Nasir El-Rufai, the Governor of Kaduna State on Monday put up a strong argument for revamp of Nigeria’s educational system to meet up with the demands of the 21st Century.
Speaking at the 4th Distinguished Guest Lecture of the University of Medical Science on Monday, the governor noted such review was needed in order to make sure that young Nigerians are fully armed with the educational knowledge required in the 21st century.
The lecture which was titled “Transforming Nigeria’s Educational System: Looking back and Looking Forward.”
The governor said, “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,” he said.
“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.
“Professions are dying and new ones are coming up. Our curriculum and policies on education are all grounded in the twentieth century, while we are in the 21st, there is a need for a holistic review of that.”
He also noted that China made use of its own languages in educating its young ones and suggested that Nigeria can adopt one of the native languages spoken in the country as a medium of teaching in the educational system.
He said, “Of course, associated to that is the quest of language, should we still be teaching from primary to university in the English Language? What can we learn from other countries that 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, defense 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 the 21st century to compete globally.”
Friday Okonofua, Vice Chancellor, UNIMED, showered encomiums on El-rufai, saying he was chosen to deliver the lecture because of the reforms and policies he has implemented in the education sector in Kaduna State.