Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Thursday said the Federal Government was re-designing the country’s education curriculum as part of its education road map.
Osinbajo said this, while delivering the 23rd Convocation Lecture of the Lagos State University (LASU), during the university’s award of higher degree and postgraduate diploma certificates.
The title of the lecture was: “Africa Centres of Excellence in African Universities: a Veritable Catalyst for Nation Building and Development”.
He said it was obvious that there was need to change both the substance of education that our children received as well as the methods by which they were educated, NAN reports.
“We are clear that the key to achieving this is to focus on Science , Technology , Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) Education and the need for a workforce with STEAM skills to drive economic prosperity,” he said.
According to him, it was gratifying that LASU Centre for Excellence Programme had been earmarked as a Centre for Excellence and regional hub for Innovative and Transformative STEAM Education in Africa.
Osinbajo said the feat recorded by the university fits well with the Federal Government’s policy direction in education and its vision for a prosperous Nigerian economy, to be able to create jobs and train youths on those jobs for the next few years.
The Vice-President noted that the Federal Government new policy was to introduce Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics curriculum in primary schools.
“We also recognise that schooling should support the development of skills in cross-disciplinary, critical and creative thinking, problem solving and digital technologies.
“These skills are essential in all 21st century occupation,” he emphasised.
Osinbanjo said the National curriculum being developed would not only include teaching of coding ,digital arts , design thinking, robotics, critical thinking and other skills but also using these skills in interpreting traditional curriculum topics.
He said the aim of the Federal Government was to ensure that from early education, primary school on wards regardless of social background or geographical location every young person should have a fundamental level of digital and stem literacy.
According to him, this would enable the students succeed locally and international.
The professor said that government’s efforts under the national strategy would focus on implementing national retraining at primary and secondary levels.
He also said government was implementing the National Teacher Education standards, sharing best practices and efforts to attract more STEM graduates to the teaching profession.
“We will, therefore, be re-modelling and re-equipping 10,000 schools every year for the next 10 years.
“There is no doubt that we would be leaning heavily for direction, support and ideas of LASU’s Centre of Excellence programme, since by providence STEAM education will be your focus and this collaboration will be an important one.
“We are in the race against other economies and against time. Technology has changed the employment landscape permanently for the first time in human history.
“Men and women will be trained in their own counties, work from their bedrooms and compete for jobs anywhere on the planet . Computing is the ultimate agnostic tool, you may never even have to see your employer, employee or service provider,” he said.
The Vice-President, however, congratulated LASU for being selected among so many universities in West and Central Africa location as a Centre of Excellence, as part of the World Bank African Centres of Excellence Programme.
He said this was a recognition of the immense talent and hardwork demonstrated by the faculty and students of the institution.
According ho him, time had come for African countries to invest more in education, to lift the people of the continent out of poverty.
“So what do we need to do to convert our country to the greatest centre for innovation and creativity in the world? Three things; number one education, number two education and number three education.
“The truth is that education is the most powerful force for socio-economic change in the world, ” he said.
Osinbanjo also urged the graduating students to be concerned about building the nation and recognise that every generation is uniquely equipped to deal with its own challenges .
“Be suspicious of those who speak of the good old days, they probably suffer from memory loss. Your days are the best days,” he said.
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