Moghalu advocates re-alignment of education curriculum

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Lagos, June 11, 2024 (NAN) A political economist, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, says Nigeria must re-align its education curriculum in line with the rapidly-evolving global landscape.

Moghalu, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, also said that increasing importance of technology, science, entrepreneurship and teacher training in driving economic growth and innovation had also made the realignment compelling.

He spoke at the Fifth Arthur Mbanefo Lecture in Lagos on Tuesday.

The lecture was organised by the Arthur Mbanefo Digital Research Centre (AMDRC), University of Lagos.

It had the theme: “Education and National Development: Meeting Nigeria’s Challenge in the 21st Century”.

The lecture was part of activities to celebrate the 94th birthday anniversary of Chief Arthur Mbanefo, the donor of the centre.

According to Moghalu, Nigeria is urgently in need of educational policy that can enhance human capital development and bolster its standing within the global community.

Moghalu, also the President of the Institute for Governance and Economic Transformation, said the realignment must prioritise access and quality education by emphasising literacy, skills and national values.

According to Moghalu, the strength or failure of any nation depends on the strength of its education system.

He added that education remained the only pathway to development.

“This is the foundational truth. We must prioritise our education by allocating 70 per cent of the curriculum to technology, science, entrepreneurship and teacher training.

“Nigeria can better equip its youth with the skills and knowledge needed to compete in the 21st Century economy, foster entrepreneurship and improve the quality of education across board.

“I also recommend that ethics becomes a compulsory subject in the education curriculum in Nigeria at both primary (in a simplified and elementary form) and secondary schools in a more comprehensive form.

“This will help to achieve the educational objective of creating good and responsible citizens,” he said.

Moghalu also said that there was the need to shift the pedagogical practices of the Nigerian classroom from one that emphasised rote memorisation to a more intellectual engagement, creative thinking and experiential learning.

He said that it was imperative to foster a connection between the academia and industry to improve the socio-economic impact of education.

According to him, tertiary students require exposure to real-world challenges which their education is designed to help them to address.

“A well-educated populace not only enhances personal fulfillment, but also addresses local challenges, elevates societal well-being and fosters social cohesion.

“However, the current Nigerian education landscape grapples with many challenges, undermining the nation’s human capital potential.

“As of 2020, Nigeria’s human capital index, as assessed by the World Bank, stood at 0.36, positioning it 168th out of 173 countries.

“This is a marginal improvement from 0.34 in 2018, where it ranked 152nd out of 157 nations surveyed,” he said.

The political economist said that the sluggish growth underscored the persistent obstacles hindering effective education of Nigeria’s populace.

“For Nigeria to play a significant role on the global stage in the years ahead, it must effectively develop and deploy its human capital to propel national advancement.

“Given its central role as the primary purveyor of human capital development, the education sector assumes heightened significance in Nigeria’s developmental agenda,” he said.

According to him, understanding the intricacies of Nigeria’s educational challenges is vital for devising effective solutions.

He listed the challenges to include hindrances to access to quality education, erosion of education quality and inadequate financing.

“Investing in education, training, research and development. and supportive policies can help develop a skilled workforce equipped to drive innovation and create value, while also providing adequate monitoring and evaluation.

“ The National Education Policy suffers from implementation challenges. Innovative policy reforms are sometimes crippled at the implementation stages due to factors such as lack of adequate human capacity, inadequate funding, and corruption,” he said.

Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Folasade Ogunshola, lauded Mbanefo, a former Pro-Chancellor of the university, for demonstrating love for advancement of education through support for the centre.

According to her, AMDRC which began full operations in 2018, is a digital research hub where students and relevant stakeholders can have access to digital resource learning to advance research and post-graduate studies.

She said that the centre had brought to fruition, Mbanefo’s dream.

The vice-chancellor said that the annual lecture series had since become the flagship event of the centre.

“The university of Lagos has been in the forefront of Artificial Intelligence and digital learning.

“We have over 23 research centres and four innovation and technology hubs,” she said.

In his remarks, Mbanefo, who turned 94 on Tuesday, expressed satisfaction at the operations of the centre.

He urged the Federal Government to seek appropriate ways to encourage members of the academia.

“There is the need to recognise the role that members of the academia play in nation building,” he said. (NAN)

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