Prof Gidado Tahir: 1st Executive Secretary of UBEC

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Prof Gidado Tahir was a professional teacher, excellent administrator, and distinguished Abusite. He was a renowned professor of education who taught at all the tertiary levels of education in Nigeria, specifically at the college of education and university levels, from 1975 to date.

Muhammad Gidado Tahir was born on December, 29th, 1949, in Toungo town, in Adamawa State. He had his early education, namely elementary and primary education in Jimeta and Girei, towns, respectively, both in the old Adamawa Province.

Prof Gidado Tahir
Prof. Gidado Tahir

He attended the Church of the Brethren Mission Secondary School in Waka, Biu, in the old Borno Province, between 1956 and 1967 after which He was admitted to Government Secondary, Bauchi, in the then Bauchi Province to pursue a Cambridge Higher School Certificate in 1968.

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He proceeded to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1970. He had a combined honors degree in History and Education and upon graduation in 1974, he was posted to the then East Central State to do the National Service, where he taught at Achi Girls Secondary Secondary, Achi, in Awgu Division.

Gidado Tahir began his academic career as a graduate assistant at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in July 1975 and two years later secured admission and obtained fellowship as well as a scholarship to further his education in the field of Higher Education at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA.

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He obtained MSc and Ph.D. in Higher and Continuing Education in 1978 and 1981, respectively. He returned to ABU Zaria to continue with his academic career focusing on teaching, research, and extension service. In 1984 he moved to the then University of Sokoto on a loan but later decided to fully transfer his services to that university.

Dr. Gidado Tahir became the head department of Extension Services and later acted as dean of the Faculty of Education and Extension Services of the university.

He was appointed by the Federal Government to serve as Provost of Federal College of Education, Yola, from 1987 to 1994. While serving in this capacity, he was promoted to the rank of professor of Education by Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto in October 1992.

However, before his second tenure as Provost expired, Prof Gidado Tahir was given yet another appointment by the Federal Government to serve as Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Nomadic Education, Kaduna.

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Six years later, in April 2001, Prof Gidado Tahir was appointment National Coordinator of the Universal Basic Education Program and three years later became the first Executive Secretary of the Universal Basic Education Commission.

His public service career ended in April 2007 and had since returned to full-time teaching and research in the Department of Educational Management, the University of Abuja.

Professor Tahir served briefly as Head of Department of Educational Management in 2008/09 and was appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration in April 2011 and served for 30 months. He consults widely with several UN Agencies, the World Bank, the Commonwealth of learning, and the UKAid.

Prof Gidado Tahir has published more than seventy articles in learned refereed journals both local and international; and chapters in books, in addition to three books; all in the areas of higher, teacher, adult, basic, secondary, and minority education. He successfully supervised more than 20 PhDs and nearly 50 MEd students at both Sokoto and Abuja Universities.

Professor Tahir is a recipient of two fellows: the Society of Educational Administrators and the Nigerian Academy of Education, as well as the National Honor, OON, which he received in 2003.

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Prof Gidado Tahir’s legacy

Prof Gidado Tahir has left a mark anywhere he works. While he was the Provost of the college of education Yola for eight years, he coordinated a university-driven in-service education program for teachers at the NCE level and later re-organized it in line with new NCCE Minimum standards.

Subsequently, while serving as the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Nomadic Education, he led a team of experts to develop a teacher professional development program for teachers of Nomadic pastoralists’ children and migrant children.

The programme was delivered by the Nomadic Education Centre based in the University of Maiduguri.

While serving as National Coordinator of UBEC and later its Executive Secretary he reviewed and restructured its Teacher Professional Development (TPD) program in line with the agency’s new mandate, as provided for in the 2004 UBEC Act.

Prof Gidado Tahir died on the 13th of January, 2022 while serving as Chairman of the Governing Board of the National Commission for Nomadic Education, Kaduna. He was survived by his wife, Hajiya Asma’u Gidado Tahir, children and grandchildren.

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Chila Andrew Aondofa

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