The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council, Prof. Godswill Obioma, has said that the implementation of the revised curriculum for basic education will commence in 2013.
He said the agency decided to start the implementation after the conclusion of the review of the nine-year basic education curriculum.
This was contained in a statement issued by the agency after an editorial workshop where curriculum experts, subject specialists, teachers, education policy makers, employers of labour and parents put finishing touches to the revised curriculum in Enugu last week.
Participants at the workshop corrected all grammatical and typographical errors in the document and eliminated repetitions or content duplication in the curriculum.
According to Obioma, the implementation of the revised curriculum will commence next year in Primary 1 and JSS 1 classes nationwide after its ratification by the Joint Consultative Council on Education and the National Council on Education.
Speaking on the structure of the revised curriculum, the professor of Mathematics Education and Evaluation explained that while the structure of the existing nine-year basic education comprises of 20 subjects, the newly revised structure has 10 subjects.
This reduction in subject’s listings, according to the NERDC boss, was achieved by grouping related disciplines.
“Related UBE subjects curricula like Home Economics and Agriculture are brought together to create a new UBE subjects curriculum called Pre-Vocational Studies. Similarly, Islamic Studies, Christian Religious Studies, Social Studies, Civic Education and so forth that focus primarily on the inculcation of values (societal, moral, interpersonal) now form a new UBE subject called Religion and National Values”
“Key concepts in the former curricula now form integrating threads for organising the contents of the new subjects into a coherent whole. In the process of the review, particular efforts were made to eliminate content repetitions within and across subjects to further reduce the overload and encourage innovative teaching and learning techniques,’’ he explained.
He added that in line with the framework for reviewing the curriculum adopted at a national stakeholders’ forum on February 9 this year, pupils in primaries 1-3 are to offer a minimum of seven subjects and maximum of eight subjects.
Pupils in primaries 4-6 are to take a minimum of eight subjects and maximum of nine subjects while JSS 1- 3 students are to offer a minimum of nine subjects and a maximum of ten subjects.
He explained that the unnecessary workload on pupils was one of the reasons for the reduction of subject listings at the basic education level from 20 to 10.
“Recent feedback on the implementation of Basic education Curriculum suggests that the curriculum is overloaded in terms of the numbers of subjects offered at the basic education level. A major outcome of the presidential summit on the state of education in Nigeria which held on 4th and 5th of October, 2010 was the need to reduce the curriculum offerings. For example, pupils in Kenya offer seven subjects; Tanzania, eight subjects; United States of America, six subjects; Malaysia and Indonesia, nine subjects each. Consequently, NERDC was mandated to revise the 9 – year BEC,” he added.