Address by the Honourable Minister of Education Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i
November 6, 2010
A Keynote Address by the Director, FCT Education Resource Center
November 11, 2010
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On October 12th, 2010, CELD Successfully held its 1st National Conference on Education at the Merit House Hall, Maitama Abuja

On October 12th, 2010, CELD Successfully held its 1st National Conference on Education at the Merit House Hall, Maitama Abuja

On October 12th, 2010, CELD Successfully held its 1st National Conference on Education at the Merit House Hall, Maitama Abuja

Background of Need for this Program

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight international development goals that all 192 United Nations Member States and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015. One of these goals is to Achieve Universal Primary Education. It aims that by 2015, all children (girls and boys) can complete a full course of primary schooling.

A DFID report states that Nigeria was ranked 154th out of 179 countries in the 2008 Human Development Index and is unlikely to achieve any of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. It further states that, Seventy-two million people live on less than a dollar a day. One in five children dies before the age of five and almost 40% – or 8 million – of primary school-aged children are not in school.

However, Education is recognized throughout the world even by those who themselves have not enjoyed an education as a powerful tool for a child or a family or a whole society to make progress. Education is no longer viewed as a luxury for some but as a necessity for all. The World Bank has said repeatedly that education provides the highest rate of return on any investment in developing nations.

It is for these reasons that CELD put together a National Conference on Education to  bring to the fore, the challenges facing education in Nigeria as we approach the MDG deadline of 2015;  stimulate public/private sector responses in addressing the decay in the Nigerian Educational System; generate practical steps and actions towards addressing the knowledge gap in the educational sector; and develop a programme of action for the proper education of children in preparation of their role as future leaders of the nation.

The Program

The Conference with the theme: Quality Education of the Child/Youth as a tool for National Development: Assessing Nigeria’s MDG’s performance in Education held on November 12th, 2010 at the Merit House Hall, Maitama, Abuja. It afforded the participants the opportunity to assess Nigeria’s MDG’s performance in Education; initiate practical steps of increasing access to education beyond the primary level; ensuring that every child/youth continue to receive training in formal secondary education—both upper and lower levels—to develop all their talents, to live better, to rise out of poverty, to enter active life and to take part in development.

During the conference, a series of discussion papers were presented by key national stakeholders,    highlighting issues affecting the Nigerian educational system, the progress made, and the way forward,   which was also published and sent to stakeholders in Nigeria.

One of the highlights of the Conference was the unveiling of CELD’s Educational Assistance Program   the issuance of scholarship cheques to vulnerable students and also flagging off The Future Leaders Club, aimed at building the Leadership and Life Skill Capacities of students. This is coming at a time when true leadership has become a scarce attribute in our nation. Thus grooming our young ones, in their formative years is so expedient.





Elizabeth OluwaseunMuazu AbdullahiAmazu Obieageli

Moses Joseph

Martin Mshior

Maikano Mary

Madaki Usman

Ali Usman

GSS KarshiGSS KawuGSS Jikwoyi

GSS Zuba

GSS Gaube

GSS Airport

GSS Gawu

GSS Yangoji







Apart from the unveiling of the Educational Assistance Program, the Future Leaders Club was also flagged off with the inauguration of the following pilot chapters:  Government Secondary School Airport, Abuja, Government Secondary School Kawu, Government Secondary School Zuba, Government Secondary School Karshi, Government Secondary School Gaube, Government Secondary School Gawu, Government Secondary School Jikwoyi, Government Secondary School Yangoyi, all in the Federal Capital Territory. Club activities will commence as soon as schools resume.

The last session featured a “best practices award” from CELD to stakeholders with outstanding performances in building the Nigerian Educational System and providing access to education for Nigerian Children/Youth.

Award Recipients

  • Prof. Mrs Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufai, OON Honourable Minister of Education
  • Chief (Mrs.)Iyom Josephine Anenih, mni, Honourable Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development
  • Senator Akinlabi Olasunkanmi, Honourable Minister of Youth Development
  • Embassy of Japan
  • De United Foods Industry Ltd, makers of Indomie Noodles

Success Stories from the EAP

  • Madaki Usman, a Senior Secondary 2 Student of Government Secondary school Kawu, lost  both his parents and was sent to leave a certan family in the community. When CELD discovered him, we decided to enlist him as one of the beneficiaries of the Educational Assistance Program. He was so grateful on the day, he was receiving the scholarship award and this is what he had to say: “My dream of completing my secondary education was so unrealizable until I came in contact with CELD team, now, I can gladly concentrate on completing my education and be the future Leader I was born to be.”
  • Amazu Obiageli, a Senior Secondary 1school student of Government Secondary School,Jikwoyi,was discovered by the CELD team because of her precarious circumstance. She is disabled and was about to drop out of school, after her junior secondary education. A bright, enthusiastic young girl, so full of life could not be allowed to drop out of school because her parents could continue footing her bills. She was enlisted as one of the scholarship award recipients and this what she had to say: “Thank you, Thank you, thank you a million times for giving hope me again, you are my hero.”
  • Maikano Mary, a student of Government Secondary School, Airport, FCT, attracted the attention of CELD team when we discovered that, not only was she crippled but she had lost  the will to continue in life because she felt she was going through too much as a young girl. When she discovered that she had won a scholarship, tears ran down freely from her eyes as she managed to mutter the following words: ‘’Thank you CELD, you have given me hope to continue my education and have also motivated me by informing that no matter the circumstance of my birth, I am born to be great and I have what it takes to be great. I feel like I can conquer the world, thank you.”