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Northern education backwardness self imposed – Adamu



By Funmilayo Adeyemi

The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu has the educational backwardness of the Northern part of the country is self imposed.

Adamu who spoke at the public presentation of Core Curriculum Minimum Academic Standards (CCMAS) Book 1 series for Nigerian universities and a book in his honour, in Abuja on Tuesday.

Adamu said the embrace of Islam should not stop people of the region from seeking for education.

The Minister said this is because Islam as a religion encourages learning and education even for women.

Adamu said, “The north is in self-imposed educational backwardness because the interest of the North is Islam and Islam is the greatest promulgator of knowledge.

“In 859 AD, one Fatima Al-Fihri (sic), a Muslim woman established the first university in the world, at the time, the Italian universities, Oxford, Cambridge universities have not started, the first university is still existing there, it is now in Morocco.

“And about 100 years after that one, another university was established, the second university in the world before the universities of Europe, in Cairo and just like the first one, this university was established by a Muslim woman, Fatimatu Zahara.

“So the first two universities in the world were established by Muslim women and here people are using Islam to keep women at home. I think it does not make sense,” the minister said.

Speaking on the new curriculum, the Minister said would equip graduates across universities with needed skills, knowledge and expertise to succeed in the 21st century.

“We must continue to ensure graduates from Nigeria universities are equipped with needed skills, knowledge and expertise in order to succeed in the 21st Century.

” We must consistently strive to improve our educational programmes and learning with the reality of global best practices. The CCMAS book series is aimed at achieving this goal, ” he said.

Adamu called for the full implementation of the curriculum while saying the launch of CCMAS in 17 disciplines was one of the greatest step taken by the National Universities Commission (NUC) to ensure Nigerian universities meet current global demands.

“The implementation of CCMAS requires dedication, hard work and willingness to embrace change by every one, therefore it is important we embrace training and equipping our academics with the necessary skills and knowledge to implement CMAS,”he said.

The minister also said that the present education backwardness being witnessed in the northern part of the country was caused by people of the area.

Adamu commended the NUC for its drive in ensuring the springing up of more private universities and said the commission’s effort was paying off with the establishment of more of such institutions in Northern Nigeria in recent times.

Adamu, however, expressed delight that out of the 37 new private universities approved by the Federal Executive Council on Monday, large number of them are situated in the north.

He called for the establishment of Federal Teachers Service Commission, saying such move would ensure reforms put in place in the teaching profession yield desired results.

” I want to leave one legacy in your hands (heads of education agencies and others), we wrote a letter and the President approved everything, but there is one yet to come into fruition, that will make education totally different

” It was recently I realised that we need a Federal Teachers Service Commission, so I want to leave this in your hands, so that all those things approved by Mr president, the teachers will be able to get it, and education will begin to attract the best brains,” Adamu said.

Also speaking, the Executive Secretary of NUC, Prof. Rasheed Abubakar, commended the minister for his several achievements recorded under his watch, especially in the area of universities development.

” As at yesterday morning, there were 111 private universities in the country, as of yesterday evening, the number had risen to 148 private universities in the country.

”That is, of the 148 private universities in Nigeria, 87 or 60 per cent came during Adamu Adamu as Minister of Education, ” the NUC boss said.

Rasheed, who also described CCMAS as a game changer in Nigerian universities, commended former NUC Executive Secretary, Prof. Peter Okebukola, for his role in its development, describing him as chief architect of the curriculum.

Also speaking, former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, said the CCMAS was a right step in the right direction.

“This is very important contribution to the repositioning of the Nigerian education system.

” The new curriculum is no doubt a tremendous value addition to repositioning our education system and it is wonderful that this has happened under the current minister of education, Adamu Adamu,” he said.

Also, a former Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqqayattu Rufa’i, charged the trainees of the new curriculum to take prompt action in taking the training to various universities.

The event also witnessed tributes to late Prof. Idris Abdulkadir and Prof. Nimi Briggs, as well as the unveiling of a book in honour of the the minister titled: ‘Repositioning Nigerian Educational System; the Ministerial Footprints of Adamu Adamu.” (NAN)(

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