EARLY CONSULTATIONS AND THE EXPLORATORY MEETING
The idea of the Academy of Education had been under consideration by many educationists for a number of years, but sometime in 1984, Mr. G.N. Enobakhare made a move, which led to a preparatory meeting held in Lagos on Saturday 16th of September 1984. Six prominent educationists met on that day (at the invitation of Prof. C. O. Taiwo) at the Continuing Education Centre of the University of Lagos to “explore the necessity, advisability, and cogency of founding a national, non-political, and independent professional body that can speak and advise on education at all levels in all its ramifications”
Prof. Babatunde Fafunwa
Present at the exploratory meeting were the following:
Prof. B O Ukeje, who was elected Protem Secretary
Prof. A Babs. Fafunwa
Prof. Adamu Baikie
Alhaji Hamidu Alkali
Mr. G. N. I. Enobakhare
All those present at the meeting agreed with Chief Enobakhare that every other profession in the country had a central body and powerful forum that can speak to and advise government on issues affecting their profession, that EDUCATION needed a forum of high standing which will not be a labour union, and that a national, non-political, independent, and professional body that can speak and advise on education generally be formed with the designation: The Nigerian Academy of Education.
Discussion of Fundamental issues: The Expanded Meeting
The exploratory meeting set up a steering committee to work out ideas of an Academy of Education, draft a constitution, and arrange for an “expanded meeting” which was subsequently held at the same venue (University of Lagos) on 24th November 1984.
Invitations for the expanded meeting were extended to as many of those deemed at that time to qualify for membership all over the country. The meeting, which attracted twenty nine participants, agreed with Prof. Taiwo that education in Nigeria had become a game of anybody without a referee. Participants also adopted the name The Nigerian Academy Of Education.
Detailed consideration was given to the membership of the academy and it was finally agreed that the following categories of educationists should become the foundation members of the Academy, if they responded to the invitation before the end of December 1984
1. Professors of Education;
2. Directors of University Institutes of Education;
3. Chief Federal Advisers on Education;
4. Chief Inspectors (Directors) of State Ministries of Education, provided they were the Heads of the whole professional units of their Ministries;
5. Recognised professional bodies in education, to be accorded Associate Membership, and each to be represented by one member.
The expanded meeting deliberating further on the issue of qualification for membership, held the view that the key consideration should be “significant contribution to education” and not merely the position held in the education hierarchy by any individual. The provisional aims and objectives of the Academy were exhaustively debated, and appropriately modified. These were later to be incorporated in the constitution.
Formal Launching of the Academy
The Nigerian Academy of Education was born formally at an inaugural conference held at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of Lagos, on Saturday 16th February 1985.
The conference attracted some fifty persons, forty of whom qualified to be foundation members of the Academy. After the opening ceremony, which included inaugural addresses by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos (Prof. Akin Adesola), Prof. C O Taiwo, Prof. A Babs Fafunwa, and Prof. Adamu Baikie, the following historic motion was moved by Prof. Fafunwa:
Be it resolved, and it is hereby resolved, that the Nigerian Academy of Education be launched today 16th day of February 1985, at 10.05 am at the University of Lagos under the Chairmanship of Prof. Akin Adesola, Vice Chancellor of the University’
The motion was seconded by Prof. Adamu Baikie and was unanimously adopted by the participants.
In the working session that followed the inauguration, the draft Constitution was exhaustively discussed and later adopted. Elections were then held to Executive Committee and Standing Committees of the Academy.