Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, at the public presentation of the Core Curriculum Minimum Academic Standards (CCMAS) Book 1 series for Nigerian universities and a book to his honour, said that the backward state of education in the Northern regions was self-imposed. He added that different from people who practice Islam in other parts of the world, Nigerian northerners are the major impediments to promotion of education in the region. This barrier is because the focus of the north is in Islam which is believed to be the greatest knowledge promulgator.
In 859 AD, a Muslim woman named Fatima Al-Fihri (sic) founded the first university in the world. At the time, Italian, Cambridge and Oxford universities were not in existence. Up till date, the university is in existence in Morocco. About 100 years after, the second university in the world was established by another Muslim woman, Fatimatu Zahara (sic). Despite these educational achievements by women practicing the Islam religion, northerners keep women at home and away from school in the name of religion.
Academics to be trained & equipped with required skills.
Adamu applauded the National Universities Commission (NUC) for its consistency in ensuring the creation of an environment for establishment of more private universities in the country, particularly in the North. Out of the 37 new private universities that recently received approval from the Federal Executive Council, majority are located in the North. Commenting on the CCMAS, the minister said the curriculum will serve as an additional value to graduates produced by Nigerian universities as it would equip them with the much needed knowledge, skills and expertise to thrive in this century.
According to the minister, it is important that there is consistency in the struggle to improve educational programmes and learnings in the country, using global best practices. Implementing CCMAS requires dedication, willingness and hard work to emphasize change. Therefore, it is essential to train and equip academics with required knowledge and skills for successful implementation of CCMAS. Adamu also called for the establishment of the Federal Teachers Service Commission at the event to foster reforms in the teaching profession.
There are 148 private universities in Nigeria.
The outgoing minister asserted that he would be leaving behind a legacy in the hands of heads of education agencies. The ministry wrote a letter that was approved by the president but one aspect of the letter that would transform education is pending. He said that achievement of everything approved by the president for teachers solely depends on his recent realization of the need for a Federal Teachers Service Commission. This commission, in his statement, would attract the best brains to education.
Executive Secretary of NUC, Professor Rasheed Abubakar, applauded the outgoing minister for the several feats recorded during his regime, particularly in university development. Currently, there are about 148 private universities in the country. Of this number of Nigerian private universities, about 60 percent were established during Adamu Adamu’s administration as Minister of Education. While appreciating the CCMAS and defining it as a game changer, the NUC boss acknowledged efforts of former NUC Executive Secretary, Professor Peter Okebukola, for his impacts in its development.
A book was named in honour of the outgoing minister.
Previous chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, affirmed that the curriculum is a right step that leads to the right path. He recognized it as a significant contribution to repositioning the country’s educational system. Asides the presentation of CCMAS, the event welcomed tributes to the late Professor Idris Abdulkadir and Professor Nimi Briggs and unveiling of a book in honour of Minister Adamu Adamu titled “Repositioning Nigerian Educational System; the Ministerial Footprints of Adamu Adamu.”