A seasoned teacher, educationalist, and a manager of educational services, Mr. Clement Uzo Chukwudifu has made a mark in the educational sector of Nigeria’s national life. His over two decades of professional service in the industry has seen him lift many an institution and student from unanimity and mediocrity to visibility and excellence. Lead British International School, Abuja, of which he currently serves as Deputy Head of School and Head of Standards and Evaluation, is one such institution. The school boasts of early years, primary and secondary sections. From a negligible student population of twenty when he joined in 2008, numbers swelled astronomically to over 1,000 in just five years of operation, thanks in large measure to Chukwudifu’s ingenuity.
An expert in English Language and the creative arts, the widely-consulted educational technocrat is at his best when he is tasked with bringing students to the optimum levels of their ability. He is also a qualified Educational Guidance Counsellor. In his hands, sub-average students have been transformed to being able to ace their internal as well as external examinations. This he is able to do simply by adopting a pedagogical approach that seeks to simplify otherwise complex rules of the English Language to the enjoyment and easier comprehension of students. In addition to his classroom work, he also has administrative duties, which he ably discharges with panache.
The upward swing of students’ performances is, undoubtedly, due to the creativity which he brings into his role as the head of standards. The intensive two-year staff training he initiated has helped teachers to acquire up-to-date and cutting-edge methods that have in turn improved the learning process among students with outstanding qualitative and quantitative benefits. Consistently, his JSS1 and SS3 students turn in impressive results in their English Language examinations. Put in perspective, such performances against the disturbing background of well-documented students’ perennial weaknesses in this subject, put in bold relief Mr. Chukwudifu’s feat. Little wonder, the Federal Ministry of Education has taken note by getting him to rise fast while he was with the ministry. It is also for the same reason, no doubt, that throughout his impressive career, Chukwudifu has been in high demand in this cadre of education in the country, as he struts his stuff from one highbrow college to another, taking beneficiary institutions to higher levels of performance in their businesses.
Some of the institutions that have benefited from Clement’s sterling services include the Federal Government College, Ikot-Ekpene in Akwa-Ibom State, where it all began in 1974 as English Language Teacher. For nine years, he taught the subject at the ordinary level and English Literature at the advanced level, in addition to diverse roles at different times as House Master, Drama Culture tutor, coordinator of Literary and Debating Club, and basketball coach. At King’s College, Lagos which he joined in 1983, he performed similar roles before he became the Head of English Department in the school. Notably, Clement also edited the school’s magazine, displaying distinctive creative and administrative acumen in the process. In 1996, the El-amin International School in Minna procured his services as its Vice Principal, taking him to a higher level of responsibility.
When in 1999 he moved to the prestigious Loyola Jesuit College as Head of the Faculty of languages, it was ample proof of Clement’s track record as teacher and administrator par excellence, and he did not disappoint on the job. He brought his impressive pedagogical nous to bear on his role by helping non-English speakers to improve on their English Language proficiency. He also developed a Personal and Social Education Programme for students that guided them on societal norms and motivation for higher examination grades.
However, Clement in 2001 took a break from Loyola Jesuit College to work with Funtaj International School as its Principal which was called Coordinator. Guided by his robust experience in management of educational matters such as in the areas of documentation and creation of structures, the young school quickly gained the approval of the government and other examination bodies like WAEC and NECO. In 2002, Mr. Clement who had already posted cognate profile in educational management returned to Loyola Jesuit College as the Chairman, Continuous Assessment and Examinations which is equivalent to Vice Principal Academic, combining it with the role of the School Counsellor and English tutor. It was from these roles that he transferred his services in 2008 to the Lead British International School, Abuja.
The depth of Mr. Chukwudifu’s creative insight is best appreciated in the light of his publications with the Lantern Publishers and West African Book Publishers, in the area of effective learning in English Language. His intellectual output won him the British Council Award to study in Great Britain in 1989 and a summer grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to participate in the 5 African-American Classical programme in 1988.
Mr. Chukwudifu holds a Bachelor of Arts (B.A) degree in English from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, a Postgraduate Diploma in Education from the University of Ibadan, a Postgraduate Diploma and Master of Arts degree from Moray House College of Education in Edinburgh, Scotland, and a Master of Education (M.ED) in Guidance and Counselling from the University of Ibadan.