The National Council of Education (NCE) has ratified the return of History and Religious Studies into the Basic Education Curriculum of Nigerian Schools, while Christian Religious Knowledge and Islamic Studies was approved to be separated from Religion and National Values and handled as stand-alone subjects.
Other decisions of the Council were for the National Universities Commission (NUC), National Board for Technology Education (NBTE) and the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) to make retraining of all lecturers in their institutions in inclusive education, a component of their Benchmark for academic standard.
The Council reached these decisions at its 62nd Meeting, presided over by the Honourable Minsiter of Education, Mal. Adamu Adamu, held at the Afficent Events Centre, Nassarawa, GRA, Kano from Monday 24th- Friday 28th July, 2017.
In his opening remarks at the Council’s meeting with the theme “Inclusive Education Creating Quality Learning Opportunities for all: Implications for Concurrency in Education in Nigeria,” Mal. Adamu noted that the Meeting could not have come at a better time than now when Nigeria had committed herself to the implementation of the Education 2030 Agenda. He said that the major thrust of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 4 was to ‘ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.’ According to the Minister on the strength of this, the Federal, States and Local Government Councils with other stakeholders in the education must interface through the instrumentality of the NCE, to formulate and implement policies required to achieve the Education 2030 Agenda.
The Minister told the gathering that this year’s meeting provided another golden opportunity for stakeholders to take stock of progress in Nigeria’s Education Sector; identify the challenges and consider policy options that would move the nation to entrench a 21ts century education system that was globally competitive. He listed some of the developmental issues in the sector to include the implementation of inclusive education, concurrency in education, professionalisation of teaching, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), Basic Education Curriculum Controversy, Improving Access and Quality in Tertiary Education, Promoting of inclusion in the University Tertiary Matriculation Examination Computer-Based Test (CBT) and Institutionalisation of the Nigerian Education Management Information System (NEMIS).
The Hon. Minister emphasised the importance of data for successful planning and implementation of education policies and programmes. He said the task of guaranteeing inclusive education and creating quality learning opportunities involved planning which relied
on the availability of accurate and reliable data to support decision making and the equitable allocation of resources for the transformation of Nigeria into a knowledge-based economy that is globally competitive.
In his own remarks, the Hon. Minister of State, Professor Anthony Anwukah stated that inclusive education was premised on the fact that if the right to education for all was to be upheld, learners must have access to quality education that meet their basic learning needs and enriched their lives. He said that the curricula must be reviewed to improve learning and encourage the inclusion of all pupils since it would address the child’s cognitive, emotional and creative development.
Earlier in a welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, whose address was read by Dr. Adamu Hussaini, said the theme of the 62nd Council Meeting was apt considering the fact that of the 20 million out-of-school children in the world, about 10.6 million are in Nigeria, the number, he said was the highest in the world. He informed the meeting that inclusive education was to improve access and create learning opportunities for all, stressing that it was about the child’s right to participate and the school’s duty to accept the child, inclusion rejects the use of special schools or classrooms to separate students with disabilities from students without disabilities. He, therefore, advocated for the emergence of policy that would enhance the development of the inclusive and equitable education system.
Goodwill messages were delivered by the Chairman, House Committee on Tertiary Education and Services, Hon. Aminu Sulaiman Fagge; Chairman, House Committee on Basic Education and Services, Hon. Zakari Mohammed; Executive Governor of Kano State, represented by His Deputy, Professor Hafiz Abubakar; Honourable Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Kano State, the Emir of Kano, His Highness, Muhammadu Sanusi ll, represented by the Madaki of Kano, as well as stakeholders across the education family.
The Executive Secretary NUC, Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed led the delegation from the Commission to the meeting comprising the Directors of Academic Planning, Dr. Gidado Bello Kumo; Corporate Communication, Mal. Ibrahim Usman Yakasi; Deputy Director, Academic Matters and NUC Representative at the Joint Consultative Council Meeting (JCCE) and Principal Academic Standards Officer, Abdul Salam Abdullateef.