Obioma bags another responsibility



Recently, the current Executive Secretary of Education Research and Development Council, (NERDC), Professor Godswill Obioma was elected into the exalted office of president, International Bureau for Education, based in Switzerland. AUGUSTINE OKEZIE examines the rising international profile of the professor, in Educational Curriculum development and planning

The International Bureau of Education, (IBE), which is the world`s leading organization in curriculum planning and educational development, at their 63rd Annual Conference, which was attended by member states, overwhelmingly elected Prof. Obioma, Professor of Mathematics Education, as the new President of the International Bureau of Education arm of United Nation’s Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, for a 2-year tenure.
Prof. Godswill Obioma, who is one of the world’s most experienced technocrats in curriculum development, is generally seen as having played critical roles in shaping the future of IBE in the last few years, making far reaching contributions to the growth of the organization.

The election of Prof. Obioma, who was nominated for the IBE Presidency by the Minister of Secondary and Higher Education of Burkina Faso, Prof. Moussa Ouatarra and seconded by several Ministers of Education led by Prof. Liesma Ose, representative of Latvian Minister of Social Cohesion was facilitated by a high-powered Federal Government delegation led by the Supervising Minister of Education, Barrister Ezebunwo Nyeso Wike.
Barrister Wike described the election of Prof. Obioma as an endorsement by the international community, of the various efforts of the Jonathan administration towards improving the nation’s curriculum development and growth in basic education.
The Minister said that the Ministry will continue to partner with the IBE and other educational agencies of the United Nations in its quest to ensure that all less privileged Nigerians have access to quality education at the tertiary and basic levels.

He added that having sponsored Prof. Obioma to victory at the election, the Federal Government will support him towards taking IBE to the next level.
“Let me assure IBE member states of Nigeria’s unflinching support to taking IBE to the next level. I reiterate our commitment to the objectives of IBE and urge you all to support Prof. Obioma as President of the IBE for the next two years”.

In his acceptance speech, Prof. Obioma promised to initiate strategies to ensure that IBE becomes more effective in the discharge of its duties.
He said the confidence reposed in him by several countries across regional lines will be rewarded by hard work from him and untiring commitment by the Nigerian government.
Professor Obioma outlined his programmes for achieving the expected growth of the IBE in the coming years, pointing out that he would work closely with education Ministers and Ambassadors to UNESCO of different countries to ensure that international education curricula are functional and to the advantage of developing countries.

He also stated that he would continue to work with the immediate past President of IBE, Ole Briesied of Norway to ensure a seamless transition for the international educational agency.
The Director of IBE, Dr Clementine Acedo noted that the election of Nigeria as President of IBE is a reward for the long years of commitment of the Federal Government to educational development while the out-gone IBE President, Ole Brisied of Norway urged member states to extend their support to Prof. Obioma and Nigeria in the course of the next two years.

For those who have followed Nigeria’s participation in the global education arena, the last one year has been excellent, with the nation taking an unprecedented spot in the scheme of things. At the last UNESCO General Conference in 2013, Nigeria’s Supervising Minister of Education, Barr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike emerged as a Vice President of the respected international organization.

Even though some skeptics naturally considered that outing as a fluke, the international community thinks otherwise. They have through their representatives on ground in Nigeria, observed with approval, three
years of carefully planned and implemented gains in the nation’s education sector and more than ever before, they have resolved to without further delay extend to Nigeria, the respect and recognition that she truly deserves.

The joy of the entire process was that Prof. Obioma was a marketable candidate. The Minister’s engagement with the African Ministers cleared the way as a would be candidate from another African country resolved to step down for the Nigerian candidate.
Professor Obioma has held various National and Administrative positions which include; Special Assistant, (Policy, Monitoring and Evaluation) to the Military Administrator of Abia State, Acting Chief Executive, National Mathematical Centre, Director, Monitoring and Evaluation, Universal Basic Education Programme, Abuja,

Director, Monitoring, Research and Statistics, National Business and Technical Examinations Board, Special Assistant (Programme and Policy) to the Honorable Minister of Education, among other appointments.
He has published over 100 scientific papers, books and monographs and has received honors and distinctions as well as Fellows to more than 22 areas nationally and internally.

While his election has continued to elicit widespread admiration and joy both locally and internationally, the growing concern however is on whether the professor can translate his local achievements  to the wider international scale, given the myriads of divergent policy regulation obtainable in the different countries.

Another challenge that is daring the professor’s tenure is the poor implementation of the recommendations made from the periodic reviews of existing educational curriculum. Here in Nigeria, under the guidance of Obioma, several transformations have been recommended to effect curriculum change and improve the quality of education, but the albatross is poor implementation by the various levels of government.

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