Professor Ismail Junaidu was Born on 3rd June, 1953 in Katsina, Katsina State, Nigeria. He obtained his qualifications in Linguistics and Language: PhD University of Indiana, USA; Master’s Degree University of York, England and Bachelor’s Degree, ABU, Zaria-Nigeria.
He is a Professor of Linguistics as well as Educator, Educational Administrator, Curriculum Developer, and Educational Policy Facilitator and Designer. He is a member of many scholarly and professional organizations. These include: Member and Member of Council of the International Association of Educational Assessment (IAEA); Association for Educational Assessment in Africa (AEAA) as Member and Immediate Past Regional Chair West Africa; Member Nigerian Academy of Education (NAE); Founding Member Linguistic Association of Nigeria (LAN); Member Curriculum Organization of Nigeria (CON); Member Reading Association of Nigerian (RAN), etc.
He held many positions and served in many Committees on national assignments, international delegations.
He was Special Technical Adviser/Assistant to the Minister of State for Education of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; Director, Curriculum Development Centre, NERDC; Director, Language Development Centre, NERDC; Director, Library and Informatics Centre, NERDC; Member of Council, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Nigeria; and Member Governing Boards National Institute of Nigerian Languages (NINLAN). Former Visiting Lecturer/ External Examiner and Senior Lecturer of Linguistics at Bayero University, Kano; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto and University of Maiduguri (Nigeria) and Former Fellow Indiana University, USA. Serves as Member Governing Board, Universal Basic Education Commission; and National Examination Council, Nigeria; and others.
Professor Ismail Junaidu supervised and examined many theses and dissertations. He has many publications to his credit, both domestic and international as journal articles and books he authored or co-authored on various aspects of education, linguistics, Curriculum development, development of textbooks and learning materials, pedagogy, language education, and educational policy matters among others. He attended many domestic and international conferences, seminars and workshops, where he presented papers and academic talks. Domestically, he made scholarly and technical presentations at different academic and policy fora in universities, meetings of the National Council on Education and the most coveted and prestigious National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS).
The international conferences and workshops he attended spanned around different countries, sometimes severally, including UK (Cambridge, Oxford and others), USA, Germany, Netherlands, China, Singapore, Israel, Azerbaijan, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, South Africa, Uganda, Ghana, Georgia(Batumi), Zambia, Morocco, Kenya and Ethiopia.
He is a recipient of many academic awards and colors as well as administrative and management awards of excellence/merit.
As the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council he injected new vigor and refocused its activities to face the challenges of 21st century. His achievements since becoming the Executive Secretary are in five critical areas of providing entrepreneurship education for job creation and wealth generation, strengthening existing school curricula for improved educational attainment in Nigeria, providing teacher support materials for curriculum implementation, making school curricula responsive to the needs
and aspirations of Nigerians, and addressing out-school-children concern and Providing education for survival in emergency and crisis.
On a specific note in the area of providing entrepreneurship education for job creation and wealth generation, was the review of the 34 Trades and Entrepreneurship Curricula for Senior Secondary Education in Nigeria. The review which was conducted in collaboration with UNIDO featured prominently Nigerian technologists, technology teachers, practitioners and entrepreneurs. The curricula and their accompanying teacher’s guides were developed to enable youth acquire skills and competencies for the 21st Century World of Work, create wealth and generate employment. The piloting of the curricula brought about major turnaround in the pilot schools as teachers and students have become champions of entrepreneurship education in their states and in Nigeria. This earned him performance/merit award by the National Association of Technology Teachers (NATT).
Under his leadership, the existing school curricula have been strengthened for improved educational attainment and learners’ acquisition of relevant life and survival skills through the infusion of online safety education, capital market studies, financial literacy education, and elements of Trafficking and Counter Trafficking in Persons into relevant school subjects.
To make education responsive to the needs and aspiration of Nigerians, as the Executive Secretary of NERDC, he spearheaded the process for the reintroduction of History into Nigeria primary and junior secondary schools, revision and enrichment of Civic Education Curricula for Basic and Senior Secondary Education, separation of the former Religion and National Values (RNV) Curriculum into three standalone curricula of Christian Religious Studies, Islamic Studies and National Values. Furthermore, Professor Junaidu, has introduced new dimensions in the curriculum development process at NERDC. For instance, in preparation for the review of the senior secondary education curriculum, a national needs assessment study has been concluded involving teachers, policy makers and other critical stakeholders. This is in the bid to make the curriculum a people’s curriculum, which has been his dream as the Executive Secretary of NERDC.
As an advocate of quality education for all, he has successfully provided leadership for the development of Accelerated Basic Education Curriculum (ABEC) for the implementation of Accelerated Basic Education Programme in Nigeria. The goal of the programme is to reduce to barest minimum (or mop-up) the number of out-of-school children and youths in Nigeria. The curriculum which was approved by the National Council on Education (NCE) at its 63rd meeting in 2019, is being piloted in Borno State in collaboration with Plan International Led-Consortium and funded by the European Union.
In his efforts to reposition the operations of the Council and bring its activities at par with international best practices, he has been able to forge new partnership with international and local development partners and as well strengthened existing relationships. These organisations include British Council, UNIDO, USAID, Save the Children International, Plan International, Development of Research Project Centre (dRPC), Google International. This has yielded results including the development of a National Reading Framework, which has set standards for the teaching and learning of reading in Nigeria, infusion 21st century skills (core skills) into the curriculum, etc.
Professor Ismail Junaidu is indeed an accomplished administrator with exceptional leadership qualities.