Dr. Chizoba Imoka is an award-winning educator, a seasoned education reform strategist, and an acclaimed social justice advocate/practitioner with a PhD in Education Policy & Leadership from the University of Toronto, Canada.
As an Education reform strategist and an independent education consultant, she has worked with a wide range of national and international organizations, government agencies, and schools to localize SDG 4.1.1, "strengthen education systems and create more inclusive education spaces." Dr. Imoka is an expert at analyzing social systems from a social justice perspective and creating effective people-centered interventions that weave in research evidence, social justice, indigenous, and African-centered perspectives into policy design, school curricula, teacher training, and social programming. In Nigeria, she worked on a USAID-funded project to create a draft national reading framework (NRF) for Nigeria. The NRF involved adapting UNESCO’s Global Proficiency Framework on reading to create an evaluation framework and exemplar texts for P1-P3 in 10 Nigerian languages. She also supported the development of early grade reading materials in Igbo and Yoruba for P1-P3. In addition, Dr. Imoka worked with Management Systems International on Piloting the Policy Linking Methodology for Hausa Language.
Within the broader community, Dr. Chizoba is the founder of Unveiling Africa, a non-profit that provides a platform for African youth to learn about their history from an African-centered perspective and get involved in civic and political leadership. As the Director of Programming for the organization, Dr. Imoka designed an award-winning curriculum, Re-Rooting in African History, that engaged a wide range of education stakeholders from different parts of the world for seven consecutive weekends on African history. Based on the program’s success, it has been adapted for secondary school students, and public school teachers in Lagos state will be trained to teach 400 students Nigerian history in a fun, personal, and relatable way.
As a researcher, Dr. Imoka’s scholarship explores ways in which teaching and learning in the African context could become more culturally relevant and inclusive, and lead to effective leadership amongst youth. Chizoba is a passionate advocate for anti-colonial approaches to international development, public education reform in Africa, and transformative youth engagement. Chizoba has given numerous lectures in these areas including a TED Talk and the prestigious Hancock Lecture at the University of Toronto.
For her public leadership and academic excellence, Chizoba has received numerous awards, including the 2021 Ernest D. Morrel African Diaspora Emerging Scholar Award, 2019 Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Award, 2018 African Scholars Emerging Award, 2018 Illuminessence Human Rights Award, 2016 Adrienne Clarkson Laureateship for Public Service, and 2016 Adel Sedra Distinguished Graduate Student Award, amongst others. Between 2014 - 2016, Chizoba was recognized as a leading practitioner in youth engagement and served on the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Civic Participation.