Fundamental reforms are needed in Nigerian education, says El-Rufai
“I think that fundamental reforms are needed in education and I think what the Federal Ministry of Education needs to do is to lead in reviewing the national policy on education, which is already forty or fifty years old,” Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, has said.
He described Nigeria’s policy on education as outdated, and needs urgent review, “for the challenges of the 21st century.”
The governor stated this on Monday while delivering lecture on, “Transforming Nigeria’s Educational System : Looking back and Looking Forward,” at the University of Medical Science, Ondo.
He said Nigeria’s current policy on education was deficient in view of the present-day realities and emerging issues affecting the education sector.
“In my view, it is out of time; in the twenty-first century so much has changed in education, but there is a need to sit down and get experts in the subjects to look at what is happening in the educational policies of countries in the world: what is changing.”
The outspoken governor condemned the current curriculum on education , saying “they are all grounded in the twentieth century, while we are in the 21st, there is a need for a holistic review of that.”
El-Rufai advocated a policy that would recognise and adopt one of the languages spoken in the country as a medium of instruction in the nation’s institutions.
“Of course, associated to that is the quest of language, should we still be teaching from primary to university in English Language? What can we learn from other countries that teach in their own indigenous languages up to university level?,” he said.
“They teach from primary to tertiary institutions in their own languages and they have gone to space. China is competing with America and will soon overtake America as the largest economy in the world.
“They are dominant force in ICT, defence yet they are taught in Chinese. Is there something we can learn there? Are we slowing down our development by insisting that the only language of the educational communication is English?
“This national policy should look at issues like this and come out with policy on education that will prepare young people of Nigeria for the 21st century because right now the education we are giving them may not be fit for purpose for 21st century to compete globally.”
Speaking, the Vice Chancellor of UNIMED, Prof. Friday Okonofua, said Mr El-Rufai became their choice because of his radical approach to transforming education in Kaduna State.