A 2-day workshop aiming to strengthen the implementation of the new secondary schools curriculum for girl-child education in Jigawa and Kano states was held at Bolton White Apartments/Hotel Abuja, from 6th to 7th June, 2013. The workshop was convened by the development Research and Projects Centre (dRPC), Kano and funded by MacArthur Foundation.
The workshop was attended by 20 officials of the Ministries of Education from Jigawa and Kano States as well as educationists from the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), the Ekiti State Ministry of Education and the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru.The workshop sought to improve skills, expand knowledge and create positive attitude towards solving problems associated with implementing the new national curriculum amongst strategic officials of the Ministry of Education, and Boards of education in Jigawa Kano states.
The workshop also aimed to create a forum in which the education administrators from the focal states interact with the Nigerian Education Research and Development Council (NERDC), the apex Federal government think tank on curriculum development to obtain guidance on how best to implement the new curriculum particularly as it affects the girl-child education. Papers were presented followed by participatory group exercises critical issues were raised and deliberated upon.
Following the deliberations the participants made the following observations:
- That the NERDC's effort in developing a New Secondary School Curriculum focusing on Nigeria's human resource development challenges is commendable.
- While acknowledging the efforts of the NERDC and State Governments to create awareness on the new curriculum, the sensitization of the public and other critical stakeholders on the implications of the curriculum on the girl-child education is inadequate.
- The non-availability of relevant textbooks to meet the requirements of the new curriculum is a major challenge.
- There is lack of qualified and experienced teachers for the trade/entrepreneurship subjects.
- There is dearth of guidance counselor officers in most of the schools to guide the students on the new curriculum.
- There are socio-cultural problems with regards to technical education as it affects girl-child education.
In view of the above observations, the following recommendations were made:
- The NERDC and state governments should ensure the sustainability of the new curriculum by periodic review to ensure it meets with current national development issues and global trends.
- Intense awareness campaigns through mass media, both electronic and print media on the implications of the new Senior Secondary Education Curriculum as it affects the girl child, should be made by the Federal Ministry of Education, States Ministries of Education, NERDC and other stakeholders.
- Federal Ministry of Education, States Ministries of Education, NERDC, professionals from education industry and publishers should hasten the development and commissioning of relevant text books, teachers' guides and workbooks as they relate to the new curriculum with emphasis on the Nigerian girl-child.
- Federal Ministry of Education and States Ministries of Education must collaborate in the recruitment and capacity building of trade/entrepreneurship teachers with particular emphasis on girl-child education.
- Federal and State governments to recruit female guidance and counseling teachers and post them to schools.
- Sensitization of the general public on the benefits of technical and entrepreneurship education for the girl-child, for empowerment, self-reliance and reduction of gender discrimination.
- National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) and Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) to review their teacher education programme to reflect the new senior secondary education curriculum.
Participants are of the strong view that if the following recommendations are implemented, they will go a long way in enhancing the quality of education and in specific the girl-child education in Nigeria.