Current Challenges and Strategies for Transforming Basic Education for National Development by Umar F. Mohammed(PhD) National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion, NOTAP Introduction Education is the most important factor that determines the success of human existence in this universe. It is a barometer for the measuring the economic success of a nation and the engine for civilisation. It is the oldest human venture that has existed since the creation of the universe. The pursuit for knowledge has been the greatest and oldest endeavour ever made by humanity. Education is a quality that differentiate an animal from a human, a civilised person from an uncivilised person and an illiterate from a literate. Also education is the instrument that distinguishes a civilised country from an uncivilised country, the developed nations from the undeveloped nations and is the implement by which stronger nations dictate their policies to the weaker nations. Introduction (Con’t) As such, if Nigeria is to register herself among the committee of civilised and rich nations then, education is the Key. Education defined Education is the process of acquiring knowledge hitherto unknown to a person and the development of a system to use that knowledge positively for the advancement of the immediate society and humanity as a whole. Also education is defined as: The wealth of knowledge acquired by an individual after studying particular subject matters or experiencing life lessons that provide an understanding of something. Education requires instruction of some sort from an individual or composed literature (business dictionary) Types of Education Two(2) types Formal and Informal a) Informal Education: informal education is the education done outside the normal school system b) Formal education is the type of knowledge imparting carried out in the normal school system Current Structure of Nigerian Basic Education (the 6,3,3,4 system) Current Structure of Nigerian Basic Education (Con’t) Currently, the Nigerian basic education structure consist of a 9 year study program under the 6,3,3,4 Nigerian system of education. It means a child is expected to commence his primary education at the age of six (6) years and would spend a maximum of six (6) years in the primary school before proceeding to spent 3 years at the junior secondary school. He then proceeds to spend another 3 years at the senior secondary school before going to the university or polytechnic or college of education. Revised Nigerian Basic Primary School Curriculum Meaning of Primary School Curriculum • Is an educational planning document which outlines the contents of children’s learning—the what and how of children’s learning—for children’s first nine years in school, from the first class up to the junior secondary school. The curriculum aims to: • develop each child’s potential to the full • encourage a love of learning • help children develop skills they will use all their lives. Revised Nigerian Basic Primary School Curriculum (Con’t) The curriculum is presented in seven areas, some of which are further subdivided into subjects. These are: 1.English Studies 2. Mathematics 3. Cultural and Creative Arts (CCA) 4. One Nigerian Language 5. Basic Science and Technology (BST) i. Basic Science ii. Basic Technology iii. Physical &Health iv. Information Technology 6. Pre- Vocational Studies, PVS – to be introduced from Primary 4 i. Home Economics ii. Agriculture 7. Religion and National Values, RNV i. Christian Religious Studies ii. Islamic Studies, iii. Social Studies, iv. Civic Education v. security Education 8. French – to be introduced from Primary 4 9. Business Studies/Entrepreneurship, BSE – to be introduced in JSS1) 10. Arabic (Optional) Nigeria English Studies Mathematics India Languagesd Mathematics South Korea Korean Language Moral Education Cultural & Creative Art Social Sciences Social studies One Nigerian Language Science Mathematics Basic Science & Technology(i) Health & Physical Basic science, (ii)Basic Education Technolgy, (iii) Physical Health Pre-vocational Studies 7. Religion and National Values, RNV i. Christian Religious Studies ii. Islamic Studies, iii. Social Studies, iv. Civic Education v. security Education 8. French – to be introduced from Primary 4 9. Business Studies/Entrepreneurship, BSE – to be introduced in JSS1) 10. Arabic (Optional) Arts Work experiance Science Ireland USA Mathematics English Social environmental & scientific Education(History,Geo graphy, Science) Mathematics Arts Education (Visual Social studies/History arts, Music, Drama) Physical Education(Social, personal & Health education) Religion education Science Praictical Arts Physical Education Modern language performing arts visual arts Music fine Arts Religion Foreign Language Physical Education/health computer Library/media Life skills community services Challenges Facing Universal Basic Education in Nigeria Funding; There is Absence of enough and adequate government funding for basic education Lack of other funding mechanism for primary education, such as through tax system, levies, personal contributions, etc. Data source: Internet 160 Annual Budgetary Spending 149.5 148.6 145.8 140 138.7 138.6 Amount B(US$) 120 100 80 Nigeria USA 60 40 20 0 2009.5 2010 2.8 2.1 2 2010.5 2011 2011.5 2012 Year 3.2 2.7 2012.5 2013 2013.5 2014 2014.5 Infrastructure Absence of basic infrastructure such as standard buildings, furniture, constant electricity, laboratory facilities, clean portable drinking water, dispensaries & clinics, libraries, etc. Teaching Materials Absence of enough teaching facilities such as text books, writing materials, instructional tools, etc. Financial Poor remuneration of teachers High poverty rates among the people Absence of incentives for teacher Lack of motivation among teachers Technical Absence of enough technical innovation skills for the sector Absence of modern technological teaching tools such as audiovisual devices, VSAT, computers, laptops, multimedia devices, etc Societal High drop out of children from schools for labour work Lack of demand for accountability by the people Mistrust about government policies I don't care attitude for children's’ education among parent Administrative Lack of political will to implement government policies Lack of proper monitoring and regulatory mechanism to enforce government’s rules and regulations in education Lack of a comprehensive training programme for teachers High level of Corruption among government officials Rampant examination malpractices Religious Misconception among the religion about western education Discrimination in the system due to religious affiliations Strategy for Transformation • Increase the funding for education • Create more synergy and collaboration between all the relevant educational stakeholders to compliment each other • The education sector should look inward with a view of patronising made in Nigeria educational facilities developed by other agencies and local inventors. • Government should establish a dedicated educational development fund for basic primary education to supplement the statutory budgetary allocation for education • The teaching of science and technology subjects should be encouraged to develop the future critical mass of engineers and technicians that will produce educational facilities. Strategy for Transformation (con’t...) • The education sector should exploit other viable educational initiatives that exists in other institutions to accelerate the development of the sector. • Education should be modernised with more modern facilities and equipment and government should provide necessary infrastructure through proper funding both in the urban and rural areas in line with the universalisation objectives • Government should draft a policy on e-learning as a new education method to compliment the traditional way of learning which is more costlier. The NOTAP’s Educational Initiatives Brief history of NOTAP • The National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), an agency under the aegis of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology was established by Decree No. 70 of 1979, as the National Office of Industrial Property (NOIP). The NOTAP’s Educational Initiatives (Con’t..) It is a corporate body with the following mandates: To implement the acquisition, promotion and development of technology and at the same time correct certain imperfections in the acquisition of foreign technology into the country. In 1992, the name of the Office was changed to National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) by Decree The NOTAP’s Educational Initiatives (con’t..) No. 82 of 1992 now referred to as NOTAP Act cap 268 LFN 1994. This was to ensure that the name adequately reflects the entire functions of the Office and to also remove any ambiguity or misconception that may arise in relation to any other Government agency. • VISION OF NOTAP: To move Nigeria from the periphery to the dominant centre of global industrial power structure within the shortest possible time and make her a major global power house of the 21st Century through an efficient Technology Acquisition Strategy and a vibrant innovation and R&D commercialization programme. • MISSION: To ensure the acceleration of Nigeria's drive towards a rapid technological revolution by an efficient acquisition/absorption of foreign technology and a concerted development of indigenous technological capability through a proactive promotion of innovation and commercialisation of technology. NOTAP’s Educational Initiatives on Science and Technology Pedagogies The Technology Storyboard Initiative • The Technology Story Board Programme is an educational and instructional tool aimed at planting the seeds of science, technology and innovation at the basic educational level to ultimately produce the critical mass of highly skilled S&T manpower needed by the country for future technological and economical development. Technology Storyboard Initiative • The concept involve a step – by- step graphic/pictorial representation of the technological process of transforming raw materials to final consumable products. Interestingly, it was noted that for most of these products, the raw materials and the final products are both well known to children, while the intermediate processes remain a mystery • NOTAP developed the concept in close consultation with many manufacturing companies which resulted in the development of the Technology Storyboards Technology Storyboard Technology Storyboard Technology Storyboard Technology Story Books Programme The programme is a fall out of the technology storyboard initiative. It consist of production of series of children science and technology story books and is part of a program to reverse the worrying trend of growing disinterest in science and technology subjects among children which portends to a very serious problem in the future for the socioeconomic development of Nigeria. Technology Story Books (Con’t...) The series uses the imagery and simplicity of traditional children folktales stories in communicating different areas of science and technology of products manufactured by companies to children in a way that makes learning science and technology very exciting. The Digitalised ALLO Initiative The word Allo is a Hausa word and it means blackboard or writing material. The Allo is an Islamic learning art/tool which has been in existence many centuries ago to propagate islamic knowledge. The qur’anic text is normally written on the board using local ink produced from either charcoal or leaves of trees. The digitalised Allo is an innovative instrument that combines the Allo and a digital ipad computer developed to modernise the process of impacting islamic knowledge by using digital instrument. The Digitalised ALLO Initiative (Con’t) The Digitalised ALLO Initiative (Con’t) The Digitalised ALLO Initiative(Con’t) The Major objectives of the innovation are • To modernise the process of traditional Islamic teaching and learning in the country • To directly or indirectly ingrain the conscious of the students and the Islamic teachers about the efficacy of western education • To eradicate the misconception about western education common among Islamic scholars and students. NOTAP-Industry Technology Transfer Fellowship (NITTF) The NOTAP-Industry Technology Transfer Fellowship (NITTF) is a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) platform designed to create indigenous critical technological competences of elite applied knowledge workers in Nigeria through special PhD programmes tenable in Nigerian Universities. The support is for a maximum period of 4 years to be jointly implemented by NOTAP and Industry. NOTAP-Industry Technology Transfer Fellowship (NITTF) • The scheme is a tripartite arrangement where industry will provide fund and laboratory facilities, the university will train and employ the fellows while the government i.e NOTAP initiates and manages the interface to produce “pool of critical mass of manpower” needed for speedy economic development of the country. • NOTAP is partnering with all industries having technology transfer agreements registered with the office and other organizations and individuals in the implementation of this scheme. NITTF is administered by NOTAP and its partners. Objectives of NITTF The objectives are : Create a pool of knowledgeable and skilled manpower that will facilitate technology acquisition, assimilation and diffusion. Provide academic staff of universities with broad and direct experience of industry to benefit research and enhance the relevance of teaching Stimulate and translate research results to the private sector to develop a sustainable technologybased economy. Objectives of NITTF (Con’t...) Establish appropriate linkages between university research institutions and industrial sectors Establish a process and system for the commercial exploitation of research results Encourage the setting up of joint ventures and partnerships to sufficiently promote and profit from R & D results. Encourage the use of spin out and spin off companies as vehicles for promoting technology transfer and commercialization Objectives of NITTF Create a robust and dynamic R & D structure in Nigeria. Conclusion The economic transformation of any nation is a completely reliant on the education posses by its citizen. Education is the pillar to the development of a nation. We should know that if we want to leave a sustainable legacy that will make our children to be proud of us we must give then the quality education that will be useful to them. Our natural resources, which we have been exploiting since independence have failed to deliver us from the bondage of poverty and misery. Our only hope is education. In line with the Transformation Agenda of Mr. President he should focused more attention to the Education Agenda. Thank you!