In the previous article, we discussed five significant challenges facing Nigeria’s educational system. These challenges include inadequate funding, high cost of education, lack of access to quality education, shortage of qualified and properly trained teachers, and the use of outdated curricula.
It is no news that Nigeria is far from the UNESCO funding threshold for public education in developing nations. Research has shown that the highest allocation to the education sector by Nigeria’s government was 8.4 % from 2016 to 2022. Statistics show that Nigeria holds the highest rate of out-of-school children with about 18 million children out of school.
Having highlighted this, let us go ahead to discuss quality education in Nigeria and its attainability.
Why is quality education important?
Education is a crucial source of cohesion, support, and stability in a nation’s growth. Education would influence a nation’s future economic growth because it increases each individual’s capacity to identify problems, solve problems and be part of a nation’s wealth creation process. A strong educational system assures the development of home-grown national solutions to various national problems and therefore ensures national growth and sustainable development. Hence, more spending on quality education equals less spending on fixing problems in the future for Nigeria.
Decreased Crime Rate
Research has shown that an increase in education will lead to a decrease in criminality and crime rate. With more Nigerians being properly educated and assuming their correct roles in society, there would be fewer dissidents, vices, and social tensions to deal with in the nation.
Advancement of Individual and Societal Welfare
A huge benefit of quality education is that it promotes individual development which then leads to advancement of societal welfare collectively. Currently, society is largely designed in such a way that those who get an education are more likely to get higher incomes and better opportunities. When this happens, societies benefit from this, having people who are able to pay better taxes and generally contribute to societal welfare.
How can quality education in Nigeria be achieved?
There are a number of things that can be done to achieve quality education. Some of the most important things that can be done include:
Increased Funding for Education
Section 13 of the National Policy on Education states that “education is an expensive social service and requires adequate financial provision from all tiers of government for the successful implementation of education programme.” The Nigerian government must design a workable plan for funding education. To genuinely address the issue of under-funding, the government should allocate 26% or above of the national annual budgetary allocation to the education sector as recommended by the United Nations under UNESCO. This will allow the government to provide more classrooms, laboratories, and other standard educational infrastructures that make quality education possible.
Training for Teaching Staff
Better teacher training programs should become a priority. Adequate professional and qualified teachers should be recruited through strict processes and employment should be based on credibility and merit. This will help teachers to improve their skills and knowledge. Government should provide adequate, well-trained and qualified personnel in inspectorate services in primary and secondary schools in order to enhance quality delivery of education.
Regular Review of the Education Curricula
Another way to improve education in Nigeria is by ensuring that the curriculum used in schools are consistently reviewed to align with the changing times. Knowledge keeps evolving at an incredibly fast rate, and for our educational system to stay competitive, then our curriculum must evolve with it. The current curriculum used in public schools in Nigeria today is over 50 years old! This is unacceptable. It is also important that the curriculum redesigned in such a way that it doesn’t focus on only abstract theoretical knowledge, but is more practical to equip students for work and the future of work.
Availability of Quality and Affordable Education
Acquiring quality education is non-negotiable in fighting poverty, ignorance, and illiteracy. However, acquiring this has become an expensive burden for so many people in need of this. Today, most schools that offer quality education are expensive private institutions are out of reach to over 80% of the population in Nigeria. However, this inequality can be bridged if public schools in Nigeria offer quality education that is at par with private institutions but still at an affordable rate to every citizen
Achieving quality education in Nigeria might be a complex challenge but it is possible. Quality education is essential for a prosperous and just society in Nigeria. By increasing funding for education, improving infrastructure, providing better teacher training, and increasing student motivation, the Nigerian government can help to ensure that all Nigerian children have access to quality education. By investing in quality education, we can give all students the opportunity to reach their full potential and do right by every child.
Daily Trust. (2022). Nigeria’s out-of-school children now 18.5 million – UNICEF.
Punch Nigeria. (2022). Education sector grossly underfunded. Retrieved October 15, 2022 from https://punchng.com/education-sector-grossly-underfunded-cbn-deputy-gov/.
UNESCO. (2022). Education: The Challenge. https://www.unicef.org/nigeria/education
UNESCO. (2021). UNESCO Member States unite to increase investment in education.