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Nigeria Needs New School Curriculum, Says Omole

By Oladimeji Ramon, Punch

A former Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Prof. ‘Wale Omole, has blamed poor industrialisation in Nigeria on the curriculum bequeathed to the country by the British.

He argued that except the curriculum was overhauled, Nigeria would never know true industrialisation.

Omole said this on Wednesday at Muson Centre in Lagos, where he delivered a public lecture, titled, “Education in the 20th century and now; the future of the Nigerian child,” on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Chrisland Schools.

A book, “The Story Behind the Glory,” chronicling the history of Chrisland and its founder, High Chief (Mrs.) Winifred Awosika, was also unveiled on the occasion, which was chaired by the Head of the then Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan.

A former military Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, who was the Guest of Honour, was represented by Pastor Fred Odutola; while the Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Idiat Adebule, was represented by theDirector of Private and Special Education in Lagos State,Mrs. Ajoke Gbeleyi.

Omole, in his lecture, said the curriculum bequeathed to Nigeria by the British was mainly theoretical rather than practical, adding that the fact that it was delivered to the Nigerian pupils in foreign language contributed to the “conspiracy” to make industrialisation a difficult task for Nigeria.

He said except the British curriculum was discarded and replaced by a new one built on value system and value chain, Nigeria would remain a trading country, which would always depend on foreign experts and importation of goods.

Omole said, “If we do not change that curriculum we will remain the same and industrialisation will continue to elude us and we will continue to depend on importation of things that God already provided in our land. We will, most likely, continue in trading.

“…As if that was not enough, that is the curriculum brought to us, we had another problem, the curriculum was also presented to the children by linguistically disconnecting them from our culture, classifying local languages as vernacular, never to be spoken in school.”

The don said the result of teaching Nigerian children in foreign language was that they learnt by mainly cramming and regurgitating to pass examinations rather than studying for understanding.

“It is most beneficial to teach the children in their indigenous languages which elicit better understanding and good performance of communication,” Omole declared.

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