Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa'i (Honourable Minister of education)
Professor Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufai, the Minister of Education from Jigawa State was born on
February 19, 1959. She obtained a B.Ed in History from the prestigious Bayero
University Kano in 1981, an
M.A in History from the same university in 1987 before obtaining Ph.D in Education from West
Virginia University USA in 1991, she was promoted professor in 2003.
She has an inspiring public service
career of over 28 years as a lecturer and an administrator. She has several
publications to her credit and is a multiple award winner. A member of many
professional bodies and a resource person at several conferences both within
and outside Nigeria, Prof. Rufai is known to be actively involved in community
service. She was a two-time Commissioner in Jigawa State.
She has so far inaugurated Task Teams to fashion out a Four-Year Strategic Plan
to address the challenges facing the Education Sector and to reposition it to
be able to produce individuals with the skills and competences that would drive
the socio-economic sector of the economy and to make Nigeria globally
Ministry of Education through the
Tertiary Education Trust Fund had commenced the construction of 58 schools for
the Almajiris, while the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, is
constructing 51 of such schools. The Government has also set in motion
modalities to ensure that all nine newly established Federal Universities start
academic programmes within the 2011/2012 session. The new universities are
situated in Bayelsa, Ekiti, Jigawa, Katsina, Taraba, Gombe, Nassarawa, Kogi and
The training and re-training of
teachers has received a major boost as the Government has committed N9.2billion
to this programme through the National Teachers Institute and UBEC.
The ministry is working towards
promoting school debating culture amongst Nigerian students to encourage them
to research into critical areas of national development. The programme of the
President’s School Debate would be incorporated into the national Bring Back
the Book Programme which will be well funded and monitored to achieve the
The sum of N5.5 billion has also
been provided through Tertiary Education Trust Fund to fast-track the take-off
of the Life and Human Sciences, University of the African Union, to be hosted
by the University of Ibadan.
She made scholarship offer
attractive to deserving students by increasing the allowances for postgraduates
and undergraduates in Nigeria, presently has
instituted the tertiary institutions staff development programme where more
than 4,500 academic staff have benefited with 1,109 studying overseas. The sum
of N562 million has been released as counterpart funds for international
bilateral scholarships awarded to Nigerian students by foreign countries.
Professor Rufai initiated moves to
amend the relevant law on the issue of raising the retirement age of professors
to 70 years in line with its agreement with ASUU.
She is working towards the
conversion of Kaduna Polytechnic and Yaba College of Technology to universities
so that they would increase access to tertiary education.