Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, has admitted he had no knowledge of the sector when President Muhammadu Buhari appointed him.
The Minister said what he had before he became a minister was “superficial” knowledge of the sector.
Adamu, the longest-serving education minister spoke on Thursday during a valedictory service in his honour where he received accolades from members of staff of the ministry.
The Minister said to make up for his lack of knowledge of the sector, he consulted professors of education who assisted him in putting a roadmap together for the sector.
In 2016, Adamu unveiled the “Education for Change: A Ministerial Strategic Plan (MSP)” document for the country’s education sector.
The roadmap was expected to serve as a blueprint or a pill capable of curing most of the ailments currently affecting the sector, and provided immediate short and long-term solutions.
The Minister said: “I didn’t know anything about education except superficially. When Buhari decided to make me Minister of Education, there is somebody here sitting and looking at me; he was the first person I called. He said ‘what do you want to achieve?’ I said I want to achieve good things. And these are my ideas as a learner.
“After that meeting professors of education were called and I told them what I wanted to achieve and let them put it in writing for me and they (the professors) did. And then we had a document,” he said.
During Adamu’s period as Minister, the sector witnessed lots of ups and downs.
Though his tenure witnessed the highest number of industrial strike actions from tertiary institutions-based unions such as the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, and Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union among others, the sector also witnessed the implementation of new policies, increase in the number of new institutions among others.
For instance, his tenure witnessed the implementation of a new retirement age for teachers.
It also witnessed the establishment of more public and private universities.
About 122 new universities were licensed by the National Universities Commission with some other colleges of education and polytechnics converted to universities.