By Dayo Johnson
AKURE— GOVERNOR Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State, yesterday, advocated a review of the nation’s policy on education describing it as outdated.
He said this in Akure while delivering the 4th Distinguished Lecture at the University of Medical Sciences, Ondo.
El- Rufai, who spoke on the theme: ‘Transforming Nigeria’s Educational System: Looking back and Looking forward’, said something needed to be done urgently in the education sector.
His words: “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 40 or 50 years old.
“In my view, it is out of time; in the 21st 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 other countries and what is changing. Professions are dying and new ones are coming up.
“Our curriculum and policies on education are all grounded in the 20th Century, while we are in the 21st Century; there is a need for a holistic review of that.
“Of course, associated with that is the quest for language. Should we still be teaching from primary to university in English Language? What can we learn from other countries that they teach in their own indigenous languages up to university level?
“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 a dominant force in ICT and 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 a 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 the 21st century to compete globally.”
Speaking on his educational reform in Kaduna State, the governor said some of his colleagues said he was embarking on a suicidal mission.
El- Rufai said: “I am not bothered about re-election but concerned about the future of the students who are being taught by unqualified teachers.”
His Ondo State counterpart, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu stressed the need for restructuring of the education sector.