A reform of the education sector in Nigeria is in progress as iBass Institute of Learning has brought its international partner, the University of Greenwich, to help reform the sector.
The institute and its technical partner met with a number of Nigerian education agencies including the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Federal Capital Territory Universal Basic Education Board (FCT UBEB), National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) and National Universities Commission (NUC) in July to discuss and gather information on the current state of Nigerian basic and higher education systems.
In the course of the stakeholder engagement, a non-executive director of the institute, Luqman Idris, said they gathered that the Nigerian education agencies were not well integrated, and therefore hindering proper flow of the existing big data, which in turn, affects key performance indicators.
“Our work will focus on reforming and integrating the units that makes up our basic education system to ensure each adds value.
“With NCCE, we discussed improvement to standard, quality assurance and curriculum design for pre-service training.
“With FCT UBEB, we identified continuous teachers development as an area needing support among others. With UBEC, a number of issues including one of the principal challeges facing the country —creating access to quality education for average Nigerians, were discussed,” Mr Idris said.
The company said it is currently engaging administrators and teachers of basic education institutions (primary and junior secondary schools) across the Federal Capital Territory as its corporate social responsibility (CSR), training them on how to be more effective on the job.
The FCT Universal Basic Education Board (FCT UBEB) has also mandated iBass Institute of Learning to carry out a pilot study towards identifying shortfalls and other factors affecting effective teaching and learning across the FCT, the Managing Director, Mohammed Abass informed PREMIUM TIMES.
According to the executive summary of a report on the progress so far, the project adopted a phased delivery approach with twelve schools within Kuje, Bwari and Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) in the first phase and another twelve schools in Abaji, Kwali and Gwagwalada for the second phase.
He explained that the method was adopted to maximise engagement.
Mr. Abass said his institute has concluded the first phase of the project where four schools were visited in each area council. The covered area councils include AMAC, Bwari and Kuje.
“Each school was allocated an implementation duration of one week, to assess teachers current skills, behaviour and attitude towards teaching and learning, and to improve shortfalls in capacity that is required by teachers to impart knowledge to students with our Teacher and Administrative Engagement Programme” The summary highlighted.
Mr Abass said the first thing a teacher should be able to bring out in a pupil is the inherent potential God has embedded in him or her.
“To do that takes a lot of process, that is why teachers need to know about psychology, philosophy and sociology, it is very important
“For you to have knowledge that cuts across all these areas you must be competent and professional. For majority of teachers in Nigeria the competency is not there
“It is one thing to call yourself a teacher, it is another to know how you can impart knowledge, there is a difference between I have known and the process of knowing,” he explained.
In the agricultural sector, iBass Solutions UK Limited is working towards building the capacity of Nigerians in milk production.
According to Mr Idris who is a Director at the company, “building such capacity would help alleviate the stress placed on Nigeria’s foreign reserve and the jobs exported by local milk processors through importation of milk powder”. He says there is a binary choice, it is either we carry on with the current trend and continue to be a dumping ground for many industrialised nations, or change course towards becoming self-sufficient in milk production.
Enterpreneurship development is another area of focus for iBass Solutions, he explained.
“The goal is to support the government towards developing an enterprise economy by equipping graduates of Nigerian higher education institutions with entrepreneural tools to help drive the national economy forward as well as to support MSMEs. These tasks will be done collaboratively with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Industry (through SMEDAN),” Mr Idris said.