CURRENT STATE OF EDUCATION IN NIGERIA INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND: Education can be referred to as an act or process of developing and cultivating, whether physically, mentally or mortally, ones mental activities or senses; the expansion, strengthening and discipline of ones mind, faculty etc; the forming and regulation of principles and character in order to prepare and fit for any calling or business by systematic instruction.
The result of these is determine by the knowledge/’skill acquired, the discipline of character acquired, the act/process of training by a prescribed or customary course of study discipline. Education is also seen as a means towards understanding, awareness creation, enlightenment, controlling, altering and re-designing human destiny and environment with a view to achieving and sustaining a better quality of life for the individual and towards the full integration of the individual into his environment in particular and then his nation in general; making reasonable contributions towards national developments.
The nation’s view on education is government’s way of realizing that part of the national goals that can be achieved by using education as a tool. No views on education can however be formulated without first identifying the overall philosophy and goals of the nation viz: I. To live in unity and harmony as one indivisible, indissoluble, democratic and Sovereign nation founded on the principles of understanding. Freedom, equality and justice. II. To promote inter-African solidarity and world peace through mutual understandings and interactions.

The main goals of education in Nigeria which have even been endorsed As the necessary foundation for the National policy on education are towards the building of: i. A fair, equitable and democratic society ii. A just and egalitarian society iii. A united, strong and self- reliant nation iv. A great and dynamic economy and v. A land full of bright opportunities for all citizens. In Nigeria’s own philosophy of education, we collectively believe that: i. Education is an instrument for national development and to this end, the formulation f ideas, their integration for national development and the interaction of persons and ideas are all aspects of education. ii. Education fosters the worth and development of the individual, for each individuals sake and for the general development of the society/nation iii. Every Nigerian child shall have a right to equal educational opportunities irrespective of any real or imagined disabilities and each according to his/her own ability. iv. There is the need for functional education for the promotion of a progressive and United Nigeria.
To this end therefore, school programmes need to be relevant, practical, comprehensive and research oriented while interests and ability should determine the individual’s direction in education, which is an aspect of sustainability. STAGES OF EDUCATION IN NIGERIA: EARLY CHILDHOOD/ PRE PRIMARY EDUCATION IN NIGERIA: Early childhood/Pre-primary education refers to the education given in an educational refers to the education given in an educational institution to children prior to their entering the primary school. It includes: the creche, the nursery and the kindergarten stages.
In Nigeria, the purpose of pre-primary education shall be to: i. Effect a smooth transition from the home to the school. ii. Prepare the child for the primary level of education. iii. Provide adequate care and supervision for the children while their parents are at work iv. Inculcate social norms into the children even from the earliest stages v. Inculcate into the child, the spirit of enquiry and creativity through the exploration of nature, the environment, art, music and playing with toys etc. vi. Develop a sense of co-operation and team spirit ii. Learn good habits, especially good health habits and viii. Teach the rudiments of numbers, letter, colours, shapes, forms etc through play. The responsibilities of government and other stakeholders for pre-primary education in Nigeria shall be to promote the training of qualified pre-primary school teachers in adequate number; contribute to the development of suitable curriculum, supervise and control the quality of such institutions as well as establish pre-primary sections in all existing public schools.
In specific terms therefore, government shall: i. Establish pre-primary sections in all existing public schools and encourage both community and private/corporate efforts in the provision of pre-primary education. ii. Make provision in teacher education programmes for specialization in early childhood education. iii. Ensure that the medium of instruction is principally the mother-tongue or the language of the immediate community. And to this end, develop the orthography of many more Nigerians languages and produce textbooks in Nigerian languages. v. Ensure that the main methods/medium of teaching play and that the curriculum of teacher education is oriented to achieve thuis. v. Regulate and control the operation of pre-primary education in Nigeria by setting and monitoring minimum standards for early childcare centres in the country. vi. Ensure full participation of government corporate organizations, entrepreneurs communities and teachers associations in the running and maintenance of early childhood education and educational facilities throughout the country BASIC EDUCATION:
In Nigeria, basi education shall be of 9- years duration comprising 6-years of primary education and 3-years of junior secondary education. It shall be free and compulsory. It shall also include adult and non-formal education programmes at primary and junior secondary education levels for the adults and out-of-school youths. The specific objectives of basic education in Nigeria shall be the same as the goals of the levels of education to which it applies (ie primary education, junior secondary education and adult /non – formal education). 1) PRIMARY EDUCATION IN NIGERIA
Primary education in nigeria as referred to on this document is the education given in institutions for children between the ages of 6 – 11 years and above. Pupils spend six years in the primary school level in Nigeria and graduate with a school-leaving certificate. And since the rest of the education system is built upon it, primary level is the key to the success or failure of the whole system. This being the case, the goals and objectives of primary education in Nigeria are to: i. Inculcate permanent literacy and numeracy as well as the ability to communicate effectively. i. Lay a sound foundation for scientific and reflective thinking iii. Give citizenship education as a basis for effective participation in and contribution to the life of the people in the society. iv. Mould the character and develop sounds attitude as well as morals in the child. v. Develop in the child, the ability to adopt the child’s changing environment. vi. Give the child opportunities foe developing manipulative skills that will enable the child function effectively in the society within the limits of his capacity and capability. vii.
Provide the child with basic tools for further educational advancement, including preparation for trades and crafts of the locality. these goals from the basis of primary education in all the states of the federation and, in pursuance of the above goals, primary education in Nigeria shall be tuition free and compulsory. The curriculum for primary education therefore include: language (language of the environment, English, French and Health Education, Religious Knowledge, Agriculture/Home Economics, Social Studies/citizenship Education, Culture and Creative arts (ie Drawing, Handicraft, music and cultural activities), Computer Education etc.
Teaching at the primary level shall be by practical, explanatory and experimental methods and the following educational services are expected to be provided: school library, basic health scheme, counseling, educational resource centre, specialist teachers of particular subjects like: mathematics, science, physical Education, language Arts (in relation to English, French, Sign language and Nigerian languages), librarians, music, Fine Arts and Home Economics. Primary school students are required to take a Common Entrance Examination to qualify for admission into the Federal and State Government Secondary Schools.
The UBE came as a replacement for Nigeria’s universal primary education scheme of the 6-3-3-4 system of primary Education. The 9 – 3 – 3 – 4 system of primary education. The 9 – 3 – 4 system of education was designed in conformity with the MDG’s and education for all. The UBE involves 6years of primary school and 3 years of junior secondary school. Culminating into 9 years of uninterrupted schooling. Transition from one class to another is automatic but assessed through continuous assessment.
This scheme is however monitored by the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) and has been made free as well as a right of every child in Nigeria. To law stipulates a 9 –years formal schooling, adult literacy and non-formal education, skill acquisition programmes as well as the education of special groups such as: nomads and migrants, girl-child and women, Al-majiri, street children and the physically challenged. SUSTAINABILITY OF PRIMARY EDUCATION IN NIGERIA: To these effects, i. Special efforts shall be made by all appropriate agencies to encourage parents to send their children, especially, their daughters to school ii.
Everything possible shall be done to discourage the incidence of dropping out at the primary level of education. But where this occurs, provisions shall be made in the context of adult and non-formal education to enable such early leavers to continue with their education. iii. Government therefore welcomes the contributions of voluntary agencies, communities and private individuals in the establishment and management of primary schools alongside those provided by the states and local governments as long as they meet the minimum standards laid down by the federal government. v. In recognition of the prominent role of Information and Communication Technology in advancing knowledge and skills necessary for effective functioning in the modern world, there is therefore urgent needs to integrate Information and Communication Technology (ICT) into education in Nigeria even at the primary level. v. Government shall therefore strive to provide basic infrastructure enabling environment and training facilities for the realization of all these goals at the primary school level. SECONDARY EDUCATION IN NIGERIA:
Secondary education in Nigeria is the education children receive after primary education but before the tertiary stage. The Federal Republic of Nigeria is made up of thirty six states and the federal capital territory. There are about two federal government colleges in each state and these schools are funded and managed directly by the Federal Government through the ministry of Education. Teachers and staff of these schools are Federal Government employees and they possess at least, a bachelors degree in Education and/or in any particular subject area such as mathematics, physics etc. hese schools are supposed to be model schools carrying and maintaining the ideals of secondary education for Nigerian students. Admission is based on merit and determined by the national Common Entrance Examination taken by all final year elementary school pupils tuition and fees are very low, appropriately one hundred dollars ($100. ), because funding comes from the Federal Government State owned cesondary schools are funded by each state government and are not comparable to the Federal Government colleges.
Although education Is supposed to be free in the majority of the state owned institutions, students are required to purchase books and uniforms costing them an average of two hundred dollars ($200). Teachers in state owned institutions usually have a National Certificate if Education or a Bachelor’s degree. Often, these schools are understaffed due to low state budgets, lack of incentives and irregularities in the payment of staff salaries Private secondary schools in Nigeria tend to be more expensive with average annual fees averaging from one to two thousand dollars ($100 – $200).
These schools however have smaller classes, modern equipment cand better environments. Teachers n these schools all posses at least, a Bachelors degree in specific course areas and are sent for workshops or short – term programmes on a regular basis. The broad include the preparation of the student for: i. Useful living within the society ii. Higher education IN SPECIFIC TERMS HOWEVER, SECONDARY EDUCATION SHALL: i. Provide all primary school leavers with the opportunity fo education of a higher level, irrespective of sex, social states religious and /or ethnic background. i. Offer diversified curriculum to cater for the differences in talents, opportunities and future roles. iii. Provide trained manpower in the applied science, technology and commerce at sub-professional grades. iv. Develop and promote Nigerian languages, art and culture in the content of world’s cultural heritage. v. Inspire students with a desire for self improvement and achievement of excellence. vi. Foster National unity with an emphasis on the common things that unite us in our diversity. vii.
Raise a generation og people who can think for themselves, respect the views and feelings of others, respect the dignity of labour, appreciate those values specified under our THE PLANNING AND GUIDING EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT. Educational research and development in this context refers to all efforts aimed at facilitating the implementation of educational polices in the country, the attainment of policy goals the promotion of effectiveness as well as the broadening of the entire educational system.
STRATEGIES AND SUSTAINABILITY OF PLANNING AND GUIDING EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA. The strategies for the planning and guiding of educational research will include the following: i. Develop, assess, improve and expand educational programmes in line with what is obtained in the developed economies. ii. Enhancement of the teaching and then, improve the competence of teachers with state of the art equipments. iii. Making education more cost-effective. iv. Promoting in-service education v. Development and promoting effective use of innovative materials in schools and vi.
Making learning experience more pragmatic and more meaningful for students so that the entire economy will be served with a more focused and committed labour force. In terms of sustainability, we suggest the following: i. State and local governments shall establish Teacher’s Resource centres where teachers will meet for discussions, investigations, study workshops, short courses and conferences. ii. Federal and state governments shall establish Educational Resource cntres whose activities would be multi-disciplinary. iii. Federal, state and local governments hall set aside a pre-determined percentage of their allocations to support research and development in line with UN resolutions. iv. Federal, state and local governments shall establish more public/mobile libraries as well as actively promote readership. v. Private establishments and proprietors shall also support research and development efforts in education especially in the establishment of state of the art libraries with established standards. They shall also provide for the training of librarians and library assistants for this service. i.
MONITORING PROGRESS IN RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AMONG THE INDUSTRIAL AND EDUCATIONAL COMMUNITIES/ESTABLISHMENTS. This concerns itself with all efforts by the concerned authorities in the education ministries in ensuring that R/D efforts are strictly adhered to by educational establishments and even industrial organizations. STRATEGIES AND SUSTAINABILITY: All educational authorities in the country from the local to the federal levels should be held responsible for: I. Enunciating a National Policy on Education II. Setting-up and maintaining uniform standards
III. Co-ordinating sound educational practices in Nigeria IV. Establishing a federal Inspectorate services would responsibities amongst others would include: to encourage the dissemination of information on innovations and progressive educational and research principles practices in the school system through publications, workshops, meetings, seminars, conferences and other means of interactions between and among the industrial and educational communities. V. Planning and organizing educational research on a national scale. VI.
Acquiring storing and disseminating national educational data and agencies research finding to communities, and industrial organizations. VII. Co –ordinating non-formal education including adult education, vocational improvement centres, correspondence cources etc etc. VIII. Co-ordinationg international co-operation in educational researches. For all the above strategies to be sustained, I. Special and adequate inducement shall be provided for all teachers and researchers even in the rural areas so as to make them stay on their jobs.
II. Government must establish efficient services at federal, state and local government levels for the monitoring and maintaining standards at all levels of education and research III. Government must also establish an efficient research control and monitoring body to ensure that the findings of quality researches are dessimated to all desening communities agencies institutes and industrial organizations ii. ENSURING THAT PUBLIC AND EDUCATIONAL (R/D) EFFORTS WITH THE OVERALL DEVELOPMENTAL PLANNING OF THE NATION.
It has already been stated that Nigeria’s philosophy of education believes that education is an instrument for national development. And to this end, the formulation of researches towards the development of ideas, their integration for national development and the interaction of persons/ideas are all aspects of effective education. STRATEGIES AND SUSTAINABILITY: The recommended strategies here would be to align our educational system so as to: i. Foster the worth and development of the individual for each individual’s sake and for the general development of our society. i. Ensure that every Nigerian child has a right to equal educational opportunities irrespective of any real or imagined disabilities, hindrances and shortcomings, each according to his/her ability. iii. Foster functional education for the promotion of a progressive and united Nigeria. And, to this end, school programmes need to be made relevant, practical and comprehensive while interest and ability should determine the individual’s direction in his/her educational pursuit.
For the above aim/objective to be sustainable in view with proper alignment with the overall development al planning of the nation as well as to be in harmony with Nigeria’s national goals, educational research and development has to be geared towards self realization of the students, better human relationship, individual and national efficiency, effective citizenship, national consciousness, national unity as well as towards social, cultural, economic, political, scientific and technological progress. All these will involve the following: i.
Thorough inculcation of national consciousness and national unity into the students. ii. Through the inculcation of the right type of values and attitudes for the survival of the individual and the Nigerian society. iii. Through the training and re- training of the mind in the understanding of the world around and iv. Through the acquisition of appropriate and requisite skills as well as the development of mental, physical and social abilities and competencies as equipment for the individual to live in and contribute to the development of the society. iii.
LINKING RESEARCHERS WITH ENTREPRENEURS FOR THE COMMERCIALIZATION OF R/D RESULTS. Academic institutions the world over, are set up to provide an environment for teaching, research, community participation and the moulding of characters. Unfortunately, they have failed, in the case of Nigeria to meet the needs of the individuals in the promotion of economic self-reliance and self sufficiency. The starting point of research here would be on such educational services that would offer a range of educational experiences which would depend on the needs of the individual and the requirements of potential work places.
Also, it must emphasize on the development of the job skills and work behaviours directed towards specific occupational requirements. Having done the above, a rapport would have been established between researchers , their finding/ results and industrialists/entrepreneurs with a view towards the commercialization of R&D results. It is however expected that the concept of entrepreneurial skill development recently introduced by the NUC will be imbibed by all institutions of learning in Nigeria. Some of the mandates of the entrepreneurship section of the NUC is to: i.
Promote linkage between academic institutions researches on the one hand and industrial/financial institutions on the other hand. ii. Promote the exhibitions of commercialized researches in Nigerian institutions of learning and. iii. Promote Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between Nigerian Universities and the individual, manufacturing and service sectors etc. For sustainability, the following are proposed: i. A serious partnership between our institutions of learning industrialists, entrepreneurs etc so that the findings of the volumes of researches conducted in our institutions will definitely get to the end users. i. Findings/results of researches in our institutions should be collected and published periodically so that individuals, organizations and the government at all its tiers, levels and agencies would study and where necessary adopt such findings in their policy making processes iii. Our institutions of learning should be upgraded to become more research oriented. And to the effect, government and the organized private sector should advance more funds in upgrading our libraries, laboratories and research institutions across the country. iv.
NURTURING PROJECTS BY THE USE OF FACILITIES OF TECHNOLOGY INCUBATION AND EDUCATIONAL PARKS. A project by definition is an optimum set of investment oriented activates by means of which a defined combination of human and material resources are expected to bring about a determined amount of economic and developmental benefits. It is also, an agreed fact in both private and government/public circles that a project involves the use of one or more scare resources within a specific period of time snd for the purpose of yielding some economic and social benefits/returns at a much later time.
Projects are usually classified into: i. Current and/or capital projects ii. Private sector and /or public sector projects Men invest for the purpose of profit maximization, share holders wealth maximization, stock value maximization, market share maximization, capital gains and other intrinsic ownership/personal reason. Government on the other hand invests so as to improve peoples standard of living, provision of security, protection, social welfare, employment provision, health, education etc. No matter the type or form of a project, it involves the covering of several tages, each involving a different set of decisional processes too. While the starting point of any project is known as its “operation stage”. However, the entire series of activities that must be covered for the idea to the operation stage is referred to as the “project Cycle”. Projects, either of the private or of the public sector type are most inevitable for the growth and development of any nation. It is also said that ideas rule the world, and this is the reason why our educational institutions are veritable breeding grounds for fresh ideas via technology incubation and educational parks.
Technology education however incorporates post secondary education in technology offered in polytechnics, Monotechnics and Colleges of Education Technical. And the strategy here shall include: i. The provision of full-time and part time courses of instruction and training in engineering, other technologies, applied sciences business and management, leading to the production of trained manpower. ii. The provision of technical knowledge and skills necessary for agricultural, industrial, commercial and economic development in Nigeria. iii.
Giving training and imparting the necessary skills for the production of technicians, technologists and other skilled personnel who shall be enterprising and self – reliant. iv. Training people who can apply scientific knowledge to solve environment problems for the convenience of man and v. Giving exposure on professional studies in the technologies. In the pursuance of the above goals and for the purpose of sustainability, Government shall adopt the following measures: In the pursuance of the above goals and for the purposes of sustainability, government shall adopt the following measures: i.
Develop and encourage the ideas of polytechnic education through student’s industrial work experiences. ii. Improve upon immediate and long term prospects of polytechnic graduates and other professionals with respect to their status and remuneration. iii. At the very early phase of the education system, efforts shall be made to include an attitude of respect for and appreciation of the role of technology in society iv. Students shall be made to appreciate the dignity of labour by using their hands in making repairing and assembling things. v.
Polytechnics shall be encourage to conduct applied research relevant to the needs and aspirations of the nation. vi. polytechnics shall continue to maintain a two-tier programme of the National Diploma (ND) and the Higher National Diploma (HND) with one year period of Industrial experience. Serving as one of the pre-requisites for entry into the HND programmes. vii. Polytechnics that meet the requirement above shall be allowed to run post professional HND programmes. viii. The modes and operations of polytechnics shall be the same as in the monotechnics 6.
PROMOTING STRATEGIC PROJECTS THROUGH DIRECT INTERVENTION WOTH PUBLIC AND PRIVATE BODIES: INTERACTION We had previously and comprehensively explained what public and private projects are. However, Strategic projects are those that expected to have far reaching effects on the life of the ordinary man, Corporate organizations and even the government. These projects are also those that are expected to impart positively on the development processes of the nation. Some of them would include: health educational, Transport, Aviation, Military and para-military, Information, Telecommunication and even space related projects.
The importance of these projects permeated both the private and public sectprs of any nation and the need to promote and facilitate such projects require the simultaneous interation of our educational/research –based institutions with both the organized private sector and appropriate government agencies. Strategies for the achievement of the above would include the following: i. The government to understand that the success of any system of education research institute is hinged upon proper planning, efficient administration and adequate financing. ii.
That administration is a function of organization and structure, proprietorship and control as well as inspection/ supervision. iii. School systems and research institutes as well as their management and administration shall grow out of the life and social ethos of the communities which they serve. iv. Shared responsibility for the funding and management of all educational research facilities by the three tires of government. v. Close participation and corporate organization at even he local levels in the administration and management of all educational research facilities. vi. Effective line of ommunication between local communities and government on the one hand and then educational/ research institutes and corporate organizations on the other hand vii. The integration of educational and research development policies with national objectives and programmes especially, as it concerns the evolution of strategic national projects. Sustainability here will require the following: i. Ensuring adequate and effective planning management and monitoring of educational/research services ii. Provide efficient administrative and management control for the maintenance and improvement of the entire systems. ii. Ensuring quality control through regular and continuous of supervision of instructional and other research related services. iv. Providing adequate and balanced financial support for all educational/research related services. v. Ensuring that the findings of all these research instituted are disseminated to the necessary public and private institutes that would need them. vi. The organized private sector to be more responsible to the needs of our academic/research institutes in partnership with government. 7. ADVISING THE GOVERNMENT ON EDUCATIONAL MATTERS AND IMPLEMENTING THESE POLICIES AND PROJECTS
Education all over the world is an expensive social services that require adequate financial provision from all tiers of government and even the private sector for the successful implementation of all the educational programmes and for the expected end results to be achieved. Government ultimate goal is to make education free at all levels and for the dividends of education to permeate across the strata of the entire society. The financing of education should be a joint responsibility of the faderal, state and local governments on the one hand, and the organized private sector, communities and even religious organizations on the other.
In this vain and while government welcomes and encourages the participation of local communities, individuals and other organization. She must be adviced along the following lines: I. That the curricula of all the academic programmes taught in all our educational institutions need to be updated in order to reposition Nigeria’s manpower requirements to be able to keep-up with the constant dynamics of technological advances globally. II. There hould be an inclusion of a course on “entrepreneurship development” in allour institutions of higher learning so as to encourage corporate sector participation, encourage corporate sector participation, encourage corporate sector participation, encourage self-employment and boost the ability of graduates to create jobs. III. Institutions should adhere to the quaota assigned to them for admission so as to portray national policy prescription with regards to the science/Arts ratio of 60% for science and 40% for Arts. IV.
Youths and fresh graduates should be empowered primarily through the development of new government and corporate development of new governmental and corporate strategies/policies to teach, mentor, monitor and create new platforms for adequate self-expression and socio-economic mental alertness. V. Higher institution should strengthen their practical training programmes and skills acquisition through industrial attachment, field/practical training, university – industry interaction forum and adequate supervision of students on industrial attachment.
VI. There should be a strong linkage between entrepreneurship and technology so that entrepreneurs can benefits form research and development (R/D) outputs of our educational and research institutes VII. Research must be intensified on the various aspects of entrepreneurship such as educational, training, new ventures, finance, marketing, organizational strategies, technology, entrepreneurship characteristics and behavior, citizenship education etc. VIII.
The public and private sectors should establish an effective feedback mechanism with graduates and their prospective employers so as to monitor graduate performance at work/industrial attachments in terms of knowledge, skills and adaptability that are needed in addition to the provision of adequate funding for institutions so as to enable them revitalize their academic and physical facilities/laboratories and equipments on a continuous basis in order to maintain high academic/research standards.
IX. Finally and for all the above to be both possible and feasible, government should adhere strictly to the 25% of annual budgetary allocation to the educational sector of the economy. This however is in line with the UN budgetary prescription for educational. The will ensure adequate availability of funds for education at all levels and will also ensure that our educational institutions would bounce back to the days of glory when they were the veritable centres for urturing private and public projects with the use of the facilities of improved facilities of technology incubation and educational parks. This is exactly how it is in the developed countries of the world. Government must stop destroying itself will inconsequential issues of tenure elongation and financial indiscipline/corruption and set the pace for our technological breakthrough via spiritual ad serious improvements in our educational sector in all ramifications.

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