Kuni Tyessi, Abuja
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has stressed the need for a comprehensive overhauling of the curriculum in all academic disciplines in the Nigerian universities system, noting that innovation is needed for improved relevance and global competitiveness.
Obasanjo who made this known, recently, at the second quarterly distinguished lecture of National Universities Commission (NUC), in Abuja, titled, â€œOn the March to Re-Invent the Curricula of Nigerian Universities for Improved Relevance and Global Competitivenessâ€™, said through the ages, the question on education has consistently been if education is for knowledge, skills, a meal ticket, for freedom, self reliance or self sufficient?; adding that, â€œwhatever our education is for, I believe one important aspect in a dynamic society or situation is that curricular must be renovated, invigorated, re engineered, and be made dynamic.â€ â€Ž
He said for every education institution, no matter the level, magnitude or goals, there must be a curriculum that will serve as guide to lead to the mission or objectives of that educational institution.
According to him, â€œwe need innovation, innovation and innovation in the system particularly at this time. I donâ€™t know somehow, if at almost every level of our life, we will not strive to encourage innovation, maybe at the university level into the curricular or the university that has brought innovation to what they are doing than other universities.â€
While noting that he had encouraged NUC to reinvent the curricular, he said innovation is the responsibility of all no matter whatever they are doing.
Earlier in his remarks, the Executive Secretary of NUC Prof Abubakar Rasheed said the commissionâ€™s intention to undertake a comprehensive overhaul of the curricular in all academic disciplines in the universities is on the notion from diverse groups about the perceived inability of graduates to function meaningfully as a result of knowledge and skill gaps.
He said the perceived notion has called for questioning on the quality of Nigerian graduates, adding that curriculum is usually a suspect and incriminated whenever an issue of quality of graduates arose.
While noting that reinventing the curricular is a task that must be pursued and achieved with vigor, he said, â€œthe next important task for us is to define the modalities for achieving the onerous task of re-engineering curriculum of our universities. We decided to leverage on the NUC lecture platform to kick-start the conversation and to set the tone for broader stakeholders interaction and engagement in curricular reform process.â€