Nigerian universities to award degrees in Data Science, Cybersecurity, others with a new curriculum

Eberechukwu Etike
Nigerian universities now offer courses in Software Engineering, Cybersecurity etc. with the new curriculum
Nigerian universities now offer courses in Software Engineering, Cybersecurity etc. with the new curriculum

The Federal Government, in collaboration with the National Universities Commission (NUC), has introduced a new core curriculum for degree programs in Computing.

The new core curriculum minimum academic standard (CCMAS) aims to produce graduates with the knowledge, practical skills, soft skills and competencies to fit in for the 21st century.

The updated list covers existing programmes being currently run in various faculties/schools/colleges of computing in Nigeria as well as some new programmes in line with current global trends in required skill acquisition in the sciences.

The contents of many courses of existing programmes have also been modified in consonance with modern trends in the requisite knowledge and skills of computing. All the computing programmes and degrees listed in the new curriculum are;

  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Science
  • Information and Communication Technology,
  • Computer Science
  • Information System
  • Software Engineering

A committee of experts and the NUC have been discussing the need to develop new core curricula and Minimum Academic Standards for institutions since 2021. After thoroughly examining the current Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards, the new curriculum was developed.

The Federal Government, the Federal Ministry of Education, and the National Universities Commission set out on this new approach with the intention of providing radical curriculum re-engineering to meet the global standard and preparing Nigerian graduates for relevance in the fourth industrial revolution global economy.

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The relevance of this new core curriculum and Minimum Academic Standards for Nigerian universities

Opportunities abound in tech as the world changes. Still, for many Nigerian students, these chances are out of their reach since the educational sector has not yet sufficiently taken this global trend into account.

Before now, most federal Nigerian universities only offered courses in computer science, engineering, and statistics. The curricula of these programmes only provided a broad overview of the sector without going into great detail about the various subfields it consists.

For many individuals, this new update is significant. An aspiring mobile app developer, currently a computer science undergraduate at a Nigerian university, explained that many Nigerian students interested in pursuing a particular field engage in self-learning activities or participate in Ed-tech programs due to the outdated curriculum materials used in some Nigerian universities.

Chidi, another undergraduate student, explained that there are many opportunities in the technology sector. However, most of these positions are tied to particular fields in the industry, and with the general knowledge acquired, it is a bit difficult to navigate through your preferred field.

Thanks to the new core curriculum and Minimum Academic Standards. graduates from Nigerian universities will now be prepared to explore and be more successful in their chosen fields.

Read Also: 9 places you can get remote tech jobs and earn USD from Africa,

A minor concern would be whether Nigerian lecturers can manage the load of this comprehensive curriculum.

Several Nigerian lecturers are very skilled and even so experienced with emerging technologies. A number of them also graduated from universities abroad. Apart from that, Nigeria’s tech sector has experienced rapid expansion, providing room for experience and acquiring skill sets.

But what will happen to Edtech programmes already offering these courses?

Despite implementing these new curricula, the EdTech industry may not be impacted at all, given the state of the education program in Nigerian universities.

This is due to the industry’s coverage of more in-depth knowledge, practical training opportunities, and mentoring programs for specific fields in the technology sector, including some that have recently been added to the curricula of Nigerian universities.

It has an entirely different teaching and learning process that is still unmatched by Nigeria’s standard education system.

The majority of its advantages, particularly virtual learning, are still a struggle for Nigerian universities because many of them lack adequate infrastructures, instructional aids, and functional tech devices that will improve learning and teaching.

Nevertheless, this is a big win for the great Nigerian students and an excellent step to improving the youths’ capabilities.


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