The National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) has developed over 60 new and reviewed curricula of the National Diploma (ND), and the Higher National Diploma (HND) curricula.
Specifically reviewed are the National Occupational Standards (NOS) and Open, Distance and Flexible e-Learning (ODFeL) Courseware in Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET).
The Executive Secretary, NBTE, Prof. Idris Bugaje, said this at the public presentation of the new and reviewed ND, HND curricula, NOS and ODFeL in Abuja on Tuesday.
Bugaje said that the new and reviewed curricula was long overdue as they would help to provide general guide to institutions in determining the body of knowledge and skills, while also addressing the employability problems in the country.
According to him, the number of developed regulatory instruments to be unveiled represent just about 15 per cent of the total on offer.
He, therefore, stressed the need for the board to keep developing and reviewing more to bring them to national and international standards
” The board has a combined total of over 350 curricula, NOS and ODFEL course-ware in the Nigerian TVET system.
” The notable quality of these curricula is that they are industry-driven; developed and/or reviewed with the full participation of the Nigerian industries to address the employability problem that are often encountered by our diplomats upon graduation.
“The problem of employers of labour incurring additional cost to retrain our products in order to fit into their operation is hopefully being solved.
” The peculiar type of training that should be given to Polytechnic and Monotechnic students in line with the national objective of encouraging youths economic self-reliance, entrepreneurship as a programme has, more than ever before, become one of the key features of the reviewed curricula,” he said.
He listed some of the new and reviewed curricula as ND/HND in Petroleum and Gas Processing Engineering, Transport, Planning and Management, Strategic Communication and Media Studies, Water Sanitation and Hygiene and Organic Agricultural Technology.
He also listed Homeland Security, Articulated Vehicle Driving, Construction Equipment Operation and Traditional and Herbal Hygiene as part of the new and reviewed NOS for skill training.
Bugaje added that the National Council on Establishment (NCE) at its last meeting in Yola, approved the inclusion of some of these TVET courses into the schemes of service of the Federation, particularly the National Innovation Diploma (NID).
He said that this had made two African countries to show interest in the quality of the country”s system with Rwanda signing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) while Morocco was also in line to do so.
The executive secretary, however, called on stakeholders and the government for continuous support in ensuring proper funding of the Skills Sector Council (SSC) to drive the skill agenda forward.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu said the new development would mark the departure from the old practice where subject experts develop or review curricula without taking cognisance of the expectations of employers of labour.
Adamu, who was represented by the Director of Polytechnic Education and Allied Institutions, Dr Ejeh Usman, said the curricula would no doubt instill fresh ideas in the delivery and learning processes.
” I understand over 30 ND/HND curricula, 16 NOS and 18 Course-ware were either developed or reviewed in the last one and a half years, with the active involvement of the industry and the Organised Private Sector (OPS).
“This is a marked departure from the old practice where subject experts develop/review curricula without taking cognisance of the expectations of employers of labour, thus, making products of TVET institutions either unemployable or costing employers fortunes to retrain.
” It is in this regard that I consider the development of new curricula, especially in new and emerging fields, and the review of old ones, most of which have become obsolete, as very apt.
” Specifically, it is worthy of note that some of the NOS that were reviewed were first developed in 1963 with the support of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Since then, there was no effort to review them,” he said.
He said that usually curricula were supposed to be reviewed at most every five years, but some were now being reviewed after 20 years.
He said this called for serious efforts by all stakeholders, including TETFund, to ensure the review was carried out on time.
” I am not oblivious of the challenges of funding, obsolete facilities, inadequate instructional materials etc. that could militate against the successful delivery of these curricula.
“At the level of the ministry, we shall continue to support NBTE to surmount these and other obstacles with a view to providing TVET products the enabling environment to contribute to nation’s quest for technological advancement,” he added.
Responding, the Chairman of Council of Heads of Polytechnics and Colleges if Technology (COHEADS), Dr Samuel Kalagbor promised to ensure the full implementation of the new and reviewed curricula and expand the frontier of students training.
In attendance at the occasion were the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, Registrar NABTEB, Prof. Ifeoma Isiugo-Abanihe and the Executive Secretary, NCCE, Prof. Paulinus Okwelle, among others.