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Restructure Nigeria Education Curriculum to meet global job environment – Prof Odigure

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…crude oil is not the future of Nigeria energy source for development

Nigeria needs a complete restructuring of its education curriculum, assessment and reporting practices in other to reflect the achievement of high order learning and mastery rather than accumulation of course credits.

Engr. (Prof) Joseph Obofoni Odigure, Registrar/ CEO, the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) stated this at the 10th Convocation Lecture of Achievers University Owo, Ondo State, Nigeria, and Friday April 23 2021.
Delivering his lecture on the topic ‘The Reality Of University Programme Education Objectives: Post Convocation Life’ .He said today job environment requires specific learning outcomes, noting that all learning, teaching and assessment must be towards what the outcome of that teaching should be as well as what the learner is supposed to do and at what standard rather than not what the teacher is going to teach.

Speaking further, he said this is the essence of the Outcome based Education (OBE) Learning objectives that is being implemented by the Council Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN)

According to him, the Outcome-based Education (OBE) is defined as a means of clearly focusing and organizing everything in an educational system around “what is essential for all students to be able to do successfully at the end of their learning experiences” (Spady, 1994). This implies starting with a clear picture of what is important for students to be able to do, then organizing curriculum, instruction, and assessment to make sure this learning ultimately happens.
The characteristics of OBE according to the COREN Registrar is that it helps to have a more direct and rational curriculum in terms of its responsiveness to the societal and national needs, focuses on what students can do or the attributes they should develop after they are taught, requires that the students demonstrate proficiency in knowledge, skills and professional attitude and It enhances graduates’ employability in an ever growing and competitive world as well as enhances universities community and stakeholders’ relations as from the fact that it enhances university’s visibility and ranking.
Odigure said OBE will become a pre-requisite for Accreditation of Engineering Programmes by COREN and that will make such Degree to be well recognized in all Washington Accord Countries and COREN becomes a PROVISIONAL SIGNATORY of the Washington Accord.

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He said OBE learning outcomes are ‘’clear learning results that we want students to demonstrate at the end of significant learning experiences. They are what learners can actually do with what they know and have learned. (Tangible application of what has been learned) Outcomes are actions and performances that embody and reflect learner competence in using content, information, ideas, and tools successfully. They represent the ultimate result that is sought from the learning (Spady, 1994)’’

He said the learning domains are associated with learning outcomes in OBE which are pre-requisites skills and competences require by learners to compete globally as specified by International Engineering Alliance (IEA).
‘’These skills and competences are in line with the Washington, Sydney and Dublin Accords for Engineers, Engineering Technologists and Engineering Technicians respectively. These accords allow engineering practitioners to have mobility around the world and to compete effectively in the global market. This differentiate the traditional face to face from the OBEE accreditations’’ He said.
On the curriculum of OBE, he said, ‘’it has Programme Educational Objectives, Programme Outcomes, Course Learning outcomes, Performance Indicators and target for student achievements.
It is objective and outcome-driven, where every stated objective and outcomes can be assessed and evaluated. It is centered on the needs of the students and the stakeholders. Every learning outcome is intentional and therefore the outcomes must be assessed using suitable performance indicators’’

Furthermore he said COREN is committed to the implementation of OBE in Engineering and advice that all Engineering faculties shall migrate to the OBE system soonest.
‘’At a convocation ceremony as this, we should in the nearest future be assessing the extent of compliance with the Programme Outcomes and measuring the Programme Education Objectives. Today, your convocation day, we should be assessing the level of compliance with the 12 Washington Accord Programme Outcomes. These are: Acquiring and applying fundamental knowledge of Science, Engineering and Mathematics, with focus in solving complex Engineering problem’ ’He said.

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He though there are daunting problems in the reality of university education in Nigeria , but the engineers need to increase their horizon of self-learning and active pursue lifelong learning and very importantly develop their spirituality as nothing works without a heart belief

Odigure also said the country depending on crude oil for infrastructural development is an aberration as artificial intelligence shall define the next generation of industrial development and become the biggest contributor to any serious nation GDP.

According to him, the naira metrics, on the Oil Revenue performance for 2020 Budget shows that the total oil revenue was N1.5 trillion, about 50% higher than its budget of N1 trillion, noting that the increased oil revenue was because of the devaluation of the exchange rate, which rose the budget of N360/$1 to N379/$1 in the third quarter of the year.

Furthermore, the non-oil revenue (which are mostly taxes, levies, and customs revenues) performance did worse with revenues falling 21% to N1.2 trillion. And FGN outspent its expenditure targets, reporting a total of N10 trillion compared to a target of N9.9 trillion which was appropriated. He said.

According to him, it was reported also that of the expenditure, N3.27 trillion was for debt service, and N3.19 trillion for Personnel cost, including Pensions. And that 1.80 trillion had been released for capital expenditure, which is about 89% of the provision for capital. Out of this, up to N118.37 billion was released for COVID-19 capital expenditure.

Quoting from the KPMG International publication on the 2021 budget which states that “the proposed aggregate revenue and expenditure budgets for 2021 are ₦7.89 trillion and ₦13.08 trillion respectively, shall result in ₦5.02 trillion fiscal deficit.

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The deficit will be financed mainly by new borrowings totalling ₦4.28 trillion, ₦205.15 billion from privatization proceeds and ₦709.69 billion from drawdowns on multilateral and bilateral loans secured for specific projects and programmes’’

All these are signals that the economy is in bad shape and so Nigeria needed to do the needful to be at pace with the global competitive market which is no more fossil fuel driven.

The country also must be able to imbibe artificial intelligence to drive her economy.

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