The Federal Republic of Nigeria has 43 ministerial positions, two of which are directly linked to education, namely the Federal Ministry of Education and the Ministry of State for Education. The offices are held by the Minister of Education and the Minister of State for Education respectively.
Both offices represent any and all educational interests of Nigeria. The two are often confused with one another, the position of the Minister of Education currently held by Mallam Adamu Adamu is well known, but the vast majority of people wonder who is the minister of state for education?
His name is Mr. Chukuemeka Nwajiuba, he was appointed by President Muhammad Buhari in 2019. He was born in Imo state at Umuezeala Nsu in Ehime Mbano Local Government Area, where he started his political career. In a few short years, he became very influential in Imo state.
Since assuming office as the Minister of State for Education he has been instrumental in the introduction and distribution of technology to school students in Nigeria. Educational technology such as e-learning platforms was introduced to most students all across Nigeria, and their teachers and school administrators were trained on how to use them.
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He was also instrumental in the fight against COVID-19 in 2020. He reported the state of affairs on a daily basis to the nation, about the outbreak and how they were tackling it. In the end, they made sure safety precautions were properly in place before students could resume school.
Mr. Chukuemeka Nwajiuba announced in Abuja that every student has free access to these two e-learning platforms; mobileclassroom.com.ng android app, and schoolgate.ng. The former was created locally by Nigerian developers. He made the announcement during one of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 briefings.
Making them freely available was one of the measures Mr. Chukuemeka Nwajiuba and his co-workers took to ensure that students keep learning even during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Hon. Chukuemeka Nwajiuba studied law as a profession. He first attended the Imo State University where he got his bachelor’s degree in law (LLB), then went on to acquire his Master in Law (LLM) and Ph.D. in law, from the University of Lagos and the University of Jos.
He was called to the Nigerian bar in 1989.
Mr. Chukuemeka Nwajiuba started his career at a law firm called Ayodeji C. Emeka Ibrahim & Co in 1991, he was a managing partner then. He was elected member house of representatives between 1999 to 2003, serving as the Chairman on Lands, Housing and Works.
He served in that position for 4 years. He later became the chairman TetFund board of trustees from March 15 2018 to April 9, 2019. During which time he executed his duties perfectly until his calling as the Minister of State for Education.
In between his eventful career, he once ran for the governorship of Imo state against Rochas Okorocha and was an avid supporter and one of the founding members of the current ruling party in Nigeria, the All Progressives Party (APC).
He is the President’s close confidant and his achievements have earned him the respect of most of his kinsmen in the southeast.
The roles and duties of the minister of state for education in Nigeria are similar to that of the minister of education, the slight difference is usually in resolving federal and local state matters (more on that in a bit).
The office of the minister of state for education is tasked with the following duties;
These and more, are some of the roles of the Minister of State for Education in Nigeria. When the occasion calls for it, he usually does some of the heavy-lifting in matters concerning the Federal Ministry of Education.
Most of the roles of the ministry of education and that of the ministry of state for education are the same, the only difference being that the ministry of state for education serves within the state and local level, while the ministry of education serves on the federal level.
The second big difference is that the Federal Ministry of Education is working with other parastatals in the education sector, they include NECO, JAMB, WAEC, NTI, amongst others.
Another major difference between the two is that the ministry of education has the final say in matters regarding educational policies across Nigeria.