(L-r): Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, director general of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), in a handshake with James Agada, CEO of Computer Warehouse Group (CWG), who led the team to a visit to the Agency’s Corporate Headquarters in Abuja to solicit for NITDA’s support in promoting CWG as an indigenous local technology provider.National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has commenced process of engaging the National Universities Commission (NUC), the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) and other relevant Agencies for a review of the national (educational) curriculum to incorporate courses on information and communication technologies.
The Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology (COBIT 5) National Implementation Committee inaugurated in Abuja recently is believed to be the vehicle to push for the curriculum review.
Members of the committee were drawn from various MDAs comprising of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), National University Commission (NUC), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC), Nigeria Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC), National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA).
Nigeria CommunicationsWeek learnt NITDA’s interest in the curriculum review is primarily to include courses that will spur knowledge-based economy and local content development (LCD).
The plan includes the incorporating the ‘internet’ as a discipline for the deepening of the nation’s cyber defense experts and technology entrepreneurs who will lead the local content drives.
Dr. Isa Pantami, director General of NITDA who has been meeting with stakeholders in the ICT industry stressed that the Agency will not rest on its oars in support local content technologies.
During one of such occasions at NiRA office in Lagos, Dr, Pantami represented by Dr, Collins Agu, director, Infrastructure and Technical Support Services at NITDA said, “One of the primary pillars of NiRA is local content which informed the decision for us be supporting our OEMs (original equipment manufacturers)”.
On the need to review the curriculum he said, “I think it is something very workable, especially if NiRA will come up with a document; we will see how to collaborate. I feel that having ‘the Internet’ as a discipline in our schools is something that should be done, but on the implementation I can’t say yes or no for now until the stakeholders come together to decide on it.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has also demonstrated that ‘The Internet’ deserves special course status in universities. The team at ICANN Learn and George Washington University recently created an in-depth look at the current state of digital trade in a free course titled “Digital Trade and Global Internet Governance.”
Backing the moves, Dr. Chris Nwannenna, member of NiRA Board said that the technology trends across the globe support the plea for a review of nation’s school curriculum as the Internet ought to be a discipline in tertiary institutions as showcased by ICANN’s moves.
“I don’t think there is something stopping us from doing that. It only demands we introduce the programme. I know that organization like NiRA through NITDA, NUC and other stakeholders can make it happen. It is not an impossible thing. You don’t need to have people with PhD. Internet Studies before the discipline can be taught in schools. At the advent of Computer Science studies, most of the tutors came by ‘chance’- from physics, Mathematics, but they had the experience.
“So, there is nothing wrong in introducing the course. It can start as an elative in the Computer Sciences department until it attains special status or we can start from the Diploma level. That is what I will suggest,” Dr. Nwannenna said.