learning environments, poor infrastructural facilities and lack of fund, among others.
For instance, the National Universities Commission (NUC) recently directed the nation’s 264 varsities’ to commence the implementation of the Core Curriculum and Minimum Academic Standards (CCMAS) curriculum from September 2023.
The sector stakeholders have described the new curriculum as an obvious departure from the Benchmarks Minimum Academic Standards (BMAS) which had been in use since 2007.
The new curriculum, CCMAS, was unveiled by the National Universities Commission in 2022, aimed at making university education in Nigeria more responsive to the needs of the society.
Existing and new disciplines and programmes in the Nigeria university system have been redesigned to mirror 21st Century realities. The CCMAS has 17 disciplines, an expansion from the 12 disciplines contained in BMAS.
The disciplines are Arts, Administration and Management, Social Sciences, Law, Communication and Media Studies, Education, Agriculture, Architecture, and Computing.
Others are Engineering and Technology, Environmental Sciences, Medicine and Dentistry, Pharmaceutical Science, Allied Health Sciences, Sciences, Basic Medical Sciences, and Veterinary Medicine.
The CCMAS is designed with the objective of improving the standard of Nigerian universities, making graduates from Nigerian universities more employable and equipped with local, national and international knowledge.
The CCMAS is a product of sustained stakeholder interactions over two years involving a blend of academic experts, academies, government (represented by NUC), professional bodies and, of course, the private sector, represented by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG).
The Director of the UNESCO Institute for African Culture and International Understanding said it was worth narrating and celebrating, this being a classic case of strengthening education for the future.
We therefore urge the various Nigerian Universities to drop the current Benchmarks Minimum Academic Standards (BMAS) and implement the new Core Curriculum and Minimum Academic Standards (CCMAS) curriculum from September 2023, in order to give our University education the required value and meaning.