Post date: Mar 31, 2014 11:52:38 AM



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REG. NO: BSU/VTE/M.SC(ED)/11/3512










Briefly mention three national issues that commonly prompt and shape changes in the curriculum and education systems.

They include:

1. Lack of continuity

Lack of continuity in educational policies due to changes in governments brings about changes in the curriculum and educational systems. Successive Government come and introduces a different policy which has no regard for previous policies and as such some policies are implemented half way. Since government is a continuous process, successive administrations should always build on previous policies before making changes and be consistent.

2 Training and Retraining

Training of manpower, for example in Vocational and Technical Education (VTE) sector is crucial to keep the system moving and retraining is most essential as without it, we have decline and unproductivity. For instance, somebody that was trained as Introductory Technology teacher needs to be retrained for Basic Technology skills. Also a business education teacher that was trained in manual typewriter needs to be retrained for modern computers and Information Communication Technology (ICT). The same is the case in building where new concepts like intelligent buildings and building automations is now introduced.

3 Corruption

The issue of corruption in our educational institutions which is endemic in our society has eaten deep into the fabric of our system and has become the bane of our educational development. Thus funds meant for educational development are embezzled, mismanaged or misappropriated. For instance, contracts for the supply of laboratory equipment is given to close associates who provide low quality equipment but cannot be questioned or that administrator also take 10% kick back on all contracts.


Who are the various participants or stakeholders involved in education reform and curriculum change and their respective roles and interests in policy formulation?

The participants or stakeholders include:

- Government

- Legislators

- Special panels or commissions of Enquiry

- The National Educational Council (NEC)

- Professional bodies

- Individuals and Corporate bodies

1 Government

Government through its ministries and agencies formulate education policies, draws out educational plans and explains the strategies for its implementation. It also makes provision for recruitment, training, appointment and placement of human resources i.e. administrators. Apart from these, it allocates financial resources in form of direct funding, grant-in-aids, supplies of properties, sponsoring of programmes and construction of structures (offices, classrooms, laboratories, libraries etc).

2. Legislators

Legislators are also involved in the process of education reform and curriculum change. Some government policies in education may be required to pass through the Legislature in order to obtain legal backing before they are implemented.

3 Special Panels or Commissions of Enquiry

One major aspect of Nigerian education that has been quite often criticized is the curriculum. The early critics include members of the Phelps-Stokes and Advisory Commissions who submitted their separate reports in 1925. They observed that education in Africa generally had not been adapted to the needs and aspirations of the people. It was observed for instance, that the education Nigerians received was meant to serve colonial purposes.

The National curriculum Conference of September 1969 was the first attempt by Nigerians to formulate a school curriculum that is relevant to the goals, needs and aspirations of Nigerians. The goals are centred on achieving some national objectives through the instrumentality of education.

4 The National Educational Council (NEC)

This is the highest policy making body in education. Its membership includes the State Commissioners of Education. It formulates and advises the Federal Government on National Education Policy and general planning through the respective state representatives. The National Plan Policies in education are carried back to the states, and the educational needs and problems of the states are as well brought to the national focus.

5. Professional Bodies

Some professional bodies that play unique roles in curriculum planning include:

- Mathematical Association of Nigeria (MAN).

- Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN)

- National Association of Technology Teachers (NATT)

- National Board for Technical Education (NBTE)

- National Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC)

- National Teachers Institute (NTI).

6 Individuals and Corporate Bodies

Private individuals and corporate bodies are also stakeholders in education industry. Private individuals or households make contributions for provision of education for youths. Apart from paying tuition fees, accommodation and other school charges, provision of educational materials and supporting facilities are also borne by them. They offer valuable suggestions for policy consideration on direction and dimension of educational curriculum. The input of private individual and bodies becomes significantly necessary in the recent past when the principle and practice of private partnership in education financing and control came to stay. The input of private owners of schools and their interests are considered in formulating policies.

While WAEC is charged with the conduct of examination for Senior Secondary and private candidates, NBTE coordinates the curriculum, policies, decisions, policy implementation for technical education while NABTEB conducts examinations that are related to business, trade, vocational and technical education in Nigeria.


What are potential problems and areas of conflict that may arise from formulation and implementation of changes in the curriculum?

For the development of the society, curriculum should be renewed so as to take account of changes in the society. For example, when there is dissatisfaction with an existing system, there is always need for change or modification (Alade, 2011).

Among the potential problems and areas of conflict that may impede curriculum change are adequacy of resources, time, school ethos and professional support. Others are professional knowledge, professional adequacy and professional attitude and interest.

Adequacy of Resources

Adequacy of equipment, facilities and general resources required for implementing a new curriculum.


Time available for preparing and delivering the requirements of the new curriculum; for example, teachers need enough time to develop their own understanding of the subject they are required to teach.

School ethos

Overall school beliefs towards the new curriculum. Status of the curriculum as viewed by staff, administrators and community; for example school administration recognizes the importance of the subject in the overall school curriculum.

Professional Support

Support for teachers from both within the school and outside; for example opportunities to receive on going curriculum professional support.

Professional adequacy

Teachers’ own ability and competence to teach the curriculum i.e. confidence in teaching

Professional knowledge

Knowledge and understanding teachers possess regarding the new curriculum; for example different ways of teaching to foster student learning.

Professional Attitude and interest

Attitudes and interest of teachers toward the new curriculum; e.g. keen to teach the subject


Suggest ways of managing/dealing with conflict and resistance as well as mobilizing popular support for on-going or proposed change in the curriculum?

One of the most significant issues with curriculum has often been how to deal with the “implementation problem”. That is, the problem that so many curricula have either not been implemented, or not positively implemented. The problem of stimulating a process in which a target group is changing their practices in a way which is considered as improvement on the existing system. According to Fullan (1983, p493) two different general approaches may be adopted:

1 The Programmed Approach which aims to solve the implementation problem by concentrating on flaws in the specification of the product; e.g.

(a) Gaps in the existing specification of innovations practices

(b) Failure to articulate the innovations implication for teachers behavior; and

(c) Theoretical inadequacies with respect to identified means for achieving the intended outcomes of an innovation.

2 A contrasting conceptualization of the implementation problem is provided by the Adaptive-evolutionary approach which accepts that the innovation as it has been devised will be modified in the course of its implementation.

The programmed approach has certain strengths: it takes care to communicate its intentions and ways of implementation as clearer as possible and, thus, its evaluation criteria are unambiguous. However, it has also some weaknesses, the most important of which are, first, it is only suitable for such innovations which are actually programmable. Secondly, needs and characteristics of persons and organizations in different regions may vary so much that some leeway is desirable in order to cope with situational implementation problems.

The adaptive-evolutionary approach is strong in adapting an innovation to situational characteristics. It also claims that complex changes necessitate re-learning and, thus, invites participants to participate actively in the process of implementation which is seen as a prime opportunity for internalizing the main characteristics of the innovation. Its main weaknesses are first, problems may arise because of ambiguous objectives, variations of ways of implementation and shifting evaluation criteria. Secondly, evaluation of success is difficult and may vary between different persons and constituencies because no common criteria are available from the outset.

Mobilizing popular Support for Proposed change in the Curriculum

Without doubt, the most important person in the curriculum implementation process is the teacher. With their knowledge, experience and competencies, teachers are central to any curriculum improvement effort.

Implementing a curriculum requires the involvement of many different people. Each is a “key player” in the change process. Among the key players identified are: teachers, students, school heads/head teachers, assistant school heads, local government or state education officers, curriculum developers, academics, parents, interested political officers and lay citizens.


Give example of sensitive or challenging curriculum policy issues in Nigeria, in particular socio-political and cultural contexts.

Sensitive or challenging curriculum policy issues in Nigeria includes the following:

National Integration

Education has great influence on national integration. In the school system, there are so many subjects included in the curriculum to enhance national integration. For instance, National Policy on Education stipulates that at least two approved national languages (Ibo, Hausa and Yoruba) should be taught in our schools. Furthermore, in schools the culture of the ethnic group are learned by students. This helps the individual/students to get accustomed to the culture of the people and get easy to the people from the area.


The demands of the economy require high levels of skills and nature of the skill can only be properly reached through education. The process of education, no matter the agency handling it is concerned with the transmission of skills and values. Nigeria for instance, requires a modern industrial economy and this advance in technology can no longer depend upon the traditional on the job training in science and technology. The curriculum that is found in any educational system to a considerable degree reflect the need of that economy.


Cultural considerations constitutes a third problem of curriculum policy implementation in Nigeria. Cultural consideration hampers adoption of modern technology in many areas of programme implementation. Many health education programmes, family planning courses and nutrition education have failed because of cultural beliefs about large families where children are regarded as old age insurance.


There is an undutiful relationship between education and politics with regards to one influence the other. Education is an important agent of political socialization. This is true because in school, individuals learn and acquire political attitudes which allows them to participate in any political system available in their country. For instance, in Nigeria’s political system, educational qualification determines the type of seat or political status one can aspire to.

Government most times, uses “Education” to achieve their goals thereby modifying educational policies to suit own interest. For example, in Nigeria government emphasis has been on technological development and for that reason education has been modified to suit that objective. Politics provide various avenues for the resolution of conflicts among members of the society.