WELCOME ADDRESS AT THE CRITIQUE AND EDITORIAL WORKSHOP FOR THE REVIEW OF CIVIC EDUCATION CURRICULUM FOR SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN NIGERIA BY PROF. ISMAIL JUNAIDU EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, NERDC.
29TH JANUARY TO 2ND FEBRUARY, 2019.
It is with great pleasure and honour that I welcome you to this Critique and Editorial workshop for the review of Civic Education Curriculum for Senior Secondary Schools in Nigeria.
The review of the Civic Education Curriculum, a subject on our general curriculum is very central and invaluable to the existence of our nationhood and as responsible citizens.
As far back as the 1980s, and at a time when Nigeria was struggling and confronted with challenges of an emerging democracy, it became evident that the lack of Civic Education had left a yawning gap in citizenship consciousness. This situation was aggravated by the lack of deliberate effort to confront the situation directly and adequately through education contents particularly at the primary and secondary school levels. This had serious implications on citizenship training and consciousness which need to be nurtured and harnessed at this stage. This and other recent global and national development trends culminated in the desire and serious need for Civic Education in the national curriculum. As a response to all these, the Civic Education curriculum was developed and reintroduced for Basic and later Senior Secondary School education. Since then, Civic Education is taught as a separate subject in Nigeria primary and secondary schools.
Civic Education is concerned with the development and acquisition of skills and competencies related to our social norms, and values. Civic Education teaches political system; it emphasizes the rights, roles and duties of members of the society. The goal of Civic Education is the development of responsible citizenship. It aims at equipping the learners with the political, cultural and democratic ideals and values that will enable them to function as effective and productive citizens. Civic Education, in this case, at the Senior Secondary School level, would enable the acquisition of skills and competencies relating to the inter-relationship between citizens, government and the society. It would create consciousness on government, its function and the responsibilities of government to the people and vice-versa. It teaches respect for fatherland, good governance, transparency, patriotism, good election and electoral system and a whole gamut of inter-relationships that would allow for a sovereign united Nigeria.
The existing Civic Education Curriculum for Senior Secondary Schools was developed in 2008 by NERDC and implementation commenced nationwide in 2012 with the revised curricula for other senior secondary school subjects. Based on our timeline, it has completed the first circle and is due for revision. Going by current trends globally and in Nigeria, there are lots of issues that need to be integrated into the existing curriculum. There is also the need to adjust some existing contents and concepts to reflect the present situation of our society. Moreover, one of the goals of education as enshrined in the National Policy on Education is the relevance of curriculum at all levels to meet the needs of the society and the world of work. Ladies and gentlemen, it is for these reasons that the Development Research Projects Centre (dRPC) is partnering with NERDC to review the Civic Education Curriculum in line with global best practices.
I wish to state here that the key themes and topics infused into the existing curriculum were identified in a content selection workshop which was held between the 21st and 22nd of September, 2017. The planning and writing workshop for the review exercise was also held between the 19th and 23rd of October, 2017. The third phase of the project, which is the critique and editorial workshop, is why we are gathered here.
I personally implore all participants to carefully examine what was done at the planning and writing workshop, identify those areas that are not appropriate, expunge and provide appropriate alternatives, cross the T's, dot the I's, fine tune the draft Civic Education Curriculum and ensure quality and standard of the document.
Let me seize this opportunity to express our gratitude to the development and Research Projects Centre (dRPC) for collaborating with NERDC and sourcing funds from Mac Arthur Foundation to carry out this project. The role of these two key partners is not only invaluable to our cause in the execution of our mandate, but also indicates our drive towards Public-Private Partnership. Furthermore, I would like to appreciate our resource persons for the support given to the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) in the execution of this partnership project. I have no doubt in your ability to effectively critique, edit and add value to the Civic Education Curriculum. I sincerely wish everyone here a successful and fruitful workshop and a pleasant stay in Abuja.
Once again, I welcome you all. Thank you and God bless you.
Prof. Ismail Junaidu
Executive Secretary, NERDC