For Nigerian schools to have the capacity to groom employable and resourceful graduates there is the need to include technology and soft skills in Nigeria’s educational curriculum, educators have said. These were some of the recommendations from the just-concluded sixth edition of the annual education summit, tagged NEDIS Education Innovation Summit (NEDIS 2021) organised and hosted by The Education Partnership (TEP) Centre.
Speaking during the day-one plenary session, titled ‘Teaching the Skills of the Future Today,’ Barbara Kasumu, Director of Membership, Programmes and Development of the Association of Commonwealth Universities and Adetunji Adegbesan, Founder/CEO of Gidi Mobile, said the prioritisation of 21st-century soft skills such as public speaking, conflict resolution, entrepreneurship, critical thinking among others, in the educational curriculum, will make the youth resourceful, employable and independent.
On her part, Folasade Adefisayo, Commissioner for Education, Lagos State, who was the keynote speaker for day one, described the experiences and the lesson the Lagos State Government had learnt and is still learning from the pandemic.
According to her, there is a need for educators, students and players in the education sector, to make deliberate actions towards developing the educational sector in Nigeria. The Commissioner emphasised the importance of possessing future skills that should be integrated into the Nigerian educational curriculum.
On day two, Joe Abah, the Country Director of DAI Nigeria, who spoke on ‘A Future-Ready Africa is a Skilled Africa,’ said the Nigerian government has to recognise that the future of Nigeria is here, given the fact that the country has a youth population.
The plenary session for the day-two focused on ‘Education Management: Then, Now, and The Future,’ and the speakers talked about how monitoring of education systems should be focused on supporting rather than punishing schools. Nigerians need to sit down and decide what education means to us and what we want education to do for us,” the speakers suggested.
During the fireside chat moderated by Modupe Adefeso-Olateju, the managing director of TEP Centre, Alero Ayida-Otobo and Eyitayo Ogunmola said Nigeria needs to be strategic about positioning competent and experienced leaders in positions of government. They also said that there should be a strategic plan to train education leaders particularly in the public sector, and advocacy platforms that address politicians, should also be put in place.
NEDIS Education Innovation Summit is designed as a platform to highlight how innovations in education can help in solving challenges facing the delivery of accessible and high-quality education in Nigeria. Since its inception, conversations at NEDIS have explored new, exciting and sustainable approaches for increasing access to quality education, especially for the marginalised and underserved.
NEDIS 2021, which was held on the 7th – 8th of December 2021, had in attendance many stakeholders from government, research and academia, development and funding organisations, corporations, civil society organisations and a broad range of education innovators.