Northerners are Experiencing Ed­ucational Backwardness – North Experiencing Self-Imposed Educational Backwardness 

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Northerners are Experiencing Ed­ucational Backwardness – North Experiencing Self-Imposed Educational Backwardness 

On Tuesday, Minister of Education Malam Adamu Adamu openly acknowledged that Northern Nigeria is currently facing educational backwardness, attributing it to a situation that the region itself has brought upon.

During the public presentation of the Core Curriculum Minimum Academic Standards (CCMAS) Book 1 series for Nigerian universities and a book in his honour, Adamu took the opportunity to express his views. Additionally, he commended the National Universities Commission (NUC) for its role in facilitating the approval of 37 new private universities by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

He further highlighted that these efforts by the commission have yielded positive outcomes, particularly with the establishment of more private universities in Northern Nigeria in recent years.

“The North is facing educational backwardness due to its own choices, as the primary focus in the region is on Islam, which greatly promotes knowledge.

“In 859 AD, a Muslim woman named Fatima Al-Fihri established the first university in the world, even before the Italian universities, Oxford, and Cambridge came into existence. This university, which is still present today, is located in Morocco.

“Approximately 100 years later, another university was established in Cairo, making it the second university in the world before the universities in Europe. Once again, this university was founded by a Muslim woman named Fatimatu Zahara.”

“So, the first two universities in the world were founded by Muslim women, yet some people are using Islam to restrict the role of women in their homes. I believe this does not make sense,” expressed Adamu. He further disclosed that a significant number of the 37 newly approved private universities are located in the Northern region.

Regarding the Core Curriculum Minimum Academic Standards (CCMAS), the minister emphasized that the new curriculum will greatly enhance the quality of graduates produced by Nigerian universities, adding significant value to their education.

“We have a continuous responsibility to ensure that graduates from Nigerian universities possess the necessary skills, knowledge, and expertise to thrive in the 21st century,” emphasized Adamu. “It is crucial that we consistently strive to enhance our educational programs and align them with global best practices. The introduction of the CCMAS book series is a significant step towards achieving this objective.”

Adamu commended the National Universities Commission (NUC) for launching the CCMAS in 17 disciplines, considering it one of the most important measures taken to ensure that Nigerian universities meet the current global demands. He stressed the importance of fully implementing the CCMAS to ensure its positive impact on the educational system.

“The successful implementation of CCMAS demands commitment, diligence, and a readiness to embrace change from all stakeholders. Therefore, it is crucial that we prioritize the training and empowerment of our academics, equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively implement CCMAS,” Adamu emphasized.

During the event, the outgoing minister also advocated for the establishment of a Federal Teachers Service Commission, highlighting that such a move would ensure that the reforms implemented in the teaching profession yield the desired outcomes.

“I have one remaining objective that I want to entrust to your hands, the heads of education agencies and other stakeholders. We have written a letter, and the president has approved everything… However, there is one aspect that is yet to be realized, which has the potential to revolutionize the education sector.

Recently, I came to the realization that we need a Federal Teachers Service Commission. I urge you to take up this responsibility so that all the initiatives approved by Mr. President can be effectively implemented for the benefit of teachers. By establishing a Federal Teachers Service Commission, we can ensure that the teaching profession attracts the best minds, leading to a transformation in the field of education,” Adamu expressed.

Furthermore, Prof. Rasheed Abubakar, the Executive Secretary of NUC, expressed his appreciation for the minister’s numerous accomplishments during his tenure, particularly in the field of university development.

“As of yesterday morning, we had a total of 111 private universities in the country. However, by yesterday evening, that number had increased to 148 private universities. Out of these 148 private universities in Nigeria, 87 or 60 per cent were established during Adamu Adamu’s tenure as Minister of Education,” stated the NUC chief.

Rasheed, who also lauded the significant impact of CCMAS on Nigerian universities, expressed his admiration for former NUC Executive Secretary, Prof. Peter Okebukola, accrediting him as the mastermind behind the curriculum.

Another speaker, Prof. Attahiru Jega, former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), emphasized the importance of CCMAS, stating that it represents a crucial stride toward the revitalization of the Nigerian education system.

“This contribution is of utmost importance in the efforts to reshape the Nigerian education system,” Prof. Jega affirmed.

“The introduction of the new curriculum undoubtedly represents a significant enhancement in the efforts to restructure our education system, and it is commendable that this achievement has occurred during the tenure of Minister Adamu Adamu,” Prof. Jega commented.

The event also featured tributes to the late Prof. Idris Abdulkadir and Prof. Nimi Briggs, alongside the unveiling of a book titled “Repositioning Nigerian Educational System: The Ministerial Footprints of Adamu Adamu,” dedicated to honouring the minister’s contributions.

The event was graced by the presence of notable figures including Prof. Ruqqayattu Rufa’i, former Minister of Education; Prof. Julius Okojie, former Executive Secretary of NUC; Sonny Echono, Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund); and Prof. Josiah Ajiboye, Registrar of Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), among other distinguished individuals.

Jael Okwuchukwu
Jael Okwuchukwu
I am Okwuchukwu Jael, a writer, educator, and musician from Enugu State. Teaching, both academic and musical, is a passion of mine, and I specialize as a Western pianist. Currently, I am employed as a blogger at Writer's King LTD, combining my love for writing and desire to share knowledge with a broader audience.

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