IDS alum finalist in Nigerian Alumni Awards 2017

14 February 2017

We are delighted to report that IDS alum Bolaji Abdullahi has been selected as a finalist for the British Council Alumni Awards 2017 in Nigeria under the Social Impact category, for his work on educational reforms in Nigeria.

Bolaji Abdullahi who studied a Masters in Governance and Development at IDS in 2001-2002, went on to be appointed Commissioner for Education in Kwara State in 2007. In this position he led one of the most comprehensive education reforms in the country with an initiative called Every Child Counts, aimed primarily at improving the quality of basic education for urban poor and rural children with no access to fee-paying private schools.

The initiative retrained 19,000 teachers and introduced teaching manuals for all teachers. A detailed benchmark for monitoring children's performance was introduced to ensure the delivery of quality education. It was the most innovative teacher training programme in Nigeria and is endorsed as best practice by the federal authorities and donor community in Nigeria.

Bolaji said about his time at IDS: "It was a defining moment in my career. I was pleasantly surprised by the Institute's strong interest in Africa and the sheer diversity of the student population. All the continents were represented in my class alone. This exposed me to incredibly diverse perspectives on issues. IDS gave me the discipline to welcome alternative viewpoints and broadened my worldview."

Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on the 10th March 2017 in Lagos. We wish Bolaji the best of luck, and commend him on his achievements since leaving IDS and the important impact his work has had.