The Cambridge University Press (CUP), the oldest publishing house in the world, has set up an office in Nigeria.
The CUP publishes academic titles for pre-university students in more than 50 countries including emerging markets such as Malaysia, India, China, Kenya and South Africa.
With an estimated 10 million Nigerian children unable to attend school, education reform in Nigeria remains a key priority for social and economic development.
Over the last 20 years, the number of schools has almost doubled, and the number of universities more than tripled from 42 in 1990 to 141 in 2015. But good quality teaching resources are still difficult to access.
The Cambridge University Press is working closely with Nigerian authorities and leading education professionals to improve this situation. The CUP will be offering its expertise by partnering with local authors and curriculum experts to develop a bespoke series of high quality education materials for the Nigerian market based on the approved Nigerian curricula.
While a World Bank study found that quality textbooks are the most constant factor in school success rate, ahead of teaching training, inappropriate and/or low quality textbooks are widely in use in Nigerian schools. Social media is replete with parents’ outrage at such textbooks; one aimed at primary school pupils contains the phrase “head is used for carrying loads”.
Another that was published for junior secondary school students has a character questioning why “men from their tribe should be taking our girls”. Such poor quality, inappropriate textbooks are the norm in many classrooms all over the nation.
The Cambridge University Press is launching with an event for the education sector, comprising primary and secondary schools and education officials at the State and Federal Government levels at the Oriental Hotel in Lekki Lagos on May 4 2016.
Oby Ezekwesilli, former Minister of Education and former Vice President of the African Division of the World Bank will be the Guest Speaker at the event while Professor Ismail Junaidu, the Executive Secretary Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council, will be the Guest of Honour.
Mrs. Ezekwesilli will speak about the challenges of providing quality education for all Nigerian children and how attaining the goal will promote social cohesion and economic development. As a demonstration of the importance of the Nigerian market, the launch event will also be attended by Cambridge University Press CEO, Peter Phillips and Colleen McCallum, Managing Director, Cambridge University Press.
The CUP will produce English language and science (physics, chemistry, biology) books (based on the Nigerian curriculum) at very competitive costs for the Nigerian school system.
With over 450 years of experience in publishing, Cambridge University Press are well placed to provide opportunities for Nigerian students to access the best teaching resources – which is key to improving the level of attainment across the whole education spectrum, from primary to higher levels.
Rod Smith, Managing Director for Education at Cambridge University Press, said, “Cambridge has decades of experience supporting Ministries of Education all over the world with training and quality control for the development of their own learning and assessment materials which is why we are so confident that through working collaboratively with ministers, educators, teachers and students alike, we can make a positive impact.”
Cambridge University Press are the market leaders in producing material for Cambridge International Exams and have been supplying these books in Nigeria for many years. The entry of the CUP into the Nigerian market means its teaching and learning materials will be produced locally and will become widely available in Nigeria at affordable costs. Covering the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council’s (NERDC) curriculum, the Cambridge resources will be accessible and affordable to all learners at all levels from Primary 1 – Senior Secondary 3 across a range of subjects.
Rod Smith, continued, “The aim of this programme is to give every learner in Nigeria the opportunity to share in and benefit from the gold-standard tradition and contemporary relevance of the University of Cambridge.”
Lawrence Aladesuyi, the Nigeria Country Manager of Cambridge University Press corroborated, saying CUP books have been priced competitively to bring them within the reach of every class of schools and students from a wide variety of socio-economic backgrounds.
Cambridge University Press has registered a Nigerian company and opened an office in Ikeja in Lagos to support this programme. Aladesuyi Adebanji Lawrence, a former Executive Secretary for the Nigerian Publishers’ Association was appointed as Country Manager to ensure that CUP’s offering in Nigeria is targeted and delivered to the highest possible standards. Mr. Aladesuyi is highly regarded in the Nigerian Publishing industry, having worked in senior management positions for a number of publishers. A sales force and office staff are in place.
The first set of Cambridge Press books will be available in early May 2016. The launch event featuring delegates from Cambridge University, top officials from NERDC and some of the leading Nigerian educationists will take place to coincide with the launch of the materials.
Cambridge University Press is part of the University of Cambridge. It furthers the University’s mission by disseminating knowledge in the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence.
Its extensive peer-reviewed publishing lists comprises 50,000 titles covering academic research, professional development, over 350 research journals, school-level education, English language teaching and bible publishing.
Playing a leading role in today’s international market place, Cambridge University Press has more than 50 offices around the globe, and it distributes its products to nearly every country in the world.