Education is the basic human right that should be feasibly accorded to all human beings. It is the key index to economic and social development of a country. However, the educational scenario of a country is related to several factors of which growing population is one. Nigeria is one such instance, which witness exponential growth in population that has direct impact on the country’s infrastructure and resources. This has triggered immense burden on educational growth, though a few potential initiatives have brought education to spotlight through eradicating challenges. Now, the mission is to ensure prospects of education for all in Nigeria by the year 2015.
Nigeria, in the Educational Light
Nigeria aims at achieving quality education for every man, woman, girl and boy. The ultimate mission is to work with excluded and poor so as to establish their rights to quality basic education. Undeniably, there has been staunch initiative so far in the educational light and there has been some significant growth at the elementary level, but Nigeria has still to strive ahead of many challenges, which is posing as the biggest menace at present.
Education in Nigeria:
- The Biggest Challenges
The ever-rising population is one of the reasons for Nigeria’s deplorable education scenario. About 40 percent of the total population in the country is aged between 6 and 11, and do not attend primary school. More shocking, about 4.7 million children who are of primary age does not go to school. In an age where education is catered through technologically advanced tools, Nigeria is still witnessing classes beneath trees with one teacher assigned to 100 pupils. Besides, girls are still in the backseat and the revealing ration of 1:2 for girls against boys is even more shocking. [Source]
To reveal a more dreadful estimate, ten million of total Nigerian children are deprived of formal education. Dr. Rosemary Nwangwu, Director General (DG) of Centre for Non-Formal Education and Training revealed that this is sheer indicator of the fact that one against every school aged children is not attaining formal education. [Source]
However, amidst so much of drawbacks all hope is not lost with some current initiatives taken in the light of education in Nigeria. Though the statistical records are not so convincing, Nigeria shows new dawn of hope. Here is how.
- Education in Nigeria: Prospective Initiatives
Just like every dark cloud has a silver lining, Nigeria is at the threshold of waking to a new dawn of hope. With efforts in achieving United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals 2015, Dr. Rosemary Nwangwu believes that collective efforts invested in achieving Education for All (EFA) is one of the biggest initiatives. As declared by government that very country has access to basic education reveals the fact that every child should be educated. To this end, Dr. Rosemary Nwangwu urged government to incorporate viable strategies that would rectify the abnormality in Nigeria’s education structure so as to attain MDGs mandate in context of education for the future of the country. [Source]
Especially, the last few years have been observing hopeful changes since the launching of the Universal Basic Education Act. A lot has been achieved in the construction of new buildings and dilapidated school buildings. There has been supply of required furniture and desks and there have been a lot of provisions for toilet facilities. Recently, UNICEF has been taking initiative towards advocating school friendly concept, though the plan is now at its primary stage. [Source]
The initiatives taken for promoting education in Nigeria has been strong so far but there is yet to be more staunch efforts and strategies to be introduced to reverse Nigeria’s educational scenario for the good. Only then, we can hope for a more developed Nigeria in future.
A traditional belief that the entire world has been accepting for years is that African nations lag behind others in establishing pleasant educational standards for students and career aspirants. Well, it’s news that the World Bank has decided to spend US $450 million behind a couple of projects in Nigeria which will result in the enhancement of employment opportunities for young students. Secondly, the reason behind such a huge investment is bringing improvement in the quality of education for school children of the West African nations.
Job prospects & educational standards to rise in Nigeria
According to Professor Misbau Akanji, the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, the quality of education is on the rise in Nigeria. He said quite enthusiastically that expectations among students for higher education here are increasing since a good number of people have shown interests towards pursuing tertiary education. Moreover, the initiative of the World Bank has raised his spirits high and has rather made him confident that the unemployed can now dream of grabbing numerous job opportunities.
Unstable electricity issues to resolve soon in Nigeria
Owing to the advent of the internet, several school, colleges and universities have drastically changed their perceptions. Earlier, securing a ‘P’ in English was considered mandatory to enter into several career fields. Today, it’s the age of e-learning that has broken all conventions and compulsions, and has instead showed the African nations to prosper in diverse ways. In this respect, Mr. Akanji however said that the factor that tortured a lot of African nations in terms of education was unstable electricity. For this, several universities failed to set fixed hours for lectures that compelled students to miss a good number of classes.
Today, the majority of e-learning schools in Nigeria have therefore started using tape recorders for recording lectures so that students can access them easily from any corner and at anytime they wish. The teachers and professors have expressed supreme confidence towards the fact that the issue related to the availability of power will soon resolve which will result in the realisation of the potentials of online education.
YESSO brings a prominent ray of hope for Nigerian education
When asked about the deterioration of technical colleges in Nigeria, Professor Akanji confessed that this was one of the factors that needed to be checked in time. There are many students residing in Nigeria who desire to join technical colleges in expectation of building thriving careers. Now, if they are compelled to join polytechnics or local institutes, the nation will never be able to gift bright futures to their students.
So, all are eyeing upon the three hundred million dollar project, named YESSO (Nigeria Youth Employment and Social Support Operation). The project will be focusing on the poor youth as well as 10% of the poorest households of the participating states. Those aged from 18 to 35 will be not only given work opportunities and training skills but the weaker sections will also be able to access social services.
Online learning achieving success in Nigeria
Moreover, the government through this project will aim to strengthen the social safety net system of Nigeria thereby making the country strong enough to set educational standards for students as well as working professionals. In fact, many technologically advanced online course provider have already started offering online courses in Nigeria by letting students make use of several mobile devices like kindles, tablets, smartphones and iPads. One such course provider can be found here. This has rather led to a pretty good success rate in comparison to what had been in the early years.
Nigeria certainly has covered miles in becoming technologically richer, and with the progress of time, it is highly predicted to catch up with the educational standards set by the developed countries. The Ministry of Education however will be highly expected to take such matters into consideration.