By Joseph Erunke
THE Federal Government has begun development of a curriculum on internet safety for primary and secondary schools.The curriculum is intended to provide safety guides for primary and secondary school children who are not only very passionate in the use of the internet, but also very much naive and ignorant of the ills and dangers associated with its use.
The development, according to the Nigerian Education Research and Development Council,NERDC, which partners the Public Private Development Centre,PPDC, for the project,was borne out of government’s “desire to ensure safe and responsible use of the internet among young internet users, as they explore, maximize and utilize all the benefits the internet offers.”
Speaking at the writing workshop for the development of the online safety curriculum for Nigerian schools, Tuesday in Abuja,the Executive Secretary of NERDC,Prof. Ismail Junaidu, explained that the event followed the concept development workshop held late late last year.
“At that workshop, we articulated an overarching Concept Plan that harmonized various thoughts and ideas into a clear and logical directions as to what should constitute the objectives and contents of the intended curriculum,”he noted.
The project, he explained,”is a collaborative one between the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) and the Public Private Development Centre (PPDC) with sponsorship from Google.”
“ Let me inform you that one fundamental factor that enhances the provision of quality services to the citizens of a nation is the willingness of key government functionaries and agencies to form alliance with individuals and groups, especially the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the initiation, delivery and management of programmes and projects.
“It was this understanding that led to the coming together of NERDC and PPDC.
“The collaboration, while ensuring the maintenance of our organizational differences, has,in the past few months, resulted in the broadening of perspectives, knowledge and skills, particularly in the areas of project design and management.”
Prof. Junaidu noted that:”One common interest that has driven and sustained the partnership is the desire to ensure safe and responsible use of the internet among young internet users as they explore, maximize and utilize all the benefits the internet offers.”
“This led to the conceptualization and kick-off of this lofty project,”he said, adding that “there is no better time for a project of this nature than now that the internet has become a centre of attraction and a hub for heinous crimes.”
“It is thus our responsibility, as a foremost education agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) to provide safety guides for our youths who are not only very passionate in the use of the internet, but also very much naive and ignorant of the ills and dangers that pervade its use,”he said while thanking the “PPDC Google for the interest they have shown in this project.”
“It is also my wish that this partnership is sustained to ensure a successful completion of the project activitiesas identified and outlined in the project workplan,”he said while drawing participants’ “attention to the fact that this writing workshop is the most crucial stages in our curriculum development process.”
“It is at this stage that the curriculum assumes its shape which in the overall, determines the strength and efficacy of the curriculum.
“Precisely in this workshop. you will be tasked with the responsibility of organizing the curriculum contents and learning experiences, identifying and organizing teaching and learning resources, as well as setting and organizing the assessment benchmarks (evaluation guides).
“Doing these will require bringing to bear your expertise, experience and scholarship to ensure that the outcome of this workshop meets global standards,”he stressed.
“I wish to guarantee you of the commitment of my Council to the successful development of this curriculum and its introduction into the Nigeria primary and secondary schools,”he assured.