By Favour Nnabugwu
The Federal Government has commenced holistic review of the National Policy on Education in tandem with the nation’s transformation process. Executive Secretary of Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) and Chairman of the High Level Committee on Updating the National Policy on Education, Professor Godswill Obioma, said the current policy on education was deficient in view of the present-day realities and emerging issues affecting the education sector.
He spoke at a stakeholders’ meeting in Abuja on Wednesday on the review process of the education policy.
Obioma said that the current 6-3-3-4 system of education would also be reviewed to make it compulsory for one year early child education.
He said the campaign for access to education in the country warranted that early childhood education is properly incorporated in the national system of education.
He also noted that the present administration of President Goodluck Jonathan attaches great importance to human development and that government was determined to reposition the education sector through provision of a sound policy framework.
Prof. Obioma also said the society was dynamic and many reforms have taken place overtime, which have not been adequately reflected in the current policy in place.
The NERDC boss further said that there was need for Nigeria to review the international agreed goals such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Education For All (EFA) goals beyond 2015.
He said the new policy would redefine those goals in line with the national development agenda
He said; “Various countries have set for themselves an agenda on what to do and as we approach 2015, the whole world is trying to redefine those goals. And so, the policy also must be changed in tandem with those redefinitions.
“Secondly, we are operating a system whereby Mr. President has set for us agenda, which we hope will take us to Vision 20:2020. The transformation agenda has as one of its strategic goals, human development and education is very critical to human development;
“critical in the sense that education is an instrument per excellence for social and economic reconstruction. So, if we look at education as critical to human development and critically connected to transformation agenda, we must go back and ask ourselves, the current policy on education, will it still drive that process?” Obioma said.
He added that the review would also take into consideration education in disaster areas, saying “a couple of weeks ago and until recently, we have been witnessing flood and children and human persons are in disaster areas and you have noted that a number of populations have moved from communities where they were domiciled which have been engulfed by flood, to schools where children are expected to be learning.
“And those children are in deprived environment. They are in environment in which we call disaster environment. Even those other children whose schools were flooded are now helpless in refugee camps. But we don’t have anything like that in the current policy on how to address such situation,” he said.