DG NITDA Calls For Curriculum Overhaul To Meet 21st Century Needs

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L-R: The executive secretary, Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council, Prof. Ismail Junaidu and director-general, National Information Technology Development Agency, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi when former paid the NITDA boss a visit at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja.

The director-general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi has emphasised the urgent need for a comprehensive review of the existing school curriculum to incorporate digital skills at all educational levels.

This initiative, he said, aligns with President Bola Tinubu’s ‘Renewed Hope’ agenda which aims to create millions of jobs through digital technologies and achieve a 70 percent digital literacy rate by 2027.

Abdullahi made these remarks during a meeting with the management team of the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), led by its executive secretary, Prof. Janaidu Ismail at NITDA’s corporate headquarters in Abuja.

He highlighted the significant role of digital technology in curriculum design, content and processes, emphasising that technological evolution has transformed global practices, and Nigeria should not be left behind. “We must lead in developing a competency-based, outcome-focused curriculum that addresses the demands of the 21st century. This will enable us to produce a skilled workforce capable of meeting the needs of the Nigerian market and attracting investment from other countries. Integrating digital skills into the curriculum is crucial for national development and economic growth,” Abdullahi stated.

Abdullahi further asserted that government policies related to sustainable development, 21st-century skills, digital economy, creative arts and digital technology would create a pathway for nation-building. He explained that the curriculum’s central focus should shift to providing citizens with the required knowledge and skills in digital technology to foster growth and development.

The executive secretary of NERDC echoed these sentiments, stating that their institution is charged with the primary responsibility of curriculum development for the country at all levels. He stressed the importance of infusing digital literacy into the curriculum as a critical area for national development.

“The visit aims to scale up the existing relationship, partnership, and engagement between our organisations and explore potential areas of collaboration for national development,” Ismail said. He added that the NERDC is also responsible for promoting book development, local authorship, educational research for public policy formulation and implementation, and the development of Nigerian languages to enhance education delivery and public use.

Ismail commended NITDA for its significant contributions to advancing information and communications technology (ICT) across Nigeria. He praised the agency’s efforts, which span almost all states, and highlighted the impact these initiatives have had on driving growth and development in the ICT sector.

The collaboration between NITDA and NERDC aims to overhaul Nigeria’s educational curriculum to meet the demands of the 21st century, focusing on integrating digital skills. This initiative is seen as a crucial step towards achieving sustainable development, economic growth, and national development through a skilled and digitally literate workforce.

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