The Nigeria Educational Research Development Council (NERDC) has said it would reduce education curriculum to meet with the international best practice and standards.
According to him, a study carried out by the council has shown that the old curriculum was over-loaded in terms of subjects being offered at both the primary and Junior Secondary School levels.
Mr. Obioma said that the council was directed by President Goodluck Jonathan through the Presidential Task Force’s Report on Education to ensure that the curriculum is compressed at all levels of basic education.
He said that the council was also directed to ensure that standard quality is maintained in spite of the compression of the curriculum.
“What we have achieved is a revised nine-year Basic Education Curriculum which has seven to nine subject combinations – English, Mathematics, pre-vocational studies, religion and national values, IT and basic science and technology, to make the curriculum compliant to international best standards as it is in the US, they have about six subjects, Tanzania, they have eight, Kenya they have seven.
“In neighboring Ghana they have eight and these eight subjects are generic, covering mathematics and sciences, the humanities, the languages and so on.
“But the former curriculum has about 20 subjects listed; so what we’ve tried to do in the last three or four months is to review the curriculum, reduce the load, and maintain quality.”
Mr. Obioma said that the curriculum would integrate security education under the title ‘religion and national values’.
He added that the incorporation of such ideals became necessary owing to the current security challenges in the country.
“It is very important that we begin to think about being security- conscious at the level we are,” the executive secretary said.
He said with the new structure, the council is optimistic that there would be a significant reduction in mass exam failures in the country.
He said the curriculum overload could have been one of the major factors responsible for mass failures among students.
According to him, with the new curriculum in place the council expects to witness effective teaching and record better results at all levels.
“We also hope to see resources being brought into schools culminating into the reduction in mass failures.”
Mr. Obioma called for more investment in the education sector especially from state governments.