Nigeria’s New Minister of Education….Reformer?

Adam-AdamuTo say that the education system in Nigeria needs a total overhaul is to say that a newly born child needs milk….it’s a no brainer! I waited patiently to find out who the ‘intending-enigma-to-be’ was and there… he was announced….Mallam Adamu Adamu.



I have taken time to read up on him. I was glad to find out that many writers have done so too. Many have raised alarms about his very little background in the core education sector (alongside few qualifications to match) and how it would affect his decision taking and possibly his resolve to bring about the much needed ‘change’ in the sector. Many wonder whether being a journalist/columnist was enough expertise and exposure needed to steer the wheels of needed reforms within the sector. Will he be a reformer?

Read a snippet about his background.

1. Mallam Adamu Adamu hails from Bauchi state.

2. He is a graduate of Ahmadu Bello University where he read Accountancy

3. He is a writer and a renowned public analyst and columnist with Daily Trust

4. Mallam Adamu has been regularly referred to as a public commentator with a distinct style – fearless, educated and bold enough to express his views and opinions both locally and internationally.

5.He was a Personal Assistant to the late Solomon Lar, who was the pioneer National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and former Governor of Plateau state, on the platform of the Nigerian People’s Party (NPP) during the Nigerian Second Republic.

My Thoughts

A survey of greatest education reformers which include: Horace Mann, Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, John Dewey (father of Progressivism), Friedrich Froebel (the father of Kindergarten), Jean-Jacques Rousseau (father of Child study movement), Maria Montessori, to mention a few did not necessarily start their careers as core educators. What they had in common were clear visions, ideas, practical steps to achieving their goals that were vigorously void of inconsistencies and a dedicated team of individuals consisting of researchers and teachers. These are what Mallam Adamu Adamu needs. Can he build a strong team? Can he solidify and birth strong institutions? Will he empower researchers – those with indigenous and global best practices knowlegde in this journey?

What do we need? We do not just need education reforms but systemic ones. While education reforms often target specific elements or components of an education system—such as what students learn or how teachers teach—systemic reforms are:

  • reforms that impact multiple levels of the education system, such as elementary, secondary, and higher school programs.
  • reforms that aspire to make changes throughout a defined system, such as local government-wide or statewide reforms
  • reforms that are intended to influence, in minor or significant ways, every student and staff member in school or system
  • reforms that may vary widely in design and purpose, but that nevertheless reflect consistent educational philosophy aimed at achieving common objectives.

Like the teaching profession, education systems are, by nature, extremely complex and multifaceted, and the challenges entailed in reforming or improving them can be similarly complex and multifaceted. This is where our new Minister of Education’s dynamism will be tested. Even reforms that appear to be straightforward, simple, or easily achieved may, in practice, require complicated state-policy changes, union-contract negotiations, school-schedule modifications, or countless other conditions and actions.

While it is not possible to describe all the many ways in which reforms may be considered “systemic,” it is the most commonly applied to proposed reforms that are intended to achieve a specific goal or set of goals. For example, the goal of increasing secondary school graduation rates alongside having ‘zero school-unenrollment rate’ may have systemic implications. States or schools may have to present a reform package intended to address multiple factors that are peculiar to them….especially those contributing to undesirable school enrollment and graduation rates. These are only to mention a few out of the many issues affecting the nation’s education system…but this stands out because if and when every school-age child is in school…the options to leading successful lives considerably widens….and oh!…what effect it would have on our country’s growth and development…as we all know!

Will he be the long awaited reformer? We hope…we wait.



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