LAWMAKER WANTS SECONDARY EDUCATION CURRICULUM UPDATED WITH ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, CYBERSECURITY, CLOUD COMPUTING

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LAWMAKER WANTS SECONDARY EDUCATION CURRICULUM UPDATED WITH ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, CYBERSECURITY, CLOUD COMPUTING

A Motion on the need to update secondary school curriculum with emerging technologies, has been considered by the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.

At Plenary on Thursday, Sponsor of the Motion and Member representing Etinan State Constituency, Hon. Uduak-Obong Ekpo-Ufot, listed the emerging technologies to include Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Cybersecurity, Cloud Computing, Robotics and Automation, Internet of Things, as well as Augmented and Virtual Really.

The Lawmaker described as outdated, the academic curriculum used in educational institutions in Nigeria and by extension, Akwa Ibom State, saying the current curriculum cannot properly prepare learners for future challenges and tasks.

“The academic curriculum in Nigeria & by extension, Akwa Ibom State’s educational institutions– nursery, primary, secondary, and tertiary is older than Nigeria itself. This curriculum was passed down by the British colonial masters more than 60 years ago. What is news is that civilisation, development, and innovation have left it behind.”

“Other forward thinking economies have since moved on to improve their curriculum with current and practical contents which have ensured the production of innovative and highly creative students, for instance, in June 2023, the Education Bureau in Hong Kong has implemented the city’s first curriculum on Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Junior secondary students. The curriculum, distributed to over 450 public secondary schools, encourages teachers to incorporate 10 to 14 hours of AI education into the information and communication technology (ICT) subject for students in Form One to Three starting from September 2023. The curriculum covers ChatGPT, fundamental AI concepts, computer vision, computer speech and language, robotic reasoning, AI ethics, and the social impact of AI”, he said.

Hon. Ekpo-Ufot argued that government would be toiling with the future of the next generation, “if the current obsolete and unfit-for-purpose curriculum is not replaced with a mixture of the American, British, Scandinavian and Chinese curriculums, by commencement of the next school year inSeptember 2024.”

He prayed the House to urge the Akwa Ibom State Government to allocate at least 5% of Education annual capital budget to ICT in Education, in line with the recommended Strategies in the 2019 National Policy on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in Education.

Other prayers were, that the Honourable Commissioner for Education and other relevant agencies and MDAs should review the STEM curriculum in Secondary Schools to reflect 21st century realities and also expressly look into the Curriculum in the Akwa Ibom State University and that of Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, to ensure that they are ICT-compliant.

Responding, the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. (Elder) Udeme Otong, referred the Motion to Committee on Education, to dialogue with the Commissioner for Education, Chairman of State’s Technical School Board, as well as the State Secondary Education Board and report to the House.

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