The National Board for Technical Education has begun developing curricula for Higher National Diploma for environmental health technology (pest and vector management) and National Diploma in family health care technology.
The NBTE, in collaboration with the Environmental Health Council of Nigeria on February 5, also began the development of a curriculum on environmental health specialities.
The specialities are environmental health (8 options), public health (3 options), epidemiology and disease control (3 options) and water sanitation/hygiene (WASH) (2 options).
During a pre-critique on the development of the HND curriculum for environmental health technology, and ND in family health care technology, the Executive Secretary of NBTE, Prof Idris Bugaje, said the board had, since inception, never had such voluminous reviews.
Mr Bugage, represented by the board’s Director, Human Resource Department, Lawal Hafiz, said the curricular development in the options was a sign that the board was changing the narrative from the usual practice.
He added that it was challenging to bring the health sector to the forefront of technical occupation education and development.
Mr Bugage also said that in view of the importance of the environmental health and family health care technologies, the sector needed to be standardised and regulated to ensure that it gave the expected value.
The ES said that since inception of the NBTE, it had sustained collaboration with the right institutions and experts in ensuring that the standard being set was updated and of international best practice.
He said the aim was to sustain the nation’s educational and trade environment.
He, therefore, stressed that the curricular, when completed, would enable lecturers to have directions on what to teach and what not to, and test the competence of those trained.
He thanked the EHCON and the Family Health Care Technicians and Technologists Association for collaborating with the board, and their dedication towards the realisation of the curricular development.
Earlier, NBTE’s Director, Curriculum Development Department, Dr. Hatim Koko, said that final critique for the family health care technology signified that it had reached the level of implementation in various colleges and institutions.
He said that the EHCON had lined up a series of functions in the HND environmental health technology in Nigeria.
Mr Koko explained that part of it was the pest and vector management, where they previously in the seminar, developed a curriculum for food safety and hygiene.
“We now have about 16 options for HND, particularly those in environment health practices,” he said.
Mr Koko, however, noted that there was no curriculum for pest and vector management.
“It it is this team that will develop the curriculum and it will be finalised in another critique similar to that of the family health care,” he said.
He urged the curriculum development team to give their best in coming up with a curriculum that would stand the test of time.
Also, the Registrar of the EHCON, Dr Yakubu Baba, said environmental health was a multidisciplinary field that encompassed various specialties, including water, sanitation, hygiene, air quality, occupational health, waste management, food safety, among others.
Baba, represented by the Deputy Registrar of the council, Isah Adanu, added that each of the areas was crucial to the promotion of public health and the preservation of the environment.
He, therefore, said it was imperative that Nigeria’s educational programmes reflected the current challenges and advancements in the specialities to produce competent and well-prepared environmental and family health care professionals.
“Our goal is to create curricula that are comprehensive, innovative and responsive to the evolving needs of our society. It is essential that our programmes equip students with the theoretical knowledge, technical skills, and practical experience necessary to tackle complex environmental and family health care issues,” Mr Baba said.
The Registrar of Family Health Care Technician and Technologists Association, Dr Sunday Joseph,
explained that the pre-critique would consider the curricular to incorporate the most recent research findings, global best practice and emerging trends in environmental health and family health care.
He said doing so would foster a culture of continuous learning and ensure that Nigerian graduates were well-prepared to face the challenges of a rapidly changing world in relation to environment and family health.
He urged the participants, resource persons and experts to engage in constructive discussions, share valuable insights, and work together to shape the future of environmental health technology and family health care technology in Nigeria.