Cogent Educational Policy, Vital for Industrial Revolution, Says Agbaje

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Driven by passion for the transformation of the education sector, the Director, New Hall International School, Lekki, Lagos, Mr. Biodun Agbaje examined the current national education curriculum, calling for the overhaul of the system. He said education provides the answer to the country’s quest for industrial revolution. Uchechukwu Nnaike reports

The global economy is undergoing major transformations, which are multidimensional, affecting the technological, economic, social, cultural and political development of human communities, particularly those of developing societies like Nigeria.

Education is seen as a strategic instrument for social and economic transformation, hence all over the world, the focus of education has shifted to the development of the human capital required to meet present and future challenges of globalisation and the knowledge economy.

There is no denying the fact that the Nigerian government recognises this and has consistently said the country’s economy could only be transformed and sustained through education that empowers the people and assures the technological development of the country.

But Mr. Biodun Agbaje, the Director, New Hall International School, Lekki, Lagos, while lauding the government’s efforts in the education sector, said a lot needs to be done if the objectives must be achieved.

He said the current national curriculum lacks the capacity to help achieve the nation’s quest for industrial revolution blaming it on bad implementation by those in authority.

“The present national educational curriculum puts our country far behind international standard of education. The reasons for this are obvious and range from inconsistencies in the federal, state and local government educational policies, as well as poor budgetary allocation to the sector. These have culminated in poor national infrastructures, lack of modern teaching facilities, inadequate classrooms and non-conducive learning environment. Besides, well trained teachers and administrators are lacking in our public educational institutions.”

“Everything points to the fact that we are not yet prepared to join the world in the quest for fourth industrial revolution until and unless our policy makers see education as a game changer and direct the nation’s resources to address these challenges urgently with high level of sincerity of purpose.

The truth of the matter is that the seeming hope for the country to achieve anything close to industrial revolution for now lies with the private schools and New Hall International School fervently stands for this and very much equipped for this challenge.”

He described the school as a new dawn in all-round child education with a customised curriculum to give an edge start to children in life from nursery to primary and the secondary education.

Agbaje said the school was established to create the missing link between foreign and local system of education; provide a better alternative to wholesome foreign curriculum or the national curriculum by imparting knowledge through a broad and balanced curriculum, through an affordable alternative for those who desire international education curriculum within the country and to also encourage the awareness of moral, religious, political, social and environmental issues in the world.

“Over the years, we strive to bring the best of international educational content to add to best of Nigerian curriculum which earned our earlier heroes like Professors Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Hezekiah Oluwasanmi, Aboyade Cole, among others the rightful place in the world stage in education.

“We are also equipped to provide a solution and alternative to the dwindling quality of education in the country and offer a succour to those seeking overseas education in the country or desirous of quality education and can’t afford to go overseas.”

Speaking on its curriculum offerings, the director said the school celebrates the diversity of its students and their interests by offering a college preparatory curriculum that is varied enough to create the desire to become involved in the learning process that will be seen by selective colleges and universities as competitive and credible.

“The academic programme in our primary section is based on the Montessori method. Both the lower and upper school programmes strive to create in students a strong desire to become world citizens who have a sense of honour, discipline and compassion.

“The school was set up to inspire students to work hard, take pride in their ability with appreciation of their cultural heritage and in doing this explore international affiliations and exchange programmes with the ultimate aim of exposing the students internationally.”

Agbaje said the school is affiliated to two schools, one in the UK and one in the US. It also prides itself with exchange programmes with many international schools even as it is a British approved school.

On how the school prepares students for the “future of jobs” challenge, he said aside the exceptional service that covers academic, and extracurricular activities in line with its motto ‘Strive Ahead and Above’, students who passed through the school are normally equipped not just for their next educational pursuit but also for life.

“We as a school work tirelessly to impart knowledge through a broad and balanced curriculum working effectively in the three areas of learning, the cognitive, affective and psychomotor of every child in our care.

“With well-robust extracurricular activities to galvanise the psychomotor of students, we have a magnificent school sports hall that houses all our indoor games, basketball court, lawn tennis court, volley ball, hand ball, badminton and table tennis. The school also has a standard swimming pool, and ultra-modern stadium almost completed with artificial grass. This helps in developing rounded children outside the outstanding performance in academics.”

The school has been in existence since 2007 and has won many medals, prizes and accolades in all areas of service delivery with the most recent achievement being the first prize winner in the PZ Cussons Chemistry Challenge for secondary schools in Lagos State.

In terms of corporate social responsibility, the school single-handedly constructed road from the estate gate to the front of the school. It also provided electrification of the street and most importantly currently running a scholarship programme for two indigent students valued at N2.5 million per student per annum.