The federal government has announced plans to review and enhance the curriculum for basic schools in the country to develop the creative skills of children and prepare them for future innovation.
Tahir Mamman, the minister of Education, disclosed this during a panel session on National Child Well-being at the ongoing Nigeria Economic Summit on Tuesday. Mamman stated that the current numeracy and literacy skills taught in basic schools are inadequate to prepare Nigerian children for present-day realities.
He further emphasized the importance of teaching soft skills such as critical thinking and practical skills at the basic level to improve the quality of learning and nurture children’s capabilities to think critically.
“We are going to rejig the curriculum for basic schools. We want to strengthen some level of critical thinking at that level. The teaching has to be in a way to nurture their capability at that stage to think critically”, the minister said.
The minister also revealed that his administration’s focus will be on basic education, which has been neglected in the past. The government is developing policies to increase enrollment in basic schools, which are currently free but have low attendance and a high number of out-of-school children.
Mamman emphasized the need for better learning opportunities and facilities in basic schools, and the government’s plan to engage the governors who have the funding responsibility to achieve this.
Mamman also highlighted the shortage of teachers and classrooms in the country, stating that there is a gap of 950,000 teachers and 20,000 classrooms. He assured that the government is working to improve facilities as well as security around schools, especially in vulnerable areas, to ensure the safety of children.
Muhammad Pate, the minister of Health and Social Welfare, also speaking, emphasized the importance of health and education in human capital development.
He said the government is working to expand and recalibrate the Vulnerable Group Fund to provide health insurance for the poorest of the poor and ensure health security.