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Nigeria Education: 60 years Post Independence

Nigeria’s Education: 60 years Post-Independence

As Nigeria celebrates its independence tomorrow, we are ushered with an opportunity to shine the light on Nigeria’s Education Post- Independence. In this article, we will look at how Education started in Nigeria; The evolution of Education from Independence till now, and finally, Practical steps to be taken to Improve the Educational Sector.

A Brief History of Education in Nigeria.

Western Education started in Nigeria in 1842 only at the primary level by Christian Missionaries. The Missionaries managed the educational system according to their respective philosophies.

During this period, the British colonial government couldn’t interfere in the education system due to some political and financial factors. However, in 1872, they started to intervene in the education system by giving donations to missionary societies to support education.

In 1882, the colonial government brought a document “Education Ordinance”, with the aim of having total control on education. This was their first formal pronouncement of Education in Nigeria.

Schools were later classified into Government Schools and Private schools.

The First Secondary school CMS Grammar School, Lagos was established in 1859.

CMS Grammar School

Photo Credit: Guardian NG

After 88 years, the First higher institution Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH) was established in 1947.

Yaba College of Tech

Photo Credit: The Sun

Subsequently, The University College, Ibadan was established, starting with just 104 students.

University of Ibadan

Photo Credit: The Buzz Net

In just a year, 1962, the number of Universities in Nigeria rose from 1 to 5. The number of higher institutions established within the country increased steadily between the 1970s and 1980s and this led to the overall growth of Education in Nigeria.

Generally, statistics show that the number of Primary schools, Secondary schools, and Universities in Nigeria from 1980 till now, has increased to over 12 million, 1.2 million, and 240,000 respectively.

The evolution of Education in Nigeria, Post- Independence

Change they say is always constant but is that really the case of Nigeria’s Educational System. Our education system hasn’t kept pace with the times and it’s taken a toll on the quality of education.

The quality of education has seen a decline since Independence and this is a major concern. As a result of the decline in the quality of Education, many things have been affected.

What are some of the factors contributing to the decline in quality?

  • Lack of qualified teachers
  • Lack of Instructional materials,
  • Lack of Inadequate Remuneration and Compensation
  • Unstable Learning Environments (due to frequent strikes by students or staff, the quality of students admitted to programs, and the quality of the academics recruited). etc

All these factors are simply rippled effects of the misplaced priority of the Government and Corruption/ Lack of Integrity amongst some Educational Stakeholders.

Taking a look at the Evolution of Education in Nigeria today, there are many damages but lots can still be done. For the quality of Education to be improved, the factors above need to be considered.

Practical Solutions to be taken to Improve the Educational Sector.

The world is evolving and in order to see an improvement in the quality of Education; Nigeria has a country that must accept change and be willing to take the steps to adopt it. Also, the Government and the contributing Private sector must pay full attention to solving the myriads of problems surrounding the educational system in Nigeria.

Below are some practical solutions to be taken to improve the Educational Standard in Nigeria:

  1. Increase Funding and Ensure that the Funds are properly utilized to Solve the Problems in the Educational Sector.
  2. Consistently Train Teachers to improve their capacity.
  3. Expand Access to High- Quality Education programs.
  4. Educational Resources should be made Affordable.
  5. Consistently Upgrade Educational Curriculum.

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