Adamu Adamu, minister of education, says northern Nigeria is suffering from “self-imposed educational backwardness”.
The minister spoke on Tuesday at the public presentation of the core curriculum minimum academic standards (CCMAS) in Abuja. At the event, Adamu presented the first book in the series and another book in his name.
He said there was educational backwardness being witnessed in the northern part of the country caused by the people of the region The north is in self-imposed educational backwardness because the interest of the north is Islam. And Islam is the greatest promulgator of knowledge,” Adamu said.
“In 859 AD, one Fatima Al-Fihri, a Muslim woman established the first university in the world. At the time, the Italian universities, Oxford, and 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 expressed delight about the federal government’s recent approval for the creation of 37 new private universities. He said a large number of the private universities approved by the federal executive council (FEC) are situated in the north.
On the CCMAS, Adamu said the new curriculum would go a long way in adding value to graduates being churned out from Nigerian universities.
He said the launch of CCMAS in 17 disciplines was one of the greatest steps taken by the National Universities Commission (NUC) to ensure Nigerian universities meet current global demands.
“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,” the minister said.
“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.”
Adamu called for the establishment of the federal teachers’ service commission. Such a move, he added, would ensure that reforms put in place in the teaching profession yield desired results.