Former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has said Nigeria’s education sector needs urgent innovation in order to meet the 21st century requirements.
Obasanjo disclosed this yesterday when he chaired the National Universities Commission (NUC) second Quarterly Distinguished Lecture themed: “On The March to Re-invent The Curricula Of Nigerian Universities For Improved Relevance and Global Competitiveness”
He said there should have been at every educational level, a curricula to serve as guide to the nation’s objectives.
According to him, “Innovation and research are two different things. I am not underplaying the role of research. Research is very important and that is the responsibility of the university and other research centers but innovation is the responsibility of all of us no matter what we are doing or not doing.
“Whatever our education is for, I believe the important aspect in a dynamic society or situation is that curriculum must be invigorated, re-engineered and be made dynamic,” he added.
Also speaking, the former Executive Secretary of NUC, Prof Akinsola Okebukola, the guest speaker stressed that the country is weak in promoting innovation which is posing threat to Nigerian graduates.
He said: “We must encourage innovation in the system. There are too many traditional courses and we have to upgrade to meet the 21st century demand.
“While we pay due emphasis on developing a curriculum that will ensure that graduates of the Nigerian university system are rationally relevant and globally-competitive, we must pay equal emphasis on ensuring that the environment for delivering the curriculum is sufficiently clement,” he added.
On his part, NUC executive secretary, Prof Abubakar Rasheed said the issue of curriculum has continued to be the usual suspect incriminated whenever the issue of the quality of graduates is being discussed.
He stressed that the commission is fully aware of the global dynamics of the curricula and the need to make them flexible.