By Raphael Jov, Abuja
The Spokesperson of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu, has described President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointment of Prof. Godswill Obioma as Registrar of the National Examinations Council, NECO, as the right fit for the exam body.
While expressing support to Buhari over the appointment, Kalu noted, in a statement, that the job came at a time NECO was confronting several challenges trying to undermine its operations such as regaining its integrity, solving infrastructural and technological deficits among others.
The lawmaker expressed confidence that Obioma’s breadth of experience, wealth of academic achievements, as well as far-reaching contributions to education policy reforms at national and global levels immediately distinguished him as the right fit for the job, a square peg in a square hole.
According to him, haven worked as a key player in several government committees and panels on education development in the country, Obioma has contributed immensely in formulating education policies in Nigeria in the last two decades with a record of achievements too vast to enumerate.
He disclosed that he had been privileged to preview the registrars proposed 11-point roadmap for NECO which showed a determination to reignite hope in inclusive and quality education for Nigerian children.
“A distinguished product of Abia State, Prof. Obioma has spearheaded a number of policy reforms and institutional changes in Nigeria’s educational curriculum including; the 9-year Basic Education Curriculum, the Senior Secondary Education Curriculum, the 34 Senior Secondary Entrepreneur/Trade subjects, the 2014 Edition of the National Policy on Education, among others. He has served as the Chairman of Nigeria Education Roadmap of the Federal Ministry of Education and Executive Secretary, Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council.
“Internationally, he has consulted for UNESCO, UNDP, WORLD BANK, DFID and UNICEF, having served in various delegate and leadership roles including President of UNESCO International Bureau of Education (IBE); Member, International Experts Meeting on Key Curricular and Learning Issues in the Post 2015 Education and Development Agenda held in Geneva; and Member Nigerian Delegation to the adoption of the SDG in Education in 2014 in Nakoya Japan,” he said.
Kalu further noted that despite several challenges already confronting NECO, adaptation to a COVID-19 and post COVID-19 era will be the single greatest challenge of the Council in a world that has been forced to reimagine its way of life.
“Following the fourth UNESCO COVID-19 Education Webinar, organized on April 9, 2020 to examine the coping strategies currently considered by various countries to manage high-stake exams, it has become clear to me that unique home grown solutions are required for the peculiarities of our own challenges.
“After all, as UNESCOs Head of Education Research and Foresight, Mr. Sobhi Tawil, putit, we have been imposed, globally, an experiment in remote learning. We are all managing different ways that we can.
“NECOs leadership must figure out exam delivery modes that are complaint with new public health standards and technological realities while remaining inclusive and accessible to the millions of Nigerian children in rural areas.
“This responsibility is an intricate dance which will require the innovativeness and insight of a leadership possessing extensive local and international experience. Prof. Obiomas breadth of experience, his wealth of academic achievements, as well as his far-reaching contributions to education policy reforms in national and global contexts immediately distinguish him as the right fit for the job- the square peg in a square hole,” he said.