Grace Alele-Williams

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Grace Alele-Williams (16 December 1932 – 25 March 2022) was a professor of mathematics education, who made history as the first woman to become vice-chancellor at the University of Benin and first Nigerian woman to receive a doctorate degree.


  • "I tried to review the teaching of mathematics in schools, to make sure that the teachers understood the new concept which was already in use in Europe and America. I think we made an appreciable progress. But one of the saddest days of my life was the day the federal commissioner announced in 1978 that modern mathematics was abolished in schools."
    • [1] Prof. Grace Alele-Williams, once remarked that her appointment was a test case to demonstrate women’s executive capability.
    • [2]women capacity and capability.
  • "Let us stop this system of putting people in positions just because of the contacts they have. That is a major reason why we remain a poorly governed and undeveloped country,”.
    • [3]Prof Grace Alele on allowing qualified people in position regardless of the gender.
  • "As long as we are celebrating a woman vice chancellor because she is the first or a woman chief judge because she is the first, then we have not arrived. We look forward to the time when we will have many women in such positions and we will be celebrating so many of them."
    • [4] Prof. Grace in an interview in THISDAY Online, November 16, 2004.
  • Ask yourself over and over again, has the Chibok affair become too late to think about?
    • [5] Prof Grace Alele seeking for the return of Chibok girls in 2017.
  • Play hard and keep straight, and continue getting quality education, well informed, so that in any situation you have something positive to contribute.
    • [6] Prof in an interview on words to the young and elderly.
  • To the elderly ones, you are retired but don't be tired. Just keep doing what you were doing.
    • [7] Prof in an interview on words to the young and elderly.
  • "The excitement I felt on receiving the news from Professor Jubril Aminu (Minister of Education) had more to do with seeing it in terms of opening up the field for women than anything else. I saw it as an opportunity to show that women too could rise up to the occasion."
    • [8]Her speech during the completion of her assignment as Vice chancellor of University of Benin in 2018.
  • "After creating the “political class,” journalists failed to set parameters for person in that class."
    • [9] Speaking at a meeting organised by Initiative for Moral Rectitude in Society (IMRS).
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